OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CUBA CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Lula continues to enjoy mass support in Brazil. Photo: TELESUR

SÃO PAULO.— The Regional Federal Court of the 3rd Region (TRF3) ruled on May 29 that Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s rights as a former President were to be restituted, overturning a May 17 decision to revoke them.

The most recent ruling was made by Judge André Nabarrete Neto, who indicated in his statement that former Brazilian heads of state are awarded “rights and prerogatives (not benefits) in consonance with the assumption of the Republic’s highest office, and have no legal limitations.”

It is worth recalling that these rights were withdrawn earlier by Judge Haroldo Nader, who justified the move saying that as long as Lula remained imprisoned, he was unable to make use of the prerogatives, teleSUR reported.

Nonetheless, the law stipulates that these rights are awarded to former Presidents for life, given the high ranking position they held.

“The explicit legal norms guarantee former Presidents not only security personnel, but also personal support and security for their property, since assistants of their confidence are needed to maintain their dignity and subsistence,” Judge Nabarrete explained in his ruling.

Thus this second level of the Brazilian court system reversed the May 17 decision by Judge Nader, describing as misguided the order to withdraw services to which Lula is entitled.

It is worth mentioning that all former Brazilian Presidents are entitled, by law and for life, to a team of eight people paid through the Cabinet budget.

Lula has been in prison since April 7, at the Federal Police headquarters in Curitiba, where he is serving a sentence of 12 years and one month for alleged corruption and money laundering, charges which have not been proven.

Beyond the restitution of his rights, the Brazilian Workers’ Party (PT) presidential candidate for the general elections of October, for which he is the favourite, remains in prison as a result of a rigged process.

WHAT WAS LULA’S CRIME?
÷÷ Helping to provide a platform that has given union movements and their struggles a voice.

÷÷ Winning the presidential elections in 2002 representing the PT, with the largest number of votes in the history of Brazil.

÷÷ An 80% approval rate in his second term, economic growth of 7.5%, and a minimum salary 54% higher than in his first term in government.

÷÷ Lifting more than 30 million Brazilians out of poverty, reducing the unemployment rate and placing the country on the map of emerging powers.

÷÷ Inspiring the largest country in Latin America and the Caribbean, and projecting an image of order and progress, just as is inscribed on its flag.

TIMELINE OF A WRONGFUL CONVICTION

2014

÷÷ The Petrobras scandal emerges.

÷÷ José Dirceu, former government minister under Lula, is detained.

÷÷ Lula and Dilma Rousseff are implicated in the corruption case.

2016

÷÷ The police begin to investigate Lula for influence peddling.

÷÷ Da Silva presents his written defense.

÷÷ Lula is accused of enriching himself through corruption.

÷÷ Public Prosecutor’s Office denounces the former Brazilian President for the first time.

÷÷ Lula goes from being a minister to a former minister in just one day.

÷÷ A judge in Brasilia accuses Lula of trying to bribe a defendant in the Petrobras case.

÷÷ Accept another indictment against Lula (now totaling five).

2017

÷÷ Lula testifies before Judge Sergio Moro.

÷÷ New accusation from the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

÷÷ Lula is sentenced to nine years in prison.

2018

÷÷ Appeals court upholds Lula’s conviction and increases his sentence.

÷÷ Go ahead given for Lula’s imprisonment.

÷÷ The Supreme Court rejects Lula’s final appeal.

BRAZIL DURING THE SAME PERIOD

2016

÷÷ President Dilma Rousseff is ousted from office.

÷÷ Michel Temer becomes President.

2017

÷÷ Da Silva doesn’t rule out running as a presidential candidate in 2018.

÷÷ In polls, support soars for the former president, while the process to prevent his candidacy advances.

÷÷ Political tensions led to an escalation of violence in the country’s streets.

2018

÷÷ Trucker drivers and oil workers strikes paralyze the nation.

÷÷ An increase in political violence, including the assassination of Marielle Franco.

÷÷ Lula put in isolation.

÷÷ Lula denied visits in Curitiba prison. Dilma Rousseff, Gleisi Hoffmann (PT president), Carlos Lupi (president of the Democratic Labor Party), Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, and intellectual Leonardo Boff are prevented from seeing him.

÷÷ Deputy Paulo Pimenta visits Lula and assures that he is aware of what is happening.

÷÷ Pimenta notes that Lula will be registered on August 15 as PT presidential candidate, and remains the favorite to win.