I cried when I saw Brazil attacking my younger sister

Adopted by Sara and Juscelino at the age of five, María Estela lived with them and her sister Marcia, the couple’s biological daughter.

Joelmir Tavares
Sao Paulo-SP

Sitting in front of the TV in the living room of her apartment in Ipanema, Maria Estela Kubiccek could not believe the scenes that caused her the greatest sadness of her 80 years of life.

The architect, the only living daughter of Brazil’s idealist president, Huscelino Kubicek, wept when she saw a coup mob of supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro (PL) invade and desecrate the chambers of government, Congress and the Federal Supreme Court on that ominous Sunday (8) afternoon.

“Brazil is my younger sister whom I have seen dream, plan and build. For me, it was a personal aggression,” he tells on the phone in Folha, still devastated by the atrocity committed against the capital, which he killed at the age of 18 in 1960. in April, witnessed his father’s inauguration with teary eyes.

As the mob marched furiously on public and historical heritage, destroying what they found in front of them, María Estela received messages on her cell phone from people who could imagine her desperation. “I cried. I didn’t know if I should get on a plane from Rio de Janeiro to do something there, if I should pray for my father to protect the city, or what I can do,” she recalls.

Astounded like many of his compatriots, he thought of the work of all the Brazilians who helped raise and maintain the federal capital, from the architect Oscar Niemeyer, who designed the buildings, to the kandangos who lifted each beam and the servants who tended every day. protection..

He was frustrated by the “lack of leadership” in the security sector, not understanding why extremists flared up so easily. He was in disbelief when he saw chairs being thrown through the windows and the jacaranda table that Jucellino had been using at work ended up becoming a barricade.


After the worst moment, with some relief that the vandalism wasn’t even worse (“Can you imagine if the fire spread inside?”), J.K.

“It’s not like the instinct of a Brazilian to do something like that. I don’t know where that hatred comes from, if it was encouraged by someone very hateful. I’m still looking for answers,” he says, before lamenting that people with the gift of influence use this ability for evil. “Dad had that power, but okay.”

In his reflections, he names Bolsonaro as someone who could sow democratic discord by rejecting a peaceful transition of power by challenging electronic voting machines.

“We created [dúvidas sobre o resultado] when was he elected? Did anyone doubt his choice? Is it just for one side? That’s the thing. here comes the group that gets angry and wants to destroy everything. Considering, [ele] dissolves it.”


And he continues to explain didactically. “You win or lose in the elections, that’s clear. If you are ready to participate knowing that you can win, you must also know that you can lose. If the voter is not satisfied, he waits for time to pass and votes again after four years.”

He himself believed that in 2022 it was time for the former president to leave, but he did not imagine that he would miss the inauguration of his successor, “giving the impression that he fled” to the United States.

He says he voted for Luis Inacio Lula da Silva (PT) and that as a “democrat by birth, heritage and training” he always respects elected governments, but also exercises the right to criticize and disagree.

He didn’t like it, for example, when first lady Rosangela Lula da Silva, known as Janja, called GloboNews to show the state in which Bolsonaro and his family left the Alvorada Palace. “The situation is sad, but it was not necessary to publish it like that, sorry. to show the fact [na TV] there was very strong criticism. I don’t know if it would justify the need for a thorough repair.”


The architect avoids addressing the topic. He says that it is common to carry out repairs during the change of governor. “What I do know is that Mom was always concerned about getting everything served right, everything neat, with clean bed linen. That’s it. when you live in a place that is not yours, you have to be even more careful.”

Adopted at the age of five by Sara and Juscelino, María Estela lived with them and her sister Marcia, the couple’s biological daughter, in isolated and uninhabited Brazil. During the construction phase in the capital, he managed to travel with his father to check the works, “he was so curious”. It was in the city that he learned to drive with JK’s driving lessons and earned the 38th license in local history.

With so many memories of the capital, he could consider himself half-owner of it all. “Brazil does not belong to anyone, it belongs to everyone. That [invasão] It hurt me a lot, but the biggest aggression was against our democracy. There is no apology.”


“The father in Brazil today would be like me, not understanding anything,” he says about the politician who died in 1976. During the military dictatorship (1964-1985), he was deprived of his senatorial mandate, lived in exile and was arrested. “He calmly accepted the arrest. He simply said. “This will end, this will pass,” her daughter recalls.


For the architect, such a backlash as last Sunday might have been justified if the country was in danger of becoming a dictatorship. “And even then, not with violence, but with words. Speaking, condemning is stronger than breaking. Those scenes conveyed an ugly image to the world. It was not an example of democracy, but of revanchism, I don’t know what.”

María Estela was a member of the PSDB and even ran for Vice President Eduardo Páez (also from the PSDB) in the Rio de Janeiro government dispute in 2006. The current mayor of Rio de Janeiro is in fifth place. Sergio Cabral (MDB) was declared the winner.

On Sunday night, after hours of terror, the architect took to Facebook and wrote: “I have no words to express the sadness I feel today, seeing the destruction of my “younger sister”, Brazil. May God protect us from hate, vandalism and save our “capital of hope”.

He repeats the message to Folha. “What happened is not a reflection of the Brazil I lived in, nor is it the Brazil we want. I never imagined that at my age I would go through what I went through. Brazil represents not only the dreams of that time, but also our hope today. And Brazil is strong enough to get through it.”

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