Editorial, by Stone Korshak

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Who knew? Maybe some pundits, but this World Cup has thrown some zingers that I think a lot of people are scratching their head about. For starters, Spain, Portugal, Italy and England making a no-show appearance, and on the Brazil side, where is Fred? (although he did finally score a goal Monday.)

Stone Korshak, Editor and Publisher of The Rio Times.
Stone Korshak, Editor and Publisher of The Rio Times.

Also, who knew the Brazilian people would get behind the FIFA event and hang up their protesting shoes? Maybe some, but a lot of folks were convinced that the streets would run red with a population demanding more economic equality, social services and political reform. To be fair, the event is not over yet and there are those doubling-down that should the Seleção Brasileira fall out of the tournament the people will lace up and head to the streets.

The other factor is the R$1.9 billion spent on security, and everyone knows that meant security to control any protests. The authorities have been armed with Darth Vader outfits and have been cracking down hard on some small protests, and scaring the heck out others in the more visible places (where they can’t just start whacking away).

Then who knew that the economic boost from the games would swing back around, after the Brazilian government projected some big money coming in last year, there was a period where all the financial indicators cooled, but now things are looking good again – according to the bean-counters.

They say $30 billion has been put into the economy, but that the tourists (World Cup fans) are only bringing about R$4 billion. So I guess the rest was spent on infrastructure and stadiums,… but who has paid for that? I assume Brazilian tax-payers … so it’s not like that money was brought into the economy, it was already here.

Who knows how these economics work, government stimulus plans to pump money into the economy sounds like a good thing, it’s just hard to know that the money is being spent in the best way. I guess that’s what the politicians decide, and lord help them.

To that point, just about everyone knew that Dilma Rousseff would be tapped to run again for the PT in the October presidential elections in Brazil, although there were a lot of folks thinking Lula would be back. That was announced last week and now the question is how the legacy of the World Cup will be seen, and if that will help the PT party or not.

Protesters encircled by police in Brazil
Protesters encircled by police on Avenida Atlântica in Rio de Janeiro, photo by Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil.


  1. I wanted ticket for Maracana but after finding that impossible we were able to buy tickets for a match in Belo Horizonte. Never learning from past mistakes, I decided it would be just as easy to drive to BH from our home in the Serra and avoid confusion in the airports.
    Well for those who haven’t driven the Federal Highway to BH let’s just say that a more accurate description is cow path. Terrible. The toll portion is just fine. Modern road with 2 lanes and a shoulder. The Federal portion is full of pot holes, speed traps, cross traffic, sudden changes from 2 lanes to 1 or to 1.5 (a normal lane and a converted shoulder).
    So much for my comments on Brazilian infrastructure.

    BH was clean and pleasant. Nice hotel for a fair price. Minerao stadium was excellent. We had a great time at the game and had a couple beers to just to help us get through the horrific drive back to Rio.


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