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TUC delegates demand Brazil release Lula

TUC delegates massed outside the Manchester conference venue yesterday to demand the release of former Brazilian president, Lula da Silva.

Brazilian judges have also banned Lula from standing in October’s presidential election, despite him leading in all opinion polls.

The international campaign to free Lula, who was jailed in April on trumped-up corruption charges, is attracting growing support from across the trade union movement.

Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke told a Latin American solidarity fringe meeting that the “trade union movement is clear that it’s up to the people of Brazil to choose their president, not multinational companies and the Trump administration.”

“Trump’s tightening of the US blockade on Cuba and the sanctions imposed on Venezuela and Nicaragua show that this is about the US asserting economic and political control in the region, not what’s best for the people of Brazil,” he added.

Brazilian Workers Party official, Julia Felmanas, condemned the judicially-imposed news blackout on Lula. “Not only are we not allowed to mention his name on campaign material, we are not allowed to show his image or any symbols associated with him,” she said.

Nicaragua’s ambassador, Guisell Morales, condemned the US funding of anti-Government media which was designed to “create the false impression of a broad spectrum of opposition”.  

“However, the attempt to overthrow the Nicaragua’s Sandinista government has failed because the majority of the population have rejected the coup,” said Ms Morales.

Dr Francisco Dominguez from the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign told the meeting that media claims of a “humanitarian crisis” in Venezuela were a pretext to justify possible US military intervention.

“They won’t show the Venezuelans returning home from other countries as the economy slowly improves because that would puncture the false narrative.”

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