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Will Lula make a comeback? Global imperialists and resource extractors shudder at the prospect

With the potential comeback of Lula da Silva, Brazil may once again be on a path away from fascism and one that puts economic justice and anti-imperialism first.
 
by Alan Macleod  

Part 4 - Resisting efforts to divide the Pink Tide

Using the “divide and rule” tactic, U.S. officials tried to separate “good” leftist leaders (like Lula), who refrained from expropriating resources from Western corporations and pursued more reformist measures from the “bad left” of Chavez, Morales, Correa and Cuba’s Fidel Castro. But Lula would have none of it, openly campaigning for Chavez’s re-election in 2012. “Chavez, count on me, count on the Brazilian Worker’s Party, count on the solidarity and support of each…democrat and each Latin American. Your victory will be ours…and thanks, comrade, for everything you have done for Latin America,” he said in an endorsement speech. 
 
Thus, many Pink Tide leaders saw themselves as part of the same struggle against the American-dominated economic and political system, with differences in their policies less about ideology and more about domestic realities.

While not denouncing imperialism openly like the “bad” left, Lula was still a huge check on American ambitions in Latin America, blocking attempts to isolate other states and rejecting a U.S.-supported secessionist movement in Bolivia. Brazil was also a key participant in a number of new regional organizations aimed at replacing discredited, U.S.-dominated ones.

Lula also traveled to Iran independently and convinced president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to sign a nuclear deal based on commitments the Obama administration had written up. He naively expected President Barack Obama, who had previously endorsed him as “the most popular politician on Earth,” to be delighted. But, instead, Obama tried to stop Ahmadinejad from signing the deal the U.S. had agreed to, shattering the pretense that Washington cared about securing peace in the region. In response to the deal, Obama increased sanctions on Iran and treated Lula, in the Brazilian’s words, as a “persona non grata on the international political stage.

In Cannon’s view:

                        Globally [Lula] symbolized hope for the left — here was a phenomenally successful leftist politician that everyone seemed to like. It is hard to conceive of the Pink Tide of leftist politics, which dominated Latin America from the turn of the millennium until the coup against Dilma Rousseff, Lula’s successor, in 2016, without Lula. He was its undisputed leader.

After having secretly wiretapped the Brazilian government for years, the United States government was deeply involved in the phony anti-corruption drive that saw Dilma impeached and Lula jailed. The U.S. Department of Justice secretly attempted to pay the “anti-corruption” taskforce $682 million in kickbacks for its work. 
 
Recorded conversations show that Lula’s lead prosecutor described his arrest as a “gift from the CIA,” while FBI agents boasted about their work “toppling governments” in Brazil. President Joe Biden’s advisors told The New York Times that his administration “would seek to revive” the “anti-corruption campaign” pioneered in Brazil and extend it across the region.

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