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From Hostility to Warmness: Why has Brazilian President Changed his Aggressive Anti-China Actions?

By Paul Antonopoulos | October 8, 2019

In an interview with DW Brasil, former Brazilian ambassador to Beijing, Marcos Caramuru, revealed the great interest Chinese companies have in potential infrastructure work in Brazil. Even with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro showing initial hostility towards China during his 2018 election campaign, his opinion appears to have changed given the huge sums involved in bilateral relations and the opportunities the Asian country can provide the economic struggling Latin American Giant.

Bolsonaro is commonly known as the ‘Tropical Trump’ for his open admiration of the U.S. President and his shared ideas and beliefs. Therefore, it was unsurprising that he said “The Chinese are not buying in Brazil… They are buying Brazil,” in the pre-election campaign.

Global Times speculated that “it’s inconceivable the new Bolsonaro government would give up on the Chinese market.” It also left a note of caution for the Brazilian leader who made another major antagonism towards China: “His trip to Taiwan during the presidential campaign caught the ire of Beijing. If he continues to disregard the basic principle over Taiwan after taking office, it will apparently cost Brazil a great deal … The Chinese island won’t bring any more benefits to Brazil, which Bolsonaro and his team must be aware of.”

Marcus Vinicius Freitas, a visiting professor at the China Foreign University in Beijing, explained that: “When the Chinese look at Brazil they actually see an amusement park where everything still needs to be done.” His assessment is in reference to the huge developmental and infrastructural opportunities that Brazil has, with many sectors remaining underdeveloped despite the domineering position Brazil has over the wider Latin American region. “There is no doubt that China has a menu of options for Brazil,” he added, citing Chinese technologies in road, subway, rail, viaduct and airport construction that could be of interest to Brazil.

There are also additional opportunities from agribusiness to commodities, the most attractive sector for Chinese capital is infrastructure and major works, especially in the area of ​​gas, oil, renewable energy which will ensure growth on a sustainable and significant basis for the Brazilian economy.

However, despite the significant economic relationship between the two countries and the opportunities China can provide Brazil, it had not stopped Bolsonaro from aggravating Beijing. Therefore, it would be assumed that Bolsonaro would submit to Trump’s every demand in the midst of the U.S. president’s trade war with China. However, this has proven not to be the case with Brazil’s Vice President Hamilton Mourão saying in June that his country does not plan to ban Huawei from providing 5G equipment to telecoms in his country, signalling that Bolsonaro has said one thing during the election campaign, but acted in another way while president.

This would suggest that Bolsonaro’s government is following a different path than initially anticipated and the Brazilian president is not a complete U.S. puppet as often said by his critics. Although Trump told Bolsonaro during the latter’s visit to the White House earlier this year that Huawei was a security threat, the Brazilian Vice President emphasized that Brazil has no reason to distrust Huawei and that his country needs the Chinese technology to help its continued development.

As Beijing has been calling for a resolution to the Trump-initiated trade war, China’s ambassador to Brazil, Yang Wanming, accused the United States of bullying and lobbying its trading partners, affecting the entire global economy. He explains that the U.S. ruined market confidence, increased the risk of global recession and endangered emerging economies like Brazil.

And in this scenario, it would be important for Brasilia and Beijing to defend international cooperation and multilateralism. China’s GDP grew by ‘only’ 6.2% in the second quarter of 2019, which is the lowest economic growth recorded since 1992. This so-called economic ‘slowdown’ has served as a successful bait to trigger Western media.

As a result, Trump declared that his tariff war with China was working and said his protectionist measures had led to the exodus of companies from the Asian giant. However, if the measures were so successful Trump would not continue to threaten his partners from trading with China. The Bolsonaro government has seen that in this situation, siding with the U.S. is not in its interests.

Although Bolsonaro will continue to take on a very pro-Trump stance in Latin American affairs, especially against Cuba and Venezuela, he has demonstrated that he is unwilling to embroil Brazil in international issues besides those relating to Israel, serving the interests of the powerful Christian Evangelical lobby in the South American country.

