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News > Latin America

'Free or Jailed' Lula Will Be Elected President: Dilma

  • Former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff speaks at the Buenos Aires Book Fair.

    Former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff speaks at the Buenos Aires Book Fair. | Photo: EFE

Published 2 May 2018

Former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Lula "is an idea," the very "symbol of Brazil."

Whether “free or imprisoned,” Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva “will be elected president” of Brazil following October's general election according to former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. Speaking during a visit to Buenos Aires, Argentina on Workers' Day she said Lula had become more than an individual, “he is an idea” that has “converted into the symbol of Brazil, of opportunities of which the people can grow.”

'Another Marielle': Bullets Used in Attack on Lula Camp Reserved for Brazil Military, Police

Dilma said the recent attacks on Lula, his character, and the Brazilian Workers Party are all part of a lawfare against the leftist agenda in the country and explained to the audience at the "The Truth Will Prevail" Buenos Aires International Book Fair that she feared for Lula's life.

"I fear for Lula's life. I fear for the food that he eats and the water he drinks. I fear it because they have denied him medical visitations,” she said. 

She explained that his political opponents need Lula's imprisonment because they “lack a candidate” capable of winning the upcoming presidential election and linked the move to the "parliamentary coup,” which lead to her impeachment in 2016.

May Day saw Brazilian cities flooded with thousands of protesters demanding jobs and Lula’s release. Vagner Freitas, the head of the Central Workers’ Union, said judge Sergio Moro, who is in charge of the Car Wash hearings wants to "prevent (a Lula) victory," in the presidential elections.

Workers' Day also saw Lula release another letter to his supporters, telling them to "continue to resist together because we’re in this just cause for democracy, for the rights of the people."

Having been detained at the federal police headquarters in Curitiba since April 7, for supposedly receiving an apartment as a kickback in the national Car Wash corruption scandal, Lula also denounced the drive-by shooting on the Free Lula camp last Saturday.

Two people were injured, with one of them, Jefferson Lima de Menezes, said to be in serious condition with a bullet wound that penetrated his neck. Nobody has been arrested in relation to the armed assault.

Brazil: Human Rights Commission Seeks to Evaluate Lula's Health

Despite his conviction and imprisonment for corruption, events that many legal experts and observers attribute to lawfare and a salacious mainstream media campaign, Lula 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.

Lula's two terms in office were marked by a slew of social programs, lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty and removing the country from the United Nations World Hunger Map. He left office with a record approval rating of 83 percent in 2011, according to Datafolha.

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