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The narrative is still Lula

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva waits in a 15 sq m room in a penitentiary which he himself inaugurated when he was the President (2003-2011) of Brazil. He has been condemned to this cell in Curitiba by a judicial process that has his supporters outraged and his detractors gleeful. A week ago, judges went back and forth over whether he could be released while he appealed a verdict on a corruption case known as Operation Car Wash. WhatsApp messages flashed across Brazil, the measure of the country’s polarisation evident in what was being said. By the end of the day, Mr. Lula remained in jail. His habeas corpus petition was not to be honoured.

Brazil faces a presidential election on October 7, and Mr. Lula is the candidate of the Worker’s Party (PT). It does not matter that he is in prison. The PT is adamant that it is either Mr. Lula or no one; there is no Plan B. An electoral court will decide, by late August, on the merits of allowing Mr. Lula on the ballot. Every poll taken in 2018 has shown him in the lead of his right-wing opponent, Congressman Jair Bolsonaro. There is little indication that Mr. Bolsonaro, who is deeply unpopular, will be able to better Mr. Lula.


The problem of Mr. Lula then asserted itself. He remained Brazil’s most popular figure. A corruption investigation against him had stalled. Then, based on flimsy evidence, Mr. Lula was hastily found guilty and packed off to prison this April. Even members of the elite agree that there is no evidence against him. But no one wants to come out and say so. Senior politicians, many of whom stand to benefit from Mr. Lula’s erasure from Brazil’s political stage, remain silent.

The elite dragged the judiciary into their messy political world. But the military is in no mood to re-enter the political world directly. General Ernesto Geisel, the second last leader of the dictatorship, has admitted that military rule corrupted the officer corps and ruined morale. It is unlikely that the army will leave the barracks. For the elite, there is no established political figure to take on Mr. Lula. Mr. Bolsonaro is not their candidate. He is a marginal figure who is disliked by many of the elite. His antediluvian comments about minorities make him out of step with the times.


Time of uncertainty

All that is certain is that conflict is on the agenda in the country. From late July, 11 popular leaders will begin an indefinite hunger strike, with each of them carrying a sign with a name of one of the 11 Supreme Court judges. On August 10, the trade unions have called for a general strike for Mr. Lula. Four hundred thousand peasants will march from across Brazil to the capital in mid-August. Musicians will hold concerts, while celebrities will have an audience with the Pope. The mood is clear: come back Mr. Lula, because the crisis is too confusing and dangerous.


Thanks for the update epaulo13!

I wonder if this situation will impede Brazil in the upcoming BRICS summit?

progressive17 progressive17's picture

China's GDP is 2/3 of BRICS and Brazil's is only 10%.


What side are you on? MST explains march to Brasilia

On August 10th, thousands of members of the Landless Rural Workers Movement from all 26 Brazilian states began a 5 day march to Brasilia in three columns, leaving from different parts of the outer Federal District. Tomorrow, on August 15th, they will join the 7 hunger strikers, an expected 15,000 CUT union federation members, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Peréz Esquivel, leaders from international union federations such as the AFL-CIO and countless thousands of other Brazilians to surround the Supreme Electoral Court at the moment the PT enters the building to register Lula’s candidacy for the presidency. In this official communique by the MST, translated by Brasil Wire, they explain why they are marching. 

What would we do with our lives if we didn’t fight for a better world for everyone?

There are moments in history when paths appear indeterminable. If we think about howmoments like this will never fade with time, they are.

During its history the MST has make big steps towards building a new society. There have been many steps and more will be made, but they can’t happen without the current march. We are not marching for ourselves but for those who the poets have already announced. We are marching for those who will still come!

The Brazilian people were brutally hit by a historically privileged elite. Today, after having had the experience of a dignified life, or perhaps only one that was less unequal, we are forced, once again, to submit to the interests of small groups who live at the expense of the people, “lying forever in their splendid cradles”. We, the Brazilian people, do not care about a few people’s bonanza. We want to feed millions.

