Lula Interview: PT’s mistakes and US role in the Coup

In a subtitled interview  which is linked below, the political prisoner Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva speaks of strategic errors made by the PT, BRICS, and the documented US involvement in the Lava Jato investigation, which the Intercept has now revealed was a key actor in the 2016 coup against Dilma Rousseff

In a historic interview with Pepe Escobar and journalists from 247 conducted inside the Curitiba Federal Police headquarters, where he has been illegally held in solitary confinement since April, 2018, former President Lula spoke of the US role in the 2016 coup and corrupt Lava Jato investigation, and complained about the PT party’s failure to react to what they referred to as the 2013 “color revolution”, and 2016 impeachment process against Dilma Rousseff.

According to the former President, the PT made a huge mistake in running a candidate instead for President of Congress in 2015, when it was obvious that he would not win. A better strategy, he said, would have been to support an alternative candidate to the corrupt Eduardo Cunha from within the PMDB party, to foster infighting and prevent him from taking power, since he was already promising to file impeachment proceedings against Dilma Rousseff, who was removed from power in 2016 without committing any impeachable offense. Other mistakes cited by the former President include not reacting properly to the June 2013 protests, which he and journalist Pepe Escobar categorize as an Arab Spring style color revolution, backed by the US.

This interview serves as a response to a trope that has been repeated by foreign and Brazilian journalists on Twitter since 2016, that the PT party “needs to admit its mistakes”. Anyone who has ever been to a PT planning meeting knows that, since Paulo Freire helped found the party during the 1980s, critical reflection has been a mandatory component of every party assembly. Admitting to mistakes, analyzing them and incorporating them into future plans is one of the reasons the party one 4 consecutive presidential elections and was only removed by a right wing coup.

During the interview, Lula and Pepe Escobar engage in a long conversation about the new cold war developing between Russia, China and the United States, and about how BRICS contributed to a new, multi-polar world order. At one point, Escobar asks Lula if he thinks that Obama “stabbed him in the back”, through NSA spying and it’s role in the corrupt and politically biased Lava Jato investigation. Lula responds that he does not think it was Obama’s fault. “Have you ever bought something when you were traveling abroad and, when you return home, nobody in your family can figure out how to put it together? This is what happened to Obama. He was very young and inexperienced.” The interview can be watched in its entirety, subtitled in English, below.


By Brian Mier

Writer, geographer and former development professional who has lived in Brazil for 26 years. Former directorate member of the Fórum Nacional de Reforma Urbana (National Urban Reform Forum). Has lived in São Luis, Recife, Salvador, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Author of “Os Megaeventos Esportivos na Cidade do Rio de Janeiro e o Direito á Cidade” (CEPR: Porto Alegre. 2016). Editor of "Voices of the Brazilian Left" (Sumare: São Paulo. 2018). Editor of "Year of Lead: Washington, Wall Street and the New Imperialism in Brazil" ((Sumare: São Paulo. 2019) Irregular correspondent for the Chicago radio show This is Hell.