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TOPIC: lula


Javier Milei, Revolt Of The Global Disaffected Is Far From Over

Argentina has elected a "paleolibertarian" outsider with little experience, and by a wide margin. What does this say about the existing structures of power around the democratic world?


PARIS — If it were only a matter of far-right politics, the election of Javier Milei as Argentina's next president would fit into a relatively classic electoral pattern. But this winner, with a very comfortable 56% of votes, is much more than that: this is what makes his case intriguing and raises troubling questions.

He is first and foremost a "radical libertarian," according to the Financial Times, which generally does not engage in hyperbole. Or "paleolibertarian," a doctrine that advocates "anarcho-capitalism," according to the French websiteLe Grand Continent.

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Libertarianism is a political philosophy born in the United States that advocates for total individual freedom in the face of state power. Javier Milei, who has a way with words, summarizes it as follows: "Between the mafia and the state, I prefer the mafia. The mafia has codes, it keeps its commitments, it does not lie, it is competitive."

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Gaza Hospital “Catastrophic,” China Calls For Myanmar Ceasefire, Nepal’s TikTok Ban

👋 Ha’u!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where U.S. President Joe Biden calls for the protection of Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital, China calls for a ceasefire between Myanmar and rebel fighters, and Nepal cracks down on social media. We also feature a story of an unlikely library opening on the tiny Italian island of Capraia.

[*Hopi, Arizona, U.S.]

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This Happened — October 27: Lula Elected (The First Time)

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva won the presidency in Brazil on this day in 2002.

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Maduro Like Bolsonaro? Lula's Double Standard On Democracy

Brazilian President Lula da Silva's goodwill toward the Venezuela's President Maduro, in spite of the signs Maduro might hijack the 2024 general elections, suggests Lula has a problem with Western-style liberal democracy, even after he has criticized his predecessor for the same thing.

BUENOS AIRES — Almost simultaneously on the last day of June, Brazil and Venezuela blocked the political paths of two prominent opponents of the countries' socialist governments. In Brazil, ex-president Jair Bolsonaro, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's right-wing predecessor and often dubbed the "tropical Trump," was banned for eight years from holding public office, which means he could not run in the 2026 presidential elections or the municipal polls of 2024 and 2028.

In Venezuela, authorities slapped a 15-year ban on María Corina Machado, a former legislator and a favorite to unite the opposition in the general elections scheduled for 2024. She was thought to have a good chance of stopping President Nicolás Maduro's new attempt at reelection.

Our great Argentine novelist Jorge Luis Borges observed, a little ironically, that history loves symmetry, though in this case the coincidence is, frankly, haphazard. The big difference between the disqualifications is that in Brazil, the judiciary acted against Bolsonaro in a country where the due process of law, and thus personal rights and pertinent evidence, are respected.

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Marcelo Cantelmi

Why Lula's Big Green Promises Are Such A Long Shot

As Brazil's President Lula da Silva wields limited power over parliament and his multi-party cabinet, he may be unable to fulfil many of this campaign promises, including protecting the environment.


BUENOS AIRES -- Brazil has an institutional flaw that is difficult – if not impossible – to fix.

This flaw may explain the weaknesses seen in the first semester of this third government led by socialist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva — particularly on his promises to defend the environment. While the country has a presidential regime, the power of Congress, especially the lower legislative chamber, has expanded to unusual levels, and now seeks to share the president's powers.

Parliamentary powers grew under the previous president, right-wing Jair Bolsonaro, who conceded certain executive branch prerogatives in an ongoing bid to avoid impeachment. It wasn't unlike having a gun to his head, as journalist and academic Vinicius Torres Freire observed in the paper Folha de São Paulo. Because Lula won with the slightest of majorities, he lacks enough of his own lawmakers to alter this arrangement and rob the so-called centrão (or big center) — a conservative, calculating mass of MPs that has always been there, but is now throwing its weight around — of their new-found legislative powers.

This legislative block represents the 'three Bs' — Bible, Bullets and Beef — associated with evangelical Protestants, gun supporters and big farming. The same institutional flaw prevents Lula from resolving another disagreement between the two branches of government: namely, the "secret chapter," which is the part of the state budget that legislators can allocate at their own discretion, without outside scrutiny. In his campaign, Lula had promised to end this mechanism, which was another of Bolsonaro's gifts to Parliament.

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Marcelo Cantelmi

Why Lula Is Doubling Down On His Ambiguous Stance On Russia And China

Though he campaigned for his return to the Brazilian presidency as a pro-Western reformer, since coming into office Lula da Silva has reverted to the classic positioning of a 20th century Latin American leftist.


BRASÍLIA — One hundred days into his third presidential term, Brazil's Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has made the war in distant Ukraine into his government's cause célèbre. Observers like The Economist are wondering if this is because of diplomacy or naivety — or both.

Why, one wonders, has Brazil's socialist president waded into the Ukrainian quagmire, inclining toward the Russian version of events? Lula says he is restoring Brazil to its proper place in world affairs, which it enjoyed 20 years ago in his first two terms. Nostalgia — or a glamorizing vision of those days — is perhaps blinding him to the pitfalls of today. Domestic challenges could soon make him even less perceptive.

