He was the world’s most popular leader. Now he is “the world’s most prominent political prisoner” according to American political philosopher Noam Chomsky.
From extremely humble beginnings as a peanut seller and a shoeshine boy on Brazil’s streets, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva rose to become president of his nation in 2002. Yet he is now being kept hostage by the country’s fascist Bolsonaro administration.
In a wide-ranging interview with Brasil Wire editors Daniel Hunt, Brian Mier and Michael Brooks, host of The Michael Brooks Show, the man universally known as Lula described how the U.S. government ordered him not to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran, new revelations about U.S. involvement in the coup of 1964, and the current state of his country.
U.S. tensions with Iran are nearing an all-time high. But ten years ago, the Brazilian government brokered a deal between Iran and the West – something,
Lula reveals, was met with near incandescent anger by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The former president was at the G20 summit in Princeton, N.J., and talk of negotiating a peace deal with Iran was in the air. But, as he soon found out, none of the leaders in the room were interested in speaking with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. “How do these people want to make a deal without a conversation?” Lula asked, proposing to travel alone in good faith to Iran as a neutral arbiter from the global South. The U.S. tried to scupper his plan at every step.
As Lula recounted, "I remember that Hilary Clinton worked hard against my idea to go to Iran. She even called the Emir of Qatar and asked him to convince me not to go. When I arrived in Moscow and met with [Dmitry] Medvedev, I found out Obama had called and asked him to help convince me not to go.”