Lula, the UN and a Trip to Cuba (I).
By Armando F. Valladares.
Edited by Federico Ferrero
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After secret debates in the inner circles of the Brazilian government, the decision seems to have been reached: on September 26 President Lula, after participating in a meeting of the UN, will make another trip to the island prison, this time as President of Brazil. It is a step characterized in the presidential entourage as "controversial" and politically risky, as revealed by the well informed columnist Dora Kramer, of the newspaper Jornal do Brasil. She adds that one of the purposes of the trip, according to its defenders - Lula, the chancellor Amorim and the minister José Dirceu, a former guerrilla who lived several years in Cuba - would be that of "preserving bonds of affection with the past."
Lula himself has recognized that the series of pilgrimages to the Communist Mecca began in 1985. On the last of them, in December of 2001, he went like a co-founder, together with Fidel Castro, of the subversive Forum of São Paulo (FSP). There, in the annual meeting of the FSP, he gave moving tribute to the bloodthirsty dictator, in the presence of revolutionary Latin American leaders, including Colombian drug guerrillas: "In spite of the fact that your face already is marked with wrinkles, Fidel, your soul remains clean because you never betrayed the interests of your people"; "Thank you, Fidel, thank you because you continue to exist."
In the following month, at the end of January of 2002, during the Second World Social Forum of Porto Alegre, before an audience of thousands of militants of the Workers Party (PT), of the Castroite Movement Without Land (MST) and of the base communities following the theology of the liberation, he gave a skillful speech in which he explained to his "companions" the need for a new tactic to take power in the approaching presidential election. According to him, the "electoral failures" of the Brazilian left are due up to this time to an imprudent strategic "play" of the Left, showing to the public a profile that is "too radical"; a defect that, according to him, affected "99% of the participants in the Second FSM." And he made an urgent call to correct it, in order to be able finally to reach power. It was the "Lula Peace and Love" which, once quickly metamorphosed, would advance until arriving at the Presidency of Brazil.
In the UN, in New York, President Lula will give his guarantee to one of the greatest and most flagrant contradictions - which are not few - of the general assembly of that exalted organization: to condemn one more time, almost by unanimity, the American embargo, without saying even a word about the cause of the problem, which is the implacable internal embargo of the Communist state against the Cuban people for more than forty years, in an enigmatic ritual of oblation to the "revolutionary gods" that do not die. On the theme of the external and internal Cuban embargo, as well as on the contradictory position of President Lula and of his chancellor Amorim on the matter, including a remark against the Cuban exiles, I had an occasion to write an article recently, to which I refer for greater brevity (Armando Valladares, "Cuba: Lula Supports the Internal Castroite 'Blockade,'" Diario Las Américas, Miami, Jul. 22, 2003).
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