Do you know what urban legends are?
Are stories with supernatural features that involve famous people or include some important event and due to be repeated mouth-to-mouth everyday stay in the popular culture. Most of these stories mix real facts with fictions, that's why they present many doubts and it's difficult to find their origin or check their accuracy.
With the massiveness of Internet urban legends started to multiply over e-mail chains, got translated to other languages and reached the blogs of thousand of writers all over the world.
In this case, this urban legend actually born due to ignorance and confusion of many facts. But the good thing is that the positive message that pass on remained beyond the doubts and mysteries.
I think that this is one of those stories that should transcend the threshold of urban legends, that's why I share it with you.
This material called "World Internationalization" was presented in a conference made on November 2007 in the Texas-Pan American University.
The speech was written by Cristovam Buarque, Professor with Ph.D. in Economics from the Sorbonne, he was Brasilia's University Rector and Minister of Education of the first Lula government in 2003, currently he's a Federal Senator and has more than 20 books published.
This speech is included in the book "100 HIstorical Brazilian Speeches" of Carlos Figueiredo.
The people in this story that give testimony of the truth of this speech are:
* Olga, from Kumaruman-Amapá tribe,
* Xauane, from Pataxó-Bahia tribe,
* Ubiranan, from Pataxó-Bahia tribe,
* Eveline Ofugi, estudante do Federal District,
* Maria das Dores, from Amapá tribe,
* Raimundo, from Arapium-Bahia tribe,
* Gisela Mattoso, lawyer, and
* Emilia Queiroga, researcher and teacher.
Emilia Queiroga: “At that time I was the representative for Latin America by the State Of The World Forum. It's a world forum where is discussing the state of the world. The leader of the forum is Mikhail Gorbachev, he met with Maurice Strong from the Earth Council from Costa Rica to do a great forum and invited people from all over the world to debate subject of world interest.”
Gisela Mattoso: “I was very happy of having the luck to be able to speak at that exact moment, in the days of the forum in September 2000”.
Emilia Queiroga: “At that time I was responsible to organize a committee of people from Brazil. Businessmen, politicians, people that could really make a difference on the forum. And that was what I did, and obviously Senator Cristovam was on my list.”
Gisela Mattoso: Senator Cristovam was participating there, invited by a group of college students through the New York University, maybe because they knew that Senator was a person that would worth to listen to, so they invited him to participate of a debate. A college student stood up and asked the next to the Senator: What would you think as humanist if the Amazon would be internationalizated? Considering the environmental reserve role necessary for all the world. Then there a strange and cute moment happened that we treasure forever.
Cristovam comments: “It was the first time that a debating participant established the humanist viewpoint as the starting point of my response. And in fact, as a Brazilian I would have replied simply that I'm against the internationalization of the Amazon region.”
Olga reads: “However much our governments are not given the care this treasure heritage deserves, it is ours.”
Cristovam: “But I reply that as a humanist, realizing the environmental destruction risk that threatens over the Amazon region, I could imagine its internationalization. But also the internationalization of everything else that is important for humanity. Because if the Amazon region from the humanist's viewpoint has to be internationalized, then we should internationalize the oil reserves of the entire world as well.”
Maria das Dores reads: “The oil is just as important to the humanity welfare as the Amazon region is for our future.”
Cristovam: “Nevertheless, the owners of the oil reserves think they have the right to increase or decrease the oil extraction and rise or fall the price. And the wealthy of the world feel with the right to burn that huge humanity heritage. Similarly, the financial assets of the wealthy nations should be internationalized because we can't allow that the financial assets serve to burn whole countries down in the voluptuousness of speculation. If the Amazon region is a natural reserve for every human being...”
Xauane reads: “Cannot be burned down due to the will of a landowner or a country.”
Cristovam: “However, burning down the Amazon region is as tragic as the unemployment caused by the arbitrary decisions of the global speculators. Before the internationalization of the Amazon region, I would like to see the internationalization of all the world's great museums. Louvre shouldn't belong only to France. Each world museum is the guardian of the most beautiful pieces produced by the human genius. We can't let the cultural heritage or the natural heritage could be manipulated by the whim of an owner or a country. Recently, a Japanese millionaire decided to be buried with a grand master's painting, before that the painting should have been internationalized. During the same meeting in which this question came up, the UN convened the Millennium Forum, but some presidents had difficulties in attending due to problems they suffered in the United States' borders. Therefore, I told there in New York, that like hosted city of the United Nations New York should be internationalized. At least Manhattan should belong to all humanity. And also Paris, Venice, Rome, London, Rio de Janeiro, Brazilia, Recife, every city with its specific beauty, with its part of the world's history, should belong to all the world. If the United States want to internationalize the Amazon region due to the risk of leaving it in Brazilian hands, it's fine, but we should internationalize all the nuclear stockpile of the US because they already have shown that are willing to use these weapons, causing a destruction thousands of times greater than the destruction caused by the fires in the Brazilian forests. During their debates, the US presidential candidates defended the idea of internationalizing the world's forest reserves in exchange for the debt.”
Eveline reads: “Let's start using that debt to guarantee the right of every child of the world has the possibility to attend school.”
Cristovam: “We could internationalize the children. Treating all of them, regardless of the country they were born, as a heritage that deserves the care of the entire world, even more than the Amazon region. When the world leaders, treat the world's poor kinds...”
Ubiranan reads: “Like a humanity heritage...”
Cristovam: “...No longer will allow the children to work when they should be studying nor die when they should be living. As a humanist I accept...”
Raimundo reads: “...To defend the internationalization of the world...”
Cristovam: “But as long as the world treats me like a Brazilian, I will fight for the Amazon region to remain ours. Only ours.”
Gisela Mattoso, comments: “After that, there wasn't no debate.”
Emilia Queiroga adds: “I believe that the strong things, have force due to itselves and it's unavoidable an exponential impact.”
Gisela Mattoso: “I thought I was going to hear words like frontier, soldier, surveillance... and no such word in the warlike meaning came up at that moment. I was with my soul washed. It was a very special moment and I was very happy and proud of hearing a Brazilian replying with huge wisdom.”
The following video shows that the speech existed that wasn't just an urban legend with a nice moral, but a fact that really happened.
As the saying goes, all that glitters isn't gold. And like Phaedrus, the Roman fable writer said: “Things are not always what they seem. First Appearances deceive many. The intelligence of a few perceives what is carefully hidden”.
Always research, don't remain with only one opinion, always ask and never exhaust your curiosity.