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  1. #51
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Why the win was so important.




    A loss for Jair Bolsonaro in the upcoming Brazilian presidential election could lead to Amazon deforestation in his nation falling by 89% over the next decade, according to new analysis conducted for Carbon Brief.

    A victory for left-wing challenger and current frontrunner Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva – commonly known as Lula – could avoid 75,960km2 of Amazon rainforest loss by 2030, the analysis shows – an area roughly the size of Panama. This would also significantly curb Brazil’s emissions when accompanied by a new focus on forest restoration.

    This assumes that Lula would follow through on a pledge to address illegal deforestation in the Amazon, in line with his previous presidency, while Bolsonaro would continue to oversee weak environmental governance that allows such activities to continue. It also assumes these conditions would remain the same out to 2030.

    The analysis, by researchers at the University of Oxford, the International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA) and the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), models the implementation of Brazil’s Forest Code, the country’s flagship legislation for tackling deforestation in the Amazon and other ecosystems.

    There are many factors that could influence the future of the Amazon, but the results highlight the impact that enforcing environmental legislation could have after years of neglect under Brazil’s current right-wing leader.

    Amazon election

    Brazil is the world’s sixth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, largely due to the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from deforestation and the methane from cattle pastures on cleared land. Its land-use emissions also make it the fourth-largest historical emitter.

    By far the main driver of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is beef production, with soybeans for animal feed a distant second. The nation is the largest beef exporter in the world, primarily serving markets in China and the US.

    All of this gives global significance to the Brazilian government’s approach to deforestation and big agribusiness expansion.

    For the past four years since his election, right-wing president Bolsonaro has weakened existing environmental protections and legitimised illegal activity. As the chart below shows, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has increased since he took power, wiping out 34,018km2 of rainforest, an area larger than Belgium, in his first three years.


    This is because, despite pledging to end illegal deforestation by 2030, in reality the president has thrown his support behind the nation’s powerful agricultural sector, allowing them to operate without restrictions and spread into Indigenous lands.

    In contrast, between 2003 and 2010, when Lula was last president, deforestation in the Amazon fell by around three-quarters from a peak in 2004. Forest loss remained low under his fellow Workers’ Party politician Dilma Rouseff, who held the presidency until she was removed from office in 2016.

    Lula, who is Bolsonaro’s main challenger in the upcoming presidential election after a spell in prison on controversial corruption charges, has published a manifesto referencing this past success. It notes that:

    “In our governments, we have reduced deforestation by almost 80% in the Amazon, the largest contribution ever made by a country to mitigate climate change between 2004 and 2012.”

    It adds that Lula intends to repeat these achievements, while mentioning plans to tackle illegal deforestation and invest in forest restoration.

    With Brazil heading to the polls on 2 October, there are signs that a victory for Lula could see a reversal of the downward trend in environmental standards that has marked Bolsonaro’s time in office.
    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    The French midget gets a dig in:

    He does unlike most have border with Brazil and control of migrants , smuggling etc issues

  3. #53
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    ^ Bingo

  4. #54
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Brazil’s former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva beat incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in the county’s presidential election on Sunday, October 30, ousting Bolsonaro after just one term.

    Lula had secured 50.8 percent of the vote, with 99 percent of votes counted, while Bolsonaro, the right-wing leader who was elected in 2018, received 49.1 percent, according to Brazil’s electoral authority.

    Speaking in Sao Paulo, the president-elect reportedly told a crowd of supporters at his victory party: “Brazil is back!”.

    Lula supporters gathered to celebrate his victory on Paulista Avenue, one of the city’s main streets. Footage by Polícia Militar do Estado de Sao Paulo shows crowds beginning to gather outside the Brazilian Financial center as the result was announced on Sunday evening.



  5. #55
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    Wooo hooo !!! Can’t wait ! Can’t wait for the peace, justice, financial fairness and reduction in corruption.
    Power to the people at last.
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    But a bumbler has to be better than a bastard. Maybe.

