Monday, October 6, 2008

Sim Podemos?

No, that wasn’t the real Barack Obama campaigning in Belford Roxo, Brazil last week but Claudio Henrique-Barack Obama certainly hopes that voters in this city of nearly 500,000 made the connection. Known as Claudio Henrique dos Anjos prior to Belford Roxo’s recent mayoral race, Senhor Claudio was one of at least 8 candidates in Brazil’s October 5 municipal elections to register under the name of Barack Obama.

A significant portion of Brazil’s population is of African descent (over 70 million people at least). Historically, however, Afro-Brazilians have rarely held positions of political prominence. Claudio Henrique used the historical journey of his American namesake to try and change this pattern and become Belford Roxo’s first black mayor. “He influences us not only because he’s the first black candidate, but because he fought for his dream, believed in his dream and defeated the odds,” said Claudio about Senator Obama.

As the votes cast on October 5 are currently being tallied we will have to wait a little while longer for the results of “Sim Podemos!” in Brazil. Regardless of what happens, I'm sure that it resonated more with voters than the campaign messages of Elephant Without a Tail and The Second King of Prawns.

(photo credit: Associated Press)