In fact, an argument can be made that Brazil benefits from the ongoing trade war between the two Great Powers. China has continually been placing large orders of Brazilian soybeans, choosing the South American country to fill the supply gap after stopping U.S. purchases. Chinese buyers are increasingly looking for Brazilian soybeans.

China halted U.S. soybean imports as tensions between Beijing and Washington increased and turned to Brazil. For now, Brazil has been able to respond to China’s demand, but its supply is running low and Beijing is at risk of failing to meet its needs. With any end to the trade war, it is unlikely that China will revert and make the U.S. its most important soy purchaser, providing an opportunity for Brazil to consolidate its own position.

Whether it was through a sudden realization, or whether it was from internal pressures from Brazil’s powerful agricultural industry and other important advisers, Bolsonaro has certainly done a 180 towards his China rhetoric. With the status of Brazil’s role in BRICS questioned by experts last year because of Bolsonaro’s initial hostility towards China and his vivid support for Trump, his Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo has fully embraced his country’s chairmanship of the organization. This demonstrates that no matter the motivating reason, Bolsonaro has certainly changed his China policy from hostility to openness and welcomeness as the Asian country can drastically improve Brazil’s economic situation.

Paul Antonopoulos is the director of the Multipolarity research centre.

October 8, 2019 Posted by | Economics | , , | 2 Comments

Brazil’s toxic pesticides ‘affecting people all over the world’ through agricultural exports

RT | July 30, 2019

“EU-banned pesticide[s are] being manufactured in the EU, and then coming back to citizens in the EU, in the food we eat,” environmental journalist and founding member of the Green Economic Institute think tank Oliver Tickell told RT, explaining that as one of the largest soy exporters in the world, Brazil supplies a significant quantity of the feed that cattle and other livestock worldwide consume. European consumers tucking into a juicy steak have no idea that the creature they’re eating might have been nourished on soy sprayed with highly toxic pesticides.

“This is not just a problem for Brazil and Brazilian people and people exposed in the countryside to these pesticides and consumers and farmers,” Tickell warned. “It is actually affecting people all over the world through Brazil’s agricultural exports.”

ANVISA, the Brazilian public health regulatory agency, relaxed pesticide regulations last week so that only those chemicals with lethal potential can be classified as “extremely toxic,” triggering a massive backlash from environmental groups, human rights organizations, and food safety advocates. The fervently pro-business government of President Jair Bolsonaro has already approved 262 pesticides this year, 82 of which are classed as “extremely toxic,” as he follows through on campaign promises to demolish environmental regulations and open up protected rainforest lands to mining and agriculture.

Dozens of pesticides banned or strictly regulated in the EU, including paraquat and chlorpyrifos, were already permitted for use in Brazil before Bolsonaro took power, and the country uses approximately 400,000 tons of pesticides per year, according to Human Rights Watch. While Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina has flatly denied Brazil uses any more pesticides than any other country, attributing such allegations to “data manipulation” and accusing critics of “terrorism,” EcoWatch claims the country consumes more pesticides per capita than any other nation.

July 30, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism | , , | 2 Comments

‘We’re Aligned With US Policy’: Bolsonaro Refuses to Supply Fuel to Iranian Cargo Ships

teleSUR | July 25, 2019

Since the beginning of June, two Iranian commercial ships have been stranded at the port of Paranagua, in the state of Parana, in Brazil because the state-owned company, Petrobras has so far refused to supply fuel to them, in line with sanctions imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump on Iran, according to comments made by President Jair Bolsonaro to reports earlier this week.

“You know we are aligned with the U.S. policy. That is why we do what we have to do,” replied Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro when questioned about this unusual case, which happens despite the fact that the U.S. sanctions on Iran contemplate exceptions for the sale of food and medicine.

