Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the former president of Brazil, has called to respect the Venezuelan people and their right to decide their own future.
In an interview, aired Tuesday, from the Federal Prison in Curitiba, Brazil, former President Lula da Silva commented on the behavior of right-wing governments and recommended to the U.S. president Donald Trump that he takes care of his own country and leave Venezuela in peace.
“The treatment they are giving to Venezuela is not right. Venezuela must have sovereignty, it must have self-determination. Venezuela is a problem of the Venezuelan people, it is not a problem of the United States. Trump should take care of the United States and stop getting where nobody calls him”, said Lula, the most famous political prison in today’s world.
Former president Lula is in prison for more than a year for alleged acts of corruption. He represents Brazil’s sovereignty, due to everything he did for this South American country.
Regarding incidents in Brazil, Lula indicated that former captain Jair Bolsonaro will likely run into more trouble during his term in office if he keeps his current attitudes.
“When I was elected as president, there was a 513 member parliament in which I had 80 congressmen. Bolsonaro has 50. He will need a lot more than I did to build a [favorable] force correlation. It’s no use saying ‘the old politics’, for he is ‘the old politics’.”
Rise of the Right
Asked about the rise of the right, the Workers’ Party (PT) leader recalled that Latin America lived an extraordinary period with high economic growth rates, income distribution and social inclusion between 2000 and 2014, with the election of Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Fernandez in Argentina, Ricardo Lagos in Chile, Lula da Silva in Brazil, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and Rafael Correa in Ecuador.
At this moment, however, the right is governing but without achieving important development results: “Now you are living a moment of the extreme right, which is failing in an absurd way,” said Lula.
Lula added, “In times of terror, we chose monsters to protect us.”
He pointed out that “when you create hatred in society, anti-politics takes away the hope of anyone. It takes away hope in existing institutions, which means that everything is fair game.”
The current failure of right-wing rulers, Lula warned, is opening the way to even more extremist leaders.
“Neoliberalism, in the form in which it arose at the globalization era, is losing its place. But it is losing in favor of the right, just as it lost in favor of Hitler or Mussolini, even in Germany, Angela Merkel, who is a very strong politician, would not rule Germany if it were not due to agreements with the Social Democratic Party.”
According to Lula, Trump’s rise reflects that political dynamic in which the right conquers power by fabricating lies.
“U.S. citizens did not believe Trump had the slightest chance. And why did he eventually win the elections? It was not because of Putin, as they try to claim. It was because of lies and fake news, as it happened here in Brazil too.”
“’America for Americans’, ‘jobs for Americans.’ His [Trump’s] election was due to the fact that he [Trump] had a correct speech for white workers, who were running out of jobs,” Lula said.
The former president of Brazil argued that Trump “promised the obvious: employment for the American people. He promised to fight with the Chinese for the American people and generate employment. That made him win the election.”
Lula represents Brazil’s sovereignty
A Brasilia, May 21, 2019 datelined report said:
The president of the PT, Gleisi Hoffmann, said in a statement: Lula represents Brazil’s sovereignty.
The statement was made at a meeting with members of the organization in the city of Campinas, in the state of Sao Paulo, where she spoke about the main national political developments.
According to the federal lawmaker, as a president (2003-2011), Lula “changed the way the world saw Brazil.”
She insisted that Lula represents national sovereignty and, therefore, fighting for his freedom is fighting for the Brazilian people’s dignity and the country’s autonomy before the world, an issue that the ex-president considers a priority at present.
Hoffmann noted that the cause for Lula’s freedom is “fundamental and strategic”, and “it is not just the struggle for an innocent man who was unjustly detained.”
It would be enough if it were just for that, “for solidarity with our comrade. But it is above all for what he personifies in the world scenario: Lula represents our sovereignty,” she stressed.
The party leader stated that the PT governments (2003-2016) succeeded in reducing the ratio between the active debt and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), created a monetary fund and generated more than 16 million formal jobs.
Lula is political prisoner
An earlier report said:
The American Association of Jurists (AAJ), having UN consultative status, affirmed that imprisonment of Lula seeks to remove him from the Brazilian political process.
A statement made by the AAJ on early-May recognized Lula as a political prisoner.
Lula’s sentence “was issued as a consequence of an accusation produced by violating the due process of law, that prejudiced (his) right to a defense, and without evidence,” said the AJJ.
The jurists’ organization pointed out that Brazilian far-right politicians, “benefited in the elections while Lula da Silva was isolated (in prison) as a presidential candidate and had the broadest popularity in the electoral polls.”
The AAJ has already denounced Lula’s 12-year sentence at the 2018 UN Human Rights Council general session.
The AAJ said Brazil’s Superior Electoral Tribunal invalidated his candidacy for the presidency, forbade him to speak from prison and prevented the PT from using his image in the electoral campaign. These measures were taken despite the fact that the country’s constitution guaranteed Lula the presumption of innocence.
“Such conditions demonstrate a detention that was made by violating fundamental guarantees, endorsing clearly political motivations, lacking connection with a properly and well defined offense, and having a duration and accessory penalties which are aimed at both moving Lula da Silva away from the national political process and laying foundations to discriminate against people endorsing different ideological tendencies through irregular procedures,” explained the AAJ.
According to the Council of Europe’s jurisprudence, this makes Lula a political prison.
His current situation also is described as a case of “prison of conscience”, affirmed the AAJ.
Evidence of the mishandling of Lula’s case became evident on March 4, 2016 when Curitiba’s Judge Sergio Moro authorized searching the former president’s apartment because he was considered “a likely suspect” of corruption.
That raid began a “lawfare on Lula”, using the judicial system, supported by Brazil’s mainstream media, to eventually indict him on September 20 for allegedly receiving bribes.
In May 2017, Lula was allowed to provide his first testimony in the so-called ‘Triplex Case’, which showed he did not own any such apartment. Nevertheless, in July 12, Moro condemned Lula to nine years and six months in prison.
Six months later, Jan. 24, 2018, Curitiba’s Federal Court sentenced Lula to 12 years in prison with no time to appeal just when all the polls indicated that he was the favorite to win the presidential elections.
In January 2019 after far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro won the Brazilian presidency, he appointed Sergio Moro as his Minister of Justice.
“Lula will have no chance of freedom”, threatens Bolsonaro
In early-May, during an interview with local Brazilian media, the far-right President Jair Bolsonaro said his government would work to assure that Lula “serves until the last day of prison.”
“As far as we are concerned, he will have no chance of obtaining his freedom,” said Bolsonaro, according to Jornal GGN, a Brazilian broadcast company.
Although Lula’s freedom does not legally fall under the jurisdiction of Brazil’s executive branch, President Bolsonaro took the liberty to comment on the former president’s sentence.
Rubens Glezer, a Brazilian constitution lawyer, said the Lula case and legal proceedings is “a partisan judicial coup against the Workers’ Party.”