Brazil’s President Lula is back – and Bolsonaro fled to Florida

Ben Norton, Multipolarista, January 2, 2022 — Lula da Silva returned as Brazil’s president, calling for fighting poverty and hunger, re-industrializing, strengthening the BRICS, and deepening Latin American integration. Far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro fled to Florida, fearing legal consequences for his corruption.

Lula da Silva has returned as president of Brazil, the world’s sixth-most populous country. This will cause a major geopolitical shift.

Meanwhile, far-right former leader Jair Bolsonaro fled to Florida, fearing legal consequences for his corruption.

Multipolarista spoke with Brazil-based journalist Brian Mier about what Lula’s third government means for Latin America and the world.

In his speech before the congress at his January 1 inauguration, Lula he stressed that everyone has the “right to a dignified life, without hunger, with access to employment, health, education.” He said his “life mission” is to guarantee that every Brazilian has three meals a day.

As president, Lula said he is a “representative of the working class” who “promotes economic growth in a sustainable way and to the benefit of all, especially those most in need.” He committed himself to the “widest social participation, including workers and the poorest in the budget.”

“Our first actions aim to rescue 33 million people from hunger and rescue from poverty more than 100 million Brazilian men and women, who have borne the hardest burden of the project of national destruction that ends today,” Lula added, condemning the economic crisis left behind by Bolsonaro.

Lula was a co-founder of the BRICS bloc, bringing together Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

In his inauguration speech, Lula called for “strengthening the BRICS” bloc, as well as deepening Brazil “cooperation with African countries.”

In a significant reversal compared to Bolsonaro, President Lula also urged “the resumption of South American integration”, through the “revitalization” of regional institutions like UNASUR and Mercosur.

Bolsonaro only came to power in the first place due to two US-backed coups against Lula’s left-wing Workers’ Party: the overthrow of President Dilma Rousseff in 2016 and the subsequent imprisonment of Lula in the lead-up to the 2018 election, on false charges that were subsequently expunged by the Brazilian supreme court and condemned by the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

Soon after he entered office thanks to US meddling, Bolsonaro visited CIA headquarters. He also dedicated himself to sabotaging institutions of Latin American integration, withdrawing Brazil from UNASUR.

In contrast, as a symbol of his commitment to the Patria Grande (the project of Latin American unity), Lula held the flag of Mercosur waving alongside that of Brazil at his inauguration.

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