Brazil: Supreme Court President says Operation Lava Jato destroyed companies



Dias Toffoli says Operation Lava Jet destroyed companies

Supreme Court President Dias Toffoli made a harsh criticism of the Lava Jato by highlighting in an interview that the operation destroyed businesses, criticized the lack of transparency of the prosecution and made restrictions on Jair Bolsonaro’s speech that he said he would send the macaw wood, a barbaric method of torture, a minister who found himself corrupt

Toffoli Days
Dias Toffoli (Photo: Carlos Moura / SCO / STF (07/11/2019))

247 – For the president of the Supreme Federal Court (STF), Operation Lava Jato destroyed companies. In his view, the operation “was very important, it uncovered cases of corruption, put people in jail, put Brazil in another dimension from the standpoint of fighting corruption, no doubt.” “But it destroyed companies,” he said.

The president of the Supreme Court criticized the Public Ministry for its lack of transparency and defended opposing views of Jair Bolsonaro when he advocated torture.  

Toffoli’s statements were given in an interview with the newspaper O Estado de S.Paulo .   

In addition to criticizing Operation Lava Jato, Toffoli digresses on the evolution of national political life. “Brazil came from center and center-left governments. And it changed to a right-wing government. So, after redemocratization, there was a first right-wing victory with the support of the extreme right.”  

STF President openly disagrees with former Judge Sergio Moro, current Minister of Justice of Jair Bolsonaro’s far-right government, on the ban on arrest following a second instance sentence. 

According to Moro, the Supreme Court’s decision diminished the public’s perception that the fight against corruption has diminished. “This [Moro’s opinion] has no meaning. The Supreme Court judged the ‘monthly’, condemned several authorities, several businessmen, including banker. It was from there that began all this work to combat corruption, and (began) the bills that led to this legal framework, the norms to fight organized crime. So the Supreme is firm in fighting corruption. It is not a decision that enforces the Constitution that will have an effect on a perception of corruption. ” , said Toffoli.  

Brazil: Majority considers fair release of Lula, says Datafolha



Majority considers fair release of Lula, says Datafolha

According to a survey by the Datafolha Institute, 54% of respondents approve the release of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, after a ruling by the Supreme Court against arrest after co-ordination in the second instance.

(Photo: Paulo Pinto / FotosPublicas)

247 – For the majority of the population it was fair to release President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who served 580 days as a political prisoner for Lava Jato. This is what the latest Datafolha survey points to. 

According to the survey, 54% of respondents believe that Lula’s release was fair, compared to 42% who consider it unfair. They said they did not know 5% of respondents.   

The survey polled 2,948 people between December 5 and 6 in 176 municipalities across the country. The margin of error is plus or minus two percentage points.    

The former president won freedom after the Supreme Court ruling that changed the court’s old understanding and found unconstitutional the arrest of convicted defendants who still have pending appeals in higher courts, as is the case of Lula – indicates report by Felipe Bächtold in Folha from S. Paulo. .

China: CPC leadership deliberates upon 2020 economic work, anti-corruption



CPC leadership deliberates upon 2020 economic work, anti-corruption


The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee held a meeting Friday to analyze the economic work for 2020 and make plans for improving conduct and building integrity within the CPC as well as fighting corruption.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, presided over the meeting.

Gordon Sondland’s impeachment testimony was beyond damning. Will it matter?



Editorial: Gordon Sondland’s impeachment testimony was beyond damning. Will it matter?

U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland

Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, has emerged as a key figure in the House impeachment inquiry.
(Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA/Shutterstock )

Even before Gordon Sondland testified publicly Wednesday in the House impeachment inquiry, investigators had assembled a persuasive if circumstantial case that President Trump abused his power to prod Ukraine to conduct investigations that would benefit Trump politically — just as the unnamed whistleblower contended. But Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, strengthened that case immeasurably with his testimony, which had added weight because he is a Trump political appointee who can’t be accused of being part of a sinister “deep state.”

