His concerns went beyond military silence. and find out who is feeding them,” he said. The day before, he had a disheartening talk with the governor of Para state in the Amazon. “Demonstrators opened fire on their cars when the police went and tried to lift the road block,” he said. “The whole country is like this. And Bolsonaro is stuck at home.
Lula cited reports that pro-Bolsonaro police across the country obstructed and aided his voters on election day Bolsonalista who blocked the highway. Mr. Lula said he was not worried about being removed from public duties. The problem was instability, and Bolsonaro appeared to be trying to mobilize the police to keep Lula out. “This election was not typical,” he said.
Like many others, Lula has likened what is happening in Brazil to the Trump phenomenon in the United States, and Jan. 6 set a precedent for destabilization around the world. “Whatever our differences with the United States, the United States still represents the face of democracy on earth,” he said. “When the most important country fails to exercise democracy, you are supporting all the lunatics in the world.”
In her speeches, Lula often raises the need to address hunger in Brazil, describing it as a moral imperative. He spoke at length about hunger when we met in 2019, and had grown emotional during last year’s election campaign. , it became a topic. A few months ago, he made a stern remark about Volodymyr Zelensky, seemingly suggesting that, like Vladimir Putin, the US is partly to blame for the conflict. Apparently wanting to put the issue aside, Lula told me he was going to talk to Zelensky and Putin, and also Biden, but all he cared about was “world peace.” , he returned to the problem of hunger. “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t betray these people,” he said, with tears in his eyes. I don’t want anything, but people need to be hopeful again and fill their bellies with morning coffee and lunch and dinner.”
Lula remains a staunch believer in leftist projects in Latin America. But as Rusev’s Minister of Justice Cardoso told me, “Lula is not someone who theorizes about politics like Lenin and Trotsky. He is a realist, a trade unionist.” He said, “He’s both a political genius and a charismatic man. Within the PT, everyone under Lula is fighting each other, but not Lula. That’s how he builds up his power. ing.”
Lula’s team is largely made up of doctrinarian leftists, but embraces ideological diversity to reassure business lobbies and other conservative interests. His vice president is Gerald Alcumin, a center-right doctor who once ran for president. His Minister of Planning and Budget is the right-leaning economics Simone Tebet. However, Cardozo suggested that he needed to go further to cultivate those who would oppose him. “The Far Right will be powerful and will make a relentless effort to destabilize things. He will need broad allies to keep the PT in place and the Far Right in place. “You can’t put out a fire with alcohol,” he said.
A few days after I met Lula in São Paulo, he traveled to Brasilia hoping to expand his network of friends. Even when Bolsonaro returned to office, Bolsonaro’s party won his 99 seats in Congress, forming the largest bloc in the House of Representatives. It won 14 of the 81 seats in the House of Councillors. To run the country, Lula must make a deal with the Centrão, a shape-shifting coalition of centre-right political parties that have come to wield extraordinary power in the capital. Almost never. Its members’ primary responsibility appears to be to exchange votes for favorable concessions for their constituencies and themselves.
However, Centrão has increasingly aligned itself with the far right. He voted to dismiss Rousseff in 2016, then protected her successor, Temer, and Bolsonaro joined one of his parties, Partido his liberal, to run for election last year. At the time, it was also effectively affiliated with Bolsonaro. Brazilian politicians change parties frequently. Bolsonaro belongs to nine. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Arthur Lira, belongs to the Five. Lila was the main beneficiary of Bolsonaro’s “secret budget” and someone Lula needed to cultivate on this trip. Judging by their encounter, Lila was keen on the deal. He came out of Congress to greet Lula warmly.
But Liberal Party leader Valdemar Costa Neto decided to stick with Bolsonaro. Costaneto was a good-natured, amiable man in his seventies and a former ally of Lula. In 2012, he was convicted of money laundering. Men Salon planned and was detained for two and a half years before he was pardoned. “My image was destroyed, so when I left, I had to rebuild the party,” he told me. The Liberal Party has traditionally been a centrist, but he put it right, and an alliance with Bolsonaro ultimately paid off. I scribbled a number on a piece of paper to show how much money I was bringing in. he explained brightly.
Costa Neto said he had nothing against the new president. Smiling, he asked if Lula would support his coalition these days, but he showed him the math and Lula told me he understood. He added that he did not approve. he’s not normal “
Costa Neto said he thinks Lula won the election fairly. He recalled telling Bolsonaro to accept the result, relax, take a break, become honorary president of the Liberal Party, and rebuild for the next election. he said – he was injured and “really depressed”. At Bolsonaro’s allegations, he hired a company to investigate his allegations of voting machine fraud, and it came back with “troublesome data,” Costa Neto said. He vaguely explained that it was inexplicably related to voting machines with identical serial numbers.
He confessed to feeling uneasy. Because the fraud claim would result in “three times as many people taking to the streets as he had already camped out in front of an army base.” But Bolsonaro was a key ally and Costa Neto had promised to advance his cause. A few days later he held a press conference. This claim was quickly dismissed by the Brazilian electoral court. The military has already evaluated a sample of voting machines and declared Lula the legitimate winner. Still, the report spawned headlines after headlines. Bolsonalista“I’m sure there was a conspiracy.
On the afternoon of January 8, Bolsonaro’s supporters stormed the Federal District of Brasilia and overran the complex housing the three branches of government (the so-called Tri-Powers). Protesters gathered in the square to confront the soldiers guarding the building. Others prayed and shouted slogans. The mob forced their way in, smashing windows and setting fires. The district police, led by former Bolsonaro officials, put up little resistance and at times offered assistance.
Brazilian journalist Marina Diaz saw an elderly woman in a camouflage shirt when she was near the Ministry of Defense. Bolsonalista Worn in honor of the military. The woman said she had been encamped at the military headquarters in Brasilia for two months. She joined a protest on the 8th, urging Bolsonaro to go into hiding. She explained that the president of the Supreme Electoral Court, Alexandre Demoraies, had conspired to kill him.
Like other observers, Diaz was puzzled by the timing of the riot. He won’t have to wait until a week after taking office. When she asked the woman if she was inspired by the Jan. 6 riots in America, another protester exclaimed: She’s a journalist, a leftist! Feeling threatened by her, Diaz leaves, but she is surrounded by someone. Bolsonalista, and someone tripped her up. “I fell in the street, where people kicked and hit me,” she told me. “Two men tried to defend me. They said, ‘You’re going to kill her and ruin our movement.'” and grabbed the phone. Someone snatched and broke her glasses and yelled, “Her girlfriend must be killed!”
Finally, a military officer forced his way through the crowd and separated her. “People yelled that I was a whore and someone threw water bottles at me,” she told me when police escorted her. It was clear.”
On the day of the mutiny, Lula and Janja were visiting the city of Araraquara in the state of São Paulo, 800 miles away. However, they were able to monitor the situation, the aide told me. The aide said he didn’t notice the bodyguards because “they were all filming themselves as well.”