The vessels Bavand and Termeh entered Brazilian territory to load corn two months ago. In fact, one of them is already loaded with about 50,000 tons of corn that could be completely spoiled in a short time.

According to the Latin American news outlet Pagina 12, a third of all Brazilian corn exports go to Iran and a good part of the urea used in the Brazilian fertilizer industry comes from Iran. Iran also imports Brazilian soy and meat.

Both ships belong to Sepid Shipping, an Iranian company blacklisted by Washington. However, the fuel for the vessels was acquired by Eleva, a Brazilian urea importer. Throughout this commercial process, therefore, the diesel was not acquired by Iranian money.

However, Petrobras claims that the urea is one of the U.S. banned products, an argument that does not stand given the fact that the Eleva transaction occurred before May and was authorized from Washington.

On July 13, Iran’s ambassador to Brazil Seyed Ali Saghaeyan went to the foreign minister in Brasilia to request information on the situation of the stranded ships. “He left without hearing anything concrete. The issue must reach the Supreme Court,” Pagina 12 reported.

During his visit, the Iranian ambassador told officials that if the federal government refuses to supply diesel to the vessels, his country could easily find new suppliers of corn, soy and meat.

Although this possibility could mean “bad news” for the Brazilian agriculture industry, “there are no signs” that the Iranian ships impasse will affect bilateral trade relations, according to Bolsonaro’s Foreign Trade Secretary Lucas Ferraz.

Meanwhile, on Thursday morning, Brazilian Supreme Court President Dias Toffoli ruled that Petrobras must provide fuel to Iranian ships. The Bolsonaro government has yet to react to the ruling.

Historically Brazil has maintained a favorable trade balance in its relations with Iran. For instance, in the first half of 2019, Iran imported about 2.5 million tons of Brazilian corn, while the South American country exported goods to Iran for US$1.299 million and bought Iranian products for US$27 million, which means Brazil obtained a favorable trade balance of US$1,272 million

July 26, 2019 Posted by | Economics | , | Leave a comment

Leaked plot: Brazil’s Lula jailed in fabricated case to keep him from election

Press TV – June 10, 2019

Leaked documents reveal that the Brazilian justice minister has, in collaboration with prosecutors, fabricated a case against ex-president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and convicted him of corruption in a scheme meant to prevent the popular politician from running for the 2018 presidential election.

The Intercept website, citing the leaked documents, reported on Sunday that Moro was sharing information and giving advice to prosecutors working in a years-long anti-corruption probe, known as “Car Wash.”

The massive Car Wash probe, which has swept through Brazil for the last five years, eventually resulted in the conviction of Lula for corruption and money laundering.

Lula has been serving a 12-year prison sentence since April, 2018. A second conviction was handed down to him by Moro in February for, which Lula was sentenced to almost 13 years.

The Intercept said an anonymous source had provided the online new publication with material, including private chats, audio recordings, videos and photos that show “serious wrongdoing, unethical behavior, and systematic deceit.”

“Moro secretly and unethically collaborated with the Car Wash prosecutors to help design the case against Lula,” it wrote.

“Car Wash prosecutors spoke openly of their desire to prevent the PT (Lula’s Workers’ Party) from winning the election and took steps to carry out that agenda,” The Intercept said.

In response to the report, Lula’s Twitter account posted a link to The Intercept stories, writing, “The truth will prevail.”

The leftist former leader, who ruled Brazil between 2003 and 2010, has denied all the corruption charges, saying they were politically motivated to prevent him from competing in the elections.

The justice minister denied wrongdoing in a statement on Sunday. He said the material obtained through the “criminal invasion of prosecutors’ cell phones had been “taken out of context.”

“Careful reading reveals that there is nothing there despite the sensational material,” Moro said on Twitter.

He became part of the cabinet of President Jair Bolsonaro, who had said during his campaign that he hoped Lula would “rot in prison.”

In a separate statement, Car Wash prosecutors also dismissed the allegations, saying they were victim of “a criminal action perpetrated by a hacker,” and that they are available to provide clarifications.

