MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, November 15th 2018 - 18:55 UTC

Army chief warns politicians about “further dividing Brazilian society”

Monday, September 10th 2018 - 09:05 UTC
Full article 38 comments

The head of Brazil’s military has issued a warning against the presidential candidacy of the country’s imprisoned former leader Lula da Silva, who has been banned from standing for office on corruption charges. Read full article

Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • DemonTree

    Of course he only accuses Lula of dividing society, and not Bolsonaro, who has said plenty of divisive things and also has charges against him. The military are trying to interfere with Brazil's election just as much as the UN, and with less legitimacy. (Brazil signed up for the UNHRC, whereas the generals are barred from interfering by the constitution.)

    Sep 10th, 2018 - 10:44 am - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Enrique Massot

    When a guy who commands tanks and troops dares to issue such warnings with blatant impunity, what can be expected judges and politicians' behaviour?

    This guy's bold second irruption in the Brazilian political scene brings back painful memories of when the uniformed were the arbiters of when civils would be allowed to elect a government in Latin America -- and then judged whether votants had made the right choice.

    Of course, in Brazil's current tenuous situation in which Lula da Silva, the preferred candidate, is barred from participating through a clear example of lawfare, that is, using the judges to come up with dubious but functional rulings to condition an election.

    Sep 10th, 2018 - 04:48 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • :o))

    Time after time, Military/Dictatorship Rule demonstrated that they were a miserable failure in improving the quality of life of the population of a country governed by them.
    http://s3-sa-east-1.amazonaws.com/descomplica-blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/17096087.jpg

    Sep 11th, 2018 - 10:49 am - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Jack Bauer

    @DT
    The fact that the warning came from the head of the military does not mean it's not relevant.
    Unfortunately, the attempt “to divide and conquer”, not new in politics, is not a recommendable strategy - it usually ends badly, and might be a good idea to remember when this kind of crap started in Brazil....Lula threw the poor against the rich to further his political ambition, but didn't hesitate in getting into bed with the rich, for personal gain.

    If you consider the military's concern with the radicalization of the political process, as interference, that's your view, from where YOU are sitting. Come to Brazil and watch the sh*t that's happening, first hand....don't blindly trust biased reports.

    The fact is that Villas Boas has only externalized their legitimate concerns; and they have the right to express them, or does this right only belong to the 2 idiots from the UNHRC ? If you're concerned that the Military's “interference” might in some way affect the course of the elections , I don't think you have to worry.....what they've said up to now, hasn't had the slightest effect on Congress, or made the politicians less dishonest or less corrupt.

    Speculating about the military leads nowhere...we are all aware that their main function is to protect the country from external threats, but why does that mean they have to turn a blind eye to what goes on inside ? especially when the situation has become potentially explosive.


    @EM
    “when a guy who commands tanks and troops dares to issue such warnings with blatant impunity”........”dares” to issue such warnings ? Really ? what about the tolerance all you lefties preach ? and since when is “ “the worst scenario” would be for a president to be elected with a pending court ruling, “removing legitimacy… and further dividing Brazilian society” ”, a lie ? C'mon Reekie, tell us.
    EM, may I respectfully suggest you stick to Argentine politics....don't pretend you know what goes on here...'cause you don't.

    Sep 11th, 2018 - 08:39 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    @JB
    I don't think the warning is either relevant or accurate. A president elected with a pending court ruling would be bad, but the next most popular candidate has said in the past that he would stage a coup the first day if he was elected. That doesn't exactly seem better! Having a crook as president is nothing new, there's some pretty good evidence against the current one.

    “Lula threw the poor against the rich”

    You said that never happened before, but what about during the 60s, didn't the communists try to do this? IIRC a class war was one of the features of Marxism.

    Anyway, if that's what the military object to, why are they only complaining about it now? And I'm more worried about the military staging another coup if they don't get their way, but if they hope to affect the election, it would be by influencing voters, not congress.

    “we are all aware that their main function is to protect the country from external threats, but why does that mean they have to turn a blind eye to what goes on inside ?”

    With power comes responsibility. Having the army interfering in politics is by no means generally beneficial for a country, so they should be careful. If they were complaining about some issue related to national defence, that would be reasonable, but not using their position to push political views. As for the UNHCR, they are doing their job, and Brazil did sign up to the committee. I always said your courts would ignore the ruling, though.

    Sep 11th, 2018 - 11:22 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • :o))

    @DT

    REF: “With power comes responsibility”:

    ABSOLUTELY TRUE!

    In reality, under ANY regime; more power usually means = more control = more corruption = MORE power = LESS rsponsibility = LESS Economic+Social Progres.
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gIxyOK5wWBw/UQGfOWus--I/AAAAAAAAAO4/4twpdnvNFPE/s1600/Poder_M%C3%ADdia.jpg

    Sep 12th, 2018 - 03:51 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Jack Bauer

    @DT
    The warning is very relevant considering the context in which was said,’n to whom it was directed...to Lula (who from jail keeps on stirring up the shit), ‘n to a lesser extent, the other presidential candidates, and Congress.

    The fact he told the UNHRC to get stuffed, is merely setting the record straight : the UN cannot interfere with Brazil’s Constitution. Any treaty Brazil may be a signatory to, does not imply that two lefties in Geneva can dictate rules to Brazil, contradicting its laws. Where does Brazil's sovereignty stand ?

    His criticism of impunity couldn’t be more relevant to our current situation. If the PT’s so indignant with what they call “open insubordination to the 1988 constitution”, why doesn’t it first take a good look at itself ? Lula's 90 appeals just stretched the concept (of the right to appeal), to unprecedented levels.

