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The former president of Brazil, imprisoned for over a year as a victim of the far-right's lawfare strategy, spoke to teleSUR about the future of his country and the role he hopes to play.
During the interview, Lula said that he would decide on his candidature for Brazil's presidency later this year, stating that many in his party (Brazil's Worker's Party, PT) wanted him to be its candidate.
Discussing the current state of Brazilian politics with teleSUR's Jorge Gestoso on Wednesday evening's Notables program, the ex-president said that the most important thing is not Lula's candidacy for the 2022 presidential elections but urgent matters such as the country's vaccination strategy, emergency salaries for COVID-19 victims and access to credits and unemployment for those most affected by the pandemic.
Lula told teleSUR that although the polls indicate that he could beat far-right President Jair Bolsonaro in 2022, he will decide on his candidacy when the moment is right, and that the current political landscape—how many candidates will run, from which end of the political spectrum—is still undefined.
In the interview, the former head of state said that his true cause is that of giving Brasil its sovereignty back and focusing on improving quality of life, the right to food, healthcare, education, and culture. He affirmed that those were his priorities as president and that this cause would make him a formidable candidate against any candidate from the right or far-right in 2022.
Regarding regional integration, Lula said that he wants to make Latin America a great economic bloc, comparable to that of North America, Europe, and China. He stressed the need to revive Mercosur, Unasur, and CELAC, while also reminding of the principle of equal sovereignty among nations—treating with respect and dignity regional neighbors just as much as global powerhouses.
Lula stated that Brazil must reinforce its relations with the African continent and the BRICS formation and convert Brazil into an international protagonist, defending the equality and sovereignty of all Latin American countries.
While not yet announcing his candidacy for the presidency, Lula reminded of the judicial farce that landed him in prison in 2018, preventing him from running for president against Bolsonaro, which he said he would have considered had the country's justice system not inhabilitated his potential candidacy from the electoral process.