  6. #56
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva won Brazil’s presidential election on Sunday, defeating far-right President Jair Bolsonaro in a heated contest during which the incumbent repeatedly threatened to dismantle the world’s fourth-largest democracy.

    Brazil’s Superior Electoral Tribunal called the race for da Silva just before 7 p.m. Eastern time, with the leftist holding a narrow 50.83% to 48.17% lead with more than 98% of votes counted.

    The victory will complete a triumphant return to the top of Brazilian politics for da Silva, the leader of the leftist Workers’ Party who previously served as the country’s president from 2003 to 2010, then spent nearly two years in prison on a corruption conviction that was ultimately annulled.

    Four years after Brazilian discontent with a political establishment that da Silva had long represented helped propel Bolsonaro to victory, Brazilians turned back to the man they refer to simply as “Lula” in historic fashion: Bolsonaro is now the first president since Brazil’s return to democracy in the late 1980s to fail to win a second term.

    The election did not provide a resounding defeat of Bolsonaro, one of a cadre of right-wing leaders putting democracies at risk worldwide, which da Silva and many of his supporters had once hoped for. But it was still a rejection of a leader who had spent his four years targeting Brazil’s democratic institutions and who seemed likely to use a second term in office to further erode the country’s democracy.

    He also pledged to renew Brazil’s fight against deforestation in the Amazon rainforest and reclaim its role as an important player on the world stage, where Bolsonaro has been increasingly isolated because of his anti-climate and anti-democracy actions.

    Now attention will turn to how Bolsonaro will greet the news of his defeat.

    For the last two years, Bolsonaro has targeted Brazil’s election system, which experts regard as one of the world’s best, with a barrage of attacks and conspiracy theories about voter fraud. He has said he would only accept the results if he believed they were “clean,” while also making it clear that any election he lost could not be considered such. And he has at times told supporters that he is willing to “go to war” to remain in office and prevent da Silva and the leftist Workers Party from returning to power.

    Hours into Sunday’s vote, social media sites exploded with reports that police had begun stopping buses carrying voters to the polls, particularly in the northeastern region that is da Silva’s strongest base. The stops made by the Federal Highway Police ― there were more than 500 in all, and more than half occurred in northeastern states, according to reports ― defied the electoral court’s prohibition on such investigations during election day and drew cries of voter suppression from the Workers’ Party and its allies.

    Multiple news outlets reported that the stops were part of a deliberate strategy developed by the Bolsonaro government in meetings held at the presidential residence earlier this month.

    olsonaro had already ramped his threats against Brazil’s electoral authorities earlier in the week. He warned Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal, which oversees elections, that he may seek “ultimate consequences” in response to its refusal to investigate claims from Bolsonaro’s campaign that radio stations had censored his advertisements. (There was no evidence to support the assertions.) Eduardo Bolsonaro, the president’s son and a member of Brazil’s Congress, said that the elections should be delayed in a television interview Thursday night.

    Bolsonaro has used rallies throughout this year to suggest that his supporters could take to the streets to contest the election results, and a sizable bloc of his voters have indicated in polls that they do not want him to recognize the results. Earlier this month, he told them to remain at polling places after they voted Sunday to monitor for potential irregularities ― which have never been seriously reported in Brazilian elections.

    There is little chance, most experts believe, that Bolsonaro could successfully undermine the election results. Da Silva and his allies have said they have no doubt that the outcome will ultimately be respected and certified, and called for international leaders ― including U.S. President Joe Biden and heads of state from Europe and around the world ― to swiftly recognize the results.

    “The people want democracy, and want the vote to be respected,” Aloízio Mercadante, a longtime da Silva ally, told reporters at a Thursday news conference.

    Da Silva on Saturday said that he hoped Bolsonaro would respect the results but that he did not need the president to participate in ceremonial transition festivities.

    “If necessary,” he said in São Paulo, “I’ll receive the presidential sash from the Brazilian people.”

