Transcript of Lula’s speech on April 7, 2018

translated by Carla Locatelli for the Jornalistas Livres
Manifestantes carregam Lula nos braços depois de discurso no Sindicato dos Metalúrgicos de São Bernardo do Campo. 07/04/2018. Foto: Francisco Proner Ramos

Dear comrades,

Dear comrade Wagner, president of the CUT,

Dear comrade Aloísio Mercadante, former Senator, former Congressmen, former Minister of Science and Technology, former Minister of Education, former Minister of the Civil House of
President Dilma, damn if I had as many titles as you, I would be the President of the Republic.

Comrade Guilherme Boulos, our companion who is starting his journey as candidate for President for the PSOL, but is a high-quality companion and this boy’s seriousness need to be taken into account. I say boy because he is only 35 years old and when I started the strike of 1978, I was 33 years old and I was able, through the strike, to create a political party and become President. You have a future, my brother, just don’t ever give up.

I want to greet this girl [Manuela Davila], this pretty girl, a militant girl from the PCdoB, who is also having her first experience as a presidential candidate for the PCdoB, because I feel prideful and hopeful that this country has new people preparing to face the denial of politics, taking charge of politics and saying “we want to be President in order to change the history of the country.”

Lula thanks Dilma Rousseff

I want to thank the company of this woman [Dilma Rousseff]. Possibly the most wronged woman who once dared to do politics in this country.  Wronged due to her way of governing, accused of not being able to talk, accused of not knowing how to be a politician, but I would like to testify to you: Dilma was the one who reassured me to do almost everything I was able to do while President due to her trust, her seriousness, and Dilma’s quality and technical competence. I am … I am grateful, extremely grateful because it wouldn’t have been what it was had it not been for comrade Dilma. Therefore Dilma you know that I will be deeply, for the rest of my life… I will share my success in the Presidency with Your Honor, no matter what happens in this world.

I want to greet my dear comrade Fernando Haddad who lived the best period of investment in Brazilian education.

I want to greet my comrade Celso Amorim. A companion who was certainly the most important Minister of Foreign Affairs that this country has ever had, which has placed Brazil as a world leader throughout our mandate.

I would like to congratulate our comrade Ivan Valente, deputy for the PSOL, who is here.

I want to greet our courageous, our extraordinary João Pedro Stédile, president and coordinator of the Movimento Sem Terra..

I want to greet, I do not know his name, but the comrade president of the PSOL, Juliano, young president of the PSOL.

I want to greet our dear writer Fernando de Moraes who is writing the biography of my mandate, that is not yet finished. I’m about to die and he doesn’t finish my biography.

I want to greet our dear comrade Paulo Pimenta, leader of the PT. The man who has the blog of the most important deputies in Brasilia and the citizen who has best faced Moro and the Lava Jato operation, in identifying its defects. Congratulations, comrade Pimenta.

I want to greet the most intelligent Native of Brazil, the President of Piauí, the Governor of Piauí, comrade Wellington, who is serving his third term, and according to the polls, he is on his way to fulfill his fourth term as governor of the State of Piauí.

I want to greet here comrade Emídio, treasurer of the PT and former mayor of Osasco, who has worked tirelessly so we can recover the PT’s role in the history of this country.

I want to greet comrade Orlando Silva, president, or rather, deputy for the PCdoB.

I want to greet our comrade Índio, who is from Intersindical, a very good comrade.

I want to greet the President of the CTB who is here, comrade Adilson, who is also a very important companion in the union movement.

I want to greet our comrade Gleisi Hoffmann, our beloved President of our party.

I want to greet, I want to congratulate comrade Luiz Marinho, President of the PT, Minister of Labor, Minister of Social Security. I want to tell you two things about Marinho: Marinho was a cotton picker, coffee picker and peanut picker in Santa Fé. Marinho was a painter at Volkswagen. Marinho was the president of this union. Marinho was president of CUT. Marinho was certainly the most important Minister of Labor in my mandate. And Marinho was the best Minister of Social Security, he was the minister who ended the Social Security’s waiting lines. And Marinho was the best mayor that São Bernardo had and now he is the state president for our party.