During the last few days we have seen the strength and courage of the working class which, understanding the complex set of interests prevailing at this juncture, has engaged in a permanent struggle against the elites. The Caravan of the Semi-Arid against Hunger, the August 10th protest against the withdrawal of workers’ rights, the immense love for the people shown by our comrades who put their lives at risk in the Hunger Strike for the reestablishment of democracy expressed in the freedom of comrade Lula, and the National March carried out by the MST towards Brasilia are all signs that the population does not accept the Coup’s conservative agenda.

Free Lula!

Despite the efforts of the golpista media in dismantling the economic and social legacy of ex-President Lula’s governments, the polls show that the majority of the Brazilian public prefer a Lula presidency over all others.

Why has this happened? The fact is that, under Lula, for the first time in history the Brazilian people had equal access the same basic human rights. Capitalist society tends to arouse interest in rights at the same time that it denies their access. That which, in Brazil, smelled like communism to a lot of opportunists was only a small step forwards in capitalist relations.

Therefore we should not have any illusions. Lula’s arrest is political and this is proven by the lack of evidence in the trial that convicted him. Lula is in prison because the people want him as president while the elite want to keep the policies of the coup-plotter Temer’s people-less government.

What can this be if it is not the most obvious expression of class struggle? “Free Lula” is the battle cry that mobilizes us, because in a democratic nation we should never accept the political imprisonment of any political agent or citizen. The struggles that are exploding in Brazil are proof that there is no longer a belief in corrupt institutionalism. A sovereign and free people never opt for a conflict that can martyr it, but the enemies of the people are those responsible for the end of the democratic pact of 1988. We have to fight and resist, step by step, with solidarity and rigor, until victory.....



Brazilian Real Plunges As Jailed Lula's Presidential Poll Lead 39%...from zerohedge

Note that as international capital flight continues from "unstable" so called Emerging Markets (where interest rates traditionally are higher guaranteeing some return on passive investment capital), moves to increase instability (from of course a capitalist perspective), only increases capital flight...until of course the core financial centres themselves go bust.....

...which begs the question of course as to when some progressive political movement may initiate here in opposed to a more fascistic variety (Max Bernier?)....




Brazil’s Workers’ Party Replaces Lula with Running Mate for the Presidency

Fernando Haddad will be the Brazilian Workers’ Party’s presidential candidate, replacing Lula da Silva. Brazil’s Supreme Court had disqualified frontrunner Silva last week and now the race is on to beat far-right Jair Bolsonaro. quote


Haddad’s running mate is Manuela D’ávila. A vibrant young politician with the Brazilian Communist party. She’s a former student leader, who was first elected to Congress more than a decade ago, while in her mid-twenties.

Lula praised her on stage in Sao Bernardo do Campo, during his last speech before turning himself in to be brought to jail in April. 

Having her on the ticket with Haddad marks a major shift for the Workers Party. Lula and Rousseff each ran with much more conservative vice presidential candidates, due to their coalitions with centrist and even right-wing parties.


Bolsonaro has been called the Trump of the Tropics and is a part of the Fascist wave spreading around the world. His comments on many issues are deeply disturbing. He wants the country to return to the hardline military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985. He said the military dictatorship's biggest mistake was torturing people - they should have killed them, according to him. He has been called a "little tropical wannabe Hitler". 

Many Brazilians are sickened by Mr Bolsonaro’s long history of offensive remarks about women, immigrants, black people and gay men.

In a speech made last year, Mr Bolsonaro spoke about a black settlement in Brazil founded by the descendants of slaves. “They do nothing. They are not even good for procreation,” he said.  He has also reportedly referred to black activists as “animals” who should “go back to the zoo”.

In 2014 Mr Bolsonaro got into a heated exchange with congresswoman Maria do Rosario in the lower house of Congress. “I wouldn’t rape you because you don’t deserve it,” he said, in response to remarks made by Ms Rosario claiming he had encouraged rape. Mr Bolsonaro later said he was not a rapist, but if he were he would not rape do Rosario because she is “ugly” and “not his type”.