    Re Bolsonaro’s irresponsible comments, what about free speech ? not saying it’s ‘any better’, but does only Lula have the right to 'hate' speech, not to mention his open defiance of the judiciary ‘n insulting judges ? (as a matter of fact – months ago – Lula said if he were elected he’d put all the Lavajato judges in jail).

    What happened in the 60s, was armed resistance, NOT politicians getting up on their soap box ‘n trying to sway the masses….NO comparison whatsoever. But yr right, class warfare is a feature of Marxism…so where does that situate Lula & the Foro de SP ?

    Afaic, the military’s warning refers far more to maintaining Law & order, not necessarily politics. I think, given Brazil’s situation – politically and economically – not to mention the increase in criminality, is worrying, sufficiently so, for the military to be concerned.
    You may disagree, so let’s agree to disagree. No matter how legitimate you might think the UNHRC interference is, we are not talking about freeing a political prisoner (like in VZ , or Cuba), but a convicted criminal… therefore, the UNHRC should act a bit more responsibly.

    Sep 12th, 2018 - 05:03 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • DemonTree

    What 'shit' is Lula stirring up from jail? I remember he was doing football commentary, which seems pretty innocuous, and until now he was still attempting to be candidate, but he wasn't allowed to campaign so what could he do?.

    “the UN cannot interfere with Brazil’s Constitution”

    No they can't, because they have no way to enforce their decisions. In general no one can make any country obey international law or keep their promises, though sometimes UN members try to 'persuade' them with sanctions, or in extreme cases force them by invading. But they can't just decide Lula isn't a political prisoner because he was convicted of corruption. Prisoners in Vz were all convicted of ordinary crimes too, the UN have to look at evidence, due process, that sort of thing. And a little strangely, they only said that Lula should be able to campaign, not that he should be released.

    As for Bolsonaro's free speech, I'm not opposed at all to him saying those things, in fact I think it's a good thing because it lets people know what they are voting for. But I'm very opposed to electing a president who wants to do those things, and thinks the previous military dictatorship wasn't harsh enough.

    “months ago – Lula said if he were elected he’d put all the Lavajato judges in jail”

    Really? Is that on video too?

    As for the 60s, it didn't start as armed resistance. Were none of these communist sympathisers, or union leaders trying to stir up the masses? Whether to protest peacefully or otherwise? Or to occupy land or whatever?

    Sep 12th, 2018 - 06:54 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Terence Hill

    DT
    “Were none of these communist sympathisers, or union leaders trying to stir up the masses?” Apparently not according to the historical record, as I've been unable to find any press filings that substantiate such activity.
    “HOW WE INVENT COMMUNISTS THREATS TO SCARE OURSELVES”
    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~lormand/poli/soa/brazil.htm

    Sep 13th, 2018 - 12:43 am - Link - Report abuse -1
  • :o))

    Why do you think so many Brazilians are leaving Brazil?
    REF:
    https://www.quora.com/Why-are-so-many-Brazilians-leaving-Brazil

    Sep 13th, 2018 - 02:03 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Jack Bauer

    @DT
    “What 'shit' is Lula stirring up from jail?”
    Clearly you don't think that :1) making 90 appeals in 4 months (to mainly the STJ 'm STF), 2) doing all he can to remain under the spotlight (to ultimately keep himself present in the minds of his followers), 3) receiving many visits from politicians (any day of the week - when according to the law, only family and lawyers are allowed to visit once/week, on Thursday afternoons), to take messages back 'n forth to the PT and his colaborators, is stirring up the shit ....then what is ?

    “But they can't just decide Lula isn't a political prisoner because he was convicted of corruption”....in the same way, they cannot decide he is, despite his being convicted of corruption....there is far more against him than in his favour (if anything...).
    What I find absurd, is 2 members of UNHRC Geneva, who very likely aren't fully aware of what happened, decide to attend Lula's lawyers' appeal without asking for more information, and to bypass the Brazilian govt (and the Constitution) without even consulting it.

    “But I'm very opposed to electing a president who wants to do those things”....and you have every right to be....like many who won't vote for him.

    “...Lula said if he were elected he’d put the Lavajato judges in jail”..while testifying to Moro... not sure if on video...will look for it. But google ”As 14 falas mais absurdas do depoimento de Lula a Sergio Moro ...''' see it right at the end.

    “As for the 60s, it didn't start as armed resistance”....the late 50's, early 60s was a turbulent period, and the communist party was quite active in politics, although not so much out in the open....in the 60's no party preached class warfare, but put out many mixed signals which created unrest. The commies who'd trained in urban guerilla tactics in Cuba (J.Dirceu was one) were the ones who radicalized 'n decided to resist forcibly. There were other communist groups forming in rural areas, but the main 'resistance' was in cities.

    Sep 13th, 2018 - 06:16 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • DemonTree

    “Clearly you don't think that...”

    To be honest, no. 'Stirring up shit' implies he's doing it just to cause trouble, whereas I think his intention is to get himself - or failing that, Haddad - elected. If the police aren't enforcing the rules on visits, that's their responsibility.

    “in the same way, they cannot decide he is”

    True. I don't know how long the UNHRC spent investigating, or whether any of them visited Brazil or consulted the government or judiciary.

    Interesting that most of the communists were in the cities in the 60s. It doesn't sound like there was that big a movement, really. Brazil still has a communist party, I assume they're not really communist anymore?

    Re the Lavajato judges, I found the section but google is doing a poor job translating:

    “From 2h50min, Moro questions Lula about the threat of a platform that he would ”order to arrest“ the agents of Lava Jato.

    Lula: ”Was it just expression?“

    Moro: ”And you think it's appropriate to use that kind of expression? Are you going to have the public agents arrested? “

    He did not want to.”

    From that I gather Lula had said something previously about arresting the judges, and during questioning told Moro he didn't mean it?

