Lula Wins

Countercurrents | October 31, 2022

After enduring lawfare , jail, and persecution, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was once again elected president in Brazil.

Former president Lula da Silva has clinched victory over his right-wing rival Jair Bolsonaro in a tightly contested second round of Brazilian election on Sunday. The country’s election authority announced Lula’s victory with 50.90% of the vote to Bolsonaro’s 49.10%.

At 00:18 (local time) this Monday, October 31, the Superior Electoral Court of Brazil confirmed on its website the closure of the count in one hundred percent of the 472,075 polling stations open in the country for the second round of the elections in which the presidency was defined.

The website of the Superior Electoral Court reported an attendance at the polls of 79.41% (124,252,796) of voters and an abstention of 20.59% (32,200,558). 118,552,353 valid votes (95.41%), 3,930,765 invalid votes (3.16%) and 1,769,678 blank votes (1.43%) were counted.

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President Lula!

Thousands took to the streets to celebrate as Lula, the candidate of the Workers’ Party of Brazil, defeated Jair Bolsonaro in one the most crucial elections in the country’s history

Peoples Dispatch | October 30, 2022

Thousands took to the streets of Brazil to celebrate as Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of the Workers’ Party (PT) was elected president on Sunday, October 30. With almost 50.9% of the votes, Lula, a trade unionist who was also president from 2003-2010, defeated incumbent Jair Bolsonaro of the Liberal Party who got around 49.1% in the run-off election. Lula is set to be in office from 2023-2027.

The second round of the presidential election was held after neither candidate managed to obtain the necessary 50% plus one vote in the first round held on October 2. Elections were also held for the post of Governor in 12 States. Around 156 million Brazilians were eligible to vote.

The results mark a remarkable comeback for Lula who just a few years ago was in jail on corruption charges which were later overturned. His campaign for this election was driven by the left, people’s movements, trade unions, and radical and progressive forces across the country.

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Defeated, Bolsonaro isolates himself, cancels interviews and does not respond even to close advisors

“Bolsonaro doesn’t want to receive anyone,” aides say after Lula’s presidential election victory

Brasil de Fato | October 31, 2022

Caption: Ex-captain left his official residence, the Alvorada Palace, to travel to Granja do Torto—Flickr/Beto Barata

President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro, who was just defeated in the elections, isolated himself after the confirmation of the victory of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on October 30. The former captain canceled a press statement at the Alvorada Palace, in the capital of Brasília, right at the beginning of the vote count.

According to Globo, “Bolsonaro does not want to receive anyone.” The report continues, “ministers and deputies who tried to visit him this Sunday after the results of the polls were informed that the president does not want to see anyone at this time, not even his closest allies.”

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The World Rejoices Over Lula Da Silva’s Victory in Brazil

teleSUR | October 31, 2022

Lula da Silva, Brazil, Oct. 2022. | Photo: Twitter/ @LuchoXBolivia

On Sunday, governments and citizens of Europe, Africa, Asia and America enthusiastically experienced Lula da Silva’s victory in the presidential elections.

His presidency will mark Brazil’s return to international collaboration for the resolution of common problems such as the struggle against climate change.

UNITED STATES: President Joe Biden greeted the Brazilian democratic process just 40 minutes after Lula’s victory in elections that he described as “free, fair and reliable.”

SPAIN: President Pedro Sanchez said that Brazilians have decided to “bet on progress and hope” and that he will work with Lula “for social justice, equality and against climate change.”

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Kiss the Amazon Goodbye?

Robert Hunziker

Countercurrents | September 10, 2022

The ecosystems of the world that support life like Brazil’s Amazon rainforest have an incompatible relationship with far right governments, like the United States under Trump, who took a baseball bat to the EPA.  According to Christine Todd Whitman, who headed EPA under George W. Bush: “I’ve never seen such an orchestrated war on the environment or science.” (How Trump Damaged Science – Why It Could Take Decades To Recover, Nature, Oct. 5, 2020)

As devastating as Trump (4 more years?) was for the environment, President Jair Bolsonaro’s MBGA or Make Brazil Great Again has one-upped Trump. He’s single-handedly destroying the world’s largest rainforest. It may be the single most important ecosystem for the survival of Homo sapiens. As such, with such a big important target to ravage, Bolsonaro’s making Trump look weak.

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The Stakes in Brazil’s Election Couldn’t Be Higher

Francisco Dominguez

Countercurrents | August 26, 2022

Ahead of October’s election, with leftist Lula leading the polls, fears are rising of a Bolsonaro coup – meaning it’s the entirety of Brazil’s democracy at stake.