In an interview with Playboy magazine in 2011 Bolsonaro said that he “would be incapable of loving a homosexual son … I would prefer my son to die in an accident than show up with a moustachioed​ man.”

Yet the Roman Catholic candidate, who has managed to win support from evangelicals with his anti-abortion stance, is no puritan. During an interview in January 2018, Mr Bolsonaro explained how he had previously spent the housing allowance he received as a congressman. “Since I was a bachelor at the time, I used the money to have sex with people,” he said.

The former army man has spoken fondly of the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil between 1964 and 1985. “The dictatorship’s mistake was to torture but not kill,” he told a radio interviewer in 2016. The congressman made law and order a key part of his platform during this year's election campaign.

In a late surge the right-winger saw his poll numbers rise by 15 per cent after he was stabbed on 6 September. Despite a three-week stay in hospital, he took his message directly to voters via Facebook and Twitter. He also enjoyed endorsement from Brazilian football stars, including Ronaldinho, Cafu and Tottenham's Lucas Moura. 

His son Eduardo recently tweeted a photo of himself with former White House strategist Steve Bannon, claiming to share “the same worldview” as Mr Bannon. In another parallel with the US president, Mr Bolsonaro has made unsubstantiated claims about his country’s electoral system.   He said on Sunday that “problems” with the Brazil’s electronic voting system had stopped him winning outright, but did not specify what those problems might be.



Bolsonaro has also threatened to leave the United Nations and Paris Agreement on climate change. 

The PSL candidate for the presidency of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro, declared on Saturday (18), that Brazil will leave the United Nations (UN) if he is elected president.

Bolsonaro's statement was made in response to the question about how he evaluated the UN Human Rights Council's recommendation that the country allows former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) to participate in the presidential election."If I'm elected president, I will leave the UN. This institution serves no purpose."

Pulling Brazil, a large country of 200 million, out of the Paris Agreement would be major blow to the fight against global warming. 

Bolsonaro said he would join Donald Trump’s US and withdraw from the Paris pact.

That stance drew ire from UN environment chief Erik Solheim. Action on climate change would create “healthier and wealthier” economies, he told Climate Home News. “A rejection of the Paris Agreement is a rejection of science and fact,” Solheim said. “It’s also a false promise, because politicians who present climate action as a cost to society have got it all wrong.” ...

The withdrawal of such an important developing country, home to the world’s largest rainforest, would deal a blow to international climate cooperation. While it has not been confirmed, Brazil was expected to host the 2019 UN climate summit.

But Brazilian experts downplayed the likelihood of Bolsonaro carrying out his threat. Unlike in the US, Brazil ratified the Paris Agreement through its congress, said André Guimarães, head of the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (Ipam). 

“Honestly, I think that there is very little chance that [a withdrawal] happens,” he said. “My guess is that even if Bolsonaro wins and wants to change the deal, it will not be an easy task.” Citing research showing that Amazon deforestation could hit rainfall and therefore agriculture, Guimarães said climate action was in the national interest. “Stopping deforestation is good business for Brazil, not just for environmentalists.” ...

Bolsonaro has not elaborated on why he opposes the Paris Agreement, but some clues can be found in his social media activity. Last August, Bolsonaro shared an interview with Ricardo Felicio, a geographer and prominent climate denier who disputes the basic physics of the greenhouse effect. The day after Trump announced his intention to quit the Paris deal, Bolsonoro shared an article defending the decision entitled “the greenhouse fables”.




The CIA Finger in Brasil's Elections

"The growth of Bolsonarian fascism in the final stretch of the election campaign, turbo charged by an avalanche of fake news disseminated on the internet, is not surprising. It is an old tactic developed by American and British intelligence agencies with the goal of manipulating public opinion and influencing political processes and elections. It was used in Ukraine, in the Arab Spring and in Brasil during 2013. The truth is that what is happening in Brazil today reveals a sophisticated level of manipulation..."


