BRAZIL: Lula Has Been Freed: A Victory for Democracy!
The March 8, 2021 decision by Supreme Federal Court (STF) Justice Edson Fachin to overturn the conviction and restore former President Lula’s civil rights is a victory for workers, the people, and democracy, both in Brazil and internationally.
The trial had only one objective: to prohibit the Workers Party (PT) from running Lula in the 2018 presidential election. It was a maneuver that allowed the fraudulent election of Bolsonaro. The trial took place within the framework of the Lava Jato operation, the so-called “anti-corruption operation” led by Judge Sergio Moro, whom Bolsonaro, after being elected, made Minister of Justice, as a reward for his good and loyal service. The annulment of the conviction confirms the machination, denounced by many international jurists, all the more because no evidence was ever produced during the trial.
This victory would not have been possible without a huge mobilization. Mobilization in Brazil: The International Committee for the Defense of Lula and Democracy in Brazil brought together numerous political, trade union, popular, and cultural organizations. Who doesn’t remember the thousands of activists who took turns working 24 hours a day for more than a year outside Lula’s prison in Curitiba?
Mobilization around the world: In France, for example, the “Free Lula” Committee was formed in April 2018 at the Paris Labor Exchange, in the presence of Luiz Dulci, of the PT leadership. It brought together organizations as diverse as the Paris cell of the Brazilian PT, the CGT departmental union of Paris, the French Communist Party, the Left Party, La France Insoumise (France Unbowed), the Jean-Jaurès Foundation, the Independent Democratic Workers Party (POID), the POI, France-Latin America, and numerous collectives of Brazilians in France.
“Free Lula!” was an elementary democratic demand, regardless of one’s point of view on Lula’s political positions, or on his record as president of Brazil. When repression strikes, unity and solidarity are indispensable.
The annulment of this conviction is only a partial victory. We must still fight to bring to justice ex-judge Moro and his gang of corrupt thugs and prosecutors, who have worked illegally in collaboration with the U.S. government, among others.
* * * * * * *
BRAZIL: Fachin’s Decision Confirms the 2018 Presidential Election Fraud
The overturning on March 8 of Lula’s conviction by Supreme Federal Court Justice Edson Fachin no longer leaves any doubt that the 2018 presidential election was rigged to prevent Lula’s electoral victory, and hence to orchestrate the fraudulent “election” of Bolsonaro.
From the standpoint of democracy, Bolsonaro’s “election” represented an all-out assault against the popular will. This means that the annulment of that fraudulent election is needed to restore democracy and sovereignty to the people.
In his press conference at the ABC hall of Metalworkers Union, after Fachin’s decision, Lula said:
“The pain I feel is nothing in the face of the pain that millions of Brazilians are suffering today. Yes, millions of Brazilians are without jobs, without vaccines, without health protection, without the ability to buy food, without schools, without social security and labor rights — all of this just to feed the astronomical profits of the bankers and businessmen.”
Millions of people, as the opinion polls already show, expect Lula to lead the fight to end Bolsonaro’s term of office and in so doing put an end to his health and economic policies. The people want an end to all this suffering.
The question that all of us need to reflect on is this: Can and should the workers and the majority of the people wait until 2022 for the change that is needed. Should we have to wait until then and in the meantime continue to accept the social measures of death and destruction imposed by an illegitimate government in the service of Capital?
We are seeing in neighboring Paraguay at this very moment the popular uprising for the ouster of President Mario Abdo Benitez because of the chaos in his administration’s treatment of the pandemic. That chaos is not so different from what we are experiencing in Brazil at this time. It is possible to think that a similar situation of anguish could generate a similar reaction in our country.
In our opinion, the people have the right to discuss the means needed to forge a government and institutions capable of carrying out their aspirations for survival.
Working class activists have the obligation to place their political, trade union, and popular organizations at the service of a solution that will put an end — now — to the Bolsonaro government and that will establish a workers’ government against the coup plotters and fraudsters.
Communist Internationalist Organization (OCI)
March 11, 2021