    The United States and many European nations have expressed confidence in the Brazilian electoral system for months. On Sunday, Biden congratulated da Silva on his victory less than an hour after the results were known.

    “I send my congratulations to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on his election to be the next president of Brazil following free, fair, and credible elections,” Biden said in a statement. “I look forward to working together to continue the cooperation between our two countries in the months and years ahead.”
    Last edited by S Landreth; 31-10-2022 at 06:37 PM.

  7. #57
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    Now begins the stolen election bullshit.

  8. #58
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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  9. #59
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    After the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) declared Lula the elected president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro remained silent and met with General Walter Braga Netto, his candidate for vice president.

    According to presidential advisers, Bolsonaro stayed at Palácio da Alvorada all afternoon.

    Folha found out that the president did not want to talk to ministers on the phone or meet with them after the defeat.

    Later, the president's aide, Mauro Cesar Cid, warned ministers that Bolsonaro had gone to sleep. At 10:06 pm, the Alvorada's lights were turned off.

    The chief executive avoided talking to allies and did not make any public statements about being defeated by Lula.


    Lula's victory marks something unprecedented since Brazil's re-democratization: Bolsonaro is the first president to lose the dispute for re-election.


    The next December 31, the date on which the term officially ends, will mark his departure from office.

    Bolsonaro keeps silent after defeat - 31/10/2022 - Brazil - Folha
    Warning: Be cautious if you are a fragile pink

  10. #60
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Four years ago, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s reputation and political future were in tatters. After an unlikely rise from poverty to union leader to Brazil’s presidency, the man universally known as Lula had landed in prison.

    On Sunday – in yet another twist – Brazilian voters chose him by the narrowest of margins to once again lead the world’s fourth-largest democracy. He will also be putting his legacy on the line.

    “I consider myself a citizen who has had a process of resurrection in Brazilian politics, because they tried to bury me alive,” da Silva said in a speech Sunday night after results that confirmed his third presidential win. “I am here to govern in a very difficult situation. But I have faith in God that, with our people’s help, we will find a way out for this country.”

    The life of da Silva has unfolded in such a unique, extraordinary way that it strains credulity.

    His family moved from Brazil's poor northeast region to Sao Paulo state in pursuit of a better life, following his father who had traveled south years before. Upon arriving, however, they found he had settled down with another woman. Da Silva’s mother was left alone to raise eight children, of whom Lula was the youngest.

    Pressed for money, he became a metalworker at age 14 in the metropolis’ gritty outskirts. It was a physical job that cost him his left pinky finger. He became a union leader in an era when Brazil's manufacturing work force was still vast, and translated that into political power. He made his first presidential run in 1989, which he lost — along with two subsequent races.

    Finally, in 2002, he claimed victory and became the first worker to assume the nation's top job. And he was reelected four years later, defeating Geraldo Alckmin — who this year became his running mate.

    Commodities exports to China were surging, filling government coffers, and a vast welfare program lifted tens of millions of Brazilians into the middle class. Da Silva left office with an approval rating above 80%, and then-U.S. President Barack Obama called him “the most popular politician on Earth.” His hand-picked successor, Dilma Rousseff, was elected in 2014.

    In Rousseff's second term, however, a sprawling corruption investigation ensnared top politicians and businessmen alike. It plunged her administration — along with da Silva and the rest of the Workers’ Party he founded — into disgrace.

    Revelations of systemic kickbacks in exchange for government contracts were followed by a deep, two-year recession that many blamed on Rousseff’s economic policies, and which turbocharged resentment of the Workers’ Party. She was impeached in 2016 for breaking fiscal responsibility laws regarding management of the federal budget.

    Then da Silva himself was sentenced for corruption and money laundering, and confined to a 160-square-foot room on the fourth floor of a Federal Police building in southern city Curitiba. That sidelined him from the 2018 presidential race and cleared the way for Jair Bolsonaro, then a fringe lawmaker, to cruise to victory. Da Silva’s political legacy was in tatters.

