[News] Venezuela Stands by Brazil’s Lula Following His Imprisonment

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Apr 10 11:12:47 EDT 2018


  Venezuela Stands by Brazil’s Lula Following His Imprisonment

By Paul Dobson - April 9, 2018

Merida, April 9, 2018, (venezuelanalysis.com 
<http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/>) – President Nicolas Maduro led a 
multitude of Venezuelan voices who spoke out this weekend in solidarity 
with the Brazilian people following the imprisonment of the presidential 
candidate Luis Inacio “Lula” da Silva.

“What is going on in Brazil is a coup d’état,” Maduro declared during a 
ceremony broadcast on state television Saturday.

Widely viewed as a favorite to win Brazil’s October presidential 
elections, Lula turned himself in to police Saturday, accompanied by 
tens of thousands of supporters, following a two-day stand-off in the 
metal workers union headquarters in Sao Paolo, where the ex-president 
got his start as a grassroots union organizer.

“First [the Brazilian right-wing] ousted the constitutional President 
Dilma Rousseff with a parliamentary coup and now they want to imprison 
Lula da Silva because he is leading in the polls,” Maduro added, 
referring to the controversial impeachment proceeding that removed 
elected President Rousseff from office in 2016.

A warrant was issued for Lula’s arrest after Brazil’s Supreme Court 
issued a controversial ruling Thursday that the leftist presidential 
hopeful could be jailed despite constitutional guarantees stipulating 
that the accused have the right to exhaust their appeals in freedom. The 
ruling was preceded by a highly publicized warning 
against “impunity” by the Brazilian military, which was widely condemned 
as an attempt to influence the verdict.

Lula was sentenced to ten years last August for allegedly accepting a 
US$1 million renovation to a luxury beachfront apartment that he does 
own and never visited, a sentence which was upheld and extended to 
twelve years in January. There is no material evidence 
linking Lula to the apartment, and Lavo Jato chief prosecutor Sergio 
Mora has been accused of pursuing politically motivated anti-corruption 
investigations against leftist Brazilian leaders in coordination with 
the US Justice Department 
<http://www.brasilwire.com/us-admits-role-operation-lava-jato/>. Lula 
has proclaimed his innocence and is appealing the conviction.

The former president of Brazil from 2003 to 2010, Lula is a candidate 
for the center-left Workers Party (PT), which he helped found in the 
1980s in opposition to the country’s military dictatorship. He is 
currently leading polls, but it is unclear how is imprisonment will 
affect his candidacy.

The current government of Michel Temer, which assumed control of the 
country following the 2016 ouster of Rousseff, is highly unpopular due 
to the imposition of a series of neoliberal economic measures, including 
a constitutional amendment 
freezing social spending for twenty years. Many of the cabinet are 
currently being investigated for corruption.

Following Lula’s surrender to police, ex-bus driver Maduro took to 
Twitter in defense of the Brazilian leftist leader.

“Lula is an honest man who comes from the factories… a democratic and 
moral leader who is committed to the people,” he declared.

The imprisonment of Lula is “a criminal persecution by the neo-fascist 
oligarch elite” and “an oppressive and dirty trick,” added Maduro. “This 
injustice hurts us in our soul."

    We are all Lula. They can't deal with the hopes and convictions of
    the rebels. Nothing will stop the march for justice and dignity of
    Brazil. To speak the truth and the heart, we are invincible. We are
    with you. #LulaValeALuta
    pic.twitter.com/kr7pfwHlpw <https://t.co/kr7pfwHlpw>

    — Nicolás Maduro (@maduro_en) April 6, 2018

But Maduro was just one voice of a growing chorus of Venezuelan popular 
movements expressing solidarity with Lula.

On Friday, more than fifty Venezuelan grassroots organizations signed a 
manifesto of support with Lula, the Brazilian people, and the country’s 
popular mass movements who back him.