    Here's the original:

    “A partir de 2h50min, Moro questiona Lula sobre a ameaça de palanque de que ele “mandaria prender” os agentes da Lava Jato.

    Lula: “foi só força de expressão?”

    Moro: “E o senhor acha adequado usar esse tipo de expressão? O senhor vai mandar prender os agentes públicos?”

    Foi sem querer querendo.”

    Sep 13th, 2018 - 07:47 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    DT
    Knowing Lula (‘n his liar personality) since the 70s, I assure you he takes great pleasure in causing trouble. IF he had Brazil’s interests at heart – which he doesn’t – he’d have resigned himself to his fate ‘n carried on appealing in a normal fashion, but his struggle is all about himself …there’re people in the PT who’ve all but said as much - that he puts himself above party ‘n country. They should know.
    Re visits, it’s the judiciary’s responsibility to enforce that law, but a day doesn’t go by that he doesn’t try some gimmick – even appealing to the UN – and flooding the courts with HCs, to bend the rules. The Feds have alrdy requested to have him moved to a max security prison, but the judge prefers not to, at least now.
    The UN guys didn’t even get off their butts, but sent the request, based on ideology/ sympathy ? Today’s communists are a bunch of ignorant idiots…one proposal from the PCO : nationalize ALL banks, ALL industry, ‘n hand them ALL to the workers to run….these traitors are motivated by ignorance, hatred, greed, ‘n are only in the race to get whatever they can out of it….screw Brazil ! They don’t even know what communism was, but use the erroneous notion that it defended the worker ‘n promoted his well-being.
    Regarding Lula’s verbal exchange with Moro : As of 2h 50min (presumably of his questioning), Moro referred to the day he was forcefully taken to testify at CGS, when Lula told the agents he expected to be elected 2018, ‘n that he would not forget who they were…He then asked Lula about another threat, made during a political rally, that he would have every Lavajato agent arrested ; Lula replied “it was only a manner of speaking”….Moro asked : “And do you think it’s correct to use that kind of expression ? Are you going to arrest all the Law enforcement agents involved in the Lavajato ? Lula : “I didn’t want to (say it) but I did”. Then he went on trying to downplay it..see at 2h 55 min of the youtube link : https://youtu.be/PcQo35lle0Y

    Sep 13th, 2018 - 09:59 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • :o))

    A concrete example of “further dividing Brazilian society”:
    http://dia.portalodia.com/media/editor/charge1455965844.jpg

    Sep 14th, 2018 - 11:21 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    @JB
    “that he puts himself above party ‘n country”

    That seems plausible enough. But it's hard to know whether him continuing as candidate for as long as possible was the best strategy or not. On the one hand Lula bowing out early would have let Haddad try to build his own recognition and popularity. On the other hand, letting people hope/imagine they could elect Lula probably stops them considering the other candidates, and they might then easily switch to Lula's substitute. A while ago I asked Brasileiro who he was going to vote for, and he said whoever Lula told him to.

    Would it be dangerous for Lula in a max security prison? I can't imagine his supporters would react well if he was harmed.

    I looked up what the UNHRC said, and they haven't even considered Lula's case yet. Explains why they haven't asked Brazil to release him, but only to allow him political rights until his appeals are completed:

    https://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=23464&LangID=E

    “nationalize ALL banks, ALL industry, ‘n hand them ALL to the workers to run”

    Guess they are pretty communist, then. Though your description of their motivations doesn't sound much different to the other parties.

    I watched that bit of the video, Lula was pretty dumb to say he would arrest the agents, though smart enough not to repeat it in court. Why say it if he didn't want to? No one had a gun to his head.

    Sep 14th, 2018 - 08:05 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @DT
    Lula's refusal to stand down, plus declarations from some PT members, confirms his arrogance. The lower social classes, from where the great majority of Lula's voters come from, aren't well enough informed to know he wouldn't be able to run, but that is what he counted on.
    The Brasileiro is a puppet, controlled remotely by the PT. He doesn't have the brains to think for himself...

    About a month ago, or more, I mentioned that Lula, while in CBA, was costing the taxpayer a small fortune, and don't see why he wouldn't be safe in a max security prison....but you're probably right, if he were harmed, his supporters could go crazy ......Bolsonaro's haven't...so far.

    The big problem with the campaign promises of extreme left parties, isn't only that they are totally ridiculous (and impossible to implement, short of a revolution), but that they appeal to the ignorant who don't realize they are being used. Their motivation is the one and same, they just choose a different path, but always one that appeals to idiots.

    The UNHRC requests are absurd…the only political right he should maintain – provided there are enough inmates in the Feds’ HQ is CBA to justify installing voter booths – is his right to vote. Since when do inmates have “access to the media and members of their political party”? It’s really quite symptomatic of the times, when an organization like the UN, ‘demands’ that a country allow a convicted criminal run for president…are they so disconnected from reality ?

    Lula' arrogance oozes out of every pore, and isn't above making threats to sound important ... and might be good to remember, many a true word is said in jest....

    Do you remember when he tried to kick out a foreign journalist for saying he was a drunk (which he is...presume you saw the video of him on the sound truck on 6th April, before going to jail) ? Shows his disregard for the Law...even for the Law he sanctioned in 2010 (Lei da Ficha Limpa).

    Sep 14th, 2018 - 09:32 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    The PT's strategy seems to be working, according to the latest poll; support for Haddad has risen.

    Brasileiro is weird with all his posts of strange videos, and there's no point asking me him anything because he doesn't speak good English.

    Bolsonaro's supporters did catch and beat up the guy who stabbed him, and they really have no reason to attack anyone else unless ABO turns out to be part of a group. Suppose that doesn't always stop people getting violent, though... I was thinking if Lula got attacked in jail, his supporters would likely blame the government or judges who put him in harm's way.

