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Brazil Gets Ready For Lula´s Return

Above Photo: Lula campaigning for president.

January 1 will be a long-awaited day for Brazil’s progressive movement. On that day, Luis Inácio Lula Da Silva, once and future president, will officially replace the nefarious Latin American Trump, Jair Bolsonaro. With only a few days ahead, the country is already beginning to prepare for this historic day.

Hundreds of thousands are expected to gather in the capital, Brasilia, to see the lion of the Latin American left sworn in. The event will take place to the rhythm of samba, the voices of renowned singers, including Pabllo Vittar — Brazil’s most famous drag queen and a favorite target of the defeated right.

In October, three years after his release from prison, Lula won a historic presidential election against the fascist Bolsonaro, with close results. Today, the leader who is about to assume his third term will face great challenges including increased political violence, a divided country, an economy battered by the mismanagement of his predecessor, an Amazon jungle that urgently needs protection and weapons widely spread amongst the population.

According to the Washington Post, Lula’s victory was the easy part of this contest, while a peaceful transition of power is at risk. “Bolsonaro has allowed a transition, but he has yet to actually concede – a refusal that has encouraged his core supporters to refute the legitimacy of a Lula presidency,” the journal highlighted.

Since October, thousands of extremist supporters have set up barricades along several of the country’s main avenues, calling for a coup d’état. The situation reached a climax point during the Christmas celebrations, George Washington de Oliveira Sousa, a  Bolsonaro supporter attempted to explode a bomb near the Brasilia airport. The criminal arrested with means of war confessed he intended to perpetrate the attack by exploding a fuel tanker truck during Lula’s victory as President.

A tanker with explosives and a remote detonation system was stopped in the vicinity of this airport, which, if it had worked, could have caused a high number of victims and generated the “chaos” that the ultra-right is betting on, on the eve of the inauguration of the imminent president of the Workers’ Party (PT).

“Prepared to kill or be killed,” said the Bolsonaro supporter, who was transferred to a maximum-security prison near the Federal District. “What motivated me to buy the weapons were the words of President Bolsonaro, who always emphasized the importance of civilians being armed saying, ‘An armed population will never be enslaved,’” Sousa added.

The assailant confessed to having planned the attack by means of an explosive introduced in a fuel tanker truck while pointing out that he received support from pro-Bolsonaro demonstrators who remain in front of the Army headquarters.

Questioned by agents of the Civil Police of the investigation area, the accused said that he also intended to place a bomb during Lula’s inauguration.

According to Robert Muggah, co-founder of the Rio think tank Igarapé Institute, this is a reminder of the significant share of Brazilians who are opposed to and hostile to the Lula administration. “The risk is that they could be mobilized in a more substantial way in the coming year should the incoming administration make any significant missteps.”

These events lead the future Minister of Justice of Brazil, Flavio Dino, to affirm that the security mechanism for the inauguration of the President-elect will be reinforced so that the transfer of power takes place in peace.

“We are not talking about a lone wolf,” Dino said of Sousa. “There are powerful people behind this and the police will investigate. We will not allow political terrorism in Brazil.”

The minister-elect specified that “all procedures will be reevaluated, seeking the strengthening of security. And the fight against terrorists and troublemakers will be intensified. Democracy has won and will win. We are ready.”

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