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  • Thousands of Brazilians participate in the 'Free Lula Fest' at the Republic Square in Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 2, 2019.

    Thousands of Brazilians participate in the 'Free Lula Fest' at the Republic Square in Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 2, 2019. | Photo: Twitter / @ComiteLula

Published 6 June 2019
Opinion

Brazil's former president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from prison: 'Do not play with democracy. (It) is not a pact of silence, ... solutions are found through struggle.'

In an interview Wednesday from Curitiba's federal prison, Brazil's former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva questioned why President Jair Bolsonaro and his cabinet are subordinating themselves to the United States geopolitical agenda for the reigon and called on Brazilians to not abandon their struggle for national sovereignty.

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"The U.S. is not interested in Brazil being a strong country [capable of leading] South America," Lula said and added the current United States administration under President Donald Trump trying to deny Brazilians the chance at further developing relationships with China, Russia and India.

The Workers' Party (PT) founder stressed that the defense of national sovereignty should unify progressive social forces because such a task means ensuring that the country's resources are available to improve the lives of everyone. 

"National sovereignty not only has to do with borders. The core of a sovereign country is its people and the quality of life, food, education, research, biodiversity, mineral wealth and public companies" available to them.

"We have many reasons to take to the streets and display sovereignty as a very important issue," Lula said and added that "society needs to regain its right to be indignant," because Bolsonaro is "destroying the country" and embarrasing to the population.

These statements came a day after the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office (MPF) sent a statement to the Superior Court of Justice (STJ) indicating that Lula could be transferred to a semi-open prison, which means that he will be allowed go outside to work during the day.

Lula has been held as a political prisoner since April 2018 when his arrest was ordered by Judge Sergio Moro who arbitrarily accused him of having received a bribe from the Odebrech construction company.

"Not to privatization. Oil workers support the June 14 nationwide strike." The meme reads, "Workers reject the proposal to end collective bargaining agreements because it eliminates social rights and benefits and also attacks union organization."

Regarding the massive student protests set to take place June 14, Lula said the Brazilian society has plenty of reasons to question what Bolsonaro is doing.

"I wonder about the damage that these people are doing to the country and its future with their intention of selling everything," referring to the current president's administration. 

The PT leader emphasized that legal changes by Bolsonaro treat workers as if they were still in the era of slavery, which can have very serious political and economic consequences.

"Do not play with democracy," Lula warned and explained that "democracy is not a pact of silence", but a society in quest of important, meaningful rights.

While Brazil is going through a difficult moment due to the loss of freedoms and rights, Lula calls for the people to not lose hope and keep on fighting.

"Don't have desperation. Do not think the fight is not worth it. Solutions are found through struggle. ... The Brazilian people have the right to fight for better days ahead."

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