This past Tuesday (3), former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was again awarded honors in Paris, France. After receiving the title of honorary citizen of the French capital on Monday, Tuesday the politician took part in the Lula Livre Festival (Free Lula Festival), at the Soleil Theater. During the event he once more criticized the Lava Jato (anti-corruption) investigation.
“Sadly, in Brasil, Lava Jato was a political pact between the justice system and the press. First the press condemns you then the courts put you on trial. Many times, the judge behaves in accordance with the headlines”, stated Lula.
In the event, a manifesto in defense of the ex-president was read, followed by speeches to a packed audience by former São Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad, and former president Dilma Rousseff. Tickets to the event had been sold out for weeks.
Haddad affirmed that in “in order for the current president to come to power, it took a long process of erosion of our institutions”, and that “he came to power through votes, and we need to understand how that happened”.
For Dilma Rousseff, highly applauded by the audience, Lula’s arrest marks a historic moment, that began with the impeachment process she underwent in 2016, after being accused of “fiscal crimes”, which have never been proven by Congress.
“We had a coup. This coup, has a first act, which is my impeachment without any crimes of (fiscal) responsibility. This step is crucial. How are they going to do a coup and have this coup undone two years later? President Lula was, and they knew this, the big resistance leader in Brasil. Therefore, he had to be barred from running in the 2018 presidential elections”, said the former president.
::"It is my duty to speak on behalf of those who suffer", says Lula at award ceremony in Paris::
Last to take to the stage, Lula stated that it is impossible to consolidate democracy without politics. “Like there is also no way to create a more just society, without a strong State. I don’t know any businessman that gave up his profits for the sake of social politics. I don’t know any businessman that wants a strong State”, argued da Silva.
Furthermore, the former president thinks we need to believe that “it’s possible to regain our solidarity and humanity. We don’t have the right do believe that we are merely an algorithm. Our hearts need to speak louder than some internet lie”.
::In France, Lula meets with Sebastião Salgado to discuss defending the Amazon::
Earlier, Lula spoke at the Paris School of Economics, at the invitation of economist Thomas Piketty. The ex-president spoke of the Brazilian experience in combating poverty during his party’s rule. The Frenchman heads a research lab studying inequality in the world.
“We have to expose inequality as a serious political problem, a question of human dignity. There won’t be any reduction of inequality if we don’t make changes at the heart of wealth”, affirmed Lula.
Lastly, Luis Inácio Lula da Silva recalled that the social problems Brazil faces have their origins in the colonial period. “It’s very difficult to comprehend Brazil if you don’t take into account 350 years of slavery. We are slaver society, even though slavery has been formally extinct. It exists in the Brazilian economy. It exists in our patrimonial structure. The Brazilian elite has never effectively realized the need to elevate the quality of life of the poor”.
Edited by: Rodrigo Chagas