    His personal life, too, was blown to pieces. His wife passed away, which at the time he blamed on the strain caused by the investigation.

    Slowly, hope crept in. He started exchanging love letters with a woman named Rosângela da Silva, nicknamed Janja. Their relationship blossomed thanks to da Silva’s then lawyer, Luis Carlos Rocha, who visited him every weekday.

    Rocha acted as dutiful courier, hiding Janja's letters inside his jacket pocket where guards wouldn't check. He told The Associated Press he saw da Silva’s face light up with each colorful envelope he delivered.

    “God willing, one day we will publish (the letters),” da Silva said at a rally in September. “But only for people aged over 18.”

    The Supreme Court also started assessing the legality of his convictions, which it eventually annulled on the grounds that the presiding federal judge had been biased and colluded with prosecutors.

    After 580 days imprisonment, da Silva was a free man — free to marry his girlfriend, and free to run for the presidency. Still, Bolsonaro, seeking a second term, reminded voters of da Silva's convictions at every turn, warning that electing him would be like letting a thief return to the scene of the crime.

    It revitalized semi-dormant sentiment against the Workers' Party, and the fact that much of Brazil still holds da Silva in disdain is a key reason this year's contest between the two political titans grew ever closer.

    Ultimately, it came down to the wire: Da Silva was elected with 50.9% of the vote. It was the tightest election since Brazil's return to democracy over three decades ago.

    During his victory speech, Janja was by his side, as she was throughout his campaign. She shed tears, overwhelmed with emotion. And she wasn't alone.

    “I cried when he was jailed. Now I cry because he will take Brazil back to normal. He can do it, he has the charisma to do it," said Claudia Marcos, a 56-year-old historian who joined thousands of others to celebrate the leftist’s victory on Sao Paulo’s main boulevard. “He is our phoenix. The most important president in Brazil’s history.”

    At the Workers’ Party's headquarters on Sunday, da Silva read out a long, carefully written speech promising to unite Brazil. Seeking redemption, he will face a much more challenging environment — economically and politically — than during his last presidency. He will take office on Jan. 1, and has said he will be a one-term president. It could be his final act.

    “It is not the number of years that makes someone old. What makes you old is the lack of a cause,” said da Silva, who turned 77 three days before the vote. “Brazil is my cause. The Brazilian people are my cause.”

  11. #61
    Thailand Expat OhOh's Avatar
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    Greetings to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on winning presidential election in Brazil

    Vladimir Putin sent a message to congratulate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on winning the presidential election in Brazil.

    October 31, 2022
    08:35

    The message reads, in part:

    “The result of the elections has reaffirmed your high political prestige.

    I hope that by working together we will ensure the further development of constructive Russian-Brazilian cooperation in all spheres.”

    Greetings to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on winning presidential election in Brazil • President of Russia

    Xi congratulates Lula on Brazil election victory; smoother bilateral ties expected

    ByWang Qi


    Published: Oct 31, 2022 06:18 PM Updated: Oct 31, 2022 10:29 PM

    "Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday congratulated Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (known as Lula) on his election as president of Brazil, saying that the long-term friendship and the deepening of mutually beneficial cooperation serve the fundamental interests of the two countries and is conducive to maintaining regional and world peace and stability and promoting common development and prosperity.

    Xi said he attaches great importance to the development of China-Brazil relations and stands ready to work with President-elect Lula, from a strategic height and long-term perspective, to jointly plan and lift China-Brazil comprehensive strategic partnership to a higher level so as to benefit to the two countries and their people.

    The Chinese Foreign Ministry also congratulated the left-wing politician, who defeated the far-right incumbent president Jair Bolsonaro on Sunday, saying that China wishes Brazil continuous achievements in national development.

