The Brazilian right spawned the coup against the regional governments of the Workers’ Party (PT) but now doesn’t know what to do with its own government. The left produced Lula and the right doesn’t know what to do with Lula.
The right doesn’t know if it will try to keep [Michel] Temer as president or if it will perform the delicate surgery of replacing him. Many sectors of the Brazilian right already consider Temer to be a political cadaver, but his stench has not been sufficient to generate a new unity between the putschists to replace him.
Nor does the right know what to do with Lula. It can try to sentence him, running the risk of making him still more popular and the object of ever-greater support, as the victim of a trial without basis or proof. And at the risk of being unable to sustain the sentence and suffering the worst blowback for the Brazilian right. Or having to deal with Lula as a presidential candidate, with every chance of losing again.
Because a figure like Lula is not eliminated just like that, as the right would like, magically, through a sentenced imposed by a fifth-rate judge. Lula is already inscribed definitely in the history of Brazil as its most popular, most important president, a leader with the greatest impact on the lives of all Brazilians. In addition, Lula is the most important political leader in the contemporary left, on a global scale.
Whichever is the political outcome of the processes against Lula, he will remain the decisive personage for the future of Brazil, whether as a favorite candidate and once again President of Brazil, or as an essential leader in Brazil’s political future.
The right, now very uncomfortable, will always have to refer to Lula as its greatest enemy; the left, as its fundamental leader; the media, as the best known and renowned figure in Brazil; the Brazilian people, because they place upon him their hope and the confidence that they will regain their rights and self-esteem.
Brazilian history goes on and Lula will always have a fundamental role in it. If a candidate, he has every chance to win again and, as he says, do more and better in government; if he is prevented from running, to direct the leftist forces in its future combats.
Hope cannot be imprisoned. The people’s willingness to embark again on democratic transformations in Brazil cannot be condemned. History doesn’t belong in an arbitrary sentence from a judge who is a puppet of the right and the [U.S.] Empire. Brazil’s fate doesn’t belong in the campaigns of the oligarchic media.
Lula and the Brazilian left are the result of the people’s struggle for their rights. The misery, poverty, hunger, inequality and social exclusion produced over centuries by the Brazilian right, which turned Brazil into the most unequal country in the most unequal continent in the world, have also generated the struggles for the social justice and rights of all, the leadership of the struggle and the forces of the Brazilian left.
The more they try to disqualify Lula, the more they try to sentence him without proof, the greater is Lula’s influence and capacity to convince the Brazilian people, even as the government that emerged from the coup tries to dismantle all the good things accomplished by the regional governments of the PT.
Today, the great majority again considers the social issue the most important issue in Brazil. The rejection to the Temer administration’s cruel package of projects is overwhelming; simultaneously, support for Lula rises in reaction to all the rights the people are losing.
The illusion that the right can judicially abolish the image of Lula from the heads of people and eliminate Lula himself as a political and mass leader in the history of Brazil is just that — an illusion. He will withstand any sentence, any accusation without proof, but real life is different. The real country is made of political conscience, of a struggle for social rights and democracy.
In the real country, Lula has an essential role in Brazil’s past, present and future. To prove this, the rightist magazine Veja [Look] did a survey among its readers about Lula’s future and the result was eloquent: “He will be imprisoned” — 14 percent. “He will become President of Brazil” — 86 percent.
(From Latin America in Motion)