Brazil: Lula da Silva breaks his media silence

After a year of being in jail, the former president of Brazil gave an interview in which he criticizes and gives his point of view on the government of Bolsonaro

Brazil: Lula da Silva breaks his media silence

The previous Brazilian elections had surprising results after the victory of Jair Bolsonaro, ex-military conservative and nationalist. They were surprising because the favorite in the polls was his total opposite: Luis Inázio Lula Da Silva, former president and leader of the Partido dos Trabahladores.

Leer en español: Brasil: Lula da Silva rompe su silencio mediático

However, it was not because Lula lost popularity from one moment to the next that he lost the presidency, but because he received a jail sentence that disqualified him from launching as president.

According to El País, Lula was convicted of a "conviction for money laundering and corruption in a purchase operation of a three-story house on the beach of Guarujá (São Paulo)." Judge Sergio Moro, current Minister of Justice of the Bolsonaro government, declared that he had to pay 12 years of jail for the crime.

However, in recent days there have been certain changes in the case of Lula. On the one hand, on April 23, the court reduced the sentence to 8 years, which would open the possibility of house arrest. On the other hand, Lula broke the mediatic silence in which he was, since he had not given interviews since he entered the jail.

Regarding the latter, the Justice only gave space to the newspapers El País and Fohla of Sao Paulo to interview him for a little over two hours. Why is Lula's opinion still so popular? What did he say in the interview and how has Bolsonaro responded to his comments?

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Brazil and Lula: a history of social mobility and economic boom

It is not common for a politician convicted of corruption and who is already serving time in jail to continue to be so popular, so much so that his opinion during the interview was commented on by national and international media. The question is that Lula, during his tenure, represented progress in the social and economic aspect of Brazil, which many of his supporters still keep in mind.

According to the BBC, there are four reasons why Lula continues to be an important figure in his country and, had it not been for the reason, it was the best option to win the previous presidential elections:

1. Social mobility: Lula not only promoted the economy so that more than 30 million could overcome the poverty threshold in which they were but also promoted social programs that reached the margins of the country where there was not much state presence before. Also, I create scholarships so that the poorest students have access to higher education. Therefore, with education and greater coverage of society, Lula managed to make the middle class grow and those in poverty could have an opportunity.

2. Economic growth: this could not have been achieved without economic support to give continuity to educational and social programs, so Lula's mandate is also recognized by the boom in raw materials that boosted the economy Brazilian For example, they were linked to the Chinese market in the iron, meat and soybean trade; and huge oil reserves were discovered. For this reason, Brazil was one of the few countries that recovered quickly from the 2008 financial crisis.

3. History of overcoming: Lula is originally from the northeast of Brazil, one of the poorest areas of the country, so his upbringing was not in optimal conditions. Like his father, Lula began to dedicate himself to metallurgy and from there he became the "most popular politician on the planet", in the words of Barack Obama. This story of overcoming difficult personal conditions is one of the aspects that make Lula a national pride figure and that growth is possible in that country.

4. Generalized corruption: after the Lava Jato scandal and other condemnations that other Brazilian politicians have had, like former President Michel Temer, corruption seems like a daily bread in Brazil. For this reason, that a politician is accused of corruption does not seem to differentiate it much from the others, which turns the violations of the law into something every day. As Alberto Carlos Almerida states for the BBC, " Since they believe that all politicians are corrupt, they continue to vote for Lula because Lula, despite being corrupt, improved their lives"

Life in jail

In the interview a few days ago, when asked about what he does in his new daily routine, Lula responds: "I spend all my time alone. I read, I watch movies, many series, many speeches, I attend many classes ". He also takes the opportunity to learn through digital resources, so he takes courses online like he did "about the Canudos war [conflict of a religious group against the Army in the State of Bahia in the XIX century] that counts lies that Euclides da Cunha told "

Even though he has adapted to the routine in jail, Lula continues to constantly think about how to prove his innocence and show Brazil that the accusations made are false. For example, he states: "I am obsessed with unmasking Sérgio Moro and his friends, and unmasking those who condemned me. I will be imprisoned for 100 years, but I will not change my dignity for my freedom. I want to prove that everything is a farce. "

Criticism of Latin American politics

Lula also took the opportunity to talk about the political situation of other countries in Latin America and Brazil.

Regarding the situation in Venezuela, he stated that "obviously I do not agree with the economic policy of Venezuela, I think it is a mistake. But I am still less in agreement with Brazil recognizing that Guaidó. Sincerely, what little shame. " He also added: "Let each one take care of their affairs and let the people of Venezuela democratically choose their leaders. If they want to go out to the streets to overthrow the government, let them go, but it is the people, and not Trump, who is going to overthrow the Venezuelan Government, "thereby clarifying their position against the intervention.

As for his country, he explained how worrying the previous elections had seemed to him, because "the role of false news in the campaign, the amount of lies, the robotization of the campaign on the Internet, was a crazy thing. And then the lack of sensitivity of the left sectors of not joining.

He also gave his opinion about Bolsonaro and his government, saying that "the country is subordinated to ungovernability. So far he does not know what to do, and who dictates the rules is [Economy Minister Paulo] Guedes, " to which he added that" Let's make self-criticism about what happened in 2018. It can not be that this country is governed by a gang of crazy. "

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The reaction of Bolsonaro

The interview did not take long to be read by everyone and Bolsonaro's response did not wait. In statements collected by El Clarín, hinting at Lula's comment about the gang of madmen, he said in an ironic tone that "at least it is not a band of cachaceiros [drunk with cachaça, a local drink from Brazil]".

He also criticized the fact that Lula could give an interview, saying that "first of all I think Lula would not have to be giving interviews. It was a mistake that Justice granted him the right to give interviews. An inmate has to serve his sentence. "

Finally, he did not miss the opportunity to emphasize the corruption that the PT had expanded in Brazil and how his government differs from that: "Who were the members of your team? Much is processed. His ministers are prisoners or responding to processes. We can compare our ministers with theirs either because of their qualification, their professionalism, their patriotism or their desire to do things correctly "


LatinAmerican Post | Juan Gabriel Bocanegra

Translated from "Brasil: Lula da Silva rompe su silencio mediático"

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