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  • Gleisi Hoffmann, Leader of the Workers' Party (PT) read Lula's letter to his supporters outside his prison in Curitiba.

    Gleisi Hoffmann, Leader of the Workers' Party (PT) read Lula's letter to his supporters outside his prison in Curitiba. | Photo: Eduardo Matysiak

Published 7 April 2019

Imprisoned former President of Brazil, Lula da Silva, penned an open letter to his supporters on the first anniversary of his imprisonment.

The imprisoned former President of Brazil and one of the most revered leftist leaders in South America, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, penned a letter to his supporters on the first anniversary of his imprisonment.

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The Workers’ Party (PT) leader wrote that he was imprisoned “for the crime of dedicating a lifetime to building a more just, developed and sovereign Brazil.”

“They have never produced one piece of evidence against me.. Separated from the Brazilian people, my family, and my dearest friends. Forbidden to give an interview, prevented from speaking and being heard,” Lula wrote.

According to Lula, his captors thought that his imprisonment would silence his voice, it did not. Now his voice has resonated through “millions of voices.”

“We have suffered repeated setbacks since the coup against President Dilma, it is true. But our defeats strengthen us for the fight, while their victories do not give them a minute of peace.”

The leader said that the present administration under far-right President Jair Bolsonaro is getting richer but their fortunes are guaranteed “at the expense of the suffering of millions of Brazilians” but that does not provide them happiness. Instead, they are becoming “more angry and unhappy, poisoned by the very hatred they distill.”

Supporters of Lula da Silva gathered outside his prison in Curitiba. | Photo: Eduardo Matysiak

He mentioned how during the funeral of his grandson Arthur, repressive actions were taken against him. He was heavily guarded and immediately after the funeral, he was snatched away from his grieving family and sent back to prison.

He realized then that the authority is afraid and not because of him, but because of the millions of people that are unified - for “they know what we are capable of when we unite to transform this country.”

In conclusion, Lula wrote, “we are alive and strong. Together, let's reverse each setback, each step back on the hard journey towards Brazil that we dream and that we prove to be possible to build. We will win.”

He was arrested on April 7 of last year, prior to the country’s presidential election in 2018, which saw the victory of far-right Jair Bolsonaro.

Lula was arrested after being convicted in the Lava Jato corruption case by a Federal Regional Court. He is internationally recognized as a political prisoner. He has maintained his stance of innocence and determined to prove the same.

Programs and protests have been organized worldwide to commemorate the anniversary and demand the release of Lula.

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