Brazil’s favorite presidential candidate, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, gave an exclusive interview to Granma telling the Cuban media outlet his imprisonment is “political.”
The Workers’ Party (PT) leader, whose policies during his double presidential term allowed some 30 million Brazilians to be lifted out of poverty, says that his jail time is “a political process, political imprisonment.”
Lula reiterated to Granma that there is no solid evidence that he took a seaside apartment as a political kickback, the supposed crime he was convicted of and thrown in jail for last April. “They had to violate the Constitution to arrest me.”
Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court (STF) of Brazil agrees. Last week the court ruled that Sergio Moro, who ruled to imprison Lula for over 12 years, illegally coerced the candidate to give a statement in his case.
The former president says in the interview from his prison cell in Curitiba, Brazil that by locking him up the right-wing blow at not only him but the PT and democracy: “They did so against a model of national development and social inclusion. The (2016) coup (of Dilma Rousseff) was to do away with the rights of workers and retirees, gained over the last 60 years. And the people are realizing that. And we are going to need a lot of organization to return to a popular government in Brazil, with sovereignty, social inclusion, and economic development.”
The presidential candidate, who has topped every 2018 electoral poll conducted by Vox Populi, Ibope, Datafolha, Data Poder 360, Instituto Parana, the National Confederation of Transportation/MDA and Ipsos, told Granma that the political right has thrown him in prison to try to prevent him from being elected president in October. He adds, “they don’t accept the people voting for whoever they want to vote for.”
When asked how he’s spending his jail time Lula responded that he’s “reading and thinking a lot,” saying he's "at peace" with his conscious. “I doubt that all those who lied against me sleep as peacefully as I do.”
He would like to be free and “dialoguing with the people, but I am aware that the injustice that is being committed against me is also an injustice against the Brazilian people,” said Lula.
Lula goes on to tell his supporters: “The relationship that I have built over decades with the Brazilian people, with social movement organizations, is a very trusting relationship and it is something that I greatly appreciate because in my entire political career I always insisted on never betraying that trust.
“I would not betray that trust for any money, for an apartment, for nothing. That was the case before being president, during my presidency and afterward. So, for me, that solidarity is something that moves me and encourages me to stand fast.”
Lula then gave a word of thanks to “compañeros Raúl Castro and Miguel Díaz-Canel for their solidary greetings.”
From jail, the former president says that over the last decade Latin America democracies have made tremendous gains, but elites across the region change the rules of the game when they are not winning to benefit their small minority, “which, of course, is not a democracy. So it is an attempt at democracy without the people.”
This “increase in intolerance and political persecution. It has happened in Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador and other countries,” states the candidate.