NY Times op-ed: Lula says “right-wing coup underway in Brazil”
In an opinion article appearing in the New York Times today, the former President of Brazil Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called for democracy to prevail.
The article appears just a day before the deadline for candidates to register for the Brazilian Presidential elections. Lula’s Workers’ Party with the support of millions of working people in Brazil and the international labour movement, will put Lula’s name forward, although they expect his candidacy to be denied because of his imprisonment on bogus charges. A number of top level labour delegations have been in Brazil in the last few days to show their support for Lula, such as the ITUC, led by General Secretary Sharan Burrow and an emergency delegation from AFL-CIO, including the President of RWDSU, Stuart Appelbaum, who is also the President of UNI Commerce, is travelling to Brazil this week, as part of an emergency delegation from the AFL-CIO. UNI Global Union is urging all its affiliates to show their support, calling for Lula to be freed immediately so that he is able to stand in the October elections.
In the op-ed Lula said, “My imprisonment was the latest phase in a slow-motion coup designed to permanently marginalize progressive forces in Brazil. It is intended to prevent the Workers’ Party from again being elected to the presidency. With all the polls showing that I would easily win this October’s elections, Brazil’s extreme right wing is seeking to knock me out of the race.”
Lula said that the judiciary had been in league with the neoliberal elites determined to see him out of the running for October’s Presidential elections. The former President said that the will of the people would prevail and he would be vindicated.
“I don’t believe that the majority of Brazilians approved that elitist agenda. That’s why, while I may be in jail today, I am running for president, and why the polls show that if the elections were held today, I would win. Millions of Brazilians understand that my jailing has nothing to do with corruption, and they understand that I am where I am merely for political reasons.”
Lula concluded that he was seeking justice for both himself and the country, and not special treatment.
“I don’t ask to be above the law, but a trial must be fair and impartial. These right-wing forces convicted me, imprisoned me, ignored the overwhelming evidence of my innocence and denied me habeas corpus only to try to stop me from running to presidency. I ask for respect for democracy. If they want to defeat me for real, do it in the elections. According to the Brazilian Constitution, the power comes from the people, who elect their representatives. So let the Brazilian people decide. I have faith that justice will prevail, but time is running against democracy.”
Read the full article here: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/14/opinion/lula-brazil-candidacy-prison.html