Lula Spends 175 Days in Prison, PT in Presidential Race

Brasilia, Sep 28 (Prensa Latina) A political prisoner due to the intended purpose of excluding him from the presidential race, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva has served 175 days in prison, while the Workers' Party (PT) is running for the presidency at full capacity.

With 24.5 percent of vote intentions, according to the Istoe/Sensus survey published on Thursday night, PT Candidate Fernando Haddad seems to have assured his presence in a possible second round of voting, at which he allegedly will compete against the extreme right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro, from the Social Liberal Party (30.6 percent).

Haddad, who was appointed by Lula as his spokesman and government coordinator, replaced the historic leader of the PT in the presidential formula of The People Happy Again coalition on September 11, after the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) refused to register the former present's candidacy.

The current political and electoral process is at a decisive stage, and it is time to work hard to guarantee Haddad's victory in the second round, Lula said on Thursday through PT National President Gleisi Hoffmann, who visited him at the headquarters of the Federal Police Superintendence in Curitiba.

Despite being held there since April 7, Lula designed and led, with evident success, the PT election strategy with possibilities to win the Presidency of the Republic.

On Thursday, the former president warned that in these times for the Latin American peoples, the task is to resist while advancing to overthrow neoliberalism.

Lula expressed his criterion in a letter to the rector of the National University of Comahue, Gustavo Crisafulli, and Professor Pablo Gutierrez to thank them for that Argentinean institution's decision to grant him a Honoris Causa Doctorate, the second such a degree that he has received since he was imprisoned.

The democracies built in Latin America over the past decade are subjected to a ferocious and late attack by neoliberalism, which has already failed in Europe and the United States, leaving behind trails of destruction of the social State and deepening inequalities, Lula noted.

He pointed out that in Latin America, neoliberalism attacks by using major segments of the judicial and legislative powers to remove legitimately elected presidents and imprison popular leaders unjustly through exception measures.

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Five Days of Hunger Strike for Lula's Release from Prison

Brasilia, Aug 4 (Prensa Latina) The six members of Brazilian popular movements who are demanding the release of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva by the Supreme Federal Court (STF) are today on their fifth day of a hunger strike.

After four days without eating food, the strikers suffer from more fatigue, more frequent headaches, alteration in blood pressure and weight loss of up to 1.3 kilograms, according to the second medical report issued on Friday night.

Some of them have lost mass from fat reserves and when they decrease they can begin to lose part of the muscle mass, which will have to be followed more closely, said Dr. Ronald Wollf, who accompanies their evolution and was quoted by the newspaper Brasil de Fato.

Wollf, who has experience in three other hunger strikes, explained that one of the strikers had symptoms of polyuria, a urinary disorder that makes the body produce an abnormally large amount of urine.

One of the strikers, the leader of the Movement of Small Farmers (MPA), Fray Sergio Görgen, told the newspaper that the hunger strike makes sense when all the other methods were used and the result was not achieved, which is the case in Brazil.

'Justice is blocking the legitimate legal solutions that could and should have been taken' to resume democratic normalcy and make Lula leave prison, as he is the victim of a fraudulent process, he is a prisoner without crimes and he is politically persecuted, he said.

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Lula Party Reach Neutrality Pact With Socialists in Brazil Vote

The pact is a blow to center-left presidential candidate Ciro Gomes, who is running third in early polling and sought the backing of the PSB to boost his chances of making the run-off between the two most voted candidates on Oct. 7.

Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's Workers Party (PT) has reached a neutrality pact with the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) that will end their rivalries in several states in the October general elections.

RELATED: Largest US Union Federation Releases Manifesto Supporting Lula

The Workers Party announced the move in a statement on Wednesday, while the PSB must still ratify at its convention on Sunday a commitment not to back any presidential candidate since it is not fielding its own.

It also confirms that Brazil's left will enter the election divided, which could help the business-friendly center-right candidate Geraldo Alckmin and far-right hopeful Jair Bolsonaro, who is currently the front-runner riding on voter anger with political corruption and rising crime.

In Brazil's most uncertain race in decades, the Workers Party plans to nominate Lula at its convention on Saturday, even though he cannot campaign and will almost certainly be barred from running due to a contested corruption conviction. Lula, who is still Brazil's most influential politician, is expected to name a stand-in at the last minute in mid-September.