    The 77-year-old Lula, who governed Latin America's largest economy for two consecutive terms from 2003 to 2010, will have a third term as Brazilian President after a narrow margin victory, with 50.9 percent to Bolsonaro's 49.1 percent of the votes in Sunday's runoff vote, according to media reports.

    Chinese experts expect Lula's return to significantly improve the atmosphere of cooperation between China and Brazil in terms of trade, investment and global governance. Meanwhile, the "new pink tide" represented by Lula's return also means the strengthening of the autonomy of Latin American diplomacy.

    "For Lula, the development of the economy and people's livelihood will largely determine the stability of his Partido dos Trabalhadores's rule… Brazil is likely to look more actively to the Asia-Pacific region to tap the potential of the Chinese market and attract Chinese investment," Zhou Zhiwei, an expert on Latin American studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday.

    According to Zhou, Lula's return is likely to bring back a smoother China-Brazil relationship, which will help both sides find more space and reap dividends of economic and trade cooperation, especially in agriculture and infrastructure construction.

    "Brazil may also seek to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) under Lula," Zhou said. Brazil's left-wing ruled neighbor Argentina announced its decision to join the BRI in February.

    Given that Lula was instrumental in the establishment and launch of the BRICS mechanism during his last stint in office, analysts believe that he will continue to be active and positive about BRICS.

    "Lula is likely to place a high priority on cooperation between emerging powers, including BRICS. This means that cooperation among BRICS countries and communication on international hotspot issues and global affairs will be smoother and more stable than under Bolsonaro," Zhou said.

    Despite Lula's election victory, Bolsonaro's Partido Liberal remains the largest bloc in the National Congress of Brazil. The latest election has also exposed Brazil's polarized politics and divisions, and there are concerns that political rifts at home will spill over into foreign policy, similar to what is happening in the US.

    "The importance of China to Brazil in the economy and trade is hard to replace. Several interest groups in Brazil have benefited from cooperation with China, including the agricultural and animal husbandry groups with political positions favoring Bolsonaro, which is an important area of China-Brazil economic and trade ties," Zhou said.

    According to data from the Ministry of Commerce of China, by 2021, China had been Brazil's largest trading partner for 13 consecutive years, and bilateral trade exceeded $100 billion for four consecutive years. In 2021, Brazil's agricultural exports to China exceeded $40 billion.

    Lula's victory is also viewed as part of Latin America's "new pink tide": eight countries, including Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Chile have elected left-wing leaders since 2018.

    Yang Jianmin, an expert in Latin American studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that the "new pink tide" can be viewed as China's opportunity to develop a more profound bond with Latin American countries, whose left-wing politicians support promoting regional integration, rejecting US hegemony in the region, and advocating a more diversified and independent diplomacy.

    Nevertheless, experts stressed that Lula may also show a more pragmatic style in his third term, and will have a less anti-America voice. Instead, he may prioritize more practical tasks such as stabilizing the economy and mitigating the negative impact of COVID-19.

    Lula's emphasis on South-South cooperation and bonding with emerging powers does not mean that he will reject the US. Instead, it's very likely that he will put greater emphasis on autonomy, equality and reciprocity, which is completely different from Bolsonaro's alliance with Donald Trump, said Wang Youming, director of the Institute of Developing Countries at the China Institute of International Studies in Beijing."


    Xi congratulates Lula on Brazil election victory; smoother bilateral ties expected - Global Times
    A tray full of GOLD is not worth a moment in time.

  12. #62
    Thailand Expat helge's Avatar
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    No Bolsonaro aficionados on TD ?

    Have we got a consensus right here ?


    I have to rethink this

  13. #63
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    History

    Brazil “Is Back,” Says Lula After Election Victory https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/...1030-0017.html


  14. #64
    Excommunicated baldrick's Avatar
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    there will be at least an attempt at a coup

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by helge View Post
    No Bolsonaro aficionados on TD ?

    Have we got a consensus right here ?


