Brazilian Election Watch: Meet Cabo Daciolo

We here at the Best of Brazil Blog feel that we have done you, the reader, a disservice in not writing more about one particular presidential candidate here in Brazil – Cabo Daciolo.

Who is Cabo Daciolo, you ask?

This guy.

The guy holding his Bible in the air, next to the guy blowing a ram’s horn, is a former firefighter named Benevenuto Daciolo Fonseca dos Santos, better knows as Cabo (or Corporal) Daciolo (dah see OH lu). And he is probably the most eccentric, and certainly the most entertaining of Brazil’s presidential candidates.

What is he doing in this picture, you ask?

Why, fasting and praying on the mountain top, of course. Like all the other presidential candidates don’t do.

Now, don’t get us wrong, almost every one of the candidates claims some form of religion. But none of them wears it on their sleeve as much as does Mr. Daciolo. That’s why you are more apt to see him on the mountain fasting and praying (and listening to the soothing strains of live rams horn music), then actually on the campaign trail.

And surprisingly (or not), many people don’t find this to be a bad idea.

Translation: Reasons to vote for Cabo Daciolo: He is too busy praying on the mountain to steal.

And though he identifies with some of the key elements of the right (nationalism, anti-communism, anti-abortion), he also identifies with some issues that are traditionally left wing (quotas for colleges, social welfare programs). He’s kind of hard to pin down.

Cabo Daciolo broke onto the national scene in one of the first presidential debates, where he stood out from the rest of the crowd by beginning his statements with the phrase “Glória a Deus” (Glory to God).

And then, things got weird.

In the video above, candidate Daciolo is given the opportunity to ask a question to the other candidate of his choice. He chooses Ciro Gomes, and then asks him to explain to the Brazilian people about something called “URSAL”. Ciro’s surprise, and amusement, is evident, as he protests no knowledge of anything called URSAL. Daciolo explains to the crowd that “URSAL” stands for Union of Socialist Republics of Latin American (the acrostic makes sense in Portuguese) – a nefarious plot to combine all the nations of South and Central America into one big country.

This is some serious conspiracy theory here, Ciro is not quite sure how to answer it, and from that moment on the fictional URSAL turned into a thing on Twitter.

Translation: I knew it!

It even spawned a mascot… (URSAL sounds like the word for “bear”)

…and a video game.

At the next debate, Cabo Daciolo again turned his attention on Ciro, who probably expected more amusing conspiracy theories.

What he got, instead was a roundhouse punch that took his…and everybody else’s breath away.

For context, Ciro Gomes had just been released from the Sirio-Libanes hospital – a renowned (and expensive) private hospital – where he had checked himself in for what turned out to be a minor illness.

Enter the ex-firefighter (partial transcript of above video): Ciro, glory to God, glory to God. You were sick these days, I hope you’re better. You got sick, and you went running to the Siro Libanes. And the people? Where do they run to? Where is healthcare for the people. The people are dying…and what have you done for them? Election time rolls around and you know everything, talk pretty, make all kinds of promises, but nothing changes. Why didn’t you go to a public hospital? The people are suffering, the people are dying…

The brutal beat-down went on for almost another minute and Brazil collectively sucked in it’s breath…because he’s right. And you can tell from Ciro’s face that he was not expecting that from the “URSAL guy”.

So what to expect from Cabo Daciolo? You never know. We do know that he expects to win, because apparently he has been told by God that he will.

This seems unlikely, but so does a double rainbow in the path of his campaign bus.

Translation: Glory to God!

See our complete coverage of the 2018 Brazilian elections here.



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