The Workers Party will withdraw Marilia Arraes, its candidate for governor who was threatening the re-election of Paulo Camara in the PSB's most important state, Pernambuco.

In return, the PSB will not run against the Workers Party governor of Minas Gerais, Fernando Pimentel, party officials told Reuters.

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Lula Already in the Electoral Dispute, Says PT President

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is already fully involved in the electoral dispute in Brazil, said Gleisi Hoffmann, leader of the Workers'' Party (PT).

Lula is being the center of political discussions in the country; There is no way to discuss elections without his participation, because he has popular preference, said the senator, commenting on the results of the most recent poll of the Vox Populi Institute released the day before.

'The political and electoral strength of Lula is so much, that there is no way to exclude him from the presidential elections next October,' Hoffmann said in statements amplified by the digital newspaper Brasil 247 and in which he described as very painful the confinement for more than 100 days of the leader historic of the PT.

The national president of the PT also said that after knowing the results of the investigation the former dignitary said he will feel more excited and more energized to face the adversities of his unjust imprisonment.

Despite carrying more than three months of unjust and illegal prison, Lula continues to grow in the preference of the electorate, said the PT leader and insisted that the founder of the PT is the person capable of removing the country from the crisis in which it finds itself, pacify it and 'give back the inclusive development we had begun to build'.

According to the CUT / Vox Populi poll, Lula would win the first round with 58 percent of valid votes.

In a stimulated scenario (when the names of the candidates are presented to the interviewees) the former president's voting intentions reach up to 41 percent, two points more than last May.

Meanwhile, the sum of the support that all the other adversaries would get together amounted to only 29 percent.

The best placed after Lula is the candidate of the extreme right Jair Bolsonaro, of the Social Liberal Party (PSL), with 12 percent, followed by Ciro Gomes, of the Labor Democratic Party (PDT for its acronym in Portuguese), which reached the support of five percent of the respondents.

Earlier this week, former President Lula da Silva said he does not consider any hypothesis that excludes his imminent registration as a candidate for the October 7 elections.

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Minister Blames STF President for Lula's Illegal Imprisonment

Supreme Federal Court (STF) Minister Marco Aurelio Mello blamed the head of that court, Carmen Lucia, for the illegal imprisonment of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the newspaper Brasil 247 reported today.

One day after charging in statements to Portuguese television that Lula is illegally imprisoned, Mello blamed Carmen Lucia for that crime, during an interview with the Jornal do Brasil, the digital publication posted.

According to the media version, the Supreme Court magistrate recalled that since December, he has released two declarations of unconstitutionality for trial, 'but the president has retained those processes and has not set a date to rule,' he stated. In Mello's opinion, one person should not decide alone what will be on the agenda or not, said the magistrate, for whom that situation should be overcome in September, when Minister Dias Toffoli will be the new STF president.

Carmen Lucia openly maneuvered in April to prevent the plenary session of the Supreme Court from reviewing the two recourses that question the legality of Lula's imprisonment after the sentence was ratified in the second instance. Instead, she included the review of a request for a preventative habeas corpus for Lula, which was denied, on the agenda.

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Brazil: Uruguay Ex-President Mujica Says Lula 'In Good Spirits'

"They can hold your body, but not your heart," former Uruguayan President Jose 'Pepe' Mujica told the crowds of Lula supporters in Curitiba.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is "in good spirits" despite his incarceration on corruption charges, says former Uruguayan President Jose 'Pepe' Mujica, who has visited the Brazilian presidential candidate in his detention center and delivered a message of encouragement to supporters.

RELATED: Brazil: Uruguay's Jose Pepe Mujica To Visit Lula In Prison

Mujica met with Lula's followers on Thursday outside the Federal Police headquarters in Curitiba, where they have been camped out since the Workers' Party (PT) representative was taken into custody April 7 on corruption allegations.

The former Uruguayan leader praised the achievements realized during Lula's administration, as well as his international endeavors within Latin America.

"Under Lula, Brazil behaved like an older brother," Mujica said, adding that he found the candidate "in good spirits" but was worried for the future of Brazil and Latin America as a whole.

Mujica said Uruguay is concerned about the coming elections and Lula's fate. "For a small country flanked by gigantic Argentina and Brazil, when a neighbor shuts us out, we – Uruguayans – will catch a cold."

Earlier Thursday, Mujica transmitted a live video via social media addressed to Lula's supporters: "They can hold your body, but not your heart."