Lula was elected over his right-wing predecessor Jair Bolsonaro by a tiny margin, as shown by the fact that he lacks a parliamentary majority and works with a center-right cabinet. He can be said to have been chosen simply as a less radical option, as the middle class tired of Bolsonaro's antics, fanaticism and misogyny. While campaigning, Lula seemed to have understood that Brazilians did not want a 20th-century-style, leftist leader.

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In The News
Emma Albright, Inès Mermat and Anne-Sophie Goninet

Putin In Kherson, Tunisia Arrests Opposition Leader, Polyamorous Spain

👋 Aang!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Vladimir Putin visits two Russian-annexed regions of Ukraine, the leader of Tunisia’s Ennahda opposition party Rached Ghannouchi is arrested, and things get caliente in Spain. Meanwhile, Ukrainska Pravda analyzes the security and geopolitical consequences of Poland’s ban on Ukrainian food imports.

[*Aleut, Alaska]

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Marco Bastos

Lula's Visit To China Is Business As Usual — And Pure Political Calculation

Brazilian President Lula da Silva is sticking to Brazil's favored policy of diplomatic non-alignment while visiting China, hoping to win his country all the business and export deals he can sign.


Brazil's leftist president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, arrived in China with three priorities.

First, he wants to look like a statesman next to China’s communist strongman leader Xi Jinping. Second, he wants to be on the 'right' side in the new Cold War taking shape between the U.S. and China. And third, he will seek investment opportunities and export markets.

Part of Lula's symbolic proposition is to present himself as an international statesman who can re-establish Brazil on the global stage. With the exception of some among the extreme right in the West, most people abroad sympathize with this image – among them, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who has welcomed Brazil's return.

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Cefas Carvalho

On Lula's "Gay Kits," Marxist Plots And The Entire Brazilian Fake News Machine

Before Lula's re-election in Brazil, fake news spread widely online about "gay kits" in schools and Marxism in schools. Here's how Brazilians can use the moment to convince moderate voters of the dangers of disinformation.


NATAL, Brazil — It’s been two months since the leftist Luiz Lula da Silva returned as president of Brazil. Despite what fake news and reports online said: No Christian church was closed. No religious leader was arrested or suffered. No public school received “gay kits” and no nursery received bottles with dick-shaped spouts.

In these first weeks , the Lula government also has not instituted any Communist dictatorship in the country and no one was forced to read books by Marx and Lenin.

No one was forced to marry a person of the same sex, and no “gay dictatorship” was installed. Likewise, no woman was forced to have an abortion.

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Have No Doubt: Bolsonaro's Fingerprints Are All Over The Brasilia Assault

Emulating the Trump-inspired attack on the U.S. Capitol, the assault of a right-wing mob on government buildings in Brasilia took its cue from former president Bolsonaro's longstanding contempt for democratic institutions.


In defeat, authoritarianism is unable to reflect, let alone peacefully hand over power. In Brazil, we have just seen the sadly predictable consequences of years of questioning the legitimacy of elections and their institutional guarantors by the departing right-wing president, Jair Bolsonaro.

In an echo of events in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, thousands of Bolsonaro's supporters stormed the premises of Brazil's Congress, Supreme Court and the offices of his duly-elected successor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The similarity with the assault on the U.S. Capitol after the Trump presidency is no coincidence.

Fascist-style regimes copy each other's clumsy, violent and painful methods.

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In The News

"Crime Contra O Brasil" - 21 International Front Pages Of Brasilia Riots

Newspapers in Brazil, as well as elsewhere in North and South America and Europe, marked the unprecedented attack on Brazilian democracy.

Calm was restored in Brazil’s capital Brasilia, a day after thousands of supporters of former far-right President Jair Bolsonaro invaded and vandalized the presidential palace, the country's Congress and the Supreme Court.

Police arrested an estimated 400 protesters. Newly-reelected President Lula's condemned the rioters as "fascists, fanatics" whom he vowed to punish "with the full force of law." World leaders meanwhile also denounced the assault, which U.S. President Joe Biden called "outrageous" and Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez a "coup attempt."

Meanwhile, Bolsonaro — who flew to Miami last week ahead of Lula's inauguration — offered a muted and delayed criticism of the attack.

This is how newspapers in Brazil, Latin America and the rest of the world featured the unprecedented attack on the government’s sites on their front pages.

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In The News
Ginevra Falciani, Emma Albright, Bertrand Hauger and Anne-Sophie Goninet

400 Arrested In Brasilia Riots, Resilient Bakhmut, COVID Grand Slam

👋 Salamalekum!*

Welcome to Monday, where calm is restored in Brasilia after opposition supporters stormed key government sites yesterday, Ukraine forces repel “constant attacks” in Bakhmut, and the Australian Open will allow COVID-19 positive players to compete. And as the world bid adieu to Benedict XVI, Friedrich Wilhelm Graf in German daily Die Welt looks at the German-born pope’s very Protestant legacy.

[*Wolof, West Africa]

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