The declaration calls for “support[ing] the resistance of the Brazilian 
workers and social movements” and condemns “the dictatorship of the 
bourgeoisie which has been installed in Brazil… which looks to 
extinguish the insurgent and unified national flame of the Brazilian 

It was signed following a demonstration in Caracas in front of the 
Brazilian embassy by a range of popular organisations, including 
community TV station ALBA TV, the Clara Zetkin women’s movement, the 
Bolivar and Zamora Revolutionary Current, numerous trade unions, 
ecological collectives, student groups, and anti-imperialist organisations.

Venezuela’s United Socialist Party (PSUV) also released acommunique 
articulating its “complete solidarity with our companion Lula,” as well 
as denouncing the unpopular economic measures of de facto President 
Michel Temer.

“Temer isn’t just deploying a neoliberal plan which is doing away with 
the social conquests achieved during the democratic governments of Lula 
and Dilma, but he is also part of a plan which looks to take Brazil back 
to the [dictatorial] times which seemed to be over,” it claimed.

The Communist Party of Venezuela also voiced its solidarity with the 
“Brazilian revolutionary movement” in light of the events in Sao Paolo.

In its weekly press conference, the party stressed that Lula’s 
imprisonment “should be a wakeup call for the revolutionary movement in 
our country of what may happen should the right win the upcoming elections.”

Trade unions in Venezuela, including the Bolivarian Centre of Workers 
(CBST) confederation, have also made their voices heard, stressing 
Lula’s origins as a metalworker’s union leader.

“We add our voice to the rest of the political organisations of the 
working class and popular movements of the continent in defence of 
sovereignty and self-determination and against exploitation and 
imperialism,” reads apress release 
<https://www.aporrea.org/actualidad/n323289.html> from the Venezuelan 
government workers’ union SINTRASDE.

“We declare ourselves to be on combative and proletarian alert alongside 
the Workers Party of Brazil,” the union added.

Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry likewise issued a formalstatement 
expressing the Maduro’s government’s “absolute solidarity” with Lula on 

    Full text of the "Manifesto of Popular Movements against the Unjust
    Decision of the Brazilian Coup which Imprisoned Lula"

We, the below signed popular and social movements of the Bolivarian 
Republic of Venezuela, express our deepest rejection of the ruthless 
attack against our comrade Lula Inacio da Silva by the extreme right of 
Brazil, who look to impede his imminent election as president and to 
extinguish the insurgent and unified national flame of the Brazilian people.

Likewise, we express our absolute and resolute solidarity with Lula and 
with the popular and social movements and organisations which continue 
to be on the streets in Brazil in defence of the sovereignty of the 
people. The events which they are living through in our South American 
sister republic is an example of the continued anti-democratic incursion 
into Brazil which looks to coerce the progress of the popular sectors, 
not just in Brazil, but in the whole continent.

We denounce the rupture of the democratic order in Brazil. The will of 
the people was pushed aside when [President] Dilma Rousseff was 
unconstitutionally removed [from office], and today justice and human 
rights suffer a mortal blow with the imprisonment of Lula, impeding that 
he be chosen the next president of the Federal Republic of Brazil.

Bearing all this in mind and considering the decision of the 
anti-democratic sectors of Brazil to imprison Lula, we call on all the 
Venezuelan social and popular movements to support the resistance of the 
Brazilian workers and social movements and to condemn the dictatorship 
of the bourgeoisie which has been installed in Brazil with the 
complicity of the Organisation of American States, which has made no 
declarations about this obvious rupture of the democratic order.

Today we have the duty to make ourselves heard in all possible areas, on 
the streets and on social media, we must cry out with dignity that the 
Venezuelan people join the Brazilian people in their fight against 
imperialism and for their sovereignty, as a people, and for the Great 
Nation of Bolivar, Chavez, and Fidel.

/Edited and with additional reporting by Lucas Koerner from Caracas. /

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 https://freedomarchives.org/
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