"There is a slogan there that says 'Lula Libre' (Free Lula); really, the mind can never be imprisoned. They can imprison your body, but not your heart, your mind. For whatever purpose, your mind is your heart, to go on beating for the control of Brazil... For this reason, Lula is free.

"This long fight didn't begin with you or us and it will not end with our lives… It's a shame that it almost takes a miracle to serve one''s country faithfully, but it is our fight."

Lula's 12-year prison sentence is widely viewed as a political stunt by the ruling right-wing government to block Lula from running for re-election.

The 72-year-old leftist politician insists he is innocent. Despite being incarcerated, Lula remains ahead in the presidential polls for Brazil's October presidential election. The PT has repeatedly said they will register Lula as their official candidate come August.

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Brazil: Rapper Mano Brown Says Lula Is 'Only Solution'

Mano Brown, co-founder of Racionais MCs, says "social advances will continue" if Lula is reelected president.

Mano Brown, co-founder of the legendary underground Brazilian hip-hop collective Racionais MCs, has told Estadao newspaper that Brazil's only hope for a brighter future “is if Lula is elected president. That way, social advances will continue.”

RELATED: Brazil: Rapper Mano Brown Laments Right-Wing Turn in Fans

If Lula is not reelected for a third term in office, Brown predicts that the country will “turn into Mad Max. I witnessed the transformation of people during Lula's government.”

Brown went on to say that he's worried about the lost of rights achieved during the Workers' Party governments, which spanned Lula and Dilma Rousseff's presidencies encompassing over 13 years.

He also affirmed that in recent years the country has experienced a wave of low self-esteem and lack of hope. “Now, more than ever, people need to recoup their faith.”

Brown also weighed in on media outlets and politicians attempting to erase the enormous contribution in the struggle against racism and in favor of social inequality undertaken by the Workers' Party, according to Viomundo.

Earlier this year Brown stated "the mentality of periphery neighborhoods has changed...It's impossible to disassociate Racionais MCs from politics and where the country politically is now? The periphery has turned to the right. Rap has turned to the conservative right...The type of rap music produced back in the day has become moralistic religious rap, which doesn't tap into the revolution that needs to happen now."

Brown – along with fellow rappers Ice Blue, Edi Rock and DJ KL Jay – formed the Racionais MCs in 1988. The collective, all of whom hailed from Capao Redondo, a periphery neighborhood on Sao Paulo's south side, referred to themselves as "the four most dangerous Black men in Brazil."

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Even From Prison, Lula Leads in Polls

The Brazilian pollster, Data Folha, says that former president and current candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is far ahead of his competitors with 31 percent of the nation’s electoral support.

A founding member of the Workers’ Party (PT) Lula says he has every intention of running in next October’s presidential election.

Data Folha’s poll released today shows that Lula is far ahead of his next two runner-ups, Jair Bolsonaro - currently being accused of using hate speech - and evangelical environmentalist, Marina Silva, who once formed a part of Lula’s cabinet (2003-2008). Each has about 16 percent of voter support. In fourth place is Joaquim Barbosa, ex-president of the Federal Superior Tribunal (STF).

The Free Lula campaign continues in Curitiba outside of the prison where Lula has been held since April 8 after giving himself up to authorities the day before.

Protests in support of Lula have intensified since he was forced to begin carrying out a 12-year sentence for supposed money laundering and receiving kickbacks in the Brazilian Car Wash scandal. Lula’s defense team argues that the candidate is being denied his constitutional right to appeal this corruption conviction handed down nearly two weeks ago by Brazil's Fourth Regional Federal Court (TRF-4).

On Friday and Saturday, supporters of Lula held a Lula Libre ('Free Lula') conference in Sao Paulo with the intent to unite supporters, strategize a way to free the imprisoned former president, and overthrow the ongoing 'media siege.'

Brazilian Communist Party official Gerardo Nuñez told the media, "Lula is a political prisoner who is condemned without evidence." 

Upcoming events to support Lula’s presidency and release him from prison include an April 17, National Day of Mobilization against Red Globo, the Act in defense of Petrobras in Rio de Janeiro to be held on April 26, and on May 1 - May Day - there will be Rights and Freedom for Lula marches across the country.

Parties have until August 15 to register their official candidate with the Federal Electoral Tribunal (TSE). The PT says that Lula will remain the party’s presidential candidat

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