The Big Picture

Vincent Boland: Brazil needs more than Lula to bring it back from the brink

The new left-wing president leads a deeply divided country, with a stagnant economy and severely damaged self-esteem

It was difficult to notice, amid the angst and clamour of last month’s presidential election, that this year marks the 200th anniversary of an independent and sovereign Brazil. The country separated from Portugal in 1822, became a republic in 1889, and has been lauded ever since, often pejoratively, as the country of the future. So feliz aniversário, Brasil.

Alas for the country’s 215 million people, the future keeps getting postponed. Modern Brazil is among the ...