    I have to rethink this
    You're right, it is surprising seeing as we have mainly three supporters of totalitarian leaders of all corners here . . . Putin, Xi, Kim . . .

  16. #66
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    This whole bullshit hinting that Bolsonaro may not concede is starting to be concerning. The results are amazingly close. Almost beyond belief.
    I'm starting to sense that this celebration may be just a tad on the premateur side.

    I see that Biden has already assigment his seal of approval to the results. Good move.
    A true diplomat is a person who can tell you to go to hell in such a manner that you will be asking for directions.

  17. #67
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    Still can't view past the first page unless I post

  18. #68
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Try clearing your browser.

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    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Or use another browser to see if it still happens.

  20. #70
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    Clear cookies.

  21. #71
    Being chased by sloths Backspin's Avatar
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    Lula is a bigger Putin and Xi ally than Bolsinaro was. Funny how everyone doesn't seem to know this. I backed Lula. So did Russia and China.


    The Geostrategic Consequences Of Lula’s Re-Election Aren’t As Clear-Cut As Some Might Think
    The Geostrategic Consequences Of Lula’s Re-Election Aren’t As Clear-Cut As Some Might Think


    Lula and Bolsonaro are striking exceptions to the oversimplification of contemporary leaders in the New Cold War either being unipolar liberal-globalists or multipolar conservative-sovereigntists since the first (Lula) is a multipolar liberal-globalist while the second (Bolsinaro) was a unipolar conservative-sovereigntist. Each leader has significant idiosyncrasies that complicate analyses of their foreign policy.

    Multipolar is the Russian stance. Unipolar is the US stance.

    Upon entering office, Bolsonaro failed to fulfill his anti-Chinese campaign pledges and also defied the US’ demands that Brazil comply with its anti-Russian sanctions following the latest phase of the Ukrainian Conflict that began on 24 February. Evidently, this “dark horse” wasn’t going to let any US president ride him. To the contrary, Bolsonaro continued to push ahead with policies that he and his team were convinced advanced Brazil’s objective national interests as they understood them to be. While differing from Lula on sensitive issues like Venezuela, he aligned with him on others like Russia.

    As for Lula, there’s no doubt that he too is also a vehement believer in multipolarity, albeit as understood from his own ideological perspective. Where he differs from Bolsonaro is that the former is more liberal-globalist while the latter is much more conservative-sovereigntist. To explain, the ideological dimension of the New Cold War can be simplified as the struggle between unipolar liberal-globalists (ULGs) and multipolar conservative-sovereigntists (MCS). Each of their three associated characteristics was briefly touched upon here, What’s Dishonestly Smeared As “Russian Propaganda” Is Just The Multipolar Worldview - ZubuBrothers

  22. #72
    Being chased by sloths Backspin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by helge View Post
    No Bolsonaro aficionados on TD ?

    Have we got a consensus right here ?


    I have to rethink this
    So far we have consensus.

    This explains it The Geostrategic Consequences Of Lula’s Re-Election Aren’t As Clear-Cut As Some Might Think

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    Try clearing your browser.
    Or just report it to the mods and let them take care of it. All good now.

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backspin View Post
    So far we have consensus.
    Helge is still rethinking though, and it must be tearing him apart.

  25. #75
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    An opinion from Brazil.
    Comeback kid Lula in the eye of a volcano

    Lula wins but his room for maneuver will be limited by powerful forces aligned against his Global South agenda

    by Pepe Escobar October 31, 2022

    "Luis Ignacio “Lula” da Silva may be the ultimate 21st century political comeback kid. At 77, fit and sharp, leading an alliance of 10 political parties, he has just been elected as Brazilian president for what will be a de facto third term after his first two from 2003 to 2010. Lula even staged a comeback-inside-a-comeback, during the extremely fast and tight electronic vote counting, reaching 50.9% against 49.1% to the incumbent, extreme right President Jair Bolsonaro, representing a difference of only two million votes in a country of 215 million people. Lula’s back in office on January 1, 2023.