I want to greet our Senator, our dear Lindbergh, great Lindbergh, whom I met in the campaign to overthrow Collor, I tried to get him out of the PCdoB to bring him to the PT, but my friendship with João Amazonas was so strong that I didn’t have the courage to talk to him.

I want to greet here… guys, I do not have everyone’s names. I want to greet and call here Wagner, President of the São Bernardo Metalworkers’ Union and comrade Moisés.
He’s back there and I’m not seeing our fellow Senator, no, City Council, but future Senator, Eduardo Suplicy. I cannot tell you that he was light headed because it’s not recommendable to anyone who is a candidate, you see… I’ll say you were sitting there talking to voters, okay?

I asked to come here the comrade of Sergipe, vice-president of PT. A companion that has the responsibility of coordinating the “Caravans of the Citizenship” throughout the national territory and you all have accompanied on the Internet,  comrade Márcio.

Lula recollects his early days at his labor union

I asked two unionists to come here because I think … I was born in this Union. When I got here this union was a shack. This building was built during our board. Here, just so you to know, I was a school principal at Madureza, which had 1,800 students. Do you think I’m just a mechanic? They can say: school principal with 1,800 students. Well, and my relationship with this union … here is Paulão who is a vice president of the union and is the president of the National Confederation of Metallurgists and is the Secretary of the PT’s Union Movement.

Well, I do not have a list with everybody’s names, I’m going with the flow. But I wanted, Wagner, to take advantage of your presence here so that these people knew that, in my opinion, part of the achievements of Brazilian democracy, we owe this Metalworkers’ Union since 1978. Here was my school. Here I learned sociology, I learned economics, I learned physics, I learned chemistry, and I learned to do a lot of politics because in the time that I was the president of that union, the factories had 140,000 teachers who taught me how to do things. Every time I had questions I would go to the factory door asking the blue collar workers how to do things in this country.

When in doubt do not err, when in doubt ask and, if you ask, the chance of you getting it right is much greater. And Wagner is the friend who is sparing this building so we can run our whole campaign. I want to thank Moisés. Moisés is Wagner’s companion, he is the finance director of the union and a companion who never refused to contribute to the social movement, to contribute to other tasks of the democracy. Not for political parties, but for social movements, this union has never denied anything at all. So I want a round of applause for these comrades who are a big support of our fight. This union, unlike other unions, has almost 283 directors. To be a director in this union, people have to be elected by the factory floor to a committee. If they are not on the factory floor, they are not elected. And, after being elected a committee member, one chooses those who will be directors of the union and there’s the executive board, but there are 283 people who are directors and who are councilors. If we did this in every Brazilian union we would certainly have fewer betrayers in the Brazilian trade union movement.

Well, I made a point of mentioning him because sometimes one buys the food, washes the food, cooks the food, brings us the food to eat, and people leave without us knowing who gave us food. So it was these warriors here who gave us this extraordinary chance to be here doing this.

The second thing is … I confess that I experienced my best political moments in this union. I never forgot my union registration number. My registration is 25,986 from October, September 1968. And from then on I have a relationship with this union that I think is a stronger relationship because any president who has here, Vicentinho was already the president, Meneghelli already was the president, Guiba was once the president, Zé Nobre was once the president, Feijó was once the president, who else? Guiba I already said, now Wagnão and, I am treated by all of them as if I still were President of this union, by the relationship that we kept. But here … Rafael, was the second to last president here.

I wanted to say that I’m telling you this to try to get to what I want to tell you.

In 1979, this union made one of the most extraordinary strikes. We were able to make a deal with the auto industry that was perhaps the best ever. And I had a worker council with 300 workers. And the deal was good. I decided to take the agreement to the assembly. And I decided to ask the council to go earlier to talk to the blue collar workers. And I would hold the meeting in the morning to keep the staff from drinking a little in the afternoon. Because when we drink a little, we get bolder. Still, drinking wasn’t avoided because someone would carry a liter of cognac in the backpack and I would take a little shot so my throat would get better, something that did not happen today.

Well, we started putting the agreement into a vote and a hundred thousand people, in the Vila Euclides stadium, would not accept the agreement. It was the best it could be. We would not miss vacation time, we would not miss our thirteenth salary bonus and would have a 15% raise. But the blue collar workers were so radicalized that they wanted 83% or nothing. And we were able to get it. And then we spent a year being called betrayers by the workers.

