Reporter’s Notebook: World Cup and politics dominate 2014 in Brazil

Global Business

Brazil had a busy 2014 with a World Cup and much political heat. CCTV America’s Paulo Cabral took a look at the year and tried to find some indicators for what is ahead.

Reporter’s Notebook: 2014 was all but tedious in Brazil

Brazil had a busy 2014 with a World Cup and much political heat. CCTV America’s Paulo Cabral took a look at the year and tried to find some pointers for what is ahead.

2014 was all but tedious in Brazil. The first half of the year was dominated by the FIFA Soccer Tournament, but more by controversy than by soccer itself.

The 2014 World Cup was marked by fears that the stadiums and infrastructure wouldn’t be ready in time and street protests against government expenditures to finance the event.

Only when the ball started rolling, Brazilian fans embraced the thrill of hosting the tournament as foreigners joined locals in celebrating the beautiful game.

“It’s a big pleasure for me to see the game here at this Fan Fest because it’s so nice, it’s so well organized and it’s very great,” a local resident said.

But the World Cup delivered a shock to Brazilians: a 7-1 defeat in semi-final match against Germany. The team of the nation calling itself “the country of football” had never lost a match with such difference in the score and it happened at home.

In the second half of the year, the elections dominated the news. And then, the death of one of the main candidates shocked Brazilians just as the political campaign started gathering steam.

From the socialist party, Eduardo Campos who was in third place in the polls. The plane crash that killed him three months before the vote caused a sudden shake up in politics.

Leftist, Dilma Rousseff’s task to secure re-election was not easy, fighting against a sluggish economy and corruption allegations against her government. In the end, Rousseff narrowly won against social-democratic contender, Aécio Neves, but inherited a divided country and voters who weren’t happy with the government’s inability to deliver services to the public.

“I think people voted against the opposition. I think people don’t want the opposition to come back because of the memories that we have of the 90’s, of Fernando Henrique Cardoso and of the recession, and all those thinks. But I think that the big question is that we need to improve public services in Brazil. People are out of poverty, people have more money now but they need to have proper public services and I think she needs to walk in that direction because that’s what is making people against her government and against the government in general,” Rafael Alcadipani, political scientist of Getulio Vargas Foundation said.

Paulo Sotero of Wilson Center discusses President Rousseff’s economy plan

The path to recovery could be a long one for Brazil.CCTV America interviewed Paulo Sotero, director of the Brazil Institute at the Wilson Center about President Rousseff’s economy plan.