The events Sondland recounted dovetailed with what previous witnesses had revealed. He testified that there was indeed a “quid pro quo” involved in Ukraine policy: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would not get the coveted White House visit he was promised unless he announced investigations into a Ukrainian energy company for which former Vice President Joe Biden’s son served as a director and into a conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 U.S. election. In an important revelation, Sondland said he also concluded from all he was hearing that, as surely as “two plus two equals four,” U.S. security aid was being held up as well in order to pressure Ukraine into announcing those investigations.

There was more: Sondland made it clear that Trump had expressly directed him and other U.S. officials to work with Rudolph W. Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, who has agitated for a Ukrainian investigation of the Bidens and who was Trump’s emissary on the demand for a quid pro quo. “We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani,” Sondland testified. “Simply put, we played the hand we were dealt.”

Finally, Sondland testified that his efforts and Guiliani’s weren’t the result of a rogue foreign policy. Instead, he said, important officials in the administration — including Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney — were “in the loop” about the pressure campaign.

What emerges from his testimony and that of other witnesses is an all too believable picture of a foreign policy process hijacked by the president’s willingness to use the powers of his office to benefit his domestic political interests.

Republicans on the Intelligence Committee argued that Sondland’s testimony wasn’t a smoking gun because he couldn’t cite any conversation in which Trump had told him that there was a quid pro quo. The president himself pointed reporters to a Sept. 9 telephone call in which Trump, Sondland testified, told him that “I want nothing” from Ukraine and forswore any quid pro quo. But that call took place after the whistleblower complaint was filed, and on the same day Congress announced an investigation of whether there was a quid pro quo. The timing of Trump’s denial makes it suspect, to say the least.

Moreover, the idea that Trump wanted nothing from Ukraine conflicts with what remains the most incriminating evidence against the president: the reconstructed transcript of the president’s July 25 telephone call with Zelensky in which, after noting that “we do a lot for Ukraine,” Trump suggested that Ukraine “do us a favor.” He asked Zelensky to investigate a conspiracy theory linking Ukraine to hacked Democratic emails and suggested that he talk with Atty. Gen. William Barr about rumors that Biden as vice president had forced the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor widely viewed as corrupt in order to protect Hunter Biden. Both ideas emanated from discredited Ukranian sources, some of whom have since recanted the allegations that Giuliani had fed to Trump.

Significantly in light of Sondland’s testimony, Trump in that call said it “would be great” if Zelensky would speak to Giuliani.

An array of witnesses, including Sondland, have provided the larger context in which that conversation — which Trump has defended as “perfect” — must be viewed. The fact that the administration has blocked the testimony of witnesses in close contact with Trump, such as Mulvaney or former national security advisor John Bolton, is outrageous. Trump himself should testify, as he suggested this week he might.

But let’s be clear. Even without such testimony, the House committee has pieced together a plausible and damning narrative, and Trump’s defenders are forced to rely on utterly incredible arguments. They include the laughable idea that Trump might have a principled objection to corruption in Ukraine (or anywhere else) and the “all’s well that ends well” defense: The administration ultimately released the aid for Ukraine — after the whistleblower complaint was filed and Congress started looking into the delay.

The testimony will go on, and some point the House may decide that Trump’s abuse of power justifies the extraordinary step of impeachment. But even if the president is impeached, the servility of congressional Republicans makes it unlikely that he would be convicted by the Senate and removed from office before the end of his term. That means his corrupt and chaotic presidency must be brought to a merciful end next year, at the ballot box.

Author warns that Trump ‘will not exit quietly,’ even if defeated or impeached



‘Anonymous’ author warns that Trump ‘will not exit quietly,’ even if defeated or impeached


The anonymous official who has written a scathing account of the presidency of Donald Trump suggests the president might refuse to leave office even if convicted in impeachment hearings or defeated narrowly in the 2020 election – and says Trump is preparing his followers to see either outcome as a “coup” that could warrant resistance.

“He will not exit quietly – or easily,” the author, self-described as a senior administration official, writes in A Warning, a book that builds on an explosive op-ed by the same unnamed author last year. USA TODAY obtained an early copy of the book.