Future of Western Democracy Being Played Out in Brazil   -   by Pepe Escobar

"Stripped to its essence, the Brazilian presidential elections represent a direct clash between democracy and an early 21st Century neo-fascism, indeed between civilization and barbarism,' writes Pepe Escobar..."


Yes, 21st century fascism as represented by Trump, Putin, Netanyahu, Duerte, Orban and Modi.  With weak counterweights.


'Pinochet via Fujimori': Wall Street's New Man in Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro

"No room for feelings,' say Wall Street insiders as they back another Neofascist to deliver Neoliberalism, at the point of a gun, in the most resource rich nation on earth..."


Thanks for updating us on Brazil North Report!
Sounds like there could be a much needed shake up there.


Glenn Greenwald Assaulted By Pro-Bolsonaro Journalist During Live Broadcast

"The comments in this thread or vile. An outright fascist threatens a journalist, attacks his spouse and kids, then physically attacks him. The response from Hillary's dead-enders? Support the fascist!"


WTF are you talking about.


I don't think he meant to cast aspersions on all Hillary dead-enders Josh. Just the ones who posted in his Tweet thread.


After only 10 months in office, Jair Bolsonaro's new party has imploded, because a few politicians in it occasionally criticized him. He & his 3 sons have left & are forming a new, even more extremist party based on absolute leader fealty, militarism & religious fanaticism.


Brazil's Peoples: Bolsonaro Means Genocide (and vid)

"The white man is very greedy'. Indigenous peoples denounced violence prompted by the extraction of natural resources in the Amazon basin. Amazon tribes plan resistance against Bolsonaro..."


Glenn Greenwald Charged with Cybercrimes in Brazil

"Mr Greenwald is accused of being part of a 'criminal organization' that hacked into the cellphones of prosecutors and public officials...Solidarity with Glenn Greenwald against the fascist Brazil regime!"

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Wow, such a depressing state of affairs.


Yes indeed. The Julian Assange problem. Hopefully he gets more support.


Glenn Greenwald Charged With Same Crime as Julian Assange

Ottawa supports neofascist Bolsonaro. Free Glenn Greenwald. Free Chelsea Manning. Free Assange!


Brazil's Bolsonaro Government Charges Journalist Glenn Greenwald With 'Cyber Crimes'

"...There are stark similarities between the accusation brought against Greenwald in Brazil and the charges leveled against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Given the ideological affinity between the fascistic presidents of Brazil and the United States, there is every reason to suspect that the persecution of Greenwald is driven not only by the anger of the Brazilian government over the Carwash exposures, but also that of Washington over the revelations concerning NSA spying..."


Hunziker: Amazon Onslaught

"This month Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro proposed a new bill promoting mining, expanded agriculture and energy production on Indigenous lands in the Amazon. Accordingly, private developers as well as private hedge funds will occupy and develop land that's been home to Indigenous people for thousands of years. Meantime, during Bolsonaro's first full year in office, deforestation increaed by 85%. More on this eye-popping number follows.

Of recent there have been several deeply disturbing developments in the Amazon. Less than two months ago the world's leading Amazonian scientists, Thomas Lovejoy (George Mason University) and Carlos Nobre (University of Sao Paulo) issued a harsh warning to the people of the world: 'Today, we stand exactly in a moment of destiny; The tipping point is here, it is now..."


And you wonder why Secwepemc & Wetsuweten want to stop Trudeau's  pipelines - Really?




Brazil Surpasses 350,000 Cases As Politicians  Promote Rapid Reopening of Economy

"As a result of the uncontrolled spread of the virus the country's precarious healthcare system is collapsing in every region..[Indigenous peoples are especially vulnerable and are dying in numbers.]


"Sound truck at a minor protest in Sao Paulo today flew the flag of Ukrainian Neonazi 'Right Sector'. Members of the Brazilian extreme-right have been trained in Ukraine, as reported by the FT in January 2017."

And also like Canada, a fervent supporter of Israeli Apartheid.


