Former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, like many of her compatriots, took to the streets of Rio de Janeiro this carnival season to partake in the festivities, which have carried strong socio-political connotations. Referred to in the colloquial circles as, “washing one's soul,” she celebrated with fans of samba school Paraiso do Tuiuti, which depicted Senate-imposed president, Michel Temer, as “Big Neoliberal Vampire.”
As the former head of state stood among revelers, she said “In Rio, the samba school Paraiso do Tuiuti lifts the bleachers as people sing against slavery and the injustice of an oppression that has never ended,” according to a report by Brasil 24/7.
Paraiso do Tuiuti paraded to an inquisitive theme titled, “My God, My God, is slavery extinct?” In doing so, the samba school's procession along the Sambadrome Marquês de Sapucaí, the purpose-built parade runway in downtown Rio de Janeiro, was marked by representations of rural slave labor, slave trafficking, informal work and recalling “the Mulato,” the first newspaper published by Black people in Brazil in 1833.
The procession went on to mock those who supported Rousseff's impeachment by waving pots and pans in the air while dressed as ducks.
Meanwhile, another group of revelers that accompanied the Boi Tolo carnival block paraded through Santo Dumont airport in the city of Rio de Janeiro also let their options be known. Their chants and songs were extremely critical of Temer, as well as the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Marcelo Crivella, an Evangelical preacher who reduced funds available to carnival groups this year.
In reference to the highly charged political messages conveyed during this year's carnival, Luiz Carlos Magalhaes, president of the samba school Portela, said “the people have become more informed as a result of all these lewd scandals” and even more “deceived by the politicians they've elected.”
He went on to note that the sentiment of the people “should have a huge effect, so we hope, on the (presidential) election,” which is scheduled to take place in October.