Former president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, considers that the Ukrainian leader, Volodymyr Zelensky, “wanted war” with Russia, and that “hatred is being fueled” against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“He [Zelensky] wanted the war,” said Lula in an interview for a Time magazine cover story. “If he did not want the war, he would have negotiated a little more. It is like that. I criticized Putin when I was in Mexico City and said that the invasion was a mistake.” The headline of the story is “Lula’s Second Act.”
Regarding the Ukrainian president, Lula commented: “I see the President of Ukraine, speaking on television, being applauded, getting a standing ovation from all the [European] parliamentarians… This guy is as responsible as Putin for the war. Because in the war, there’s not just one guilty person.”
Lula described the Ukrainian president’s behavior as “a little strange.” “It seems like it’s part of a show,” said Lula. “He is presented on television in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night; he appears in the British Parliament, in the German Parliament, in the French Parliament, campaigning, as it were. He needs be more concerned about the negotiations.”
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TIME's new cover: Brazil's most popular President returns from political exile with a promise to save the nation https://t.co/qmLcrH61W7 pic.twitter.com/gHdVpY7jY1
— TIME (@TIME) May 4, 2022
The former president, who will register on May 7 as a candidate for the presidential elections in October, commented that “people are stimulating hatred against Putin… That is not going to solve anything! It is necessary to promote an agreement, but there is an incentive [to confrontation].”
“They’re rooting for this guy [Zelensky] and then he thinks he is the icing on the cake,” Lula added. “We should have a serious conversation: ‘Okay, you were a good comedian. But let’s not make a war to get you on TV.’ And we should tell Putin: ‘You have a lot of weapons, but you don’t need to use them in Ukraine. Let’s talk!'”
He also criticized US President Joe Biden for not “having made the right decision.” “The United States has a lot of political clout,” Lula said. “And Biden could have avoided [the war], not incited it. He could have participated more. Biden could have taken a plane to Moscow to talk to Putin. This is the kind of attitude you expect from a leader.”
Lula expressed his opinion that “the US and the EU are also guilty” for the conflict in Ukraine. “What was the reason for the invasion of Ukraine? NATO? So the US and Europe should have said: ‘Ukraine will not join NATO.’ This would have solved the problem,” Lula said, adding that the EU could have pointed out that “now is not the time for Ukraine to join” the military partnership. “They didn’t have to encourage confrontation,” he said.
In his opinion, there were “few conversations” required to resolve the differences. “If you want peace, you have to be patient,” he said. “They could have sat at a negotiating table for 10, 15, 20 days, the whole month, trying to find a solution,” he said, noting that “dialogue only works when it is taken seriously.”
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Lula, 76, considers it “urgent and necessary” to create a new world governance. “Today’s UN does not represent anything anymore, it is not taken seriously by the leaders,” he opined.
“I never gave up politics”
In another part of the interview, which was conducted in March but published now, Lula affirms that he was “very concerned” when the US and the European Union recognized Juan Guaidó as president of Venezuela.
“You cannot play with democracy. Guaidó would have to be elected to be president of Venezuela,” he said.
Already favored in national polls, Lula says that he never resigned from politics, but that when he left the presidency at the end of 2010, he thought that he would not run for office again.
“Politics is in each of my cells, politics is in my blood, it’s in my head,” Lula said. “Because the problem is not just politics, the problem is the cause that leads you to politics.”
And he continued: “When I left the presidency in 2010, indeed, I did not intend to be a candidate for the presidency of the republic. However, what I am seeing, 12 years later, is that all our policies to benefit the poor … all of that was destroyed, dismantled.”
Featured image: Cover of the May 23/May 30 issue of Time Magazine with Lula as cover photo and a text reading “Lula’s Second Act.” Photo: Twitter/@TIME.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
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