Lula da Silva recognizes that the armed forces are with Bolsonaro

“There was an event in Brazil. I can’t explain how, but Bolsonaro got the majority of all the military forces. In the Central Police, in the Highway Police, in a part of the Military Police and in a part of the Armed Forces. Now we will have a lot of responsibility to get the country back to normal,” announced President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva at the Casa Rosada, the seat of Argentina’s government.

Lula da Silva is in Argentina on his first international trip, signaling Brazil’s priority for its key strategic partner as an axis of regional integration.

Lula da Silva made statements to the press alongside Argentine President Alberto Fernández, with whom he signed treaties, notes and declarations.

“What happened was that Bolsonaro did not respect the constitution and did not respect the role of the armed forces. I believe we will make things right. “Brazil will return to normal”, when asked if the climate of distrust between the government and the military had ended after the January 8 attacks on democratic institutions in Brasilia, with the army’s change of command.

“First I elected an army chief who didn’t work, then I elected a new chief who thinks like me about the role of the armed forces,” he said, explaining that the armed forces cannot serve a politician. President Jair Bolsonaro.

“The armed forces exist to guarantee the sovereignty of the country and the security of the people. Everything is regulated in the constitution,” he pointed out.

Last Saturday, Lula fired army chief General Julio Cesar de Arruda. After the attack on the three powers of the republic, the president lost confidence.

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Command was given to General Tomás Miguel Mine Ribeiro Paiva, who defended the force’s organization and apolitical and impartial character. The new commander will have the role of political purge of the force.

For his part, the Argentine president said “certainly this (attack) cannot happen in Argentina” because “Argentina’s armed forces are committed to the democratic process and institutionalism”.

“I am the first president of a democracy whose military leadership is made up of officers trained during democracy”, underlined Alberto Fernández.

Argentina’s military dictatorship lasted seven years, between 1976 and 1983. More than any other country in the region (Brazil’s lasted 21 years, between 1964 and 1985), Argentina’s military regime had a bloody balance. 30,000 people were kidnapped, tortured and killed.

Lula suggested that Argentines should be wary of far-right preferences in the next general elections in October, where all polls have found growth in voting intentions.

“That Argentina did not allow the extreme right to win the election because the extreme right does not work in any country. I believe that the Argentine people are smart and will not allow an electoral disaster in Argentina,” Lula asked.

Candidates in Argentina will be limited from May onwards. Argentine President Alberto Fernández has not ruled out running for re-election, although polls by consultants such as Synopsys, Poliarguía and Giacob show that Fernández’s popularity is no higher than 25%. The centre-right opposition party is leading in the polls.

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