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In Rio, Ex-President Lula Claims He Is "No Longer Just Lula, but an Idea"

10/04/2017 - 12h39



In a speech on Tuesday (the 3rd) in front of the Petrobras headquarters in downtown Rio, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva compared himself to Tiradentes (a national hero and leading member of a revolutionary movement in the 18th century who was hanged) and said that currently, he represents "an idea that millions of people have".

"Lula is no longer just Lula. Lula is an idea that millions of people have", he said, in an event promoted by labor unions against the privatization of state-owned companies.

The former president said that he would resist the "lies" promoted by the Federal Police, the Prosecutor General's Office and the press, and that he would return to the presidency in 2018 "alongside the working people of this country".

The latest Datafolha poll, released on Sunday (the 1st), indicates that support for the former president in the 2018 election is hovering at around 35% and that he would beat any of his adversaries in the event of a runoff.

Lula compared himself to Tiradentes, claiming that the latter was also persecuted, but the ideas that he embodied persisted after his death. "They killed the flesh, but they failed to kill off his libertarian ideas".

Lula criticized the Temer administration for the privatization program that they have announced - the very program that the worker's union was demonstrating against.

They marched from the Eletrobras headquarters to the Petrobras headquarters, singing chants against the privatization of the electric power company and the pre-salt layer.

"These rulers that are out there, they don't appear to be rulers, they seem more like sales managers at Casas Bahia", the former president said, referring to a popular retail chain.

He then said that, of all the presidents, he was the one "who invested the most money in the petroleum industry".

The demonstrators, most of whom worked in the petroleum industry, didn't forget to bring up Petrobras's anniversary, which turned 64 on Tuesday (the 3rd).

Lula said that the company shouldn't just be viewed as an oil company, but as an instrument for economic policies.

"There are over 20 thousand companies that depend on it", said the former president, who is accused of profiting off of a corruption scheme that was implemented in the company.

In one lawsuit, Lula is accused of having accepted a triplex apartment in exchange for government contracts that were conceded to construction firm OAS.


Read the article in the original language

Ricardo Stuckert/Divulgação
"Lula is an idea that millions of people have", said the former president, in an event promoted by labor unions in Rio
"Lula is an idea that millions of people have", said the former president, in an event promoted by labor unions in Rio

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