January 24th, 2018. Today marks the culmination of 4 years of US-backed efforts to destroy Brazilian social democracy. Ex-president Lula, who’s Keynesian economic policies, including massive minimum wage increases, lifted 36 million people above the poverty line and ended famine in Brazil, is going up in front of a group of 3 judges to appeal a 9 year prison sentence for the charge of receiving free reforms on an apartment the US-backed prosecutors were unable to prove he ever owned or set foot in. The 238 page ruling contained no physical evidence whatsoever.
As Mark Weisbrot pointed out in the New York Times yesterday, it is a kangaroo court procedure, and the lead judge has already announced on social media that Lula is guilty in a clear conflict of interest. These details are being ignored by Anglo news corporations, who are unethically pretending that a legitimate court procedure is underway and that the outcome is not a foregone conclusion. Lula is currently leading all other candidates for the October presidential election, with double the popularity of his nearest competitor, the misogynistic, gay-bashing white supremacist Jair Bolsonaro, who was an army captain during the neofascist military dictatorship.
The accusations against Lula were developed as part of a collaborative effort between the conservative and elite, un-elected Brazilian judiciary and the US Department of Justice, under Secretaries of State Clinton and Kerry called Lava Jato, which paralyzed key sectors of Brazilian industry such as construction and petroleum in a destabilization effort during the lead up to the 2016 coup and now threatens to directly intervene in the presidential elections in favor of conservative, US friendly candidates. For the first few years after the US-backed 1964 Coup in Brazil, people were still allowed to protest and some limited social movement and union activity was allowed. Then, in 1968, Neofascist Dictator Costa e Silva announced Institutional Act 5, which consolidated the coup, institutionalized torture and ended mandates for opposition politicians.
Lula will be declared guilty in a few hours. If he is arrested, today will be remembered as the Institutional Act 5 of the US Democratic Party supported 2016 Coup government. Starting yesterday in Porto Alegre and continuing today in cities across Brazil, hundreds of thousands of people are taking to the streets in solidarity with Lula. This appears to be the only chance to prevent his arrest. Whether this happens or not will have serious repercussions for Brazilian democracy for years to come.
Rally in support of Ex-President Lula, 23/1/18 Porto Alegre. Photo: Ricardo Stuckert.
(Main image, Supreme Court President Carmen Lucia meets TRF4 President Thompson Flores ahead of Lula appeal)