October 11, 2002: Diario las Américas, Miami (FL)

Irony of neo-Lula answers nothing and confirms apprehensions concerning alliance with Castro and Chavez

by Armando F. Valladares

On Tuesday this past October 8th, during a television program with a wide audience in Brazil, the journalist Boris Casoy asked of the leftist candidate, Mr. Lula da Silva, his opinion regarding a theme that, on "an hourly basis" is being commented about by the national and international press: the "axis" Castro-Chavez-Lula. Mr. Lula, visibly tense and with a forced smile, answered that this denunciation was nothing less than "a joke of poor taste"; urging the journalist to "not repeat" anymore this version on television; he denied, against all the evidence, that the international press had given notoriety to such a denunciation; he said that all could be reduced to an article written by "a journalist who must be a great "picareta" (fraud)," published only in a Miami newspaper" and denied any links whatsoever with Colombian narco-guerillas.

Lula, with his irony and impulse of bad humor - that made him momentarily depart from his role as "Lulinha peace and love" - answered nothing, because irony never works with valid arguments. This lack of a persuading response served to confirm my apprehensions, manifested in a recent article read by so many Brazilians and Latin Americans, that, behind the sudden metamorphosis of the neo-Lula, continues the same revolutionary radicalism of the Lula of always ("Neo-Lula, collective suggestion and Cubanization, "DIARIO LAS AMERICAS, Miami, September 25, 2002).

Before millions of Brazilians, the leftist candidate let pass an opportunity to respond seriously about his alliance with Communist Dictator Fidel Castro, with Chavez and with the Colombian narco-guerillas established at the Forum of Sao Paulo, a coalition of parties and revolutionary entities founded by Lula and Castro in 1990, in order to unite Latin American leftists, after the humiliating disintegration of the Soviet Empire.

Much worse than a "joke in poor taste", this alliance is a sad and dangerous reality that portends to pass us off as contraband, and that was denounced by such academics as Professor Constantine Menges, of the Hudson Institute, and which resulted in the recent apprehensive letter by 13 US Congressmen to President Bush.

Lula also lost the occasion to confirm or deny his scandalous support of Castro Communism, brought about in December of 2001 in Havana, during the 10th reunion of the Forum of Sao Paulo, when, while looking into the eyes of Dictator Castro, in front of two Colombian narco-guerilla chiefs of FARC and of ELN, and of hundreds of Communist leaders of the continent, confessed: "Although your face is marked by wrinkles, Fidel, your soul continues clean, because you never betrayed the interests of your people;" "thank you, Fidel, thank you for having existed." As the newspaper, O Estado de Sao Paulo, has just finished announcing, Lula's handlers are working on the transference of eventual power to Lula as the new president of Brazil, from January 1st to January 6th, in such a way as to fascillitate the assistance of the bloody Dictator Castro, who would be transformed into the star of the act.

In order for neo-Lula to have credibility, he ought to put aside the irony and bad humor, and deny or confirm his publicly known declarations and compromising facts. I am disposed to debate him about these subjects; in particular, about the Communist system that oppresses my dear Country and that inspires such admiration in him.

I found in the well thought out Aurelio Dictionary, of the Portuguese language, the meaning of the word "picareta": "A person who uses artifices or fraud in order to obtain benefits." In this respect, let me say that I had sufficient honesty to dedicate a good part of my article of this past September 25, to cite quotations that demonstrate a reality behind the abundant publicity machine that protects neo-Lula. Until such do not prove that my cited documentation is "fraudulent", the accusation of "picareta" cannot but fall on my accuser.

As a consequence of my earlier article, I received hundreds of e-mails from Brazilian, Venezuelan, Cuban and Latin American brothers, who agree emphatically with the apprehensions manifested therein. Conversely, I also received substantial e-mails from the followers of Mr. Lula and from admirers of Dictator Castro who, because of a lack of arguments, proffered the lowest kind of insults and the most violent threats to my person. Insults and threats that do not intimidate a Cuban ex-political prisoner who managed to survive 22 years of the worst tortures from Castro's goons, along with a group of political prisoners, although physically defenseless, nevertheless, were armed with faith in God. Political prisoners who saw their faith fortified and confirmed when they heard the cries of their brothers who, before they were shot by Castro's firing squads, proclaimed: "Viva Cristo Rey! Abajo el comunismo!" ("Long live Christ the King! Down with Communism!"). Not in vain is the blood of martyrs, since the first centuries of Christianity, the seed of new Christians.

As I have already expressed, in no way do I wish that these reflections be interpreted as a form of interference with the internal affairs of that enormous and influential country called Brazil, also named Land of the Holy Cross. Without a doubt, for this providential nation I wish only the best, because this is what her people - a Catholic majority, intelligent, ingenuous, happy and kind - deserve; besides this, furthermore, because the elections that will occur in a few days, could change the history of America and the world.

Armando Valladares, Cuban ex-political prisoner, was US Ambassador

of the UN Human Rights Commission, in Geneva, during the Reagan

and Bush Administrations.