    Lula’s first speech was somewhat anti-Lula; noted for his Garcia Marquez-style improvisations and folksy stream of consciousness, he read from a measured, carefully-prepared script.

    Lula emphasized the defense of democracy; the fight against hunger; the drive for sustainable development with social inclusion; a “relentless fight against racism, prejudice and discrimination.”

    He invited international cooperation to preserve the Amazon rainforest and will fight for fair global trade, instead of trade “that condemns our country to be an eternal exporter of raw materials.”

    Lula, always an exceptional negotiator, managed to win against the formidable state machine apparatus unleashed by Bolsonaro, which saw the distribution of billions of dollars in vote-buying; an avalanche of fake news; outright intimidation and attempts of voter suppression against the poor by rabid Bolsonarists; and countless episodes of political violence.

    Lula inherits a devastated nation that, much like the US, is completely polarized. From 2003 to 2010 – he rose to power, incidentally, only two months before America’s “shock and awe” against Iraq – it was quite a different story.

    Lula managed to bring to the table economic prosperity, massive poverty alleviation and an array of social policies. In eight years, he created at least 15 million jobs.
    Vicious political persecution ended up canceling him out of the 2018 presidential elections, paving the way for Bolsonaro – a project entertained by the hard-right Brazilian military since 2014.

    Collusion between Brazil’s Public Ministry and dodgy “justice” stalwarts to persecute and condemn Lula on spurious charges forced him to spend 580 days in jail as a political prisoner as notorious as Julian Assange.

    Lula ended up being declared not guilty in no less than 26 motions against him by a lawfare machine at the heart of the – deeply corrupt – Car Wash operation.

    Lula’s Sisyphean task starts now. At least 33 million Brazilians are mired in hunger. Another 115 million are fighting “food insecurity.” No less than 79% of families are hostages to high levels of personal debt.
    In contrast to the new “pink tide” rolling across Latin America – of which he is now the superstar – internally there’s no pink tide.
    On the contrary, he will face a deeply hostile Congress and Senate and even Bolsonarist governors, including in the most powerful state of the federation, Sao Paulo, which concentrates more industrial firepower than many latitudes in the Global North.

    Round up the usual suspects

    The absolutely key vector is that the international financial system and the “Washington Consensus”, already controlling Bolsonaro’s agenda, have captured Lula’s administration even before it begins.
    Lula’s vice-president is center-right Geraldo Alckmin, who can be catapulted to power the minute that deeply hostile Congress decides to fabricate some Lula impeachment scheme.

    It’s not an accident that the neo-liberal The Economist magazine has already “warned” Lula to shift to the center: that is, his government must be run, in practice, by the usual financial suspects.

    Much will depend on who Lula appoints as his finance minister. The top candidate is Henrique Meirelles, former CEO of FleetBoston, Brazil’s second largest external creditor after CitiGroup. Meirelles has expressed unrestricted support for Lula, for whom he previously worked as central bank chief.
    Meirelles is likely to prescribe the exact same economic policies as Bolsonaro’s top economic enforcer, investment banker Paulo Guedes. That happens to be exactly what Meirelles himself created during the rapacious Temer administration, which came to power after the institutional coup against President Dilma Rousseff in 2016.

    And now we get to the real juice. None other than US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland visited Brazil “unofficially” last April. She refused to meet Bolsonaro and praised the Brazilian electoral system (“You have one of the best in the hemisphere, in terms of reliability, in terms of transparency.” )

    Afterward, Lula promised the EU a sort of “governance” of the Amazon and had to publicly condemn the Russian “special military operation” in Ukraine. All that after he had already praised Biden, in 2021, as “a breath for democracy in the world.” The “reward” for the accumulated performance was a Time magazine cover.
    All of the above may suggest an incoming, shady pseudo-Left government by the Workers Party – neoliberalism with a human face – infiltrated by all sorts of right-wing vectors, essentially serving the interests of Wall Street and the Democrat-controlled State Department.

