By Paul Antonopoulos – CSS Project Director; MENA and Latin America Research Fellow.
The End of the Brazilian Left? Analysis and Criticisms
ormer leftist Brazilian President Luís Inácio Lula da Silva left the headquarters of the ABC Metalworkers’ Union and turned himself in to the Federal Police at 6:42pm on April 7, 2018, becoming the first ex-president arrested in the history of the country. A year later, experts have assessed the impact of Lula’s imprisonment and the future of the left while right-wing Zionist-loving Jair Messias Bolsonaro is the current president.
For Ricardo Ismael, political scientist and professor at Pontifícia Universidade Católica-Rio, the problem is from the culmination of weariness accumulated after the arrest of the supposedly most successful leftist leader in Brazil which was triggered by the sequence of denunciations about Lula’s relations with companies linked to Petrobras (Brazil´s state-owned oil company). A year later, Ismael evaluates that the former president is still an important figure in Brazil, but questioning his legitimacy tends to undermine the authority and respect the people have towards the Worker Party (PT) leader.
“There is a lot of wear and tear from Operation Car Wash*, especially in the South, Southeast and Midwest of the country, and although the Northeast still preserves a bit of political capital, mainly due to social programs made during the [Lula] government [to this poor region of Brazil] – today there is a much greater questioning of Lula’s political leadership, even in leftist circles,” said the professor.
The opinion is shared by Fundação Getulio Vargas São Paulo professor, Claudio Couto. For him, Lula remains present in the national imagination and is still stamped in the Brazilian news – helping to catapult Haddad [Lula´s successor] to the second round of the 2018 elections, even with a strong rejection of the PT – Lula is gradually beginning to be seen as a barrier to the renewal of leftist ideology by party leaders adjacent to the metallurgical legend.