Ex Brazilian president Lula da Silva has accused the incumbent leader Jair Bolsonaro of “stupidity” and of been guided ideologically by someone that doesn't believe the world is round, all of which has thrown into the drain, the country's reputation.
Lula da Silva, who served from 2003 to 2011, said that the far-right populist, Bolsonaro, is guilty of causing tremendous evil to the Brazilian people due to his environmental policies which are being blamed for a spike of fires in the Amazon basin.
So far in 2019, Brazil has reported 83,000 fires which is a 77% increase on the same period last year, according to official data
Lula da Silva is serving a 25-year jail term for two corruption convictions he disputes as politically motivated. He told the BBC from his prison in the city of Curitiba that Bolsonaro’s actions are partly through evil, partly through ignorance.
Many times you hear him speaking and you notice he doesn't know what he's talking about. They are deforesting as if Brazil and the world didn't lack forests. It's an old argument. The people who are setting the Amazon on fire used to do the same in the past. People seem to think that to preserve the forest, to tackle global warming, is foolish. There is stupidity at a high level governing our country today.
The former leader reflected that in the past Brazil was a major global player with a privileged relationship with major countries, but that has changed under Bolsonaro’s far-right policies. Bolsonaro has been criticized internationally for his rhetoric, which has included homophobic and misogynistic comments.
Lula da Silva recalled how Brazil was once highly respected and that no one discussed environmental preservation without talking to Brazil.
When asked about foreign relations of Brazil, Lula said: he has no relationships. Because Bolsonaro is ideologically guided by someone that doesn't believe the world is round. He thinks the planet is flat.
This appears to be referring to Olavo de Carvalho, a key adviser to the president, who in a Facebook post in 2017, suggested there were no definitive answers to questions like evolution and whether the Earth is flat.
Lula pointed out that in the relationship of a country with another, the relationship between states, you can't offend people as Trump does or as Bolsonaro does. You do it based on dialogue, Silva said.