    Are criminals in jail allowed to vote in Brazil? The UK doesn't allow that, and a few years ago the EU said we must let them vote, but it probably won't get implemented now. In the US some states bar criminals from ever voting again, even if they committed a crime 20 years ago and have been an upstanding citizen ever since. That seems very unfair to me.

    The UN's request is a little strange since they haven't actually declared that Lula was wrongly convicted. Can only assume they see themselves as the final court of appeal and that he's not really guilty until they say so.

    “Do you remember when he tried to kick out a foreign journalist for saying he was a drunk”

    No, I looked it up and it was back in 2004 when I didn't have much interest in politics and had probably never heard of Lula. Seems kind of petty, as well as being bad for freedom of the press. I did see a little of the video, he had a bottle which could have had anything clear in it, but I couldn't tell if he was drunk or not.

    Sep 15th, 2018 - 11:33 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • :o))

    It's likely to happen at ANY moment:

    An Unholy Alliance between the Evangelical Leaders PLUS Bolsonaro PLUS Haddad:
    https://i1.wp.com/humorpolitico.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/epoca-de-aliancas-030712-cazo-humor-politico-560x420.jpg?resize=560%2C420

    Sep 15th, 2018 - 11:57 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @DT
    “I was thinking if Lula got attacked in jail, his supporters would likely blame the govt or judges who put him in harm's way”....
    Am pretty sure they would try to find someone to blame other than (his crimes, or) the individual who beat him up ....but wouldn't blaming govt/ judges, be like the victim responsible for a car crash, blaming the automotive industry ?

    Regarding voting, a jailed convict who can no longer appeal, cannot vote. But in your example, if the criminal has paid his debt to society, one presumes he has his rights back, so why not let him vote ?

    IMO, the UN has no right to issue any “decision” regarding Lula....but IF THEY think they do, let's start with the members of the HRC ....are they qualified to examine the evidence ? are they judges or legal experts with the required knowledge of Brazilian Law and the Constitution ? do they know how to interpret Bzln law ? are they totally free of ideological bias ?

    Lula's case in no way resembles for example that of political prisoners in VZ or Cuba, where the prisoners are dragged off the street 'n imprisoned without a trial, only for opposing, or protesting against the govt, with the people.

    The L J started, Lula's name popped up, he was investigated, clues led to evidence of corruption, and it was used to put him away ; the process (against Lula) took 4 years, with his lawyers being given ample and unrestricted right to defend him, so who does the UNHRC think it is ? How would you like the UN to step in and dictate legal process to the UK ? trying to overturn decisions taken by Britain's High Court ?

    To see a few photos of Lula drunk, as well as some videos of his drunkenness, google ”Imagens de lula bêbado”…and watch https://youtu.be/vE3Iizi-LWk ...in the video (6th April 2018, in SBCampo), you’ll see a guy trying to take the bottle (with ‘cachaça’) away from him, then near the end you can hear Gleisi (behind Lula, to his left ) say “it’s cachaça”….

    Sep 15th, 2018 - 07:09 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    If they were driving one of these cars, it would be pretty reasonable to blame the automotive industry:

    https://robertdebry.com/imploding-engines-and-death-by-steering-wheel-the-most-dangerous-cars-ever-made/

    More seriously, people in jail can't protect themselves, so IMO the government who put them there has a duty to protect them, something Brazil isn't doing a good job of (unsurprising since the police can't protect ordinary people outside jail, which is much more important).

    Personally I think it's reasonable to stop convicted criminals voting, but once they have paid their debt to society they should get the right to vote back. That's what happens in the UK, but in America it's a partisan issue so unlikely to change.

    I had a look at the UN committee, and presumably they follow the recommendations of this advisory committee:

    www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/AdvisoryCommittee/Pages/AboutAC.aspx

    If you can be bothered, you can look up the credentials of the members, for example, here's the one from Argentina:

    www.ohchr.org/documents/HRBodies/OPCAT/elections2008/CoriolanoArgentina.pdf

    Some subcommittee of the UNHRC declared that Julian Assange was being arbitrarily detained, and said Britain should let him leave the embassy and travel to Ecuador. Our government ignored them, too. I don't particularly trust the UNHCR, especially considering the members, but I'm not opposed in principle to the idea of having an international body that can override national law. National governments can be corrupt or pass unfair laws, and if done correctly an international court can prevent abuses.

    As for Vz, they usually had some excuse for arresting people - violence, corruption etc - and the important ones had trials and were convicted. The trials just weren't very convincing.

    Sep 15th, 2018 - 09:17 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @DT
    Ok, certain cars are badly designed, and dangerous, but that is not what I’m getting at…am talking of some idiot who causes a careless accident then blames the car company for selling him the car.
    Seeing the report, I saw the Pontiac Fiero…altho apparently a fire hazard, I rented one in Canada in 1985….a great car to drive !

    Accessing your links : 1) the composition of the HRC does not gtee that member be experts on, or have the slightest clue about Brazilian Law, or any other country's laws, and their appointment can be purely political, 2) Mario Coriolano (ARG), while a lawyer (public defender) is probably not familiar with Brazilian Law, and given his record of overseeing torture victims' cases etc, he hardly sounds like someone who studied the ways of corruption.

    I am not at all in favour of international interference with internal cases of common crime, and that includes corruption. Sure (national) governments can be corrupt (and pass unfair laws – and many do, in self-interest) but the idea that the Supreme Court in a country does not have the final word in common crime (including corruption) is absurd, not to mention, who is going to oversee the international court members ??? At some point, excluding extreme circumstances like in VZ (where Maduro replaced all the supreme court judges with his cronies), jurisdiction has to be respected...otherwise might as well do away with the independence of countries, borders, and have one global, centralized government...don't fancy that scenario.
    The prisoners in VZ were arbitrarly detained on trumped up charges, and were not even sent to trial, of if they were, who judged them ? Maduro’s cronies.