“It is why at many turns he suggests ‘coups’ are afoot and a ‘civil war’ is in the offing. He is already seeding the narrative for his followers – a narrative that could end tragically.”

From ‘Anonymous’:Read key excerpts from inside Trump White House on Putin, Pence, Hillary

As the House of Representatives prepares to open public impeachment hearings Wednesday, the book also says that Trump ordered aides more than a year ago to pursue a “deliberate and coordinated campaign” to obstruct an impeachment inquiry and other congressional investigations. House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff has said he is considering obstruction of Congress as a possible Article of Impeachment.

The book’s author is identified only as “a senior official in the Trump administration,” and its forthcoming publication has created a firestorm over both its depiction of a dysfunctional president and the decision by the writer to remain anonymous.

Cover of "A Warning" by an anonymous senior Trump administration official.

“The coward who wrote this book didn’t put their name on it because it is nothing but lies,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said.

Many of the disclosures echo news stories that have portrayed the president as impulsive, sometimes uninformed and regularly willing to defy established norms. There is already no shortage of books by Trump critics, including former FBI director James Comey and others who have served in his administration, that raise questions about the president’s fitness for office.

But The New York Times op-ed in 2018 and the new book, being published next Tuesday by Twelve, have commanded enormous attention because the author had an inside view, often participating in small White House meetings where crucial decisions were made.

The author portrays himself or herself as sharing some policy views with Trump and initially having a positive if wary view of the possibilities of his presidency.

The author says the intended audience for A Warning isn’t those who closely follow politics but rather those who don’t, particularly voters from across the country who were drawn in 2016 to Trump’s promise to shake up the establishment.

Dropping Pence from the ticket?

The book says that Trump “on more than one occasion” discussed with staffers the possibility of dropping Vice President Mike Pence before the 2020 election.

“Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley was under active consideration to step in as vice president, which she did not discourage at first,” the author writes, saying some advisers argued that putting Haley on the ticket would help the president bolster his support among female voters.

In an interview Friday with USA TODAY, Nikki Haley dismissed out of hand the suggestion that she might replace Pence. In her new book, With All Due Respect, Haley offers a generally positive portrait of Trump, and the president rewarded her with a friendly tweet urging his millions of followers to buy a copy.

Pathway of impeachment:How it works, where we are

“Anonymous” depicts Trump as impatient, immoral, cruel, even dangerous as he rejects the limits placed on presidents by Congress and the courts.

As the 2018 midterm elections approached, the book says, the White House counsel’s office began to develop a “contingency plan” to shield the administration if Democrats gained control of Congress, and with that the ability to launch investigations and issue subpoenas. New lawyers were hired and internal procedures revamped, the author writes.

“The goal wasn’t just to prepare for a barrage of legislative requests,” the book says. “It was a concerted attempt to fend off congressional oversight. When Democrats finally took the House, the unspoken administration policy toward Capitol Hill became: Give as little as possible, wait as long as possible. Even routine inquiries are now routed to the lawyers, who have found unique ways to say “We can’t right now,” “Give us a few months,” “We’re going to need to put you on hold,” “Probably not,” “No,” and “Not a chance in hell.”

Trump impeachment inquiry:Early findings and how Republicans are opposing them

The author says the administration’s refusal to comply with congressional requests and even subpoenas “go beyond standard practice and have turned into a full block-and-tackle exercise against congressional investigators across an array of Trump administration controversies.”

On the president’s actions with Ukraine, now the heart of the impeachment inquiry, the author writes that the idea Trump was trying to battle corruption abroad – rather than gain some partisan political advantage at home – was “barely believable to anyone around him.”

But the book provides no significant new information or insights into that episode.

‘Get Out of Jail Free’ cards

The author’s agent, Matt Latimer, said the author didn’t take an advance payment for the book and plans to donate a substantial amount of the royalties to nonprofit organizations that encourage government accountability and an independent press.