June 10, 2019 Posted by | Deception | | Leave a comment

Guardian Accused Of Whitewashing U.S. Role In Brazil’s Dictatorship

Brasil Wire | March 28, 2019

Kathy Swart is a U.S. Professor, Librarian and expert on the information landscape of Latin America. Following the Guardian’s publication of this article regarding planned commemorations of Brazil’s US-backed 1964 Military Coup, she was compelled to lodge an official complaint with the newspaper. It has yet to respond.


“For years I have enjoyed the Guardian’s articles on many topics. But this article is representative of the disturbing trend I’ve noticed for several years: a whitewashing of U.S. involvement in Brazil’s 1964 coup and dictatorship. As someone who has read widely on Brazil, it is offensive to read this piece because of this glaring omission. Particularly disappointing is the “Quick Guide” to the dictatorship that fails to even mention this extensively documented history. Mr. Phillips must be aware that the U.S. role included spending millions trying to oust Goulart, military assistance, CIA infiltration, and even torture training. The U.S. itself admitted its role 40 years ago—and yet reading the Guardian, one would think this history never occurred.

It’s curious that Mr. Phillips took the trouble to cite James Green but not to refer to any of the facts of U.S. involvement detailed in his book, We Cannot Remain Silent: Opposition to Brazil’s Military Dictatorship in the United States. In the article in question, Green points out that the military’s rationale for throwing the coup — “anti-communism” — was a pretext. Who do you think encouraged the military to use anti-communism as a pretext? Green and others have documented how the U.S. leveraged McCarthyite sentiment to spin its support of Right-wing dictators as about “quelling communism.” The communist threat to Brazil was an invention of propagandists in Washington and Brazil’s military (a separate well-referenced source describes how the CIA paid peasants to call themselves communists and set fire to landholder’s buildings to create the illusion of a communist threat). Green’s book illustrates how it was actually U.S. financial interests that drove the coup. By not mentioning U.S. involvement, you are simply perpetuating a false narrative from the Cold War.

But U.S. meddling did not end with throwing coups. Journalists from other media have described its intervention in Brazil’s more recent affairs, such as NSA spying on Petrobras, the 2016 coup against Rousseff, and the conviction of Lula without evidence. Again, the Guardian remains silent on these stories. For example, last week you published 3 separate pieces on Bolsonaro’s trip to the U.S. but failed to mention an off-agenda visit to the CIA with his justice minister. This was a major story in Brazil; even Brazilians know the CIA had much to do with its coup. And yet you fail to mention this historic visit? You are writing history with revisionism by omission. Ignorance is not a likely explanation, so why are you whitewashing the U.S. involvement? Is it because the Guardian is under the editorial influence of US and UK foreign policy? If not, what is your explanation for these omissions?”

Kathy Swart

March 30, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

Brazilian President visits CIA before visiting Trump on first US visit

Press TV – March 19, 2019

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has made an unprecedented visit to the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) headquarters in Langley, Virginia, in his first US visit before a meeting with US President Donald Trump scheduled on Tuesday.

Eduardo Bolsonaro, a lawmaker and son of the Brazilian president confirmed the visit on Monday, calling the intelligence agency one of the “most respected” in the world.

“Going now with president Jair Bolsonaro and ministers of the CIA, one of the most respected intelligence agencies in the world. It’ll be an excellent opportunity to speak about international relations topics in the region with experts and the technicians of the highest level,” he said in a tweet.

Eduardo Bolsonaro claimed the meeting was to discuss “international themes in the region”.

Leading Brazilian daily O Globo reported that Bolonsaro visited the agency along with Brazilian Justice Minister Sergio Moro, noting that the visit had not been published in the president’s public agenda and that press was not allowed to accompany Bolonsaro in the event.

The CIA had no comment on the visit.

Observers believe the unusual visit further signals Bolsonaro’s shift towards Washington. The move is, however, expected to be received controversially in Brazil.

