Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 17 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

On the Road to Interview Lula, Into a Brazilian Black Hole

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   No comments
Author 73066
Message Pepe Escobar
Become a Fan
  (186 fans)

From Consortium News

We were just beginning to hit cruising speed in our wide-ranging, 2 hour and 10 minute world exclusive interview with former President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva in his prison at the Federal Police building in Curitiba, in southern Brazil.

And then it hit us hard when he told us: "The US was very much afraid when I discussed a new currency and Obama called me, telling me, 'Are you trying to create a new currency, a new euro?' I said, 'No, I'm just trying to get rid of the U.S. dollar. I'm just trying not to be dependent.'"

It was the foundation stone of what would build into a complex, rolling Hybrid War coup, from NSA spying on the Brazilian government and leading national companies, to the Car Wash corruption investigation (now demolished as a monster racket) to the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, the imprisonment of Lula, and the emergence of the Purveyor of Chaos, Jair Bolsonaro.

My journey started in Cambodia. I had spent hours wandering around Beng Mealea, the jungle squeezing the stony repose of the Angkorian ruins, meditating on the rise and fall of empires. The message popped up on my phone in the dead of night: the request for an interview with Lula, placed five months ago, had been approved. How soon could I get to Sao Paulo?

From Southeast Asia to South America, via Qatar, to Sao Paulo late the following afternoon. As we landed in the city the sky was literally black. Later I found out why: the mini-Apocalypse Now was a direct consequence of the wild fires in the lower Amazon.

Surveying the World From a Tiny Cell

The next day the three of us (two other journalists) flew to operation Car Wash's HQ, mockingly referred to by Brazilians as the Curitiba Republic. Our first Uber driver in Curitiba, a city of 1.8 million people, was a Muay Thai specialist cum underground homicide detective. Yes, he had killed people on the job.

Early in the evening, the day before the interview was scheduled, the Brazilian Feds suddenly started deploying stalling tactics. One of Lula's lawyers, Manuel Caetano, engineered a silky counter-punch, with a twist: the interviews' approval could go back to the Supreme Court again, and they would reconfirm the green light. The Feds relented.

That evening, we visited the Free Lula Vigil outside the Federal Police building. It has been going on uninterrupted for over 500 days, since April 7, 2018, the day Lula arrived in the prison. The vigil, impeccably managed, has everything from a library to a soup kitchen to an education center. Everyday, hundreds, sometimes thousands of militants and wanderers from all over the nation gather to sing "Good Morning, President Lula," "Good Afternoon, President Lula," and "Good Evening, President Lula." And he listens through the tiny window in his cell that is barely open.

The extra day in this improbable, austere place impersonating an American Midwest city, proud of its green credentials and peopled with Polish and Ukrainian offspring, allowed us to devise a careful division of labor. We were representing the website/You Tube, channel Brasil 247, and in my case Asia Times and Consortium News. Mauro Lopes of Brasil 247 would concentrate on Lula, the man, and how the prison experience had changed him. Paulo Moreira Leite would focus on Brazilian politics. And I would hit on geopolitics and international relations.

The author greets Lula in prison.
The author greets Lula in prison.
(Image by (Felipe L. Gonçalves/Brasil247))
  Details   DMCA

The Hybrid War Lab

Early the next morning, under the fabulous cerrado light which reminds me of the Central Asian plains, I took a moment of reflection staring at the Supreme Court building ("all judges bought and paid for," as reconfirmed by various sources) and at a Congress prostrated before the lobbyists' BBB altar ("Bible, Beef, Bullet"). But after passing through Rio, my aim was to hit Macriland in Buenos Aires to see how a businesslike Argentine Bolsonaro with better manners had destroyed a nation.

Four years of hardcore neoliberalism worked like a (poisoned) charm, much as Bolsonaro in the Amazon: it set everything in Argentina on fire. No less than 35 percent of the Argentine population is now downright poor. The usual suspects win: banks, shareholders of privatized companies, the El Clarin group the king of "officialist" media. To eradicate hunger has become the number one electoral promise of the Alberto Fernandez/Cristina Kirchner ticket, poised to win the upcoming October elections. I was unable to talk to former President Cristina a close friend of Dilma's as she was campaigning in Patagonia.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

 

Well Said 3   Valuable 3   News 2  
Rate It | View Ratings

Pepe Escobar Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

You Want War? Russia is Ready for War

Why Putin is driving Washington nuts

All aboard the New Silk Road(s)

Why Qatar wants to invade Syria

It was Putin's missile?

Where is Prince Bandar?

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: