Former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff compared the political persecution of her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, to the suicide of president Getulio Vargas, which took place on August 24, 1954. Friday marked the 64th anniversary of Getulio's passing.
“It's as if we are at the same crossroads that took Getulio's life,” Rousseff wrote. “The country is before two paths. One path is led by those who want to sell the country and hand over our wealth. On the other, the strand of a history of those in search of building Brazilian civilization.”
The former head of state went on to note that the persecution against Lula “will not block the people from participating in the destiny of the Nation in the 2018 (presidential) election. At the polls come October we will have the opportunity to re-establish the guarantees of a better future for all, based on solidarity, work, and social justice.”
Brazil's most extensive public survey and research organization, Datafolha, revealed this week that Lula's lead in the presidential race, despite his imprisonment on allegations of corruption and has jumped to 39 percent of likely voters, 20 points ahead of his closest rival, Rio de Janeiro congressman Jair Bolsonaro. Many legal experts and observers attribute his detainment to lawfare and a salacious mainstream media campaign meant to keep him from participating in the October election.
A poll published by DataTempo/CP2 last week revealed that Rousseff leads the senatorial race with 26.8 percent of the vote in the state of Minas Gerais Her nearest rival, journalist Carlos Viana of the Humanist Party of Solidarity, or PHS, is polling in second place with 11.2 percent of the vote.
Rousseff's comments come after she was verbally insulted by an unidentified woman earlier this week during one of her routine bike rides. She called the former president a “son of a bitch” and “tramp.”
Just before the incident, Rousseff posted on her official Instagram that “when I was young a friend of mine would say: 'you're only a bike ride away from your best mood.'...I feel like I'm getting there.”
Rousseff was impeached, in what many legal experts consider to be a “parliamentary coup,” in 2016. She often reminds followers of the misogynistic fervor that accompanied her removal from office.
“Dilma is a harsh woman; men are firm; Dilma is emotionally unstable, men are sensible," she tweeted.
“I was (considered) 'obsessive-compulsive with work,' men are dynamic and hard-workers. The misogyny game is well employed by those who use it,” she added.
During the impeachment vote, Bolsonaro used his congressional speaking time not only to rally in favor of her ouster but also to praise Carlos Brilhante Ustra, the colonel who headed the dictatorship's notorious torture program in the 1970s.
He cited Ustra as "the source of Dilma Rousseff's dread," referring to the fact that, as a young woman, Rousseff had been imprisoned for three years for being a leftist guerrilla and was tortured, including being electrocuted, under his watch.
Rousseff – showing considerable restraint – responded only by telling reporters that Bolsonaro's remarks were "regrettable."