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Lula’s attacks on the press “dangerous” and has him “on track with Chavez”

Thursday, September 23rd 2010 - 00:44 UTC
Full article 3 comments
Exposure of corruption in his administration has exasperated the Brazilian president Exposure of corruption in his administration has exasperated the Brazilian president

President Lula da Silva’s comments on freedom of the press are “something dangerous” and put him on the tracks of “Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez” said the president of the Inter-American Press Association (SIP), Alejandro Aguirre in an interview published in Brazilian newspaper O'Globo.

After considering the comments as a direct attack on the media which criticizes Lula da Silva's administration, Aguirre told reporters that “the president's remarks are something dangerous“.

Lula da Silva has repeated during public appearances that some sectors of the Brazilian media are acting ”like political parties“ and supporting opposition candidates. He has asked for more control over the press and stricter sentencing for “slander and the profusion of lies”.

Aguirre warned that ”freedom of the press is a right that belongs to the people and not to the government“.

He went further and said that ”it is obvious that we are before a government that's following the steps of other Latin American governments, like Chavez's in Venezuela, and Argentina's Cristina Fernández de Kirchner”, by developing some tough attitudes against the independent media that does not stay on the government's course

“Regretfully we have seen cases of democratic governments that at some moment begun to act in an authoritarian manner to control the media, particularly those that follow an independent line, independent criteria”.

Aguirre anticipated that SIP which brings together the newspapers of the Americas will make an official declaration on its position regarding recent statements from the Brazilian president.

“We are very concerned with the situation in Brazil, In other statements we have expressed this, but we are hopeful that the person who succeeds Mr. Lula da Silva as president will be respectful of civil and human rights, and of freedom of expression as the cornerstone of democracy”, added Aguirre.

SIP is always alert and concerned when a leader from the region considers he is “the owner of public opinion for having been elected”.

A democratic election is something very important and significant “but the free flow of information and opinion is a right that belongs to the people not the government”.

In the latest political rallies in support of the ruling Workers party candidate for the coming October 3 presidential election, Dilma Rousseff, Lula da Silva has repeated that victory will also mean “a defeat for the media that criticizes President Lula da Silva him and his administration”.

Lula da Silva is furious with newspapers and magazines that have exposed a ring of alleged corruption involving the successor of Ms Rousseff as cabinet chief and which has forced the resignation of several top officials of his administration.

On Tuesday he toned down his criticism saying freedom of the press strengthens democracy “but can’t be used to spread lies or invent things every day”.

Lula da Silva statements were harshly criticized by Brazil’s Solicitors College and the Association of printed media.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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  • Forgetit87

    It's not rare for a president to criticize the media. Berlusconi and Sarkozy did that a number of times, and so did the Bush administration. The Bush gov waged a verbal war with both NBC and. MSNBC. Ari Fleischer, then White House spokesman, said a lot of stuff when Bill Maher lost his “Politically Incorrect” show at ABC channel in 2001. The current American administration also has its own arguments with Fox News. Those weren't those leaders' great moments - but France keeps being France, Italy keeps being Italy and the US keeps being the US. Brazil won't become something like Venezuela just because the president refuses to stay shut when the scandal-thirsty Brazilian media keeps distorting the news.

    Some months ago Aguirre said of Lula that he's a faux democrat. That was based on the prohibition imposed to Estado de São Paulo to report on the ongoing investigation of the fiscal record of Senate President José Sarney. But the prohibition had been imposed by the Judiciary Power, something over which the Executive power has, and should have, no jurisdiction. True democrats are not supposed to infringe on the separation of three powers.

    The organization Aguirre representes, the Inter-American Press Organization, is an umbrella group that heads many LatAm newspapers. It's based in the US and was created during the Cold War. Investigator Fred Landis said of IAPA: “IAPA stands ready, with all its hundreds of cooperating member newspapers, to scream ”Marxist Threat to Free Press“ if any attempt is made by the target government to restrict the flow of hostile propaganda.”

    With Iapa the O Globo newspaper shares a history of support for anti-leftist coups. A day later the 1964 in Brazil, O Globo's founder, Roberto Marinho, wrote an editorial which began with the following sentence: “Vive a nação dias gloriosos”, that is, “The nation lives days of glory.” What O Globo is doing, is basically to interview a person the it knows will confirm their right-wing agenda.

    Sep 23rd, 2010 - 01:41 am 0
  • Alvinho/BRA

    Only a bunch of gullible foreigners think that Lula is the example for the world....they mustn't have lived in Brazil before.....he's the crappiest person I've ever seen......because I voted for him when he first took office and then regretted doing it.

    Try to picture the amount of “good” friends he's made in countries dominated by bloody dictators....he's inspired in Chavez, 'el mono del Orinoco”, and is eager to turn Brazil into a Venezuela.

    Obviously people who are part of Brazilian press have no any halo over their heads, but I'd rather not believe in those red thieves who are bring up harsh setback for this country.

    Truth is coming to surface and those ridiculous reds are desperate.

    The lefties who are members of this forum should be eating a huge hamburger sandwich at Mc Donald's, wearing a brand new All-Star and listening to American music.

    Forgetit 87, Roberto Marinho was a crap, he founded the worst channel in the world, but wasn't wrong because from 1964 to 1985 Brazil went thorugh one of the highest economic growth was such darn safe country at that time. Don't worry, if Dilma wins and makes her own move, the militaries will take the country over again and lock up those thieves.....

    Sep 23rd, 2010 - 08:13 pm 0
  • Forgetit87

    Alvinho, I don't even care to answer most of your points. With all due respect, I think you're nuts.

    About the dictatorship, I know a brief period of it - that from 1968 to 1973 - was one of high economic growth. And that, to a smaller extent, that is also true of the remaining 70s - though then growth had to be sustained with foreign debts that crippled the ability of the post-Geisel presidents - save for Lula in his 2nd term- to invest in the country. But the 80s, both before and after the dictatorship was replaced by democracy, were not good years in either economic or most other respects.

    But that doesn't matter, Marinho didn't support the coup because he somehow knew it would be a good period of economic growth. Why he did it, I don't know. But that seems to have been the position taken by most media outlets. Again I don't know why, for Goulart was not a bad president: he tried to advance worker's rights and was very popular until the day he was ousted (76% of approval ratings). Perhaps it was precisely this - his defense of workers and trade unions - that hit the nerves of the media conglomerates owners.

    And that you believe the military will hit a coup in 2011 in case Dilma wins elections, proves yet again that you're nuts. Of course I mean that respectfully.

    Sep 23rd, 2010 - 10:22 pm 0
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