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Brazil's Eternal Love-Hate Relationship With Lula

A court has upheld corruption charges against the former Brazilian president. Will it stop him from seeking to return to the presidency? He may get support from some surprising places.

Lula in Sao Paulo on Jan. 25
Lula in Sao Paulo on Jan. 25

The crucial court decision just issued in Porto Alegre in Brazil — upholding a corruption conviction against the former President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva — was the worst, and possibly definitive, obstacle to Lula's presidential aspirations and political career. But it would be a mistake to suppose that this setback affects only the Workers Party (PT) leader. A sign of what is at stake here is that the entire Brazilian political class, including President Michel Temer, may be thinking that the former leader should not be blocked from running in October's presidential elections. Those entertaining such an idea, often figures with close ties to business interests, argue in public at least that Lula must be defeated at the polls, to avoid his myth and a potential political martyrdom spreading more than it already has.

But Lula is ahead in all the polls. So when people say he should be allowed to run, it also goes to suggest an acceptance of his possible victory. In that context, judicial objections are peanuts in terms of importance. In a country where corruption poisons all political circuits and businessmen, the assault on Lula is also a political pretext that may or may not suit the leaders now suggesting that his candidacy be given the green light.

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Ideas

García Márquez And Truth: How Journalism Fed The Novelist's Fantasy

In his early journalistic writings, the Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez showed he had an eye for factual details, in which he found the absurdity and 'magic' that would in time be the stuff and style of his fiction.

Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez reads his book

J. D. Torres Duarte

BOGOTÁ — In short stories written in the 1940s and early 50s and later compiled in Eyes of a Blue Dog, the late Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia's Nobel Prize-winning novelist, shows he is as yet a young writer, with a style and subjects that can be atypical.

Stylistically, García Márquez came into his own in the celebrated One Hundred Years of Solitude. Until then both his style and substance took an erratic course: touching the brevity of film scripts in Nobody Writes to the Colonel, technical experimentation in Leaf Storm, the anecdotal short novel in In Evil Hour or exploring politics in Big Mama's Funeral. Throughout, the skills he displayed were rather of a precocious juggler.

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