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
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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.

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Brazil: Nobel Laureate Calls Trump's Immigration Policy 'Cruel'

Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai was visiting Rio de Janeiro to kick off the expansion of her education charity, the Malala Fund, into Latin America, starting with Brazil. 

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai described as "cruel" a policy launched by U.S. President Donald Trump to separate children of illegal immigrants from their families, during her first visit to South America to promote girls' education.

RELATED: Pakistan: Awami National Party Defiant Despite Assassination

More than 2,300 children were separated from their parents after the Trump administration began a 'zero-tolerance' policy on illegal immigrants in early May, seeking to prosecute all adults who cross the border illegally from Mexico into the United States. Trump stopped separating families last month following public outrage and court challenges.

"This is cruel, this is unfair and this is inhumane. I don't know how anyone could do that," Yousafzai told Reuters on Wednesday. "I hope that the children can be together with their parents."

Her stern words contrasted with her effusive praise last year for Canada's embrace of refugees under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. At the World Economic Forum in Davos this year, Malala also questioned Trump's record on women's rights.

Yousafzai, known widely by her first name, was visiting Rio de Janeiro to kick off the expansion of her education charity, the Malala Fund, into Latin America, starting with Brazil. 

Her aim in Brazil, Latin America's largest economy, is to advocate for more public spending on education, a tall task after the country passed a constitutional amendment freezing federal spending in real terms for two decades in order to reduce public debt.

She also hopes to get an estimated 1.5 million girls currently not in school into the classroom, with a special focus on minority groups who lag white children on key indicators like literacy and secondary school completion.  

"It is important for us to reach the Indigenous and the Afro-Brazilian population in Brazil. Those girls are facing many challenges," Malala said.  

In 2014, Malala was made the world's youngest Nobel laureate, honored for her work with her foundation, a charity she set up to support education advocacy groups with a focus on Pakistan, Nigeria, Jordan, Syria and Kenya.

The group's Brazil presence kicked off with a US$700,000 three-year grant for three Brazilian female activists focused on education issues. Malala says she hopes to expand elsewhere in Latin America.      

Earlier this year, the 20-year-old returned home to Pakistan for the first time since a Taliban gunman shot her in the head in 2012 over her blog advocating girls' education.

Weeks ahead of presidential elections in Pakistan, Malala is ruling out politics for herself for now "I'm still talking to leaders and ensuring that they prioritize education in their policy," she said. "It's easier that way than when you're on the inside."

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Sao Paulo Forum to Condemn Campaigns against Governments

Havana, Jul 10 (Prensa Latina) The Sao Paulo Forum will condemn the destabilizing campaigns against Nicaragua and Venezuela, the U.S. blockade of Cuba and the imprisonment of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, analysts and political leaders from the region denounced.

The 24th edition of the event, to be held in this capital from July 15 to 17, will be attended by representatives of progressive and left-wing organizations from several countries.

Latin America is today subjected to an intensive imperialist counteroffensive, warned the renowned Argentinean intellectual Atilio Boron, who noted that this counteroffensive aims to overthrow the government of Venezuela, further tightened the tourniquets of the U.S. blockade of Cuba, isolate the Bolivian government of Evo Morales and create an opposition beachhead in Nicaragua.

In light of the situation in Latin America today, it is necessary to create a big anti-neoliberal and anti-imperialist wave, and build strategies of unity, said the executive secretary of the Sao Paulo Forum, Monica Valente.

Valiente, who is also the International Relations secretary of the Workers' Party (PT) of Brazil, noted that the meeting in Havana will contribute to denouncing the political persecution against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has been in prison for more than 90 days in Curitiba, on charges that he did not commit and that, according to denunciations, are a maneuver to prevent his candidacy to the presidency, as he is leading all vote intention surveys.

That will be the main issue that the PT will submit to the meeting of the Forum in Havana, Valente pointed out.

Lula and the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, played a key role in the foundation of the Forum in 1990 in Brazil, with participation of more than 100 left-wing parties and groups.

On the last day of the meeting, participants will hold a plenary session dedicated to Fidel Castro's thinking.

'Fidel will be present in that forum. He has been since he summoned us and we want to feel dignified sons and daughters of him,' said the general secretary of the Communist Party of Uruguay, Juan Castillo, who added that the best tribute to the revolutionary leader is to continue to strengthen unity.

According to the official from the International Relations Department of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), Idalmis Brook, the meeting in Havana will allow discussing urgent issues for the region's left-wing forces, particularly the importance of unity.

For his part, Chilean writer and journalist Manuel Cabiese noted that Havana offers 'the best scenario' for a serious debate on the prospects of Latin America's left wing.

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‘Spasibo, Sochi!’ Brazil thank World Cup host city before leaving their base

Brazil have left a thank-you message to the World Cup host city of Sochi, where the team were based during the tournament’s group stage. They shared a grateful post from their official Twitter account.

“Starting from now, the Brazil squad says goodbye to her home in Russia and travels from city to city at every stage of the World Cup,” read the tweet, which was accompanied by several photos of smiling Brazilian players.

In a specially organized farewell ceremony, Mayor of Sochi Anatoly Pakhomov presented Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) President Rogerio Caboclo with a Russian doll depicting a sea port and Sochi tea, the world’s most northern tea, which grows in Russia’s southern resort.

The Samba Boys returned the compliment by giving Pakhomov a yellow football jersey, which was signed by all the players competing at the World Cup.