    Last night I was watching an interview with Haddad (PT candidate), where he was complaining abt the judiciary – I was not aware but seems that the “great” majority of judges in the 3 higher courts (TRFs, STJ and STF) were appointed by Lula and Dilma......Ironic, isn’t it ?

    Sep 15th, 2018 - 10:42 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    The article probably exaggerates the dangers, but when hundreds of thousands of vehicles are sold the problems become obvious.

    Anyway, I don't think the car analogy is comparable to going to prison. You don't get to choose what jail you're in, and getting attacked is more like being hit by some other careless driver than causing the accident yourself.

    Since no one on the advisory committee is from Brazil, it's a decent bet they are not familiar with Brazilian law. I don't know how hard it is for a lawyer to get up to speed on another country's laws, or how much general principles apply across different countries. Experience with torture cases is probably more useful for the UNHRC in general than corruption cases, though.

    If you think international interference is okay in extreme cases, who is going to decide what is extreme and what is a common crime? Probably that same committee, and I imagine they don't need too much evidence to start investigating. I'm sure Maduro would say his prisoners are guilty of common crimes. And for all we know, in the end they may decide that Lula has been treated fairly under Brazil's laws and constitution.

    It may be ironic that most of the current judges were appointed by Lula and Dilma, but it shows the huge difference between them and Chavez/Maduro. The judges appointed by the latter two would NEVER have convicted either of anything; they are nothing but yes-men. The judges and prosecutors Lula and Dilma appointed have shown their independence, and they are probably regretting it now.

    As for having a global government, maybe in the future if things were very different it could work, but right now it's a terrible idea. But the point of these UN and other international bodies is really to protect citizens against the abuses of their own governments; aren't individual rights more important than government ones?

    Sep 16th, 2018 - 11:55 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @DT
    In a max security prison, Lula would have an individual cell, ‘n would not have to mingle with a 'general population', as in a common prison; risk would be highly reduced.

    Considering the HRCs are supposed to oversee cases like what we've seen in VZ, 'n not those related to common crime (where trials are public/ follow legal procedure), I firmly believe that the UNHRC only got involved with Lula, because 1) in blatant disrespect for Brazil's judiciary system (which 'he', inadvertently helped to set up) he went over their heads and took his case to an int'l organization, and 2) I believe the UN has shown a general tendency to be sympathetic towards leftist (or socialist) causes, which probably made Lula feel confident they’d be receptive, based on his 'history'....even though the UN has not been particularly articulate about it.

    “If you think international interference is okay in extreme cases, who is going to decide what is extreme and what is a common crime?”
    Do you really find it hard to decide whether what’s going on VZ is an extreme case ? do you really believe Lula is innocent, therefore a political prisoner ? If your answer is NO to both questions, then I’ve made my point. Anyway, I haven’t seen any UN resolutions being heeded by Maduro. If you keep on splitting hairs, or looking for ‘hair on eggs’, you’ll just go round in circles and always come back to “Who’s going to decide…?”

    Maduro’s claims are all lies…or d’you think Venezuelans are fleeing the country because it’s a paradise ? Two days ago, in a televised speech, he said that those leaving VZ were 'loaded' with dollars, and that most are returning because they'd been ‘enslaved’ in Brazil….two lies, just like you know who.

    By your comparison btwn the judges appointed by Lula/Dilma, ‘n Chavez/Maduro, are you agreeing that the law was’ most likely’ applied correctly against Lula ?
    Govt's rights come 'from' the people, and Lula forfeited his individual rights when he became a crook.

    Sep 16th, 2018 - 06:55 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    @JB
    Sounds like Lula would be safer it the max security then, but probably not safer than where he is now. Why are they keeping him in Curitiba anyway?

    I think it's reasonable for the UNHRC to decide what to investigate, and for them to investigate Lula's case. They can't always be sure beforehand if there have been any abuses, that's kind of the point of investigating. I'm *not* sure it's reasonable to tell Brazil to let him stand for election when they haven't even decided on his case yet.

    ”I believe the UN has shown a general tendency to be sympathetic towards leftist (or socialist) causes“

    Do you have any examples of that?

    As for Vz, sure people aren't fleeing for a nice holiday living on the streets of Brazil. But we were talking about political prisoners. Leopoldo Lopez was convicted and imprisoned for inciting violence. Surely a trumped up charge to stop him campaigning against Maduro? But Think linked me this video, which appears to show him doing just that:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVBZ0Ob9kgw

    ”are you agreeing that the law was’ most likely’ applied correctly against Lula ?“

    Hmmm. I'm not sure. I was thinking of the higher courts, and the TSE surely applied the law correctly, that was simple. But to be honest I don't really understand the HC thing that the STF ruled on. However, although the vote was split it was mostly not the judges appointed by Lula and Dilma who voted in Lula's favour, so they weren't just voting on partisan lines.

    ”Lula forfeited his individual rights when he became a crook”

    Depending on the sentence, criminals forfeit some rights when they are convicted (eg the right to liberty), but not all of them.

    Sep 16th, 2018 - 11:18 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • :o))

    @JB:

    REF: “In a max security prison, Lula would have an individual cell, ‘n would not have to mingle with a 'general population', as in a common prison; risk would be highly reduced”:

    You mean it's not = a 5* hotel where the crooks are offered - generously - sumptuous benefits+privileges for being there [in Lulla's case, it won't be for 12 years after all]?

