Brazil: Lula Won, But Will London Allow Him to Govern?
“They tried to bury me alive and here I am,” Lula da Silva told the giant crowd gathered in Sao Paulo Sunday night, after it was officially announced that he had defeated incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro, 50.9% to 49.1% in the second round of Brazil’s presidential elections. The former two-term President (2003-2010) had been framed and jailed in 2018 on blatantly fraudulent corruption charges by the Anglo-American interests running Brazil’s “anti-corruption” operation dubbed Lava Jato. He was released in March 2021, when the Supreme Court threw out the charges.
Lula’s victory has big implications for Brazil’s role in the world at this historic moment, both as a member of the five-nation BRICS grouping, now a strategic factor in the fight to found a new international economic architecture, and for Ibero-American regional integration within the developing new paradigm. While Bolsonaro did not formally pull Brazil out of the BRICS, he downgraded its significance. But he did withdraw Brazil from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), thereby sinking the latter entirely.
By contrast, President-elect Lula met immediately on the next morning with Argentine President Alberto Fernández in Sao Paulo. “We spoke more of the future than the past,” the latter reported afterwards, including about Argentina’s intent to join the BRICS, and how to advance his efforts with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to reunify the continent. After meeting alone for 90 minutes, they were joined for a working lunch by officials and advisors from both countries. Most interesting, Argentina’s Infobae reported that the possible creation of a single currency for trade between the South American nations was to be discussed during the luncheon.
The closeness of the election results, however, has created the opportunity for the Anglo-American axis to unleash an operation to destabilize Brazil at this crucial juncture, with the hope of making it impossible for Lula to govern a polarized and divided country. While he received congratulations from the heads of state of India, Russia, China, France, the UK and the U.S., and many of the Ibero-American nations, outgoing President Bolsonaro had still not conceded his defeat 44 hours after the results were in. But in that same speech, he did announce that he would follow the constitutional procedures, i.e., the transition would proceed.
Meanwhile, Bolsonaro supporters claimed Lula’s victory was due to election fraud. Truckers and agricultural interests launched an operation to “shut down Brazil” by blocking highways, with some protestors and many social media sites calling for military intervention to stop the “fraud.” The situation remains very tense, with City of London interests fully on the case.