    Key planks: acquisition of key economic assets by the usual globalist suspects, and thus no room for Brazil to exercise real sovereignty.

    Lula, of course, is too smart to be reduced to the role of mere hostage but his room for maneuver – internally [at]– is extremely slim. Toxic Bolsonarism, now in the opposition, will continue to institutionally prosper dressed up as – fake – “anti-system”, especially in the Senate.
    Bolsonaro is a self-described “myth” created and packaged by the military, coming out in the open about a month after Dilma’s election victory that propelled her to a second term in late 2014.

    Bolsonaro himself and countless fanatic supporters flirted with Nazism; unabashedly praised known torturers during the Brazilian military dictatorship; and milked serious fascist leanings lurking in Brazilian society.

    Bolsonarism is even more insidious because this is a military-concocted movement subservient to hardcore neoliberal globalist elites and comprised of evangelicals and agribusiness tycoons while posing as “anti-globalist.” No wonder the virus contaminated literally half of a dazed and confused nation.

    Old China hand

    Externally, Lula will play a whole different ball game.

    Lula is one of the founders of the BRICS in 2006, which evolved out of the Russia-China dialogue. He’s immensely respected by the leaders of the Russia-China strategic partnership, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin.

    He has promised to serve only one term, or up to the end of 2026. But that’s exactly the key stretch in the eye of the volcano, straddling the decade Putin described in his Valdai speech as the most dangerous and important since World War II.
    The drive towards a multipolar world, institutionally represented by a congregation of bodies from BRICS+ to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to the Eurasia Economic Union, will profit immensely to have Lula on board as arguably the natural leader of the Global South – with a track record to match.

    Of course, his immediate foreign policy focus will be South America: he already announced that will be the destination of his first presidential visit, most probably Argentina, which is bound to join BRICS+.

    Then he will visit Washington. He has to. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Informed opinion across the Global South is very much aware that it’s under Obama-Biden that the whole, complex operation to topple Dilma and expel Lula from politics was orchestrated.
    Brazil will be a lame duck at the upcoming G20 in Bali in mid-November but in 2023 Lula will be back in business side-by-side with Putin and Xi. And that also applies to the next BRICS summit in South Africa, which will consolidate BRICS+, as an array of nations are itching to join, from Argentina and Saudi Arabia to Iran and Turkey.

    And then there’s the Brazil-China nexus. Brasilia has been Beijing’s key trade partner in Latin America since 2009, absorbing roughly half of China’s investment in the region (and the most of any Latin American investment destination in 2021) and firmly placed as the fifth largest exporter of crude for the Chinese market, second for iron and first for soybeans.

    The precedents tell the story. Right from the start, in 2003, Lula bet on a strategic partnership with China. He considered his first trip to Beijing in 2004 as his top foreign policy priority. The goodwill in Beijing is unshakeable: Lula is considered an old friend by China – and that political capital will open virtually every red door.

    In practice, that will mean Lula investing his considerable global clout in strengthening BRICS+ (he already stated BRICS will be at the center of his foreign policy) and the inner workings of South-South geopolitical and geo-economic cooperation.

    That may even include Lula formally signing up Brazil as a partner of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in a way that won’t antagonize the US. Lula, after all, is a master of this craft.

    Finding a path in the eye of the volcano, internally and externally, will be the definitive political challenge for the comeback kid. Lula has been written off countless times, so underestimating him is a bad bet. Even before starting his third term, he has already performed a major feat: to emancipate a majority of Brazilians from mental slavery.

    All eyes will be on what the Brazilian military – and its foreign handlers – really want. They have embarked on a very long-term project, control most levers in the power structure, and simply won’t give up. And so the odds may be stacked against an aging neo-Ulysses from northeast Brazil reaching his Ithaca ideal of a fair and sovereign land."

    Comeback kid Lula in the eye of a volcano – Asia Times

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