In an interview with RTP, the Portuguese public television, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) criticized the inexperience of the new Brazilian chancellor, Carlos Alberto França. Despite being a career diplomat, the minister was only recently promoted to ambassador and has never led a post abroad.
“The President replaces the Minister of Foreign Affairs [Ernesto Araújo] and he places a replacement who has no diplomatic experience in a post where Brazil has always had great diplomats. This is very bad for Brazil’s external relations, because Brazil has almost become an international protagonist, and today Brazil is treated as a very insignificant country, ”he said.
Lula said recent ministerial changes demonstrated the fragility of President Jair Bolsonaro (without a party).
“The president is unable to have good ministers because people do not want to participate in the Bolsonaro government, because the government does not effectively treat the people seriously, let alone treat Brazilians with the respect the people need . “
In the assessment of the PT, the current Brazilian foreign policy has put an end to the international credibility of the country.
“Bolsonaro created a dispute with all countries, thinking Trump would help him. It turns out that Trump lost the election, and it turns out that Bolsonaro now lacked Trump and lacked credibility internationally, ”he added.
Lula also said that the UN (United Nations) and other international entities could have done more in dealing with the pandemic.
According to him, the UN secretary general, António Guterres, could already have convened a special meeting of the body to discuss Covid-19 and the financing of the vaccine. “The G20 could have already been called.”
Despite the remark about the UN chief, who is Portuguese, Lula called Guterres a friend.
In expressing its desire to visit Portugal again, the PT cited a long list of politicians, on the left and on the right of the political spectrum. Among them, former Prime Minister José Sócrates, accused of corruption by Operation Marquis, known as Lava Jato lusa.
“I just hope I can go back to Portugal to give my friend António Costa a hug [atual primeiro-ministro], to President Marcelo Rebelo, to give a hug to my old friends, Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, José Manuel Barroso [ex-premiê], Sócrates, Jorge Sampaio [ex-presidente]”, said.
Asked if he would be a candidate for the presidency in 2022, Lula repeated that he “will wait until 2022 and see how the political situation evolves”.
At the presenter’s insistence, the former president joked and recalled that he is younger than US President Joe Biden.
“If necessary, I can even say that Biden is older than me. In other words, when I am a candidate, I will be a year younger than him ”.