Finally on Monday the Uruguayan government sent an official message congratulating the Brazilian people for their civic display on Sunday which elected president Jair Bolsonaro. Likewise the Uruguayan government confirmed its willingness to continue working and developing the bilateral relation with its large neighbor and strongest economy in Latin America.
The brief statement released by the Presidential office and the ministry of foreign affairs states that ”the government of Uruguay congratulates the People and Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil for the civic demonstration yesterday (Sunday) and in which Mr. Jair Bolsonaro was elected president.
The Uruguayan government reaffirms its willingness to continue working next to Brazil in the framework of the excellent and historic bilateral relation which brings together both countries to continue advancing in the path of development, growth with equality and regional integration for the mutual benefit of out two peoples”.
On Sunday contrary to the rest of Latin American countries, together with Bolivia, Uruguay was absent from the pouring of congratulation messages addressed to the president elect of Brazil. The Uruguayan ruling coalition is ideologically and politically allied with former president Lula da Silva and his Workers Party, whose candidate Fernando Haddad was overwhelmingly defeated on Sunday by Bolsonaro.
Lula is currently in prison sentenced to twelve years for corruption referred to his second mandate in office, 2006/2010.
However on Monday morning during the weekly cabinet meeting in Montevideo, president Tabare Vazquez anticipated that a message to the Brazilian people was forthcoming.
Uruguay's ruling coalition is dominated by the grouping which is led by former president Jose Mujica, a close friend and ally of both Lula da Silva and the impeached and removed ex president Dilma Rousseff.
Mujica has stated that Lula da Silva is imprisoned as a result of a political persecution by the Brazilian political and judiciary systems, insisting in the innocence of his friend.
But not surprisingly Mujica made public that Lula had in effect confessed to him his involvement, because of political reasons, in another major corruption scandal which occurred during the first mandate of the ex president (2002/06), and referred to the fact that members of the Brazilian Congress had to be paid a monthly fee to have legislation approved. The whole operation was named mensolao, or monthly payments.
It was the only way to have legislation passed, the weird mechanisms of congressional politics..., Lula had admitted to Mujica at the time. Somehow Mujica was never summoned by the Brazilian courts which ended sending to prison Lula and his Workers Party's main political command, particularly his leading strategist and right hand man Dirceu, who had an office next to his in the Planalto presidential palace.
This did not prevent Mujica from publicly warning the Brazilian people and comparing the rise of Bolsonaro and his extreme right outbursts to that of Adolf Hitler in Germany. Ignoring besides that he remains one of the leading political figures in Uruguay and that Brazil together with China are the country's main trade partners.