With the potential comeback of Lula da Silva, Brazil may once again be on a path away from fascism and one that puts economic justice and anti-imperialism first.
by Alan Macleod
Part 2 - A massive turnaround
“There is a sense of elation for [Lula’s] supporters and those that stood by him for so many years,” said Michael Fox, a filmmaker based in the southern city of Florianopolis, who likened following Brazilian politics to a ride on a rollercoaster:
In just a few weeks, Lula’s charges have been annulled and now the once super-star judge Sergio Moro is under formal investigation for judicial bias, a felony charge. It’s a massive turnaround and it can’t be understated.
“This is victory for democracy. We again have hope of a better Brazil with Lula free,” one jubilant supporter of the former president told Fox.
Lula was the runaway favorite to be re-elected in 2018; just six weeks before the election, polls showed that more than twice as many people intended to vote for him as for Bolsonaro. But the courts ruled that he was barred from running, even from the prison cell Moro put him in, a decision that virtually ensured a Bolsonaro victory.
A recent poll found that more than half of Brazil said they would definitely or possibly vote for him in next year’s presidential election, despite the fact he has not yet even made a decision about standing.
“The chances of Lula’s re-election are huge,” Brazilian journalist Nathália Urban told MintPress. “He is still tremendously popular, and is being especially favored in the face of this polarized scenario, which places him as the only one capable of beating Bolsonaro.”
“Bolsonaro is scared. His approval rating is dropping,” Fox noted. “If Lula decides to run, and he is not somehow again blocked from running, like in 2018, he has every chance of winning in 2022.”
Fox added that, after a year of Bolsonaro’s downplaying or outright denying the virus that has killed over 300,000 Brazilians, Lula’s freedom has spurred the current president to act more responsibly. Things got so bad at one point last year, armed, criminal gangs chastised Bolsonaro’s recklessness, unilaterally imposing a lockdown in areas under their control. “We want the best for the population. If the government won’t do the right thing, organized crime will,” read an official communique from a group of drug dealers in Rio de Janeiro.