Lula, Brazil, Asio Lula Da Silva discussed on Monocle 24: The Foreign Desk


When Lewis and asio Lula da Silva, known universally as Lula, was first elected president of Brazil in 2002, it was a great plucky underdog story. Lula, who has a boy sold peanuts on the streets of São Paulo and had little formal schooling who worked his way up through Brazil's trade union movement and who had lost three previous presidential elections had claimed the big prize at last. And he made the most of it. Lula won reelection in 2006 and left office in 2010 only due to term limits, boasting a commendable record in reducing Brazil's poverty and consequently astonishing approval ratings. On New Year's Day, Lula was sworn in for his third term, but the Brazil that elected him and only just last October has changed a great deal and so has he. The country is more divided and more rancorous, a fury most picturesquely demonstrated by immense riots in Brasília earlier this month. And Lula is obviously older. He's 77 and since his first stint in the palacio del varada has endured both treatment for cancer and 580 days in prison on corruption charges later annulled. Can Lula do it again. What ideas does he have about Brazil at home or abroad that he didn't have 20 years ago? And where does he even start? This is the foreign desk. Lula's trying to weed out some of the supporters of Bolsonaro, but we have to recognize too that it did take the federal military to come in and quell the protests. What we saw in Brasília was the breaching of that divide between civilian politics and certainly the state police, military police, but also the military as well. And so I don't want to sound too alarmist, but clearly that wall has been breached into a certain extent. It's not that Bolsonaro is hard right in Louis hard left. As you know, he is very much a pragmatic, and that's why he was a successful president for his two terms. Of course, a few things here and there, you know, he was redistributing money a little bit more, but for business people, it was excellent years Brazil's growing so much. He's

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