26 June 2013

Family roots - even a rotten tree, can sometimes bare good fruit.

I come from a pretty rotten family. Like all of us, that is one choice I did not make. But out of a long-line of elitist, arrogant, conservative bankrupt bankers and land-owners, there once sprung a beautiful branch, one that I cannot help but feel proud of.

My grandfather, Oswaldo Costa, was an outspoken newspaper man, a socialist of real integrity, who way back in the 50's and 60's fought avidly against dictatorship and corruption, was sent to jail, and had his newspaper O Semanario, closed down when the Military took over back in 1964.
His newspaper, campaigned very hard to keep Brazilian resources for the benefit of its people.
It is only due to the incredible bravery of many brasileiros like him that PETROBRAS, (the state owned Brazilian petrol co) one of our greatest assets, still exists today and it's thankfully not called Texaco-BR.
This is the front page, of the very last edition of his newspaper. His last editorial.
It is dated 1st April, 1964.
the very day the military Coup took place, and the darkest era in the history of my country began.
The military closed his newspaper down that very week.
I never got to meet him - he was gone by the time I was born, but I'd like to think that something of his DNA and ideals still lives on, I just wish I had more of his courage.
So, to all the Drugstore fans, who have been a little perplexed and bemused by my emotional political rants of the past few weeks - I hope they can now understand better why I fear a military coup, why it's not about whose Party it is anyway - but how strongly I hope for Democracy to be preserved and strengthened, and that the best interest of those who have no twitter accounts and no I-pads: the majority of the hard working people of Brazil, should always be at the forefront of our hearts.
(you can click pic to supersize, + right click 'view image' - takes 2 secs to load, but paper still v readable.)

- and how incredible that the discussion and concerns of his last editorial, still ring relevant in 2013. 
He would undoubtedly be very happy to hear that Dilma Roussef's proposal for royalties of PETROBRAS to be ploughed into education and health, has been approved by the BR Congress today.

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