"We fight, President, to once again prove that we are righteous in rejecting the miserable history they have left us."

Mariana, April 9, 2018

Dear President Lula,

You already know a little bit of my story (attached is a reminder). This letter is more an opportunity to express my admiration and gratitude for everything you represent in the life of this nation and to me personally.

I am a historian, I am 28 years old. I come from a poor family from the interior of Minas Gerais and I am one of the few people in my family that had the opportunity to go to college.

I've just returned from a Sanduiche doctoral internship at Stanford in the United States. In the certification document, my dear friend and professor Gumbrecht, one of the most prominent humanists alive in the world today who hosted me at Stanford, wrote that I was the best visiting student he ever met in his more than 25 years at that institution. I owe that to you! I owe the opportunity to have a voice in one of the best universities in the world to your determination. to confront this country's miserable history. But my gratitude goes beyond that.

In your most recent speech, you said you were an idea. No, allow me to disagree. You are more than an idea. You are a force, an energy, a presence. That condition is what allows ideas to form. You, dear president, are history itself. And I am grateful to you for being (and for having accepted to be) the fortune that allowed many like me to come into existence.

I confess that there is more melancholy in my heart than hope for the future (indeed, few in the world can speak of the future as well as you). Our people are sad, violent, selfish, relinquishing their dignity and part of them have consciously opted for all that is unjust and dangerous.

But you must remember, I was ashamed of my father for being a simple worker, a ranch hand. Today, thanks to you, to your struggle, I am proud, deeply proud of my father. Deeply proud of my mother. Deeply proud of my peasant and working-class background. Deeply proud of my life. And that is beautiful!

For that reason, I want to share with you that despite (and along with) my melancholy, I assume the duty to be a force, a presence dedicated to rehabilitating your greatness and the greatness of all workers of this country.

We fight, President, to once again prove that we are righteous in rejecting the miserable history they have left us.

With all my love, admiration, and respect,

PS: I hope, Mr. President, to one day meet in person for the coffee you invited me for. I hope that day will not be too long in coming.

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