    Just wait till Haddad ties-up with the leading candidate:
    https://folhadolitoral.com.br/uploads/paginas/fotos/grandes/lula-preso44.jpg

    Sep 17th, 2018 - 10:07 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @DT
    Fact is, Lula legally speaking is a convict, ‘n as such doesn’t deserve special treatment…but so far, they’ve shown him far more than afforded to other jailed politicians. He’s in the custody at Fed Police HQs in CBA because it's where he was convicte, ‘n probably becos they don’t have a nearby prison suitable to send him to.

    IMO, the UN is an instrument of the global left…it’s deviated from its original purpose of promoting world peace, and the general impression I get that it has become subservient to int’l socialism and its cultural aspects. Its HRs has gone from defending human dignity, to defending governments and their cronies. Afaic, the fact it has defended Lula, despite his proven corruption and his Foro de SP ideas, is a sign of that.
    It's substituted what used to be moral clarity, for an exacerbated moral relativism, where in the name of impartiality, no one is allowed to take sides…it’s become a load of politically correct bs. Not surprised the US withdrew part of its funding.

    Leopoldo Lopez criticized Maduro because of the deteriorating conditions in VZ, the lack of basic supplies (bog roll, food, medicine), enormous queues, inflation etc, but he took no notice. Initially peaceful demonstrations turned to violence when Maduro sent the police and paramilitary groups to disperse them. How many were killed ? The fact remains that LL was a thorn in his foot, so arrest him…on trumped up charges.
    Maduro does not need the law to be on his side, to act…he makes his own, as he goes along.

    After Lula’s conviction, the higher courts can only revoke the conviction IF they find that legal procedure was not followed. It was. The HCs are based on his lawyers allegations he wasn't given the right to defend himself (?). The STF's split decision showed partisanship didn't prevail, but the two ‘PT’ judges did vote in his favour.
    When I say Lula forfeited his rights, it’s obvious it was his right to liberty. Besides that, nothing else has been denied him.

    Sep 17th, 2018 - 07:09 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    That's not the impression I get of the UN. It's always been politicised, and influenced by the agendas of the more powerful and numerous members. Compare the number of resolutions against Israel, put forward by the large block of Arab countries, to resolutions against China which is able to threaten or buy the support of many nations. Yet both commit human rights abuses, and China's are arguably much worse. That has nothing to do with socialism, China is communist in name only.

    The UNHRC isn't defending Vz, either. They said Vz must stop detaining protesters and using military tribunals to try civilians. They also ordered them to release Lopez and another political prisoner, Antonio Ledezma, immediately:

    https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21939&LangID=E

    But I suppose human rights organisations are bound to appear left-wing, when so many on the right are in favour of torture, detention without trial, and police killings, and opposed to helping refugees.

    Back to Venezuela; you weren't convinced by the video? According to Wikipedia, 34 people were killed in the protests in 2014, which LL had called for. But that video was posted in 2008, and refers to an earlier student protest. LL was always opposed to Maduro, he was even involved with the attempted coup against him in 2002. But in 2014 he encouraged the people to protest peacefully, and was arrested and sentenced anyway.

    “the higher courts can only revoke the conviction IF they find that legal procedure was not followed.”

    That's what makes me think they were doing their jobs correctly, or most of them, anyway. Nevertheless I think there are considerable flaws in Brazil's justice system.

    “When I say Lula forfeited his rights, it’s obvious it was his right to liberty.”

    Okay. Some people seem to think criminals should have no rights at all, and anyone defending them must be a criminal too.

    Sep 17th, 2018 - 10:07 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @DT
    Reckon we'll have to disagree on the role of the UN. If the UNHRC restricted its activity to HRs issues, like torture, blatantly illegal imprisonment (no trial) etc, they might earn my respect. As to VZ, their involvement is welcome, but not in Lula's case. Afaic, they should stick to their original purpose of promoting world peace.

    The video of LL, imo, is trying to portray him as a terrorist, as if he was inciting violence for no reason at all, as if he were the one who refused to dialogue with a peace-loving government....if you'd followed his trajectory, you'd see that resorting to violence (and even then nothing like what the people were being submitted to), was the end result of unsuccessful attempts to get Maduro to listen...Maduro thinks he's God-almighty, and is simply 'n systematically getting rid of opposition. LL may have called the protest in 2014, but who killed the 34 ?
    “..in 2014 he encouraged people to protest peacefully, and was arrested... anyway.”....I think that says it all.

    “That's what makes me think they were doing their jobs correctly, or most of them, anyway. Nevertheless I think there are considerable flaws in Brazil's justice system”.
    “they were doing their jobs correctly”.....so, then nothing to complain about.
    “there are considerable flaws in Brazil's justice system”...yes there are. Too many lenient laws, many which contradict each other, providing loopholes which benefit crooks and criminals ; but for better or worse, it's the system put in place by Congress in 1988, with a clear tendency to be very forgiving....obviously, as who is going to legislate against their own interests ? Now that specific laws have been passed , due to public pressure, which are putting some of them in jail, they are up in arms, claiming the law wasn't or isn't being applied correctly.

    Not all lawyers are crooks as well, but in Brazil quite a few are....they are content to receive millionaire fees out of money they KNOW was stolen.

    Sep 18th, 2018 - 04:57 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    @JB
    Is it just because of Lula that you think the UN favours the left-wing, or are there other examples you can name?

    Regarding LL, I haven't followed his career at all. And I am suspicious of the video, since it appears to be an excerpt made by a pro-Chavez TV program. Like your comment quoted out of context by Terry, I'd like to see the whole speech so I know what was really going on. But imagine if Lula was calling for protests against the current government with those words. Would you think that was a good reason to arrest him?