After four years of a right-wing Bolsonaro government, Brazilians will vote for a new president on 2 October 2022. Former president Lula—currently high in the polls—is confronting an increasingly delirious incumbent, who appears to have threatened violent unconstitutional action should he lose.

Bolsonaro’s victory came two years after the impeachment of Workers’ Party president Dilma Rousseff in 2016, the first woman to be president. The Workers’ Party (aka Partido dos Trabalhadores, or PT) had held office since 2003.

The period 2010-2016 was dominated by the ‘credit crunch’ crisis that sent the world into turmoil, with a generalised economic contraction, huge indebtedness in the advanced economies, and a considerable reduction in the consumption of raw materials. Brazil was badly hit. By 2015 GDP had declined by three percent, inflation was high (10 percent), and public debt went through the roof to 63 percent of GDP, making it tough for the government to maintain its poverty-eradication social policies.

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US influence in Latin America is on the decline

Petro’s victory has meant the biggest setback for US influence on the continent

Jesus Inojosa

Últimas Noticias | August 14, 2022

The victory of Gustavo Petro in Colombia and his inauguration as President of the New Granada nation has set off alarms in the United States, where the possible end of the so-called “Washington influence” in Latin America is seen.

“It is time for a new international convention that accepts that the war on drugs has utterly failed, that it has left a million Latin Americans murdered, most of them Colombians, and that it leaves 70.000 North Americans dead from drug overdoses every year; none produced in Latin America”.

These words spoken by Petro During his inauguration speech this Sunday, he directly questions US policy in the neighboring country with the so-called “Plan Colombia”, which could mean the possibility of ending this agreement that has allowed the US to install no less than nine military bases in Colombian territory and guarantee the free action of officials of the DEA, the CIA and its Army, as well as the implementation of the extraterritoriality of its laws in this nation.

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2021 Latin America and the Caribbean in Review: The Pink Tide Rises Again

Roger D. Harris

Orinoco Tribune | January 01, 2022

US policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean continued in a seamless transition from Trump to Biden, but the terrain over which it operated shifted left. The balance between the US drive to dominate its “backyard” and its counterpart, the Bolivarian cause of regional independence and integration, continued to tip portside in 2021 with major popular electoral victories in Chile, Honduras, and Peru. These follow the previous year’s reversal of the coup in Bolivia. 

Central has been the struggle of the ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America) countries – particularly Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua – against the asphyxiating US blockade and other regime-change measures. Presidential candidate Biden pledged to review Trump’s policy of US sanctions against a third of humanity. The presumptive intention of the review was to ameliorate the human suffering caused by these unilateral coercive measures, considered illegal under international law. Following the review, Biden has instead tightened the screws, more effectively weaponizing the COVID crisis

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Latin America: Why the Elections in Chile, Brazil and Colombia are Crucial

Emir Sader

Orinoco Tribune | November 29, 2021

Latin America has become the epicenter of the greatest political struggles of the 21st century because it was the epicenter of neoliberalism in the world. It was the region with the most neoliberal and radical governments. Therefore, it became the region where the anti-neoliberal governments developed, thus becoming the fundamental scenario of the most important disputes in the world in the 21st century.

The first decade of the century in Latin America was marked by the emergence of anti-neoliberal governments, which implemented a set of measures that attacked the main factor affecting the continent: social inequalities. The second decade saw the resumption of the right-wing initiative, which re-established neoliberal governments in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Ecuador, either through coups d’état, as in Brazil and Bolivia, or through elections, as in Argentina and Ecuador.

Even at the end of that decade, in some of these countries -Argentina and Bolivia- anti-neoliberal governments were reestablished through democratic elections. Meanwhile, Mexico joined the group of anti-neoliberal governments and other countries such as Peru and Chile began to experience open political disputes.

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President Maduro Denounces Assassination Plans Devised by the White House Coming From Colombia and Brazil

Orinoco Tribune | July 04, 2021

President Nicolas Maduro. File photo.

On Friday, July 2, in a ceremony for the promotion of the personnel of the Honor Guard and the General Directorate of Military Counter Intelligence (DGCIM), president and commander-in-chief of the Bolivarian National Armed Force (FANB), Nicolás Maduro, decried that the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Southern Command of the US Army (SOUTHCOM) would try to commit assassinations again to achieve their long-dreamt of ”regime change” in Venezuela. Here we reproduce the highlights of his criticisms.

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