Among other allegations, the book says:

  • Several top advisers and Cabinet-level officials last year discussed a mass resignation, “a midnight self-massacre,” intended to call attention to what they saw as Trump’s questionable and even corrupt behavior. “The idea was abandoned out of fear that it would make a bad situation worse.”
  • If a majority of the Cabinet called for Trump’s removal under the rules of the 25th Amendment, Pence would have been willing to go along with them. But the author provides no evidence to back up that assertion, and Pence in recent days has strongly denied it.
  • Trump told officials that, if they took illegal actions on his behalf, he would give them presidential pardons. “To Donald Trump, these are unlimited ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ cards on a Monopoly board.”
  • Trump was “particularly frustrated that the Justice Department hasn’t done more to harass the Clintons.” The president suggested to his first Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, that he might “un-recuse” himself from the Mueller inquiry into Russian election interference, presumably so he would feel free to order a more aggressive inquiry into Trump’s 2016 opponent. “You’d be a hero,” the president told him.

Ukraine ambassador William Taylor’s testimony backs Senate Republicans into a corner



Ukraine ambassador William Taylor’s testimony backs Senate Republicans into a corner

William Taylor, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, admitted in a closed-door hearing before Congress today that he had been acting under the impression that there was indeed a quid pro quo between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

This is bad news for Trump, and even worse for the Senate Republicans who will undoubtedly be forced to take a side when the Democrats’ impeachment proceedings move to the Senate for a trial.

Taylor’s opening statement, obtained by the Washington Post, confirms that the U.S. planned to withhold military and financial aid from Ukraine if the country didn’t assist the U.S. in its investigations into 2016 election interference. This might not be great diplomacy, but it isn’t illegal — the investigation into election interference is a legitimate government operation which, due to its nature, is somewhat dependent on foreign cooperation.

Forcing Ukraine to investigate Trump’s political rival, however, is another matter entirely, and one that lies at the center of Taylor’s testimony. At question here is a conversation Taylor had in September with Gordon Sondland, the United States’ envoy to the European Union. “As I said on the phone,” Taylor said in September, “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.”

To which Sondland replied: “Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quos of any kind. The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign.”

Taylor’s message was originally interpreted as a reaction to media reports that the U.S. was unnecessarily withholding military aid from Ukraine. But in his opening statement before Congress, Taylor confirmed that his message was not merely a reaction to the media, but a condemnation of a coordinated effort by Trump, Sondland, and the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

“I said on Sept. 9 in a message to [Sondland] that withholding security assistance in exchange for help with a domestic political campaign in the U.S. would be ‘crazy,’” Taylor said in his testimony, “I believed that then, and I still believe that.”

Taylor then lays out the timeline of Trump’s interactions with Zelensky and the “highly irregular” channel of U.S. policy making in Ukraine that included then-Special Envoy Kurt Volker, Sondland, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, and Giuliani. This “irregular” channel actively worked against U.S. interests and in favor of Trump’s personal interests, Taylor said.

“By mid-July it was becoming clear to me that the meeting President Zelensky wanted was conditioned on the investigations of Burisma [the Ukrainian oil company that Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, worked for] and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections,” Taylor said in his testimony. “It was also clear that this condition was driven by the irregular policy channel I had come to understand was guided by Mr. Giuliani.”

Taylor soon after realized that the hold placed on security assistance to Ukraine by the Office of Management and Budget ran counter to the State and Defense Departments’ recommendation that the U.S. assist Ukraine in its battle against Russia, and that it had more to do with Sondland’s demand that Ukraine commit to an investigation into Hunter Biden’s dealings with Burisma than it did with the U.S.’s investigation into election meddling.

Taylor’s testimony is both clarifying and damning for the Trump allies and Senate Republicans who have insisted there was no quid pro quo. Ukrainian officials might not have been aware that foreign aid was being withheld, but the U.S. government certainly was aware. And if it wasn’t clear before, it is now clear that Trump had a personal agenda and used Sondland and Giuliani to further it.