Bolsonaro Government Attempted to Censor Brazil's Coronavirus Case Count and Death Toll

"The government of fascistic Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro removed public access to months of data on the coronavirus pandemic in the country on Saturday, until a mass public outcry forced the government to restore the original site. There were just under 675,000 officially confirmed coronavirus cases in the country when the changes to case reporting were made, the most in the world except for the US, and nearly 36,000 deaths, now past Italy and only behind the US and UK. Brazil also leads the world in daily new cases and new deaths..."


As it Hits Over 1 Million COVID-19 Cases Brazil Needs Our Solidarity

"As Brazil hits over 1 million cases, it has become abundantly clear that those fighting Bolsonaro and the far-right need our support. A hugely important piece from Claudia Webbe."


Bolsonaro Fraudulently Circumvented Trump's COVID-19 Immigration Ban to Smuggle his Scandal-Plagued ex-Education Minister into the US

"The Brazilian president risked Americans' health and flouted its laws to enable his ally to hide from the law..."


Two top Brazilian indigenous leaders have asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate President Jair Bolsonaro for "crimes against humanity", accusing him of unprecedented environmental damage, killings and persecution.


A Supreme Court judge has just thrown out all of the corruption convictions against former president @LulaOficial Lula has regained his political rights & can run for office.


laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Good news about Lula. Hopefully the damage to the Amazon and its Indigenous people can be stopped before Bolsonaro destroys everything. But then again, the stellar Lima Group might step in and protect Bolsonaro's or his replacement's ass should Lula run again and win.


An Interview with Lula

"Lula is now expected to run next year for the presidency. 'I say every day that I am 75 but I feel that I have the energy of a 30-year-old,' he told me. 'And I am as horny as a 21-year-old, so I can say to you that I'm alive, fighting for democracy..."


The Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has been admitted to hospital complaining of abdominal pain after being struck down by an unremitting bout of the hiccups which has lasted for more than 10 days.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

On the 6:00 pm news, it was mentioned that Bolsonaro had been stabbed in the abdomen when he was campaigning to be elected and had to have many surgeries to repair the damage. It was implied that it might be related - I'm not a medical professional but it seems a bit dodgy to me.


josh wrote:

The Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has been admitted to hospital complaining of abdominal pain after being struck down by an unremitting bout of the hiccups which has lasted for more than 10 days.

Chalk that up to evidence there is a higher power!

I thank thee Earth Mother Gaia for striking down the evil idiot with a bout of hiccups!


laine lowe wrote:

On the 6:00 pm news, it was mentioned that Bolsonaro had been stabbed in the abdomen when he was campaigning to be elected and had to have many surgeries to repair the damage. It was implied that it might be related - I'm not a medical professional but it seems a bit dodgy to me.

At first getting stabbed was only a minor hiccup for him. But then it become a major hiccup. I always wondered what the difference between a minor hiccup and a major one was.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Perhaps his health outcome will give us a definitive definition of the difference, Kropotkin :-)


In any case, he is full of shit.


Biggest story in the world right now: Humanity has flipped Amazon from Carbon Sink to Source

"Researchers have found that parts of the Amazon have been transformed from a  carbon sink to a carbon emitter. Governments are enabling the destruction of the very forests we so desperately need to protect."

From Bolsonaro's Brazil to Horgan's 'Brazil North': Ecocide-as-genocide.


Five people have been questioned, including one possible suspect, by Brazilian police during search efforts for missing British journalist Dom Phillips and FUNAI (National Indigenous Foundation) expert Bruno Araújo Pereira. The pair were on a reporting trip in the Javari Valley, in the Amazon, and were last seen on Sunday after both had received threats for their work against miners and loggers, The Guardian report.


Lula Slams US Billions for Ukraine

"...The United States has a lot of political clout. And Biden could have avoided the conflict, not incited it,' Lula said in an interview with Time magazine in early May.

"And now we are going to have to foot the bill because of the war in Ukraine. Argentina, Bolivia will also have to pay..."

The most recent polls show Lula with a 21-point lead over Bolsonaro."