A quartet of former South American presidents - Luiz Inacio 'Lula' da Silva (Brazil), Dilma Rousseff (Brazil), Jose Mujica (Uruguay) and Rafael Correa (Ecuador) – took to an improvised stage in the central square of Santana do Livramento, near the border between Brazil and Uruguay, to denounce U.S. interference in Latin American politics. Lula said the “hand of the United States” was involved in the “coup” that ousted Rousseff.
He noted that the U.S. government remains uptight with those in the region who claim “self-determination” and make decisions without consulting Washington first. A perfect example of this rancorous affair, he argued, was during the creation of the Union of South American Nations, or Unasur.
All former presidents affirmed that the reason behind U.S. interference is to prevent greater unification among South American countries headed and progressive governments, prefering administrations that are submissive to their foreign policy and economic interests.
Mujica, for his part, urged unions among left-wing governments and organizations to confront the wave of right-wing politicians and fascist positions sweeping the region, according to news outlet Tutameia.
Earlier in the day, a group of tractors and trucks crowded into Silveira Martins square in the city of Bage to protest Lula's appearance at Pampa Federal University, a higher education institution created during his government. When Lula's caravan neared the university, anti-Workers' Party demonstrators, some mounted on horseback, hurled rocks at the buses.
Several people involved in the episode were detained. Lula spoke to the crowd after the situation was brought under control, calling his detractors the “fascist right” and asking why no protest had erupted when the university was launched?
Lula said his intention to create the university was to give an opportunity to poor people. Historically, the region encompassing Bage exhibits a high degree of land concentration.