Afro-Brazilians are denied quality education, contends                                    Okello Oculi

Brazil’s gift of rhythmic Football is wilting in quality and creative flare from infection by a European Virus known as ‘’Dry Money’’. Television pictures of a street in Sao Paolo city choked by a jam of revellers jigging to Carnival music affirmed the spirit of Brazil. The Sao Paolo jam was in celebration of 50 years of diplomatic Samba between Brazil and China.

As a leading industrial and financial centre in Brazil, the celebration also underlined a push for a share of China’s vast market for their machines and manufactures. Those who planned the event also hope that waving the neck of the Chinese dragon to rythmes of tropical melodies will induce it to open its throat and throw out millions of Chinese Tourists with fecund pockets to splash around.

Exporters in Sao Paolo are also big competitors in landing Soyabeans in the Chinese market. Their greed has driven savage killings of NATIVE peoples in the Amazon forest zone to grab large tracts of land for farming soybeans. That ritual has, for centuries, been the barbaric undertone of Brazil’s Samba.  My schoolmate, the elegant aristocratic Ana Maria Brazileiro recalled (for our oral history lesson at ESSEX University), memories of groups of EUROPEAN immigrants setting out on weekend picnics dominated by gunning down indigenous peoples who lived inside the Amazon forest.

There has emerged a mafia drive in exporting to Africa this search for land for growing soybeans. In Nigeria, waves of killers who invade  communities in villages to drive them from land, has become rampant. Satellite photographs often reveal land that hold vast deposits of minerals needed for military warfare, including: cobalt, uranium and lithium.  

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, over 121 militias receive guns for terrorising local communities where vital minerals, timber and coffee are found. Similar terrorism is inflicted on Black communities in Honduras in South America, often with the cooperation of military units bribed by rich urban merchants. It is a strategy for eroding loyalty to local and national governments, and sense of sovereignty. Thugs become substitutes for agents of the state without responsibility for socio-economic development.

Brazil’s agriculture has evolved very little from the exploitation of African captives, and poor Europeans purchased and shipped from prisons in Britain and the Iberean zone. Their living conditions are horrible. In the 1960s, the appeal of Brazil’s Communist Party alarmed both landlords and their American allies. In 1964/65 American officials encouraged military officers who were sons of big land owners to slaughter, torture and imprison thousands of ‘’radicals’’. It is response to this official terror that underlies support for President LULA.  Nigerian welcome to Brazilian investors in the agricultural sector must note this ancestry.

The attack against moments of progressive politics in Brazil goes back to the 19th Century when business groups that advocated and promoted economic nationalism were attacked by an alliance between British, American, German and French banks and marketers of industrial products in Brazil’s market and their agents in import trade. More modern military weapons were brought in for use by Brazilian importers. The economic nationalists lost the civil war. As Gunder Frank demonstrated, the economic DEVELOPMENT of Brazil was blocked. The ‘’development of UNDER-DEVELOPMENT was born.

This defeat of progressive economic growth opened the road for a small island economy of CUBA to overtake Brazil as the driver of development all across South America from Argentina to PERU. With regard to peoples of African ancestry, Cuba’s sending mainly BLACK troops to stop troops of racist South Africa defeating Socialist Movement for The Popular Liberation of Angola (MPLA), made Henry Kissinger rush to Brazil to assure its leaders of American intervention if Cuba sent troops to liberate poverty-tortured Afro-Brazilians.

Brazil has a population from diverse ancestries. German immigrants came with a legacy of industrial research and production. The bold imagination that was manifested in the construction of BRAZILIA as a new capital of the country, has echoes of local self assertion through cerebral architecture.

The oppression of AFRO-BRAZILIANS has remained genocida.l In 1922, Sweden’s ambassador recommended preventing solidarity among people of African descent and their emotional ties with Africa.  President Jair Bolsonaro (2019 -2022) was accused of saluting  COVID-19 virus for wiping out Afro-Brazilians from the country.

The denial of good quality education to Afro-Brazilians is a pandemic in South America. The ONI OF IFE should promote building quality educational infrastructure; and a campaign to demand that Brazilian companies entering Africa should show a quota system of BLACKS in their management staff, and their human resource development in Brazil..

Africa also owes Brazil support in redeeming football from the virus of European money. Legendry PELE regretted that European coaches ‘’panel beat’’ artistry out of young African players, thereby murdering Football’s Brazilian melody.

Prof Oculi writes from Abuja

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