In 2013, American whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the American National Security Agency (NSA) had wiretapped the conversations of then-President Dilma Rousseff, leading to suspicions towards the US and its spy agencies.

Former Brazilian Foreign Minster Celso Amorim has also slammed the meeting, saying that “no Brazilian president had ever paid a visit to the CIA.”

“This is an explicitly submissive position. Nothing compares to this,” he added.

Bolsonaro originally arrived in the US on Sunday, stating that the trip marked the first “pro-America Brazilian president” recently visiting the country.

“It’s the beginning of a partnership focused on liberty and prosperity, something that all of us Brazilians have long wished for,” he said.

Bolsonaro is an ardent admirer of US President Donald Trump and the White House’s policies, particularly those with regard to opposing left-wing governments in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

The Brazilian president, who is also known as “Tropical Trump,” has sparked controversy by following Trump on calling for the relocation of his country’s embassy to the occupied city of Jerusalem al-Quds.

Bolsonaro personally made the promise to Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu while he attended the Brazilian president’s inauguration ceremony on January 1.

Last week, however, reports emerged that Bolsonaro may fail to carry out the move following opposition from military officers in his cabinet.

Vice President Hamilton Mourao also objected to the embassy move last month, claiming that the measure would hurt Brazilian exports to Arab countries which include an estimated $5 billion in halal food sales.

Bolsonaro has also said that he is open to considering the establishment of a US military base in Brazil as a way to “counter Russian influence” in neighboring Venezuela.

The move was rejected by Brazilian Defense Minister General Fernando Azevedo e Silva a week later.

March 19, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 1 Comment

Venezuela Welcomes 2,500 Cuban Doctors Leaving Brazil

teleSUR | January 13, 2019

Over 2,000 Cuban doctors are setting up practice in Venezuela after being kicked out of Brazil by President Jair Bolsonaro, Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro said this weekend.

Two-thousand-five-hundred cardiologists, anesthesiologists, and general doctors arrived in the South American country Friday to bulk up the medical staff at the Barrio Adentro Mission, a social initiative founded by ex-president Hugo Chavez to provide free, public medical care.

In November, thousands of doctors were forced to leave the Mais Medicos (More Doctors) cooperation program in Brazil after far-right president Bolsonaro criticized the program, saying it was torture for Cuban mothers who were “not allowed” to go with their children and questioning diplomatic ties with the island.

In the last five years, about 20,000 Cuban physicians have participated in the ‘More Doctors Program,’  assisting thousands of Brazilians in rural communities to receive primary health care.

Some 1,462 vacancies, roughly 17.2 percent of those positions left by the Cuban doctors, have not yet been filled, the Brazilian Health Minister, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, said Friday.

Several states and municipalities inside Brazil pressured the National Government to provide a solution because the Cuban doctors are usually the only medical option in several rural areas of the country.

January 14, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 2 Comments

Facebook Shuts Down Dozens of Alleged Pro-Bolsonaro Accounts in Brazil

Sputnik – 23.10.2018

Facebook has shut down 68 pages and 43 accounts linked to the Brazilian marketing group Raposo Fernandes Associados (RFA); the social media site claims that the firm violated its spam policies.

“The people behind RFA created pages using fake accounts or multiple accounts with the same names, which violates our Community Standards. They then used those pages to post massive amounts of clickbait,” the statement reads.

A local newspaper, O Estado de S. Paulo, called the blocked accounts the largest network supporting Brazil’s right-wing presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who will face off against his leftist rival Fernando Haddad in the Sunday runoff election.

The US social media giant argued that its decision to remove these pages was based on their behavior, rather than their content.

The newspaper said it exposed the pro-Bolsonaro network in a joint investigation with Avaaz, a US-based activist website, which claimed that the blocked pages had generated 12.5 million interactions in the past month.

