UN: Authorities Should Allow Lula to Participate in Brazilian Elections, Respect 'Political Rights'

The decision includes Lula's right to participate in media events and debates.

The United Nations' Human Rights Committee has determined that the Brazilian state must “take all necessary measures” to allow Brazilian presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to exercise his full political rights as a candidate in the October presidential elections.

RELATED: US, Brazil Negotiating Use of Alcântara Launch Center

The decision, which includes Lula's right to participate in media events and debates, as well as convene with members of his Workers' Party, comes despite the fact that the former head of state remains imprisoned at Curitiba's federal police station. The U.N. committee also said Lula should not prevented from participating in the elections until all of his legal appeals have been exhausted, per Brazil's Constitution.

Lula has continued to stay in touch with supporters and citizens via regular media releases and letters. On Thursday, he sent a Twitter message warning about threats to the country's sovereignty. 

“Brazil must open its eyes and impede” the senate-president Michel Temer from “handing over the Alcantara missile and rocket launching base to the United States of America," he said.

“An American military base in our territory harms our sovereignty and is a threat to our position of peace and dialogue in the world.” The former head of state and co-founder of the Workers' Party concluded that “We can't go back and become a colony to no one.”

James Mattis, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, began his first South American tour last Sunday when he arrived in Brazil. He met with senior officials and defense leaders to discuss, among a host of issues, U.S. participation in the Alcantara military space station. He also spoke at the Escola Superior de Guerra, the country's college for politics, defense and strategy. 

“We want to be your partner, especially if trouble looms,” Mattis told students and others in attendance.

“Our native languages may be different, but four decades of military service have persuaded me that the profession of arms has a language of its own and a way of turning strangers into the family... I want any adversary to know that they are better off to deal with our secretary of state and our diplomats. They do not want to deal with my soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines and me."

Shortly after visiting Lula at Curitiba's Federal Police Station, Brazil's former Foreign Minister, Celso Amorim, said Lula is outraged by Temer's submission to the U.S. Secretary of Defense.

"The times when a U.S. representative came to (Brazil) to give orders had passed, but now they are returning. The former president is outraged be the handing over of our sovereignty, which threatens Petrobras and public banks," Amorim said.

Mattis' agenda included visits to defense authorities in Argentina, Chile, and Colombia according to details provided by the Department of Defence.

Ties between the United States and the governments of Brazil and Argentina have improved considerably since the impeachment process against elected president Dilma Rousseff, and the victory of businessman Mauricio Macri in Argentina. 

Since then, Brazil's unelected president Michel Temer has invited the U.S. to use the Alcantara missile and rocket launching base and to conduct joint military exercises in the Amazon, while Argentina's Macri reached an agreement with the U.S. in 2016, allowing the U.S. to build three bases.

Despite his conviction and imprisonment for corruption, events that many legal experts and observers attribute to lawfare and a salacious mainstream media campaign, Lula has topped every 2018 electoral poll conducted by Vox Populi, Ibope, Datafolha, Data Poder 360, Instituto Parana, the National Confederation of Transportation/MDA and Ipsos.

Lula's two terms in office were marked by a slew of social programs, lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty and removing the country from the United Nations World Hunger Map. He left office with a record approval rating of 83 percent in 2011, according to Datafolha.

  • Published in World

Lula's Name Will Be in Ballot Box, According to PT President

The national President of the Workers Party (PT) of Brazil, Gleisi Hoffmann, today reaffirmed her conviction that Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's name will be in the electronic ballot box on October 7.

By registering Lula's candidacy 'we offer the country a peaceful and legitimate way out,' pointed out the also senator in an article published on Tuesday in which she stressed that precedents registered in the Electoral Justice 'confirm the legitimacy of the nomination.'

If by legal violence the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE) deny that way to the country, it will be assuming the responsibilities and consequences for defrauding the voting sovereignty, she warned.

Hoffman noted that many people doubted that the PT could reach this date of the electoral calendar with 'the people's candidate,' nevertheless, we arrived stronger than our adversaries would wish, she pointed out.

The PT leader also said that even in his unjust condition of political prisoner for 130 days, Lula will not be without voice, since he will be represented at this stage of the campaign by the former mayor of Sao Paulo and vice presidential candidate Fernando Haddad.

'We have every reason to continue defending Lula's right to be a candidate and the Brazilian people's right to vote freely, despite the abuses, arbitrariness and legal ruses we are facing,' she said.

