Lula to Latin America: We Will ‘Defeat Neoliberalism Again’

Source:  TeleSUR
November 16 2017

lula nov 2017Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva declared that the struggle against neoliberalism in Latin America will continue. | Photo: EFE

Thousands of leftists from across Latin America amassed in Uruguay to march “against neoliberalism” and “in defense of democracy.”

“Temer out!” and “Macri out!” were among the demands chanted by thousands of Latin Americans marching in the name of progress through Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, on Thursday.

RELATED:  Mujica: ‘Militant’ Latin America Must Reject Neoliberalism

The mass mobilization, part of the three-day Continental Conference For Democracy And Against Neoliberalism, drew thousands to rally “against neoliberalism” — including free trade agreements — and “in defense of democracy.”

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva, in a message broadcast to the assembled crowds, said: “In all our countries we have already defeated the neoliberal project once and I have no doubt that we will be able to defeat it again.”

It was da Silva, along with late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and late Brazilian president Nestor Kirchner, who 12 years ago defeated the U.S.-initiated Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

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Latin American countries fought together “to defeat the military dictatorships of the continent” and “the disastrous neoliberal governments of the ’80s and ’90s,” da Silva continued.

“Union movements, social movements and progressive parties were building the great popular victories of the last decade. The progressive governments of the region, in close harmony with the popular movements, resolved to promote great economic, social and cultural changes conquering an unprecedented dignity for our peoples.”  Da Silva also noted that the lessons of yesterday are just as relevant today: in particular in Brazil, which experienced “a violent blow to democracy” during last year’s right-wing coup.

The conference is set to continue for the next two days, attempting to interlink “struggles against the offensive of conservative and capitalist sectors in the continent,” according to the official website.

RELATED:  Lula’s Caravan of Hope Reaches Final Destination

Last week, former Uruguay President Jose ‘Pepe’ Mujica called on “militant” Latin American organizations to join the meeting in order to share their knowledge of the various struggles on the continent and how best to win them.

The conference’s organizing group, comprising dozens of leftist organizations from across the continent, first met in November 2015 in the Cuban capital, Havana. In 2016, the same groups organized actions in a number of countries to mark their reorganization

Brazil’s Lula Surges in Polls Ahead of 2018 Election

Source:  TeleSUR
Ocvtober 1 2017

He was credited with lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty and tackling hunger.

lula 10.jpgFormer Brazilian President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva | Photo: AFP

Roughly 35 percent of voters will support the former president in the first round of the 2018 general election.

Despite being sentenced to nine years and six months over alleged corruption charges in Operation Car Wash investigations, former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva continues to broaden his lead in the upcoming 2018 presidential election, according to the latest Datafolha poll.

RELATED:   Lula Calls for Policies Centered on the Working Class to Push Brazil Forward

Published in Folha de Sao Paulo on Saturday, the survey indicated that 35 percent of voters would support the former president in the first round of voting. That’s a five percent increase from the last poll released in June.

The Datafolha poll also indicated that Lula would defeat all presidential candidates in a runoff vote.

While right-wing congressman and presidential hopeful Jair Bolsonaro trailed in polling by 17 percent of voting intentions, former environment minister Marina Silva was behind by 13 percent.

Meanwhile, Sao Paulo State Governor Geraldo Alckmin and Sao Paulo Mayor Joao Doria held only eight percent of voting intentions each, Reuters reported. Both are members of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, or PSDB, which is allied with right-wing President Michel Temer.

Lula’s two-term presidency (2003-2010) was marked by a slew of social programs. He was credited with lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty and tackling hunger.

The Family Allowance

One of his most ambitious and successful programs was the Family Allowance. Launched in 2003, the program provides stipends to families living below the poverty line. In turn, those families must prove that their children are attending school and have been vaccinated.

The program’s objective is to empower Brazil’s working class, ensuring that impoverished families are able to eat, purchase hygienic materials and have access to other basic necessities.

“The poor are not the problem, the poor are the solution, when we include the poor everything improves,” Lula told teleSUR in an exclusive interview.

Nevertheless, the popular Brazilian leader may be prohibited from running for re-election if his conviction is upheld by judge Sergio Moro, another possible presidential hopeful. If so, Datafolha’s poll also indicates that 26 percent of voters would back any candidate endorsed by Lula.

Lula Calls for Policies Centered on the Working Class to Push Brazil Forward

Source:  TeleSUR
September 4 2017

Lula caravan of hope 4.jpgLula greets people from Banabuiu, a countryside town in the state of
Ceara, Brazil. | Photo: @CarlosZarattini

As Lula’s Caravan of Hope tour winds down, the former President vows to fight for the rights of the poorest.

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in an exclusive interview with teleSUR, has called for the restoration of the social policies implemented during the 12 years of the Workers’ Party, or PT, government in Brazil.

RELATED: Lula Draws Biggest Crowd Yet and Blasts ‘Sellout’ Temer Government

These policies, he said, are the only way to set the country towards growing economic development.

