Former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff kicked off her European tour Tuesday when she spoke at the Casa America in Madrid, Spain to denounce the “political persecution against her predecessor, Luiz Inacio 'Lula' da Silva and the threat against democracy” in Brazil.
“Ever since they removed me, they tried to deconstruct (the legacy of) Lula, but his popularity keeps growing with each accusation, with each (judicial) decision against him. Therefore, it has become necessary for his adversaries to imprison him. But it is important for you all to know that we have an immense distortion relating to Brazilian law, that is, the judge (Sergio Moro) that initiated the legal case (against Lula) is the same who ruled on it,” Rousseff told the crowd.
She emphasized that the legal case has been sustained by salacious “media” coverage against the former head of state.
Having accompanied Lula to the ABC Steelworkers Union headquarters in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Sao Paulo last week after an arrest warrant was issued by Moro, Rousseff explained why he decided to surrender to the federal police despite calls from supporters to not turn himself in.
“We are an institutional party (the Workers' Party). We believe in democracy. Even when we know that the rules of the game are being disrespected, we will use the rules of the game until the very end.”
Commenting on her impeachment, she said, “That's why I went to the Senate and remained there for 15 hours defending my (presidential) term even though that they would condemn me. If you believe in democracy in your country, you must be the first to respect the rules, even though they are being distorted.”
Rousseff pointed out that the arrest warrant against Lula noted that his detention “was required because he spoke too much and was convincing his adversaries that his imprisonment would be unjust.”
She went on to say that such a measure was proof that “Democracy in Brazil is at risk... We must be clear that this type of emergency process has happened before and can happen again in Latin America. It happened with (Fernando) Lugo in Paraguay. It happened in Honduras. Lawfare, which is the use of the law to destroy a (political) enemy, has been taking place in Brazil because they have not been able to destroy PT (Workers' Party) any other way. And they won't be able to do it.”
After visiting Europe, Rousseff will proceed to the United States where she will speak at the University of California at Berkeley on April 16, Stanford University on April 17 and San Diego State University on April 18, according to the Diario de Pernambuco.