  • Published in World

Free Lula National March Closes People's Siege on Brasilia

Nearly 5,000 members of the Landless Rural Workers'' Movement (MST), grouped in three columns, are participating in the Free Lula National March that end in a ''popular siege'' on Brasilia today.

The march departed from the towns of Formosa and Luziania, in the state of Goias, and Engenho das Lages, in the Federal District, last Saturday to walk nearly 50 kilometers to Brasilia to accompany the registration of the presidential candidacy of Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, who has been held in prison for 130 days.

On Monday, the Peace Nobel Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel joined the march in solidarity with the Brazilian people and for the release of Lula, 'who is a political prisoner', he stressed. Perez Esquivel noted that the efforts to exclude the founder and historic leader of the Workers' Party (PT) by force from the presidential elections in October is not a maneuver that is used in Brazil only, but in the entire Latin American continent.

The extreme right wing is advancing in the domination of the peoples, said the human rights activist in statements to the newspaper Brasil de Fato. He underlined that 'we demand to free Lula, to run in the elections and that the people chose what party has to rule'.

Perez Esquivel also noted that there is great international solidarity with the cause of the former Brazilian president, who was sentenced without evidence to 12 years and one month in prison and has been held in custody since April 7 at the Federal Police Superintendence in Curitiba, the capital of the state of Parana.

  • Published in World

Workers' Party insists Brazil's Lula will run for president

Brazil's Workers' Party insisted Monday that it plans to register ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as its presidential candidate despite his imprisonment.

The registration "gives a political and judicial signal" to those who said the prison sentence would end Lula's political career, Gleisi Hoffman, the party's president, told foreign correspondents at a press conference.

The two-time president started to serve a 12-year prison sentence for alleged corruption in April, which derailed his plan to run in October elections.

Lula has denied charges that he received a luxury beachfront apartment from Brazil's construction giant Odebrecht in exchange for lucrative contracts.

  • Published in World

Brazil's Lula da Silva sends message of gratitude to Sao Paulo Forum in Havana

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva sent a message to participants in the 24th Meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum, a space for political agreements of the Left in Latin America and the Caribbean that Lula helped to found together with Fidel Castro in 1990.

Lula affirms in his message that he will not be silenced, and thanks the Havana forum for the support and solidarity shown to him and his Workers' Party, subjected to persecution in Brazil by a right that, he said, does not know how to live in democracy.

Lula recalled that he and Fidel were clear about the importance of that first forum in 1990 in the city of Sao Paulo, convened so that the Left in Latin American and Caribbean could evaluate the impact on the region and the world of the rise of neo-liberal free-market economics.

In his letter to the Havana forum, the former Brazilian president condemns the U.S. blockade against Cuba and the manner in which Washington treats Puerto Rico and other islands in the Caribbean.  He also repudiates the sanctions applied against Venezuela and the threats of armed intervention made by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Lula da Silva voices his wishes for a good meeting in Havana and regrets that his “absurd and Kafkaesque” imprisonment prevents him from personally delivering his message to the gathering.

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
  • Published in World

Brazil: Lula Vows Not To Compromise Dignity On 'Free Lula' Day

Thousands gathered in cities across Brazil to demand the former president be released from prison on the 'National Day of Struggle to Free Lula.'

Thousands of Brazilians mobilized on Friday to demand the release of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, as the embattled Workers' Party leader declared he will never sacrifice his dignity for his freedom.

RELATED: Brazil: Lula Absolved of Obstruction of Justice Charges, but Kept in Prison

"I'm not going to exchange my dignity for my freedom," Lula told his former minister Celso Amorim. The imprisoned leader said his opponents wish to "prevent the people from hearing" what he has to say.

Meanwhile, thousands gathered in various cities across Brazil to demand Lula be released from prison in Curitiba, where he is being held. The protests were being held to mark the 'National Day of Struggle to Free Lula.'

Lula began his 12-year prison sentence for alleged corruption – charges he vehemently denies and says are politically motivated to keep him out of the looming presidential elections – in April.

In early July, a regional court judge ruled that Lula should be released until his appeals run out, but the decision was shot down less than a day later by a federal court, shattering the raised hopes of millions.

