It’s not that Luciano Hang is against Bolsonaro. The point is that he is now in favor of himself. He realized that Véio da Havan, a caricatured symbol of Bolsonarism, needed to leave the scene. Condemned by the conjuncture to become a traitor, he had to decide whether to betray his pet politician or his pocketbook. He preferred to betray the captain.
In the English language, Hang is a dangerous verb. It means to hang. With the intuition of someone who built one of the largest retail chains in the country, the owner of Havan sensed that, in order not to be left hanging, he needed to take care of the little shop — or the 174 points of sale that he spread across the map of Brazil.
“My family and my companies need me”, said Hang to Dunes Sônego, who outlined the character’s new profile in a report by TAB, one of UOL’s newsletters. “I don’t want to know about politics anymore”. From the conservatism of yesteryear, he has retained only exhibitionism. But it displays a different timbre.
“After the storm comes the calm”, he declared in one of his most recent videos. The danger of using the half-truth is to say exactly the half that is a lie. In Hang’s case, what came after the storm was not the calm, but the pressure.
In the four years of Bolsonaro’s presidency, Hang has become one of the most enthusiastic visitors to the parallel reality of the “myth”. During the pandemic, adherence to the denialism of the “little flu” earned him an embarrassing appearance at the Covid CPI.
In the presidential campaign, Hang’s flirtation with hatred of institutions dragged him into the investigation into anti-democratic acts, reported in the Federal Supreme Court by Minister Alexandre de Moraes. The riot of January 8 sparked a warning signal in Hang’s soul.
The ‘Xandão effect’
The removal of the debris that disfigured the Congress, Planalto and Supreme buildings had not yet begun when Hang released, on January 9, a note to try to dissociate himself from the criminal arm of Bolsonarism. In the text, he repudiated vandalism.
The next day, January 10, Hang released a video. “Given what’s going on there, someone wants to put the blame on someone else,” he said in the play. “I didn’t do anything wrong, I just worked for a candidate. Now we have a new president, a new government. Let’s hope for the pilot, as I always say, that he has a great trip, because I’m on the same plane. Let’s finish with hate speech, more peace, love and happiness”.
Suddenly, Hang migrated from Bolsonarism to opportunism. The rhetorical metamorphosis is due to the “Xandão effect”. When Bolsonaro was still exiled in Florida, the businessman was taken over by the same feeling that tormented Bolsonaristas abandoned to their fate in the Papuda prison.
Hang began to live with the syndrome of what is to come. Fears of him are not unfounded. In August 2022, Alexandre de Moraes had determined the blocking of his bank accounts. Havan’s owner had to work hard to get the release, which only came in September.
Today, surrendered to business pragmatism, Hang is dedicated to fighting enemies more threatening than communism. He takes spears against virtual commerce that allows Asian companies to flood the Brazilian market with tariff-free products. He calls eastern competitors “digital smugglers.”
By a lucky conspiracy, Hang’s concerns coincide with Fernando Haddad’s afflictions. Dealing with a proposal for a new fiscal rule whose success depends on the increase in tax collection, Lula’s Minister of Finance also took into account the “unfair competition” of e-commerce. Before long, Hang will be lighting a candle for Haddad.
Looking around, Hang noticed that his Havan navigates stormy seas. Leonardo Coelho Pereira, the executive who took over the command of the Americanas group on February 16, immersed in debts of more than R$ 40 billion, admitted last week that not all of the company’s 9,462 creditors will receive their credits in full.
Known in the market as Leo Coelho, the CEO of Americanas declared: “I don’t remember a judicial recovery that paid 100% of its debts. There are suppliers who won’t like it, but it’s the most we can do.”
The Marisa group, another retail giant, released its unaudited financial statements on Friday. They show a net loss of R$ 188.6 million. The figure represents a worsening of 670% compared to the loss of BRL 24.5 million recorded between October and December 2021.
Against this background scarred by the marks of the deterioration of trade, Hang had nothing but to join Lula’s chorus against interest rates of 13.75%. Simultaneously, the former Véio da Havan decided to treat Bolsonarism as an end-of-stock merchandise, as stranded products are classified.
Hang transferred his ideology from the window to the back of the store. He did so at a time when Bolsonaro, back in Brazil, is preparing to testify to the Federal Police on Wednesday in the inquiry into Saudi jewels and is awaiting judgment by the Superior Electoral Court of one of the actions that could make him an ineligible politician. after Easter.
Lula’s victory did not eliminate Luciano Hang’s appreciation for the parallel universe of flat Earth, the habitat he shared with Bolsonaro. But the changing winds forced the businessman to surrender to the obvious. Though he still detests the real world, Hang has come to realize that reality is the only place an entrepreneur can get customers to keep his business alive.
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