Impeachment will move forward, which means the Senate will eventually need to decide whether Trump was guilty of foreign malfeasance. Taylor’s testimony just made it that much harder to rule in his favor. His congressional allies will continue to stand by him, especially if House Democrats continue to treat impeachment like a campaign promise they need to fulfill.

But there will be other Trump-skeptical senators wary of the president’s blatant abuse of power who might just drift to the pro-impeachment side. Republicans control the Senate 53-47. It takes 67 votes to convict. Taylor’s testimony might just tip the scales.

Brazil: Lava Jato fears other sentences will be overturned, including Lula’s



Lava Jato fears other sentences will be overturned, including Lula’s conviction

The unpublished decision by the Supreme Court to overturn the sentence of former judge Sergio Moro who condemned former Petrobras president Aldemir Bendine caused panic to prosecutors of Operation Lava Jato. They say they view the measure with “immense concern” and fear that other convictions of the Operation, including Lula’s conviction, could also be overturned by the country’s Supreme Court.

(Photo: Felipe L. Gonçalves / Brasil247 | STF)

247 – The unpublished decision of the Supreme Court to overturn the sentence of former judge Sergio Moro who condemned former Petrobras president Aldemir Bendine caused panic to prosecutors of Operation Lava Jato. 

They say they view the measure with ‘grave concern’ and fear that other unjust condemnations made under the Operation would also be overturned by the country’s Supreme Court.  

In a report by journalist Felipe Bächtold , Folha de S.Paulo reports that the Lava Jato task force in Parana issued a statement saying “immense concern” with the decision of the Supreme Court. 

In the note, prosecutors state that precedent paves the way for overturning most convictions already issued in the operation. 

 The decision of the Second Class of the Supreme Court to overturn the conviction of former Petrobras President Aldemir Bendine was based on the argument that the defenses presented their final allegations within the same time frame, without distinguishing between whistle blowers and accused. “If the understanding is applied in the other cases of the Lava Jato operation, it could nullify practically all convictions, with the consequent prescription of several crimes and release of arrested defendants,” says the text released by prosecutors in Paraná.  

For now, the ruling of the Second Class holds only for Bendine’s sentence.   

Setting the same deadlines for whistle blowers and whistle blowers was a constant throughout the Lava Jato.  

In another case in Curitiba that already had a sentence in the lower court, that of the Atibaia (SP) site frequented by former President Lula, the presentation of the final allegations also occurred in this way, which has now been questioned.  

In November of last year, Judge Gabriela Hardt set a “ten days for the defenses” to present these demonstrations, without distinguishing between whistle blowers and whistle blowers.  

The former president’s defense said he had seen similarities between Bendine’s case and Lula’s.

In ‘New India’, noose tightening on corruption, nepotism: PM Modi in France



In ‘New India’, noose tightening on corruption, nepotism: PM Modi in France

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Indian diaspora in Paris during his visit to France on Friday amidst chants of “Modi hai to Mumkin hai” at the UNESCO headquarters.

INDIA Updated: Aug 23, 2019 17:21 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets Indian community in France at UNESCO HQ in Paris,France, Friday, Aug 23, 2019.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets Indian community in France at UNESCO HQ in Paris,France, Friday, Aug 23, 2019. (Photo: Twitter/ @MEAIndia)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it was the strength of 1.25 billion Indians that had powered the big decisions taken by his government in the first 75-days of re-election amidst chants of “Modi hai to Mumkin hai” during his address to the Indian diaspora at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris on Friday..

He listed criminalizing the practice of “Triple Talaq” and indirectly referred to removal of the “temporary” provision of Article 370 that had granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir along with several other welfare schemes among the “big” decisions taken by his government.

“Triple Talaq, was an inhuman practice, we have ended the practice that hung like a sword over hundreds of thousands of Muslim women for years,” he said, adding that his government had set some goals for the country that were considered “impossible to achieve earlier”. He listed the “record number of new bank accounts” and the beneficiaries under PM’s Central health scheme as some important milestones.

