I consider the Sem-Terra Movement a second (and I hope definitive) moment of
the long and difficult process of liberating Brazil from slavery (the first "official"
one was on May 13 1888, when negro slavery was abolished by Princess Isabel).
Incidentally, Brazil was the last country in the Americas to abolish that crime
against humanity that was already bitterly condemned by the great German
scientist Alexander von Humboldt (Essai Politique sur l&lsquot;île de
Cuba, Paris 1826). After being pronounced free, the ex-slaves were abandoned
to their own fate and reduced to a miserable condition, one of the strongest
reasons for social discrimination and the iniquitous distribution of wealth.
Nowadays, independently of colour and of racial origin, a great mass of
Brazilians, reduced to misery, are struggling for a true AGRARIAN REFORM against
owners of great uncultivated latifundia, a minority of very rich people
that despises the fate of that miserable stratum of the Brazilian population.
This struggle, in my opinion, corresponds to a struggle for freedom and a
conquest of citizenship and ought to be supported by politically aware Brazilian
intellectuals, as was the case with the campaign for abolitionism and against
slavery of our Romantic era supported by such as Luís Gama (poet,
journalist and ex-slave) or Castro Alves (poet and author of the celebrated
anti-slavery poem "African Voices" of 1868).