On December 2002, twenty-two days before taking office as President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was received at the White House. The account of one of the witnesses of the meeting points out that the then US President George W. Bush approached smiling. He threw him a “Hola! Such as?” and, just after finishing the handshake, he pointed to the brooch Lula was wearing on his lapel and said: “You should wear your country’s flag.” Lula was disconcerted to hear the advice given by the interpreter. Even before Lula rehearsed an answer, Bush added: “Now you are no longer president of your party, but of an entire country”.
Swap the PT pin for the Brazilian flag. it wasn’t just a marketing tip or advice for composure. Taking the PT off the lapel and carrying the symbol that unites all Brazilians (or at least it should) had a deeper value. A value that Lula seems never to have captured or put into practice. Putting the country, its people and interests ahead of the party’s (almost all moldy) ideologies.
No one is innocent or stupid enough to think that rulers – be they Somalis or Finns – do not they are guided by their values (or lack of them) and their ideological or partisan criteria. After all, these are real-world markers that define much of the criteria voters apply (when they get the chance) in choosing their leaders. But there is a civilizational line that defines the limits of how far you can go to the detriment of the benefit of the country and its people.
Former President Lula, on more than one occasion, put PTismo ahead of the interests of Brazil.
In one of the events of this electoral campaign of 2022, former president and candidate Lula boasted of having telephoned to President Bush (the same one who advised him to govern with his head in the country and not in the PT) to intercede for his bosom friend Hugo Chávez.
Lula recalled that, once , Chávez called him to complain about the Americans. More specifically, to complain about the reports and articles published in the American press. More surgically, from a text by Condoleezza Rice, who was National Security Adviser (2001-2001 ) and Secretary of State (2005-2009). It’s unclear what position she held when Rice upset Chavez. But the fact, according to Lula, is that he called President Bush to give him some soap. “Send Condoleezza to stop writing against Chávez, p*”, recalled Lula.
The case was narrated by Lula at an event in which he celebrated the wonders of his “haughty foreign policy and active”. Marks that he promises to resume in a possible third term.
The list of the most active and haughty things Lula did for Chávez goes beyond the phone call narrated above. In 2005, while the country burned and the PT itself melted with the discovery of the Mensalão scandal, Lula and Chávez decided that they would build a refinery in Pernambuco. Budgeted at US$ 2.3 billion, the refinery would be ready in 2010 and would be used to refine Venezuelan oil. Anyone who thinks the idea was to increase the supply of gasoline in Brazil is wrong. Chávez’s plan, which had Lula’s complicity, was to diversify the oil’s destination. Chávez wanted to reduce his country’s dependence on refineries in the United States and foster a Latin network of refineries, which would allow him not only to get rid of the Americans, but also to increase his influence in the region.
Without any really serious feasibility study, Lula pushed Petrobras into the operation. In the past years, Venezuelans have never invested a single dollar in the business. Venezuelan technicians realized that the political agreement between Chávez and Lula was a joke and tried to reduce participation in society from 18% to %. Unsuccessfully, they push the debt for eight years and leave society, forcing Brazil to bear a project that cost between US$ 18 billions and US$ $ 18 billion and which, in terms of investment and production capacity, bequeathed the Abreu e Lima Refinery the title of the most expensive in the world.
The affair of Lula and Chávez went beyond their government.
In February of 2009, Lula had just left the presidency, but was still active and haughty. According to the record of a telegram sent by the Embassy of Venezuela in Brazil to the then Minister of Foreign Affairs Nicolás Maduro, Lula was “very worried” about a possible defeat of Chávez in the elections that were scheduled for the following year.
“I sleep peacefully because I know Chávez is there , but I also sometimes lose sleep thinking that Chávez could lose the December elections 2012”, was the sentence attributed to Lula by the then Venezuelan ambassador to Brazil, Maximilien Arveláiz. The diplomat also noted that “a defeat by Chávez in 2012 would be equal to or worse than the fall of the Berlin wall”. Historical event that preceded the end of the Soviet Union and put communist and socialist legends, movements and dictatorships on the extinction list. One of the answers forged by them, on the line nobody lets go of anyone’s hand, was the foundation of the Foro de São Paulo.
To avoid a “tragedy”, Lula was directly involved in the preparation of the campaign, say diplomatic documents. Lula planned to create a campaign command based in Brazil that he would personally coordinate alongside José Dirceu. He defined Venezuela’s entry into Mercosur as “fundamental”, to politically strengthen Chávez before the region and the electorate, and appointed the marketer João Santana to coordinate the Venezuelan’s presidential campaign.
The information obtained by Operation Lava-Jato not only confirmed Lula’s finger in the Venezuelan election, but also show that the payment of campaign expenses was made through the colossal robbery that had been engendered through credit operations involving Brazilian contractors. Monica Moura, Santana’s wife, tells everything here.