October 23, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 1 Comment

Facebook teams up with US government to police ‘fake news’ in foreign elections

RT | September 24, 2018

Facebook has teamed up with two US government-funded think tanks as part of a new initiative to bolster the social media giant’s “election integrity efforts” around the globe.

The new partnership with the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) was revealed by Facebook in a call with reporters last week and reported by Reuters — but the company’s choice of partners has since raised a few eyebrows. Both think-tanks are funded by the US government, through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

Tweeting about the initiative, Mark Weisbrot, a co-director at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, called Facebook’s decision to work with the US government-funded organizations “Orwellian” and said that they “specialize in overseas propaganda.” Weisbrot also criticized Reuters reporting of the news which focused on Facebook’s supposed fake-news busting efforts and seemed lacking in “any awareness” of who the two groups were.

During the telephone Q&A with reporters focusing on the upcoming elections in the US and Brazil, Facebook’s Elections and Civic Engagement Samidh Chakrabarti, said that “preventing election interference” on the platform has been “one of the biggest cross-team efforts” the company has seen. But is teaming up with government-funded think tanks really the best way to prevent election interference on Facebook?

Asked by CNBC reporter Salvador Rodriguez to elaborate on the partnership, Katie Harbath, who heads up Facebook’s Global Politics and Government Outreach team, said she wanted to be clear that Facebook’s work with the IRI and NDI is only focused “internationally” and that it has nothing to do with domestic elections in the US. Harbath said the two organizations have “a lot of experience in working in elections and in many countries around the globe” and that Facebook can learn from them about “election integrity risks” that exist in other countries.

That knowledge might prompt a sign of relief from American journalists, but given the US government holds a very real stake in the outcome of many other elections worldwide, it still seems a little odd that Facebook should be using US government-funded organizations to help it decide what constitutes fake news in foreign elections, or to “slow the global spread of misinformation” as Reuters put it.

It’s not the first time Facebook has chosen a dubious partner to help it out in its fight against fake news, either. The social media giant also entered a similar partnership with the Atlantic Council, a think tank funded by the US and other NATO governments, as well as by a slew of US weapons manufacturers.

Shortly after its partnership with the Atlantic Council was revealed, Facebook temporarily deleted the English-language page of the Venezuela-based news outlet Telesur without explanation. Telesur is one of the only English-language media sources providing an alternative view on events in Venezuela.

Facebook has also been criticized for capitulating to demands and threats made by the Israeli government by deleting the accounts of a number of accounts run by Palestinian activists.

Nonetheless, Facebook has said it is setting up a “war room” ahead of major elections in Brazil next month. The war-like rhetoric echoes a Washington Post op-ed by Facbook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last month, in which he said Facebook was in an “arms race” against “bad actors” and that the platform needed to improve its “defenses”.

Amy Studdart, a senior advisor at the IRI, told Reuters that the details of its partnership with Facebook had not been fully worked out, but said the organization would help Facebook employees “understand how their platform is being used on the ground all around the world.”

The NED and its affiliates have been criticized as engines of “regime change” around the world, and one of its founders famously noted in 1991 that “a lot of what we do now was done covertly by the CIA 25 years ago.”

September 24, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brazil Court Rules Barring Lula Da Silva From Presidential Election – Reports

Sputnik – 01.09.2018

The lawyers of the jailed former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have said they would appeal the ruling by a 4-1 majority of the seven-member top electoral court to the country’s Supreme Court, Reuters reported.

Lula, who served as the country’s president from 2003 through 2010, was sentenced to 9.5 years in prison last summer for allegedly accepting a luxury apartment from a construction firm in return for political favors. Lula has denied the accusations. An appeals court upheld the ruling in January and increased Lula’s jail term to 12 years and a month.

The Brazilian Workers’ Party (PT) vowed in a statement late Friday to secure Lula da Silva’s candidcay in the upcoming October’s vote.

“We will present all appeals before the courts for the recognition of the rights of Lula provided by law and international treaties ratified by Brazil… we will defend Lula in the streets, with the people,” the PT statement was quoted by AFP.