The poor are the solution

The former president recalled that his government was able to advance a social and work policy that resulted in the creation of 22 million jobs and about 6 million microentrepreneurs. Lula affirmed that it is through the creation of jobs, that the economy will be re-energized and will advance the country’s development.

“The poor are not the problem, the poor are the solution, when we include the poor everything improves,” said the Brazilian popular leader.

Lula has been carrying out a “Caravan of Hope” bus tour across northeastern Brazil. A much poorer region than the rest of the country, the northeast has been a reliable base for the Workers Party and Lula, who was born in the poverty-blighted state of Pernambuco.

The need to be with the people

“I learned that someone who wants to govern this country must walk and meet with the people to create a government program that (works alongside) social movements” the leader said. “Traveling is learning again.”

Lula explained that in order to do politics, one has to be with the people, adding that the caravan has allowed him to know firsthand the current situation in the country, where “conditions have now deteriorated (because) policies of inclusion are being decimated by the government.”

The Brazilian ex-president said that the trial against him — a number of corruption allegations that he has said there is no evidence for — is part of a campaign against him, but despite it, he will continue to defend the rights of the poorest.

RELATED: Lula’s Caravan of Hope Reaches Final Destination

Lula has also said that the allegations have been planted against him so that he is barred from running for president in the upcoming elections, given that he holds the lead in polls.

As such, Lula condemned the actions of the country’s justice system, saying they only respond to the interests of the small, ruling elites that have been the only ones to benefit from the economic policies of de facto president, Michel Temer.

Lula Draws Biggest Crowd Yet and Blasts ‘Sellout’ Temer Government

Source:  TeleSUR
28 August 2017

lula caravan of hope 3.jpgFormer Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva cheers supporters of Landless Workers Movement (MST) during a rally in the northeast. | Photo: Reuters

 

“Brazil was a source of pride, today that period is over and its leaders are demoralized – this pack of stray dogs,” he told his supporters.

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was enthusiastically greeted by about 30,000 people in Mossoro, the second most populous city in the state of Rio Grande do Norte.

RELATED:  Brazil Government ‘Sells Country Like Real Estate’: Lula

Now they want to sell everything

The crowd was Lula’s largest audience yet in his “Caravan of Hope” bus tour across northeastern Brazil. A much poorer region than the rest of the country, the northeast has been a reliable base for the Workers Party and Lula, who was born in the poverty-blighted state of Pernambuco.

“What is at stake today is Brazil and the defense of our sovereignty,” Lula told the crowd, noting that his administration managed to save the country’s Federal Savings Bank, known in the country as Caixa, as well as Brazil’s National Bank for Economic and Social Development or BNDES.

“Now they want to sell everything,” he added, pointing to the stated intention by President Michel Temer to sell Electrobras as a sign that the massive sale of public assets has begun.

Last Wednesday, the neoliberal Temer administration announced that 57 public companies and airport terminals would be privatized with the objective of reducing the country’s fiscal deficit, which amounts to nearly US$500 billion. The comment drew fire from ex-President Lula, who told media outlet Globo that “when they have nothing to sell, they are going to sell their souls to the devil.”

RELATED: Temer Government Takes its Orders from Washington and Wall Street: PT

Brazil was a source of pride

Lula was clearly in his element as he fired up the Mossoro crowd, who were drawn from the region’s rural poor and urban working class.

“When I left the presidency, we were not only self-sufficient in oil – we had the second largest oil company in the world,” he explained to the people of the oil-rich region.

“Brazil was a source of pride, today that period is over and its leaders are demoralized – this pack of stray dogs,” he added.

“Brazil only has a nation if it has people, and that is what this government is destroying and selling out to foreign companies!”

 

‘Unacceptable’ for Trump to Threaten Venezuela Says Lula

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Lula visits the Brazilian state of Bahia during his “Caravan of Hope” tour. | Photo: @LulapeloBrasil

Source:  TeleSUR
August 21 2017

Lula said that Venezuela’s institutional crisis should be overcome “through dialogue and political negotiation.”

Still on the first leg of his “Caravan of Hope” tour, which will take him through nine Brazilian states in the northeast of the country, Brazil’s former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has denounced military threats made by U.S. President Donald Trump against Venezuela.

RELATED: ‘Brazil Needs Credible Government’: Lula on Presidential Tour

In defense of Venezuela’s sovereignty and the right of its people to determine their country’s fate, Lula stated, “It’s unacceptable that Donald Trump makes military threats on Venezuela or any country, anywhere in the world,” according to Brasil de Fato.

He added that if the country finds itself amid an “institutional crisis, they should seek to overcome it through dialogue and political negotiation, always respecting the officials who were elected by popular vote, within democratic rules, as was the case of President Hugo Chavez and President Nicolas Maduro.”

Lula recalled similar incidents in Venezuela in 2003, during his first term as president of Brazil. To help resolve the crisis, Lula proposed the formation of a group of countries that held the best interest of Venezuela’s sovereignty to help negotiate a peaceful solution.