    “Too many lenient laws, many which contradict each other, providing loopholes which benefit crooks and criminals”

    That too, but I was thinking more of the (lack of) impartiality. However, both aspects are related, since loopholes make it easier for those with friends in the right places to get away with stuff. In 2014 you could reasonably worry that it was Lula who had friends in high places and could get away with anything, but that is no longer the case.

    I suppose the Congress in 1988 had a good reason to be forgiving. So many people were in need of forgiveness for helping the dictatorship or the armed revolutionaries fighting against it.

    Re the lawyers, sometimes it seems that everyone in Brazil is a crook. :( But you'd agree that criminals need some defence, right? Even the guilty ones.

    Sep 18th, 2018 - 08:40 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @DT
    No, not only. For quite some time, I already believed the UN was a hotbed for commies. Few years back, when Brazil finally passed anti-terror legislation, the UN criticized it , saying it was ambiguous, ambiguity which could lead to arbitrary decisions...fact is Brazil's law was still pretty lenient, and I would have preferred a harsher law based on the US's. Treat terrorists for what they are, not as social misfits.

    Some time ago, I found an article (by a Brazilian economist) in which he said that the UN was not the consequence of international cooperation, but more of a closed agreement between the victors of WWII, the US, UK and the USSR, and the main problem was that many of the people in the US and the UK, who wrote up its statutes, and intentions etc, were soviet agents infiltrated in those two governments. The way 'in' would've been easy, as democracy's loopholes are one of its greatest weaknesses. AFAIC, the UN is far from a neutral forum. Another source I read, confirmed my opinion that most of its employees are socialists, and re which, let's be honest ..do you think there is any room inside the UN for someone to promote ideas of the political right ?

    Re LL that's the impression I got...Maduro propaganda, ignoring previous events that led up to it. Much like TH, taking things out of context. Since 1985, NO ONE, not even Lula, was threatened for protesting....not even the violent MST, instigated by the PT.
    If you look at the record of jailed politicians in this country, you'd soon realize it's the “impartiality” (translated into exaggerated political immunity) that allows them to get away with murder.

    Regarding “forgivenness”, I've never seen anything more partial, or unilateral, than Dilma's “Commission of Truth”...that yes, ignored the right of the military to defend themselves.

    Sure criminals have the right to defence, even Lula, and you can be sure he got the best that money can buy ...our money...but that's another story.

    Sep 18th, 2018 - 10:57 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    I'm surprised you'd be worried enough to want a stronger terrorism law, considering Brazil hasn't suffered any attacks.

    This is the UN complaint you're talking about?

    ““We fear that the definition of the crime established by the draft law may result in ambiguities and confusion as to what the State considers a terrorist offence, potentially undermining the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms,” the independent experts said.”

    https://www.ohchr.org/SP/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=16709&LangID=E

    I'm not sure you even disagree with the UN. Sounds like you want stronger penalties for terrorists, while they want to make sure the law is not abused by the government/judiciary to attack non-terrorists. It should be possible to achieve both those things at once, no? What is it you like about the US law?

    Apart from that, I don't see what is 'commie' about objecting to overly-broad anti-terrorism laws. The communist countries weren't exactly known for their sympathetic attitude to protesters. Maybe it's this bit?

    “legislation aimed at countering terrorism must be sufficiently precise to comply with the principle of legality, so as to prevent it from being used to target civil society, silence human rights defenders, bloggers and journalists, and criminalize peaceful activities in defence of minority, religious, labour and political rights.”

    Do you believe only the left is interested in defending freedom of speech; the right to protest; and minority, religious, labour, and political rights? I thought respect for those things was supposed to be a shared value, and it would be extremists on both sides who oppose them, not one side or the other?

    I have more to say on the UN but it's too long...

    Re LL, did Lula ever directly call for violence like LL did in the video? Protesting is not a crime, although protests sometimes end in violence. And it's their special treatment,
    the opposite of impartiality, that lets politicians get away with crimes.

    Sep 19th, 2018 - 04:26 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Terence Hill

    JB
    “were soviet agents infiltrated in those two governments.”
    You're nuttier than a fruit case, stop reading reactionary fiction and come up for air.

    Sep 19th, 2018 - 06:13 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Thank you, Terry, that was very kind.

    @JB
    AFAIK your economist is right about how the UN was created. That's why it's the main victors of WWII who have permanent seats on the security council. I've never heard anything about Soviet agents, though. Seems unlikely since everything would have been public; wouldn't those countries have objected if the UN started going off message when it had barely begun? Did he say what these Soviet agents are supposed to have added?

    And sure, the UN is not a neutral forum. That's what I was saying earlier comparing resolutions against Israel and China. Considering all the nations attending, there are plenty of viewpoints represented, and as less than half those countries are democracies, I doubt they care very much about human rights. But if you were referring to UN employees, I think it depends which ideas you mean. The type of nationalism - or rather isolationism - currently promoted by Trump, no. That is clearly opposed to the UN's mission. Other right-wing ideas, why not? The IMF and world bank certainly promote right-wing ideas.

    I don't really know anything about this Truth Commission; suppose I'd better look it up. Is it still going now Dilma is no longer President?

    Sep 19th, 2018 - 06:39 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @DT
    Looks like the link. The UN's criticism of Brazil's anti-terrorist law just compounded my beliefs about them. The result of terrorist attacks is random killing, and as such there is no room for lenience. If caught in the act, or before, while an attack is being planned, I don't think there is any plausible defense...or is a lawyer going to try to justify their acts ?
    What I like about the US law is that it treats terrorists like they should be - put them away and forget they exist.
    My aversion to the UN is not necessarily due to an isolated decision, but the result of their general attitude/ideological tendency over the years, defending politically correct issues (which imo, are leftist characteristics, and suck) that eventually get put to the vote.
    And afaic, HRs are not for violent criminals, it's for decent people. And please don't ask me who decides (who is one or the other)...it's common sense.