“The Brazilian team liked Sochi very much,” Pakhomov said, TASS reported. “They highly praised the city, the sea and the training base. They were also impressed with Sochi’s hospitality. They were satisfied with everything in Sochi.”

The five-time World Cup champions have already arrived in Kazan, where they will play their quarter-final game against Belgium on July 6.

  • Published in Sports

Brazil's Lula: 'Provide Evidence Or I'm Running For President'

"These are people who would be capable of accusing their own mothers to obtain benefits," the former president of Brazil writes of his accusers.

Former President of Brazil Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, sentenced to over 12 years in prison for alleged corruption, requested the Workers' Party (PT) to release a letter affirming his pre-candidacy for the presidency, and challenging his accusers to present evidence against him.

RELATED: Brazil's Police Has Corruption Evidence Against President Temer

"I have not committed any crime. I repeat: I have not committed any crime. For this reason, until they present at least one piece of material evidence that throws into question my innocence, I am a candidate for the presidency of the Republic," the letter reads.

The letter asks that his political adversaries present said evidence before August 15, when he will be registered formally as a candidate before the Electoral Justice.

"I am not asking for a favor, I am demanding respect. During my whole life, and I am 72, I believed and preached that sooner or later justice would always prevail for people who are victims of irresponsibility of false accusations," it continues.

"I am beginning to have dramatic and cruel doubts over continuing to believe that justice can be served and refusing to participate in a farce."

According to PT President Gleisi Hoffmann, who has read the letter, the PT hopes to avoid speculation that an alternative candidate could arise.

Lula emphasized that no evidence exists against him, and that the entire case is a massive lie initiated by a false report by the media outlet O Globo, which claimed he had engaged in money laundering and corruption.

"O Globo newspaper published a lie that attributed the ownership of an apartment in Guaruja to me. The Federal Police reproduced this lie and started an investigation," Lula writes.

"The Public Prosecutors, receiving this same lie, made an accusation and, finally, always on the basis of this lie which was never proven, Judge Moro condemned me.

"The 4th Regional Federal Court, following the same script that began with a lie, confirmed the conviction. All of this leads me to think that there is no reason to believe that there will be justice. 

"These are people who would be capable of accusing their own mothers to obtain benefits."

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Brazil v Mexico: Five-time winners must overcome El Tri persistence to keep World Cup bid alive

Despite a slow start to the tournament Brazil are beginning to look like serious contenders to win the World Cup for a sixth time but a dogged Mexico side who have surpassed expectations so far in Russia stand in their way.

A less-than-impressive 1-1 draw with Switzerland in their opening game at Russia 2018 suggested that Brazil hadn’t quite exorcised the ghosts from their humiliating exit at the semi-final stage four years ago when the hosts capitulated to Germany on home soil but two successive 2-0 wins, achieved against Costa Rica and Serbia, suggests that Brazil coach Tite is close to having his side fire on all cylinders.

Mexico, meanwhile, began their World Cup campaign with an impressive 1-0 reverse of Germany and followed that up with another win against South Korea. The 3-0 defeat which followed against Sweden in their final group game will be a concern for the momentum of Juan Carlos Osorio’s side in advance of the crunch match with one of the tournament’s favourites.

The sheer range of talent that Brazil have at their disposal is enough to cause calamity to any backline they face in Russia this summer. However, the displays from the Brazilian playmaker-in-chief Neymar will be a concern to Brazilian supporters.

The PSG man has appeared over-anxious so far in the World Cup, the massive weight of expectation placed on him by an expectant public seems to have robbed him of the carefree creativity which exists when he is at his effervescent best.

Mexico, on the other hand, appear to be far more than the sum of their parts. Javier Hernandez will be a constant threat up front, while Hirving Lozano in another who has enhanced his reputation with a series of stellar performances so far at Russia 2018.

The absence of central defender Hector Moreno, one of the team’s primary defensive stalwarts, will hit Mexico hard, particularly if they attempt to harry and press Brazil high up the pitch, a tactic which has proven effective for them so far in Russia but can leave unoccupied space in front of Guillermo Ochoa’s goal.

A likely quarter final encounter with Belgium, should they overcome Japan in their round of 16 clash, is the prize which awaits the winner of Monday’s tie in the Samara Arena.

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Heightened in Brazil preference to attention of Cuban doctors

The clear preference to the attention of the Cuban doctors who give services in the Unique System of Health (SUS, for its acronym in Spanish) is emphasized here by the periodic Popular Brazil in its edition number 56.

It is this what verified diverse surveys made by academic and scientific entities, like the State University of Campinas (Unicamp) and the Foundation Oswaldo Cruz, it pointed out the publication and remembered the beginnings, in 2013, of the program More Doctor thrown by the president of that time DilmaRousseff.

The Cuban physicians - it recalled - were harassed, disrespected; they slandered by the Brazilian medical entities, with the support of the big average, insensitive ones to the need for most of the people to be provided with professionals of the health arranged to a competent, humanist and united work.

“Quickly, thanks to the competition, the ethics and the professional dedication, the Cuban doctors - principally the women - happened of damned to preferred by the users of SUS”,  exalted Popular Brazil.

The Cuban doctors, who should have faced the racism and the machismo with which they were got for Brazilian entities, are decorated now by the absolute, spontaneous and sincere preference of their patients, who are afraid that the blow that knocked down Rousseff affects to a program which approval index overcomes 90 %, it annotated.

  • Published in Cuba
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