However, the former head of state admitted that, as of today, Brazil is in no moral position to offer any such assistance to Venezuela’s internal affairs.

“How ridiculous it is for an illegitimate coup government, enemy of its own people, to want to school Venezuela on the terms of democracy,” Lula said, referring the unelected government of Michel Temer.

He said that only when Brazil itself, with democratic participation from all sectors of society, elects a president will it be able to collaborate with countries such as Venezuela to help restore peace and stability.

RELATED:Future of Venezuela Rests in the Hands of the People: Maduro

Meanwhile, Temer has met with Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes and both men have reaffirmed that they do not recognize the ANC in Venezuela, which was elected by over eight million Venezuelans on July 30 as a means to achieving peace in the country and intensifying citizen participation.

In a joint communique issued after their meeting, Temer and Cartes also reiterated their support for both the decision of the Mercosur trade bloc to suspend Venezuela and the so-called “Lima Declaration” that twelve regional countries signed on Aug. 8, condemning what they called “the rupture of the Venezuelan democratic order.” These are the same right-wing countries that, led by the United States, were unable to have Venezuela censured in the Organization of American States.

According to Folha de Sao Paulo, Temer’s administration was considering sanctions on the import of Venezuelan oil derivatives of over US$220 million, which constituted more than half of Brazilian imports from Venezuela in 2016. However, the idea has been scrapped due to worries of the adverse effects it will have on the population.

https://videosenglish.telesurtv.net/player/668303/who-is-lula-da-silva/?aspectratio=auto

 

Lula Begins ‘Caravan of Hope’ Tour Through 25 Brazilian Cities

supporters of brazil's workers party.jpg

Supporters of Brazil’s Worker’s Party at a rally. | Photo: AFP

Source:  TeleSUR
17 August 2017

The caravan will look to identify needs and struggles, and stimulate resistance against the unelected Temer government.

The former President of Brazil and founder of the Workers Party, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva embarked on the “Caravan of Hope” tour which will take him through nine states and 25 cities in Northern Brazil.

RELATED:Lula Pulls 6 Points Ahead in Brazil’s Opinion Polls

The caravan’s first stop is in Salvador, and will continue until the last stop in Sao Luis do Maranhao on September 5th.

According to Marcio Macedo, who is the current Workers Party Vice President and the coordinator of the caravan, the journey will have the dual aim of meeting with mayors, governors, and officials in the region, as well as identifying the legacy of the Lula and Dilma Workers Party government, and identify needs and struggles that have set in as a result of the unelected Michel Temer government.

The project looks to both stimulate resistance, and formulate future strategy.

“Both the Workers Party and Lula are imbued with the desire to bring a little hope to the Brazilian people, showing that it is possible to reconstruct a national project overcoming hatred and intolerance,” Macedo said.

Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad spoke on the need for the Workers Party to formulate a strategy in close coordination with the needs of the people.

“It cannot be bureaucratic. There must be more caution, more humility, and to process everything with generosity, including to incorporate the criticism that arises from the people, the workers, and to take note of the errors they point out,” Haddad said.

For many long-time observers, the Caravan of Hope is an effort to echo and recall Lula and the Worker’s Party’s origins, when Lula began the Caravan of Citizenship in 1992 to help construct the social programs that defined his government.

Lula was recently charged with alleged corruption, and handed a nine-and-a-half year prison sentence. In spite of this, he is the highest polling candidate for the upcoming 2018 presidential elections.

Both he, his lawyers and his supporters, have repeatedly argued that the accusations against him are fabricated and part of a campaign to prevent him running again for president in the elections.

 

Cuba Expresses Solidarity with Nicolas Maduro and Lula da Silva.

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The Cuban president has condemned the attempts to destabilize Venezuela.

Source:   Cuba Inside the World
July 15 2017

President Raul Castro has repeated Cuba’s support for the Venezuelan government as it faces “an unconventional war” led by “imperialism” and the country’s “oligarchy” in a bid to topple President Nicolas Maduro with a coup.

RELATED: Ecuador Ratifies Respect for Venezuela’s Sovereignty

During a speech marking the end of the Cuban Congress’s extraordinary session, Castro condemned the opposition violence initiated in April on the streets of Caracas and other cities as “fascists actions.”

He mentioned the videos showing several young Venezuelans being burnt alive during anti-Maduro protests.

He urged the opposition to stop the “terrorist violence” designed “to oust” the president, and called for Maduro’s opponents to accept the Bolivarian government’s offer of dialogue.

Stop attacking Venezuela

Castro also asked the Organization of American States and its Secretary General Luis Almagro to “stop attacking Venezuela” and “manipulating reality.”

“Venezuela’s legitimate right to find a peaceful solution to its domestic affairs should be respected with no foreign interference,” he said, adding that only the sovereign Venezuelan people are entitled to use the right to self-determination.

Cuba’s President also condemned the “political persecution” of Brazil’s former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, recently condemned to a 9-year prison sentence over bribeery and money-laundering charges.

Lula denies any wrongdoing.