Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva mentioned the divisions in his nation had been no worse than the political break up in the USA, in an unique CNN interview Friday forward of his assembly with President Joe Biden on the White Home.
“Right here there’s additionally a break up, far more, or as critical as Brazil – Democrats and Republicans are very break up up. Like it or go away it, that’s roughly what’s occurring,” he informed CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in Washington, including that Brazil doesn’t have “a hatred tradition.”
Each Lula and Biden noticed authorities buildings sacked within the aftermath of their presidential elections by far-right parts which have posed enormous exams for his or her respective democracies.
“By no means might we think about that in a rustic that was the image of democracy on the earth – somebody might attempt to invade the Capitol,” he mentioned concerning the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot within the US.
The similarities between the January 8 assault on Brasilia and the US rebellion embody former President Jair Bolsonaro’s close alignment with former US President Donald Trump.
Lula calls Bolsonaro a “devoted copycat of Trump,” saying each males “don’t take pleasure in commerce unions… They don’t like employees, don’t like ladies. They don’t like Black individuals.”
Each ex-leaders had been repeatedly criticized throughout their phrases for utilizing racist and misogynistic language.
Even so, Lula shouldn’t be satisfied all Bolsonaro supporters are adherents to his views. “I’m satisfied that not all people that voted for Bolsonaro follows Bolsonarism,” he mentioned.
After his election loss, Bolsonaro decamped for the USA. He has been dwelling close to Orlando, Florida, for greater than a month, prompting some Democratic Get together lawmakers to name for him to go away the nation.
Will Lula ask Biden to assist extradite Bolsonaro again to Brazil? “I don’t know, I’m not going to speak about President Biden about that, this may rely on courts,” he replied. “Sooner or later he has to come back again to Brazil and face all of the lawsuits towards him.”
Bolsonaro faces “nearly 12 lawsuits towards him in Brazil, extra instances will are available,” Lula mentioned, including that he believes his former rival will “be convicted in some worldwide courtroom due to the genocide with Covid (outbreak) as a result of half of the those that died in Brazil throughout Covid was the duty of the federal authorities.”
He additionally alleged that Bolsonaro could possibly be “punished” by courts for “the genocide towards the Yanomami indigenous individuals” after unlawful mining of their protected territory soared throughout his time period.
Brazil’s Supreme Court docket has ordered an investigation to find out whether or not the actions of the Bolsonaro authorities amounted to “genocide” of the Yanomami – who’ve seen illness and malnutrition tear by way of their neighborhood within the final 4 years.
Bolsonaro has beforehand known as such accusation a “left-wing farce” on his official Telegram channels.
Lula’s talks with Biden on Friday are expected to center round combating local weather change and tackling anti-democratic extremism.
Whereas Lula believes “democracy will prevail” in Brazil, he worries about concerning the rise of utmost proper teams around the globe.
“It’s in Brazil, it’s in Spain, it’s in France, and they’re in Hungary, in Germany. We’ve got an organized excessive proper on the earth and if we’re not cautious, this will likely be a Nazi perspective from there. This can be a denial perspective we haven’t seen earlier than,” he mentioned.
He agrees there may be a lot to be achieved in Brazil concerning the local weather, saying the nation’s dedication to “scale back greenhouse emissions” by 39% must embody rewarding native “mayors and governors, who assure no extra burning of the forests.”
By extending an early invitation to Lula to go to the White Home, Biden hopes to domesticate nearer ties and show his help for one of many Western Hemisphere’s key gamers.
Biden shortly known as Lula following his victory late final yr, hoping to show help after Bolsonaro had laid the groundwork to query the election outcomes. The transfer was obtained effectively amongst Lula’s officers, who noticed it as an indication Biden was trying to restore US-Brazil ties.
They’ve met beforehand – when Biden was vp, he met Lula on the sidelines of a gathering in Chile. However as counterparts, they may look to deepen what has historically been a key bilateral relationship within the Western Hemisphere, strained lately by the diametrically opposed Biden and Bolsonaro.
Whereas they’ve a lot in widespread, Lula – like many leaders in center revenue and creating international locations – has adopted a coverage of non-intervention over the struggle in Ukraine.
He has rebuffed efforts led by Biden to unite the worldwide neighborhood in opposition to Russia’s invasion.
Chatting with CNN, Lula mentioned that Ukraine had the proper to defend itself “as a result of the invasion was a mistake on the a part of Russia.”
He defined he refused to offer ammunition to Ukraine as a result of, “I don’t wish to go be a part of the struggle. I wish to finish the struggle.”
Lula has sought be a worldwide statesman who might dealer a truce between Russia and Ukraine, telling CNN that he has begun this “work” by chatting with the German Chancellor, who visited Brazil in January.
“I wish to discuss peace with (Russian President Vladimir) Putin. I wish to discuss peace with President Biden, I wish to discuss peace with (Chinese language chief) Xi Jinping. I wish to discuss peace with India, with Indonesia… as a result of for me the world will solely develop itself if now we have peace,” he mentioned.
One other factor Lula shares with Biden is age. They’re each aged presidents: Biden is 80 years outdated, whereas Lula is 77.
When requested about it, Lula mentioned growing older solely exists for many who don’t have a trigger to combat for.
“I’m 77 years of age, and … I’ve the vitality and energy of somebody who’s 30 years outdated,” he mentioned. “I don’t sleep as a result of my house is the Brazilian individuals – I’ve to enhance the lives of my individuals.”