After having spent 580 days as a political prisoner in Curitiba, Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Saturday arrived at the ABC Union of Workers of Metallurgical Industry, which is located at Sao Bernardo do Campo, the city where he began his political life as a worker leader.
Lula is Free
Although the Workers' Party (PT) politician must defend himself against accusations which could put him in prison for 8 years, Lula regained his freedom on Friday thanks to a Supreme Court decision, which determined that a penalty cannot be executed while the appeals have not been completed.
Upon leaving the Curitiba prison, Lula said that he will return to politics and work for the unity of the Latin American peoples.
"My goal is to build a very strong Latin American integration; my dream is still to build our great Latin America," Lula said in a message to the Puebla Group, a forum of progressive leaders among whom is Argentina's President-elect Alberto Fernandez.
Dozens of caravans from all over Brazil are arriving in Sao Bernardo do Campo, where thousands expect Lula to make a speech in the afternoon.
Meanwhile, in the streets around the ABC Union headquarters, Brazilians are singing and waving flags, as local outlet Revista Forum reported.
"Lula is here to guide us and make a project for Brazil to grow again and for people to be healthy," PT lawmaker Benedita da Silva said and reported that entire families have no jobs and are homeless.
"There is no space to place a pin inside the red tide which awaits Lula on the outskirts of the Metallurgists' Union. The street is the printing press of Brazilian history."
According to analysts, the release of Lula da Silva will have noticeable effects on the politics of Brazil, a country where the population is increasingly dissatisfied with President Jair Bolsonaro's agenda.
"The release of Lula is the beginning of a new era in Brazilian politics. It means an opportunity to recover democracy and hope. Bolsonaro knows it. He is desperate, weak, fearful. He has no chance of improving his government," journalist Celeste Silveira said, adding that the far-right President is "lost."
After being silent for a few hours, the far-right President on Saturday expressed his opinion about Lula's freedom through aggressive and threatening statements.
"Lovers of freedom and good, we are the majority. Without a north star and a directive, even the best troops become a band shooting at all sides," Bolsonaro wrote.
"Do not give ammunition to the scoundrel, who is momentarily free but full of guilt," he added, not referring to Lula by name.