Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva
Sao Paolo Forum
From 1969 to 1973 Garcia, a Brazilian, was politically active in Chile during the Salvador Allende regime. Working closely with the Cuban backed Allende, Garcia was also close to Cuban operatives. .
In 1980, Garcia helped found the Brazilian Workers Party and has served as it’s Foreign Affairs advisor ever since. In the recent election he was “Lula’s” campaign manager.
In 1990 in collaboration with Castro, Marco Aurelio Garcia called a meeting of all left-wing groups from Latin America and the Caribbean. Representatives from 48 different communist parties and terrorist groups attended. This gathering became a near annual event, known as the São Paulo Forum until being replaced in recent years by the World Social Forum movement.
As the architect of the Sao Paulo Forum, Garcia controlled and coordinated Latin America’s main socialist parties, communist parties and terrorist organisations from Chile to Mexico.
To quote Brazilian philosopher and commentator Olavo de Carvalho;
- Far from being a possible US ally in any political effort intended to stop the neo-communist rise in Latin America, Brazil has been for many years the real strategical center where from communist action spreads to the neighbouring countries.
- The very decision to found the São Paulo Forum was taken by Fidel Castro in a meeting where, to his own exception, everyone present was a Brazilian: Lula, Frei Betto and Bernardo Kucinsky. Lula, a Brazilian, presided the organization for twelve years. The Forum’s official magazine, America Libre , is run by a Brazilian, Emir Sader, while in the editorial board most of the members are Brazilian. The main political articulator of the Forum’s meetings is also a Brazilian, Marco Aurelio Garcia.
- If Lula is right to say that the many victories obtained by the Left in the continent are due to the Forum’s secretive actions, so they are, in substance, a result of Brazilian political planning.
Garcia describes his party, PT, as “radical, of the left, socialist” but that is only partly true. The PT consists of about a dozen major currents, raging from Trotskyist and Marxist-Leninist to left social democratic. The PT ran in the recent election as a formal partner of the Communist Party of Brazil.
Garcia himself is a hard line Marxist. In an article which he wrote on “The Communist Manifesto” he ended “The agenda is clear. If this new horizon which we search for is still called communism, it is time to re-constitute it“.
He has also been famously quoted as saying “We have to first give the impression that we are democrats…Initially, we have to accept certain things. But that won’t last.” and “Democracy is just a farce for taking power“.
Peace for Cuba Appeal
On September 23, 2003 the radical Institute for Policy Studies held its 27th annual Letelier-Moffitt Memorial Human Rights Awards.
- International Award Recipient: Nancy Sanchez Mendez
Presented by Jan Schakowsky, United States Representative
- Domestic Award Recipient: Casa de Maryland
Presented by Harry Belafonte
- Special Recognition Award: Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil-in absentia
Presented by John Sweeney, President, AFL-CIO
Democratic Socialists of America member Stanley Gacek is a labor attorney and AFL-CIO International Affairs Assistant Director, responsible for the Federation’s relations with Latin America and the Caribbean.
- Stanley Gacek is a labor attorney and AFL-CIO International Affairs Assistant Director, responsible forthe Federation’s relations with Latin America and the Caribbean. He has spoken and written extensivelyon Brazilian labor and politics and has been a friend and adviser to Lula and the PT for twenty-four years.
1993 DSA meeting
On April 17, 1993 Democratic Socialists of America hosted a reception for an "extremely distinguished delegation of democratic socialist leaders from Latin America". The guests, all of whom would be running for president of their respective countries within the next year, included Ruben Zamora of El Salvador, Cuauhtemoc Cardenas of Mexico, Antonio Navarro Wolff of Colombia, and Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva (Lula) of Brazil.
Ties to the Communist Party of Brazil
Progressive Governance Summit
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was in Chile. April 2009, to attend a summit of leaders from Latin America and Europe.
Biden flew to Chile early Friday and went to the resort city of Vina del Mar, where the Progressive Governance Summit would take place on Saturday.
Biden's three-day visit included bilateral talks with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and other visiting leaders.
Also attending the summit were British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Spanish President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Brazilan President Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva and Argentine President Cristina Fernandez.
Lula Refuses to Extradite Italian Militant
Cesare Battisti was convicted in absentia of murdering four people in Italy between 1978 and 1979. The 56-year-old has maintained his innocence, saying he is the victim of political persecution in Italy and that he risks being killed if extradited. In a book published in 2006 he stated,
- "I am guilty, as I have often said, of having participated in an armed group with a subversive aim and of having carried weapons. But I never shot anyone."
Battisti has been on the run since escaping from an Italian jail in 1981 while awaiting trial. He spent the intervening years in France - where he started a career as a novelist - Mexico and finally Brazil. After he was arrested in Brazil in 2007, the Italian government requested his extradition under an existing bilateral treaty. It said the former member of the radical Armed Proletarians for Communism (PAC) was a terrorist.
On Friday - the final day before handing over the presidency to Dilma Rousseff - Lula decided to turn down Italy's request "on the basis of a report by the attorney general", Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said.
The Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi condemned the move, and vowed to explore all options to have it reversed. He commented,
- "I express deep bitterness and regret at the decision by President Lula to refuse the extradition of Cesare Battisti, a multiple murderer, despite insistent requests and urging at all levels from Italy. This is a choice contrary to the most elementary sense of justice," he added. "I consider this situation is anything but closed - Italy will not give up and will make sure of its rights."
Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa said the decision was,
- "seriously offensive to Italy, and above all to the memory of the people who were killed and the pain of the relatives of those who lost their lives. Just the fact that Lula waited for the last hour of his term is a sign of his lack of courage," he added. "It's a disgrace. I'll never tire of saying it."
- Zeal, Latin America's Most Dangerous Revolutionary? Submitted by Admin on November 5, 2006
- International Peace for Cuba Appeal - letterhead, Nov. 14, 1994
- Dem. Left,Winter 2004/2005
- Dem.Left, May/June 1993, page 14.
- The World Post, Biden Visits Chile For Progressive Governance Summit, Posted: 04/27/2009 5:12 am EDT
- BBC News: Italy furious after Brazil's Lula refuses extradition, Dec. 31, 2010 (accessed on Jan. 6, 2011)