Brazil: Be Ashamed of Your President.


President of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, chatting it up with Fidel and Raul Castro

Only days after the tragic state-sanctioned murder of Cuban dissident, Orlando Zapata Tamayo, the president of Brazil, Da Silva, traveled to Cuba to genially speak with Raul and Fidel Castro, the two most responsible for Tamayo’s death.

In this previous post, I urged Latin American leaders to condemn, in the strongest of terms, the death of Tamayo. Not only did Da Silva not condemn the dissident’s death, he justified it. This is what he had to say: “A citizen that undertakes a hunger strike is exercising  a choice. In my opinion, the wrong choice.”

Da Silva is not being honest and certainly avoiding the irrefutable fact that although Zapata “chose” to enter a hunger strike, he did not “choose” to be imprisoned for exercising what is a right in Brazil–freedom to speak one’s mind and advocate for a change in the government of one’s own country. Yes, the charges Tamayo was imprisoned on were baseless, unless one believes that a dictatorship is the greatest thing since the U.S. landed on the moon.

Chances of Change Slim

Fidel and Raul, and whoever is below them, are not going to release their grip of power with a light push, especially if it comes from the United States and Europe. The latter’s condemnation of Orlando Zapata Tamayo feeds into their general strategy, which has worked well so far in terms holding onto power, of blaming all of Cuba’s woes on the big bad wolf of Capitalism, represented most by the U.S. and Europe. To effectuate a genuine evisceration of Cuba’s unforgivable treatment of its own people, it is necessary for Latin America’s leaders, if indeed these leaders really care about democracy and human rights, to state the obvious to the Castro brothers: Stop the oppression or we will not deal with you.

Unfortunately, the current situation is the exact opposite; Latin America leaders either ignore what the Castros do or encourage it. The boon to righteousness that this apathy creates is clear from Fidel Castro’s recent “Reflections”

Fidel Castro effusively compliments Da Silva, writing:

“Some who are envious of [Lula’s] prestige and glory, and even worse, those that are at the service of the empire, criticized him for visiting Cuba. They used this[his trip] to say the vile slander that has been used against Cuba for almost half a century.

He goes on, astoundingly claiming truths that are, frankly, wholly rebutted by a large body of evidence:

For many years, Lula has know that in our country no one is ever tortured, an adversary is never ordered to be assassinated, and the people are never lied to. He has the security that the truth is a inseparable companion of his Cuban friends.

Yet a lie was just told. Raul lied when he placed blamed on the United States for Orlando Zapata Tamayo’s death. The United States did not imprison Tamayo. Moreover, there is no evidence that Tamayo was a CIA-paid spy. All that the Castros deal in is smoke and mirrors; anything and everything that goes wrong in Cuba is attributed to an elaborate, Yankee conspiracy.

Listen, Fidel and Lula, I can speak personally in saying that I do not criticize Lula Da Silva because I am envious  or at the service of the Empire. I do so because his visit to Cuba and his empty words impinge upon basic decency–namely, respect for a man that died for the noble cause of Human Rights for his people.


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4 Responses to “Brazil: Be Ashamed of Your President.”

  1. bambooska Says:

    Hi, bjohns15.

    Well, to be very honest with you, I’m not fully inside the reports concerning Orlando Zapata Mayo’s death. I can’t speak for the President nor for the entire nation, but, it seems to me that my president tried to be as smooth as possible towards this subject. You see, it’s very difficult for country leaders criticize one another’s ways and judges concerning their population. It could definitely create an unhealthy political environmnet that could led into years of “damage”. His death was a big damage too and it brought attention of the world to Cuban’s former president Fidel Castro and his political skills and decisions while he was on charge of Cuba. Mayo wanted better quality of things in his cell, such as a TV and other “luxury” items. Wether if it’s true or not what induced him into his hunger strike, we do not know. He may have been guilty. He may have been innocent. That was up to Cuba’s judging and justice court, not Brazil’s court. Other personalities of the world, such as Ghandi to cite one at least, have made progress in debates because they drew attention to their situation of starvation. In all my honesty, I don’t think it was the president’s fault the death of this man. It was his own. He made the choice. He stuck with his choice until the end. He could’ve done things differently, yes, he could. He just didn’t want to.

    If we let every starvation strike decide important political issues around the world, well, I’m certain it would be complete chaos. Would you do what somebody tells you to do just because he’s on a strike? How about everybody else’s decisions? Millions of people who voted for you to lead the country will be shut up because of one’s decision for starvation? There are a lot variations in this equation and definitely it isn’t as simple as it might look.

    All I know is that it could’ve ended in a different way. If you think it was my president’s fault, then that’s your opinion. Mine is different. He chose with what tools he was going to use in this “war”, and he was aware of that. Seems to me like that isn’t the best way to deal with politics. Look how it ended.

  2. bjohns15 Says:

    Good points, bambooska, but one there is one point of contention when you say:

    “Millions of people who voted for you to lead the country will be shut up because of one’s decision for starvation?”

    The Cuban peoples’ vote does not count. There is no organized opposition precisely because it has been snuffed out by the Cuban government. As to the “Cuban Judicial System”, it is well-known that Tamayo did not commit what in democracies can be considered a crime–namely, to exercise his freedom of expression in the form of peacefully advocating for a change in government.

    Thank you for your response. I appreciate the insight from a Brazilian perspective.

  3. rafa Says:

    Lula is a puppet, and he’s only in it for personal gain – screw the country and the people. People at the top will never provide education or basic needs for the population, because this would mean empowering them – and then the professional thieves would lose their easy jobs.

    I’m afraid Brazil has nowhere to go but down really… It’s a haven for rich people who want to get richer, and that’s it

    to make things worse it seems like outsiders buy the lie. I wish tourists would stop coming and spending money here, that would be a start

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