Lula opposes submission to Trump on Venezuela

Cannons and machine guns kill soldiers – embargoes kill women and children. The Americans are specialists.

By Brian Mier

On Sunday, February 24, Brazilian journalist Fernando Morais received a handwritten letter from his friend Lula. The letter was written from the Curitiba federal police headquarters, where the ex-President has been held in solitary confinement as a political prisoner since April 7, 2018, convicted with no jury or material evidence by the same man who investigated him – Jair Bolsonaro’s Justice Minister Sérgio Moro. In the handwritten letter to his friend, Lula expresses his disapproval with the US government’s coup attempt underway in Venezuela and Bolsonaro’s support for it.

“We cannot allow Brazil to submit to the United States or deliver Brazil to imperialism,” he writes. “Fighting for sovereignty is a demonstration of patriotism and dignity. All we have to do is copy the pride of the Vietnamese and we can win any war. It does not matter how wrong Maduro could be – he is a problem for the Venezuelans, not the Americans. All they do is say that the people are going hungry but they don’t talk about the embargo and that is dirty of them. Cannons and machine guns kill soldiers. Embargoes kill innocent men, women and children and the Americans are specialists in embargoes. Just look at Cuba.”

Lula’s Workers Party (Partido de Trabalhadores/PT) has made its position clear on Venezuela. The party recognizes the results of the 2018 elections and PT President Gleisi Hoffman attended Nicolas Maduro’s inauguration January 10. After Brazilian and Anglo media outlets criticized her visit, Hoffman said, “the US government and those who criticize me don’t understand sovereignty and self-determination – because they believe that forces from outside Venezuela should solve their problems. We believe the opposite.”

Last Thursday PT Congressmen Paulo Pimenta and Paulo Teixeira introduced a motion to force a Congressional vote on any potential support for US actions against Venezuela.

After right-wing extremist President Jair Bolsonaro announced he would send “humanitarian aid” together with the US government during Saturday’s PR stunt at the Venezuelan border, two pick up trucks with supplies arrived on the Brazilian side of the border on Saturday, February 23rd, and a handful of people threw rocks at border guards. This minimal response to Trump’s call for help led Brazilian journalist Leonardo Attuch to speculate that the Brazilian military may not support President Bolsonaro on the issue of Trump and Venezuela.


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.