    I believe the left is only interested in free speech when it agrees with their's. They only tolerate it when it favors them. In other words, they preach tolerance but don't practise it.
    I believe in the right to protest (peacefully), and why try to turn the rights of minorities (which should be identical to everyone else's, no MORE, no less), religious freedom, worker rights, or political rights, into ideological issues ? ...something which the leftists are champions at.
    If for example, I said I didn't like the BO administration, the lefties would immediately accuse me of being a racist ...pretty extreme, imo.

    Lula, afaik, never openly called for “violence”, but has more than insinuated it would happen if the PT’s interests were defeated….he said he would call upon Stedile (MST leader) to put his “army” in the street to defend the PT…watch last seconds of :--
    https://youtu.be/nAm-D5a9qbc . Gleisi Hoffmann (PT senator) said that if Lula was jailed, people would die.

    IF the soviets “ were 'infiltrated' ”, who'd know back then ?
    Run out of space..

    Sep 19th, 2018 - 07:34 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    @JB
    But the UN didn't ask for lenience. Nowhere in that statement do they say 'the punishment is too severe', so what part do you object to?

    And how much do you really know about US law? I don't know what the penalties for committing or planning terrorism in the US are, or how they compare to the UK, and I doubt you know how they compare to Brazil either. Probably you just have a general impression from watching the news etc?

    Similar to the UN, I've seen Americans complaining about the Patriot act, and they objected to the government spying on them, conducting searches without warrants etc. Not to the treatment of convicted terrorists. And with Guantanamo bay, the objection was not that the inmates were in jail, but that they were kept outside the justice system, jailed indefinitely without trial, and were tortured.

    As for who decides, that should be a jury, after a properly conducted trial. Until then it's 'innocent until proven guilty'.

    “the lefties would immediately accuse me of being a racist”

    Possibly, but very very few just for saying that. But that's not an attack on free speech; you can repeat it as much as you want and you'll be fine. You should know the difference, you've lived in a country without freedom of speech, where if you're too outspoken criticising the government you might just disappear one day, and no one will know what happened to you...

    “why try to turn the rights of minorities etc into ideological issues ?”

    Rights only need defending if they are threatened. The ones listed often are, for various reasons, so the UN puts more focus on them.

    But does that mean you think the right does NOT care about free speech, freedom of religion, etc? Do you care?

    In the video, what was Lula talking about before the end? Something about heads?

    What he said was certainly not as clear as LL telling students to protest violently. I guess it's just suggestive. And it seems Gleisi Hoffmann was wrong. Lula is in jail and no one has died

    Sep 19th, 2018 - 08:59 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @TH
    Fyg, I didn't state there WERE soviets infiltrated in those governments ; Made it very clear it was in an article written by a Bzln economist. You are an idiot.

    @DT
    I know why they have permanent seats on security council, but that’s not the issue. While it’s public knowledge there were spies all over the place, and in sensitive govt depts, why couldn’t there be soviet infiltration in the US & UK ? As to ‘what’ they may have added, I have no idea, but presumably they would have tried to influence it with soviet doctrine ?Similarly to Brazil’s 1988 Constitution in which many leftist politicians (coming back from exile, and) sore at 21 years of military rule, managed to incorporate ‘their’ leftist views in it .

    It would be interesting to find out there is any proof of soviet infiltration ; on the other hand, it would be harder to prove there wasn’t, so why, as I ask above, exclude the possibility ?
    But TH obviously knows all about that, as now he’ll probably claim he participated in the drawing up of the UN’s mission, in 1947.

    Re your ‘lack of impartiality’ in Brazilian law, I misunderstood, but I get it now – the ‘lack of impartiality’, if any, imo is represented by the politicians rights (privileges, immunity, endless appeals , crimes prescribing) and the difficulty in fighting white collar crime…. Rights not afforded to the ‘common’ citizen, and which are favoring the crooks on trial now.

    Re the UN, if as you say, less than half of the members are democracies, and quite likely aren’t too concerned with HRs, it’s very likely that way more of these non-democratic countries are leftist, so what to expect when they vote ?

    Dilma created the Truth Commission in 2011, to investigate ONLY the military’s actions, while expressly prohibiting the investigation of the atrocities committed by the ‘freedom fighters’ (euphemism for terrorists). It’s final report was presented in 2014, handing out millionaire indemnifications....to 'petistas'

    Need space...

    Sep 19th, 2018 - 10:13 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Terence Hill

    JB
    “TH, taking things out of context.”
    You're talking through your hat, as you can't show any instance that what I have posted has anyway altered the meaning of what a poster intended. Nor can you show any instance that what I have posted was untrue. Unlike yourself, where I have shown dozens of times that your narrative is anything but the true.

    Sep 19th, 2018 - 10:20 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    @JB
    “why couldn’t there be soviet infiltration in the US & UK ?”

    There were spies in both, we know that, but spying is secret. If you start going off-message in published documents, how are you going to hide it? If it's so subtle no one will notice, then it's not going to make much difference and it's a waste of time. Plus, why would the USSR want to increase respect for human rights at the UN? They would be the main target since they flagrantly disregarded them! And back in the days of the cold war, it was probably true that most of the dictatorships were left-wing (communist), but nowadays I bet most are right-wing if they have any ideology at all.

    As for the lack of impartiality, yes, but it cuts both ways. Some are unfairly favoured, while for others it's the opposite.

    “It’s final report was presented in 2014, handing out millionaire indemnifications....to 'petistas'”

    Including Dilma?

    Sep 19th, 2018 - 11:10 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!