Brazil: Lula

Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil, elected on Sunday by a huge majority over the right-wing candidate Jose Serra, begins “a new era” in Brazilian history, in his words. Decades of right-wing rule have seen Brazil’s external debt spiral to 215 billion USD, without any tangible result internally except luxurious farms owned by the 5% who control 95% of Brazil’s vast wealth.

“I am only sorry that I came to power 22 years after my mother died”, he told a crowd of voters at the polling station on Sunday in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Sao Paulo, where he founded the Partido dos Trabalhadores (Workers’ Party) in 1980. Lula’s mother died while he was imprisoned by the military dictatorship, due to his activities as leader of the metalworkers’ union.

Lula is the only hope for an improvement in the daily lives of the people of Brazil. Violence begins to erupt even in the north-east, which until now had criminality rates the same as any small country town in any western European nation. His programme will be one of responsibility and respect for the financial commitments assumed by previous governments, while at the same time he will launch a job-creation scheme to reduce Brazil’s unemployment rate, which is 14% of the population. “Work is my obsession” has been his election slogan.

Lula reaches the presidency at his fourth attempt, after losing to Fernando Collor de Mello in 1989 and Fernando Henrique Cardoso in 1994 and 1998. In the first round of the current election, Lula received 46.44% of the vote, while Jose Serra got 23.20%.

The first words of Lula’s presidency, which is a welcome light in the darkness of the daily drudgery which is the reality for 40 million Brazilians living on less than one USD per day, were “This is the happiest day of my life”. Lula received the most votes ever for a Presidential candidate in Brazilian election history.

Viva Lula! Viva o Brasil!! Viva America Latina!!!


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