“We have showed red card to several evil social practices in the last five years,” he said and added “In new India, the way in which action is being taken against corruption, nepotism, loot of people’s money, terrorism, this has never happened before.”

Watch | Modi’s Paris diplomacy: Macron fully backs India’s stand on Kashmir issue 

Modi’s Paris diplomacy: Macron fully backs India’s stand on Kashmir issue
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed media with French president Emanuel Macron on the first day of his three-nation tour. He spoke about Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan’s diplomatic campaign against India.


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“There was no place for temporary in India,” he said in a veiled reference to his government’s decision to abrogate Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir. “It took us 70-years to remove temporary,” said the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, the mandate given to him in 2019 elections was “not just to run India but to create a new India”, adding that the country had seen “several positive developments in the last five-years during which the youth, women, farmers and the poor were put at the center of government’s programmers.” He also said that several studies had confirmed rapid eradication of poverty in India.

The Prime Minister, who is on day long visit to France, said India-France ties were beyond friendship. There was no single platform in the world where the two countries had not worked together. So, I devote this day to India-France relations,” he said.

He said India and France partnership could be summed up by combining words “IN” (for India) with “FRA” (for France) to create “INFRA”. INFRA, he said, represented the joint efforts between the two nations in the field of “Solar Infra”, “Technical Infra” and “Space Infra” among others.

Also read | We met goals once considered unachievable: PM to Indians in France

First Published: Aug 23, 2019 15:14 IST

Lula: my greatest pleasure would be to get out of here and Moro and Dallagnol in



Lula: my greatest pleasure would be to get out of here and Moro in, he and Dallagnol

In his historic interview on TV 247, former President Lula spoke about Lava Jato, the destruction of the Amazon, Jair Bolsonaro’s lack of decorum, and the role of the United States in the 2016 coup. “I don’t want to leave here with half guilt. I want to go out with 100% of my innocence. I’m not a pigeon, put them on the anklet. My greatest pleasure would be to get out of here and Moro come in. He and Dallagnol, “he said.

(Photo: Felipe Gonçalves / TV 247)

247 – The interview given by former President Lula to journalists Mauro Lopes, Paulo Moreira Leite and Pepe Escobar, from TV 247, was full of important messages about what is going on in Brazil and in the world. Lula expressed outrage at his political prisoner status for more than 500 days, but made it clear that he sleeps peacefully, unlike his tormentors. “Moro has insomnia because he knows he lied. And now he’s playing the clown,” he said, before he even knew that Deltan Dallgnol, demoralized by Vaza Jato, has only been able to sleep on drugs.

Lula sent a direct message to the Federal Supreme Court, which until now has remained cowering before the evident procedural fraud, already denounced by the greatest jurists and intellectuals of Brazil and the world. “I’m tired of calling Moro and Dallagnol liars. I’m hoping someone will have the dignity to read my case and judge on the record,” he said.  “I don’t want to leave here with half the blame. I want to leave with 100% of my innocence. I’m not a pigeon, put them on the anklet. My greatest pleasure would be to get out of here and Moro come in. He and Dallagnol.” full recognition of your innocence.

Regarding the Amazon, Lula made clear the responsibility of the voters of Jair Bolsonaro. “Bolsonaro says that those who are setting fire to the Amazon are the NGOs. Who is setting fire is his business owner,” he said. “Someone needed to take the Bolsonaro by the ear and say, ‘Listen here, kid, be polite.’ We need peace. A president doesn’t have to think about anything other than the welfare of his people,” Lula said. “These people have to understand that they were not elected to be owners of the country. They were elected to govern. Do not destroy the country. They cannot leave delivering Brazil.

The role of the United States

Lula also warned that his lawyers will seek access to documents demonstrating that he is the victim of a US-led international conspiracy that has arrested him and made room for the destruction of democracy in Brazil and the rise of neo-fascism. “We are filing requests from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requesting information from the US Department of Justice about US interference in my case,” he said.