Earlier in August, the PT announced it has registered jailed ex-president Lula da Silva as its candidate in the upcoming October’s election. Papers were submitted to Brazil’s Supreme Court hours before the deadline passed.

The UN Human Rights Committee has urged Brazil to ensure that political rights of Lula were observed given that he was registered as a candidate for the upcoming presidential election. The committee also urged Brazil to refrain from hindering Lula from participating in the election until after his court appeals were completed.

However, the country’s Foreign Ministry has said that Brazilian authorities do not consider binding the UNHR recommendations regarding observance of jailed former president.

According to the recent polls, jailed ex-president Lula da Silva is one of the most popular presidential candidates, however, the new rulling of the Brazil’s electoral court questions Lula’s run in the presidential campaign.

Lula da Silva’s supporters remain, however, optimistic. The PT has launched an appeal for support on Twitter, after which a hashtag translating as “Lula on the ballot box” quickly began trending, AFP reported.

September 1, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | 1 Comment

UN Committee Vice President: Decision on Lula’s Political Rights is ‘Legally Binding’

Former Brazilian President and current presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. | Photo: Prensa Latina
teleSUR | August 24, 2018

Sarah Cleveland, vice-president of the UN Human Rights Commission, has condemned statements made by Brazilian officials following the UN’s determination that the state should “take all necessary measures” to allow Brazilian presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to “exercise his political rights” as a candidate in the October presidential elections.

Speaking in an interview with swissinfo.ch Cleveland said the measures put forward by the Committee are “legally binding.”

“The precautionary measures issued are not recommendations, they are legally binding and impose an international legal obligation on Brazil to fulfill them,” she said.

Cleveland went on to say that the Geneva-based commission “has no interest in the results of the elections, only in the right of everyone to participate.”

But warned that “failure to comply with the precautionary measures would mean that Brazil would be violating” international treaties to which it is a signatory.

The UN Human Rights Commission issued the decision on August 17, even though Lula remains in prison on alleged corruption charges, events that many legal experts and observers attribute to lawfare and a salacious mainstream media campaign.

The ruling includes recommendations on the former head of state’s right to participate in media events and debates, as well as convene with members of his Workers’ Party. The committee also said Lula should not be prevented from participating in the elections until all of his legal appeals have been exhausted, per Brazil’s Constitution.

Brazil’s Workers’ Party (PT) hailed the decision made by the UN.

“It’s impossible to hide the violations practiced in Brazil by sectors of the judicial system, in cooperation with Globo (Brazil’s largest media conglomerate), the mainstream media and the coup government from the rest of the world. Either comply with the United Nations decision or put Brazil on the list of lawless, undemocratic nations,” PT president, Gleisi Hoffmann, said in a public statement.

Brazil’s most extensive public survey and research organization, Datafolha, has revealed that Lula’s lead in the presidential race has jumped to 39 percent of likely voters, 20 points ahead of his closest rival, Rio de Janeiro congressman Jair Bolsonaro.

Lula has topped every 2018 electoral poll conducted by Vox Populi, Ibope, Datafolha, Data Poder 360, Instituto Parana, the National Confederation of Transportation/MDA and Ipsos. His two terms in office were marked by a slew of social programs, lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty and removing the country from the United Nations World Hunger Map. He left office with a record approval rating of 83 percent in 2011, according to Datafolha.

August 25, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | Leave a comment

Appeals court judge overrules decision to release Brazil’s former President Lula from jail

RT | July 8, 2018

An appeals court judge has overruled an order to release former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva from jail.

The move backed a decision made earlier on Sunday by Federal Judge Sérgio Moro, who had blocked a third judge’s decision to free Lula.

The former president, who is widely known as ‘Lula,’ has been in prison since April 7, serving a 12-year prison sentence for corruption and money laundering. He maintains he is innocent, claiming his conviction was politically motivated.

July 8, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment