Representing the Social-Democratic Caucus in the European Parliament and a member of the Party of European Socialists, Italian Roberto Gualtieri visited Brazil’s ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva this Thursday at the Federal Police headquarters in Curitiba. Gualtieri spoke up about the weakness of the case that is keeping Lula as a political prisoner since April.
The chair of the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs said that he read the sentence given to the ex-president and was shocked. It’s impossible not to think this case was politically motivated, he said.
Gualtieri argues that universities should investigate the court’s papers thoroughly, because they are a huge failure of Brazil’s court system. The fact, the member of the European Parliament said, is that ex-president Lula may not even be able to run for president on the grounds of this sentence, and this is very alarming for Brazil’s young democracy and for the country’s image to Europe and the world.
Amid criticism against the Car Wash process, conducted by judge Sérgio Moro, especially for the lack of evidence and the prison sentence while his case is still pending appeal – contravening the country’s Constitution –, Gualtieri highlighted Lula’s solid reputation, as the Workers’ Party leader is considered to be an example for global progressists because of the inclusive policies he implemented when he was president. Lula, the Italian politician argued, was the president that made Brazil a country similar to Europe, introducing economic growth and social equality policies, and all left-wing leaders from Europe acknowledge that.
For this reason, Gualtieri believes that, as Lula remains in prison and could possibly not be able to run in Brazil’s presidential elections, the international political climate becomes hugely alarmed. He said the European Union should keep a close eye on Brazil’s democratic process and be very critical of the ongoing trade and political negotiations within Mercosur, especially in terms of bias in the electoral system. “We, progressists, are with Lula, and it is crucial that the electoral process is as legitimate as possible,” he argues.
In addition to offering human and political solidarity, Gualtieri also brought letters from important European left-wing leaders who support Lula, such as the chair of the Party of European Socialists, Sergei Stanishev, the leader of the Italian Democratic Party, Maurizio Martina, in addition to salutations from five ex-chairs of the Italian Council. “[Ex-]president Lula is determined to prove his innocence and fight the democratic political battle in Brazil, Latin America, and the world,” he said.
Edited by: Pedro Carrano