Brazil: Dilma: after 500 days of Lula’s illegal arrest, neo-fascism devastates Brazil



Dilma: after 500 days of Lula’s illegal arrest, neo-fascism devastates Brazil

“Now the evil is done. Brazil is being devastated by a neo-fascist government in politics and neoliberal in the economy, headed by an eschatological and intolerant president. Having caught their biases, the judge and prosecutors who have colluded to convict Lula, destroying the economy and trampling justice deny the undeniable. They deny the undeniable, “says former president Dilma Rousseff, who was deposed by the 2016 coup, about Lula’s political arrest.

(Photo: Dilma Rousseff)

By Dilma Rousseff – A poem by Pastor Martin Niemöller, which inspired Bertold Brecht and Eduardo Alves da Costa, became a symbol of criticism of indifference to Nazism. In historical moments when values ​​are at stake, indifference becomes dramatic and leads to chaos. Thanks to Germany from the 1930s, worth today. 

“When the Nazis took the communists, I shut up 
because, after all, I was not a communist. 
When they arrested the Social Democrats, I shut up 
because, after all, I was not a Social Democrat. 
When they took the trade unionists, I didn’t protest, 
because, after all, I wasn’t a trade unionist. 
When they took the Jews, I did not protest, 
because, after all, I was not a Jew. 
When they took me, there was no one to protest. “

The arrest of Lula completes on Tuesday (20) 500 days of illegality and offense to the democratic rule of law. It represents disrespect for constitutional guarantees, due process of law, presumption of innocence and human rights. It is a threat. If Lula is arrested illegally, anyone can be. It all started when I was overthrown by the 2016 coup without committing a crime.

Here is the inaugural act of a process of destruction of democracy. And that was really it. 
Except for the progressives and Democrats, in the face of the coup and the arrest of Lula, when an injustice against an innocent was warned, many people stopped reacting. His only transgression is to be the greatest popular leader in the history of Brazil. Now, after the revelations of the website The Intercept, everyone knows that Lula was the victim of a plot to destroy his reputation and steal his freedom.

The judge who convicted him was the one who tapped a phone call between me and the former president and leaked the audio to TV Globo. Serious crime, target of only mild reprimand. And that was really it.

The same judge who convicted Lula validated a plea that was plucked under duress by a businessman who had previously said the former president was innocent. Plucked out of intimidation, such denunciation was the basis of the conviction. And the abuse prevailed.

To lend meaning to the sentence, the judge alleged that he condemned Lula for “undetermined acts”. Even the Lava Jet had confessed to having no evidence. But this judicial extravagance also prevailed. 
With Lula already imprisoned, this judge suspended his own vacation to coerce the Federal Police to violate the judge’s decision to release him. And, as in previous situations, the abuse has not been corrected.

In 2018, the week of the second round, the judge leaked an accusation rejected by the prosecutors, ensuring the victory of the far right. And the justice did not take any action.

After the election, the judge was asked to become president-elect’s minister thanks to his illegal interference. And that was really it. 

Now the evil is done. Brazil is being devastated by a neo-fascist government in politics and neoliberal in the economy, headed by an eschatological and intolerant president. Having caught their bias, the judge and the prosecutors who came together in collusion to convict Lula, destroy the economy and trample justice deny the undeniable. They belie the undeniable.

The result is shameful: an innocent is in prison and an unprepared neo-fascist is in power. 
There will only be justice with the annulment of the trial and the acquittal of Lula. 

#LulaLivre is a moral imperative, a civilizing requirement, an act of justice that the judiciary cannot deny to an innocent. Especially when the innocent is the only one who can pacify the country. Free to promote understanding, Lula will lead Brazil to unite social forces, without exclusion, on a front for democracy, sovereignty and the rights of the people. Such a front will seek the way out of the institutional, political and economic crisis in which Brazil was thrown by the 2016 coup, the arrest of Lula and the election of Bolsonaro.

#LulaLivre is a cry of hope for us to cease to be a war – torn country, contaminated by hatred and governed by insensitivity to again become a viable nation, socially just and generous with his people. #LulaLivre means peace and democracy for Brazil.