Former Brazilian President Lula da Silva said he believes it is time for Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, recently re-elected for another six years, “to begin preparing his succession”
“There was an election in Venezuela with two main candidates, (Henrique) Capriles and Chavez, and I was convinced that the better man for Venezuela was Chavez. Now well, I also think it is time companion Chavez must begin to prepare his succession”, said Lula da Silva in an interview with Buenos Aires La Nacion.
The former president who is currently in Argentina for a business forum said that the Venezuelan constitution allows Chavez to be a presidential candidate for a fourth time, “but when he loses, his adversaries will also be able to run for office as many times as they wish, and I don’t think that is good”.
“That is the reason why I didn’t want a third mandate. Because if I had done so I would have wanted a fourth period, and then a fifth, and therefore if I want it for me, I want it for all who are running in politics. And for democracy rotation in office is a conquest of humanity and that is why we must keep it and respect it”, added Lula da Silva.
The former leader said that “if we compare the Venezuela of Chavez” with the Venezuela before Chavez, “it has improved greatly” and the poor people have earned their dignity, which is good for the whole of the people.
“South America has advanced much with Chavez. Because before in Venezuela even toilets were imported from the US, now they come from Brazil, Argentina and other countries. Venezuela started to look to South America and that is why I strongly defended the incorporation of Venezuela to Mercosur”, pointed out the ex president.
Regarding Mercosur decision on Paraguay, Lula da Silva said suspension was the right thing after having removed last June President Fernando Lugo following political impeachment by the Paraguayan Senate, a process whose legitimacy has been questioned by the other Mercosur members and neighbouring countries.
“We can’t allow politics to work that way: I sincerely believe that if people’s sovereignty which elects presidents is not respected and we begin removing people I think it debilitates democracy. (President Fernando) Lugo’s mandate ended next year!! I think Mercosur did the right thing”, he concluded.