In mid-1978, the former Leão de Ouro canteen, in São Bernardo do Campo (SP), brought together professor Fernando Henrique Cardoso and union leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at the same table.
They wanted to gain the support of metallurgists for the FHC campaign for the Senate, in the November election of that year.
In 1993, PT and PSDB negotiated an alliance for the presidential election, but talks failed, and in 1994, FHC was victorious in the wake of the Real Plan.
With FHC's victory, Lula and the left stuck the “neoliberal” label to the PSDB party member, something he never accepted.
FHC and Lula's 16-year tenure (1995-2010) was the culmination of mutual aggression, with accusations that often went beyond the programmatic field and slipped into that of ethics. The toucan was talking about mensalão, and the petista, privatization.
“The big break was when Lula assumed the Presidency and said that he had received a cursed inheritance. It is as if he had stabbed Fernando Henrique in the back, ”says Xico Graziano, who was FHC's private secretary and minister. According to him, the toucan never hid this hurt.
Last week, a photo of Lula and FHC during lunch at the home of former minister Nelson Jobim surprised the political world.
FHC now says he would opt for Lula in a hypothetical second round against Bolsonaro next year.
With research pointing to this scenario, the scene of a new union, four and a half decades after the festive meal in a canteen in São Bernardo, is on the horizon, despite the years of heavy criticism from both sides.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon