Lula da Silva focuses on inequality and climate change the challenges of the left in an act supported by Iglesias



The amphitheater of the Casa de América in Madrid received this morning the former president and candidate for the presidency of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, like a rock star. “Oé, oa, Lula, Lula,” cried the public, among which there was a large representation of militants in Madrid of the Brazilian Workers’ Party. The event, in which he was accompanied by the former secretary general of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, and the current secretary, Ione Belarra, was intended to be a conversation about how to articulate the left on both sides of the Atlantic, but it turned out to be more of a meeting of celebration and reparation to Lula, now on tour in Europe, after spending 580 days imprisoned in his country for accusations of corruption from which he was finally exonerated. The fight against equality, climate change and digital transformation are the three great challenges, Lula summarized.

The theme of the meeting, which was entitled “Building the future: challenges and popular alliances,” was addressed by Iglesias, beginning with a praise for the star guest, whom he pointed to as “the most important president in the history of Brazil and future president.” He then referred to the episode of investigation and imprisonment of Lula as a manifestation of ‘lawfare’, understood as the “new coup” in which elements of the judiciary, the media and economic elites conspire to remove left-wing parties from power. . Iglesias pointed out that the phenomenon is not exclusive to Latin America and rhetorically wondered if it will not also exist in Spain, with the numerous judicial fronts against Podemos that ended up on file or the recent conviction of deputy Alberto Rodríguez, deprived of his seat for an attack on a police with dim evidence.

Briefly, after Iglesias, the heads of international relations of the UGT and CCOO, Jesús Gallego and Félix Ovejero, the general secretary of the PCE, Enrique Santiago, or Belarra herself, for whom “the right and the extreme right only bet on the democracy when they win. ” In this atmosphere of leftist twinning, there was also a representative of the PSOE, the secretary of international politics and deputy in Madrid, Hana Jalloul, who wanted to remember that José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero was one of the first to visit Lula upon his release from prison. . The Brazilian candidate met on Friday with the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez.

In the analysis of the participants, among whom was also the deputy of the Bloco de Esquerda Portugues Joana Mortagua, there was great harmony. The ‘lawfare’ is a real danger, the rise of the extreme right is fought with democracy and climate change is one of the great challenges of humanity. But perhaps the biggest problem is inequality, according to Lula, who recalled that there are 800 hungry people in the world. In that sense, he contributed his humble origins as the son of a single mother with eight offspring. “Those of us who eat breakfast, eat and have dinner every day have a moral obligation to fight so that people can eat a minimum,” he said.

Climate change and the role of the Amazon, whose biodiversity must be “scientifically explored”, and the cause of environmentalism, which is not just a problem “of sophisticated middle classes” are another leg of this program for Brazil and for the international left that It is completed by proposing a strategy for digital transformation, which in the workplace has become a driver of precariousness. “They have convinced digital workers that they are entrepreneurs,” he said.

The left must also reflect on what it has done wrong so that, no matter how much campaign there was, characters such as the current Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, gray parliamentarian for a quarter of a century before his rise to political stardom, have convinced part of the electorate when “it has no political speech.”

Lula was moved and again thanked his followers around the world for the campaign for his release. “If they turned me into gold, I would not be able to pay the gratitude that I feel for you,” he declared, before closing his speech and the act apologizing, jokingly, for having spoken more than the 10 minutes that he had originally allotted. The ovation was closed.

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