  • Published in World

Argentinean Lawmaker Highlights Importance of Forum of Sao Paulo

Buenos Aires, Jul 11 (Prensa Latina) Argentinean lawmaker Monica Macha, who represents Unidad Ciudadana in the Argentinean Congress, highlighted the role of the Forum of Sao Paulo in the construction of a ''Patria Grande'' (Common Motherland) in Latin America.

Macha, who was invited to the event to be held in Havana next week, told Prensa Latina that she was happy to be a representative of her organization, and stated the Forum is very important at times when we need to think about political processes based on inclusion.

'At times in which neoliberal policies are being pushed forward in several countries of the continent, including Argentina, with new strategies that had not been used before, it is fundamental that those who want to restore policies that foster inclusion come to the Forum to discuss new ideas,' she said.

Macha voiced pleasure because the 24th edition of the Forum of Sao Paulo is going to be held in Havana, to accompany Cuba when it is updating its system and consolidating what has been doing since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959.

The Argentinean delegation to the 24th edition will be headed by different personalities, among them lawmakers Horacio Pietragalla, Mayra Mendoza and Argentinean Representantive before Mercosur Jorge Taiana, besides several political and social organizations.

  • Published in World

If Temer falls, who is going to take his place?

Writing nowadays about Brazil is a problem because…where to begin? There are lots of things going on right now inside the South American giant that demand our attention. Such events certainly show how the Empire is messed up in its own actions aiming for a change in democratically-elected governments and therefore, rooting for governments that follow neoliberal standards.

You may ask yourself: why is still Temer there? Taking into account that his “popularity” fell somewhere between 3% and 7%. Not to mention that 80% of the electorate disapproves his work, even Center-Right voters.

Backed by the U.S., following the orders, he has been loyal to everything Washington has commanded in order to avoid Brazil joining efforts with China and Russia —BRICS members— to spread the positive influence of trade and investment.

Brazil’s subdued economical growth —barely more than 1%— during Temer’s two years in office, was achieved thanks to a severe fiscal adjustment that limited public spending, including those meant for health and education.

Temer implemented a labor reform fought off by labor unions that limited the rights earned decades ago by Brazilian workers. He also insisted on other unpopular reform to change the pension systems that finally did not see the light of day.

The recovery of the Brazilian economy, nonetheless, has not been evident to the population. The number of unemployed citizens grew from 11,4 to 13,7 millions in two years.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office demanded two judicial processes against him, but the Supreme Court was prevented from doing so due to the Chamber of Deputies, where Temer has strong support and has the final word on any demand against the Head of State, closed both cases.

The Prosecutor’s Office is working on a third cause against Temer due to corruption and his two years in office coincided with the leak of a witness testimony who claims to have given high sum of money in cash to the office of a man close to Temer.

However, these sorts of men rarely face trials and go to jail and it happens when they are not useful to the Empire anymore. Others are in jail without substantiated evidence because they are annoying to Washington, and feared by the country’s oligarchy and owners of its wealth. We are talking about former president Inacio Lula da Silva, who has the green light —legally— to run for Brazil’s presidency next October.

Lula should serve a 12-year sentence for confusing crimes, with no substantial evidence against him and handled by even sworn enemies. He has the highest approval and popularity rate and even though he is still in prison, the main political parties of the opposition fear him, including Temer’s.

Temer has thought about running for the office again. But he would only take the job under false pretences. Nevertheless, the strong candidature of Lula, the growing opposition movement and the Empire’s dealings to find a “decent” successor, are against his wishes.

The deaths of disabled people in places where they must have had special care as well as the deaths of young people in a fire inside a detention facility portray the degree of abandonment in which Brazil is immersed in. Not to mention the “illegal” truck drivers’ strike, men who protest against the rising diesel fuel prices.

According to the statement from the Oil Workers’ Federation (FUP), one of the goals of the strike is “to lower the prices of cooking gas and fuel”, and thus, to prevent the privatization of PETROBRAS.

The mobilization, led by FUP and related labor unions, already achieved the resignation of PETROBRAS chairman, Pedro Parente, who “plunged the country into an unprecedented crisis.”

The union members of oil companies announced that cuts and delays will be experienced in four oil refineries and fertilizer plants that are under a sale process.

There is much to be said about Temer. He is clearly backed by the Empire, but a new successor must be found in a hurry. Its faithful and loyal collaborator in the illegal “soft coup” to bring Dilma Rousseff’s government down cannot stand it any longer.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz // CubaSi Translation Staff

Subscribe to this RSS feed