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A principled position on Brazil’s Supreme Court and Lula’s arrest

Roberto Robaina – PSOL and Movimento Esquerda Socialista (MES) leader

“We reject Lula’s arrest, and defend his right to run for president. At the same time, we affirm the necessity of a new Left.”

The STF, Brazil’s Supreme Court, has not been a guardian of justice. It has been an organ dominated by politics, where justices accuse one another other of being psychopaths and mobsters. This is the Court that has been delaying the trials of bourgeois, corrupt politicians, like Michel Temer, Aécio Neves and many others. Thus, independently from the actions brought forward by the Lava Jato [Car Wash] operation, which gathered evidence against several of those corrupt men, the resulting justice is selective, striking a leadership with popular support and in first place in presidential polls, while unsupported politicians remain in power, down to their necks in dirt. That is why we are against Lula’s arrest. We are not facing an impartial trial controlled by the people.

It needs to be said, however, that defending Lula’s right to conditional release does not mean defending his innocence as many leftists do. Lula has collaborated with corrupt politicians such as José Sarney, Renan Calheiros, Delfim Netto and Temer himself. He has managed the interests of capitalist companies, building contractors, banks, the great agribusiness, and claims this management to this day. From my viewpoint, I believe a left-wing position does not accept serving these gentlemen. But there is a Left today that accepts being a part of this system, and defends its rules. We call this Left integrated to the political regime of the rich and capitalist. It is not the Left we defend. That is why i’m not led by Lula. I add myself, along with Luciana Genro and many other PSOL founders, to the defense of Lula not being arrested. Despite considering his time in prison should be a short one, since the political caste and their defenders in the STF know that Lula’s arrest will increase the pressure for Temer, Aécio and others to go the same way, we do not hesitate in our contrary position to it. And we equally maintain our position for Lula’s right to run for the presidential election. This defense is more than necessary because what’s behind the STF’s definition, its real interest, it not so much to put Lula behind bars, but to remove his influence from the October ballot. This is the continuity of the 2016 parliamentary coup. After having used the PT, now, since 2015, they have decided to exclude it from the power condominium, accepting it as an opposition at most. We, that have always denounced the democracy begun in the New Republic as a dictatorship of capital, know that the elections without Lula become even less legitimate in the face of the people. That is why, besides rejecting his arrest, we also defend his right to run for president.

At the same time we affirm the necessity of a new Left. A Left that is not led by the Lulism.

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