We, Guilherme, would go to the factory’s entrance and the blue collar workers … Jorge Viana, here is my dear Senator from Acre, whom I hadn’t seen, he is short. Our dear friend, was the governor, was the mayor, and now is the senator of Acre. Thank you for your presence, my friend. Look, in order to speak on behalf of the artists here, I wanted to speak about them all, I wanted our Osmar Prado to come here. He’s the dean. Look, there are a lot of people here. And there’s the women’s movement from Pará that is here, too. But I mentioned Osmar Prado because Osmar Prado is an artist of impeccable quality. God did not give him much height, but gave him intelligence and artistic ability. And he’s already played extraordinary roles. But there is one that I never forget that he was the driver and was treated as if he was called Tabaco. And Tabaquinho marked my life and I am happy because he has an extraordinary political stance. And I think this one has a side, this one has a side, this one has a side [pointing to the artists that surrounded him] and with these people we are going to build the new politics of this country.

Marco Aurélio, what about my water Marco Aurélio? Look, I’m going to give him the mic so he can say a little something about Tabaco.

[Osmar Prado: Tabaco had three wives and even more outside the home. Then I asked the writer to give an ending with him being betrayed, because every traitor one day is betrayed. And then there is this scene where Tabaco’s wife, with a bundle of children, is pregnant. He says: woman how come are you pregnant? It’s been over a year since I haven’t been there.]

This is the women’s revenge. Revenge, because men think that only them are smart, but women are also smart.

So, comrades … we made it, we made it … the workers did not approve the agreement … there’s a person feeling sick over there, near the stairs, in that direction … is there doctor there? Look, people, if there’s a doctor here, please. There’s a doctor who’s going there. Hold her because there’s a doctor who is going there. She’s right there near those television cameras over there. Look, the people who are raising their hands. Very well … I hope it was not my voice because if it is I’ll have to stop talking.

But I was telling you that we could not approve the proposal that I considered good and the people then went on to disrespect the union board. And I would go to the factory entrance and nobody would stop. And the press would write: Lula speaks to the poor ears of the workers. It took us a year to regain our prestige in the category. And I was thinking with revenge: the workers say they can do a hundred days of strike, four hundred days of strike, that they go until the end. Well, I’m going to test them in 1980. And we had the biggest strike in our history, the biggest strike. Forty-one days of strike, on the seventeenth days I was arrested and the workers began, after a few days, to strike the strike and then we… I know that Tuma, I know that Dr. Almir, I know that Teotônio Vilela went inside the jail and told to me: “Lula, you have to end the strike, you need to give some advice to end the strike. And I said: I will not end the strike, the workers will decide on their own. The concrete fact is that no one stood for forty-one days because in practice the comrade had to buy milk, had to pay the electricity bill, had to pay for the natural gas, the wife started to ask him for the money for bread and he then could not stand the pressure. But it’s funny because in defeat we have gained a lot more, without winning economically, than when we did when we won economically. It means that it is not money that solves the problem of a strike. It is not 5%, it is not 10%, it is what is embedded in political theory, political knowledge and political thesis in a strike.

Lula points out the sequence of lies that has led to his conviction

Now we are almost in the same situation, almost in the same situation. I am being sued and, I have clearly said, that the process of my apartment, I am the only human being that is sued for an apartment that is not mine. And he knows the o Globo lied when they said it was mine. The Federal Lava Jato Police lied that it was mine. The prosecution, when made the accusation, lied saying it was mine and I thought Moro would solve it and he lied saying it was mine. And he sentenced me to nine years in jail. That is why I am an outraged citizen, because I have done a lot with my 72 years, but I do not forgive them for having passed on to society the idea that I am a thief. They encouraged thieves to make “pixulecos” [inflatable doll of Lula dressed in a prisoner’s suit] all over the country. They encouraged the thieves to call us “petralhas” [term used by right wing Brazilians, blending PT and “Metralhas”, reference to the Beagle Boys, insinuating corruption in the PT party]. They encouraged the creation of almost a climate of war denying politics in this country. And I say every day, none of them, none of them has the courage nor sleeps with the tranquil conscience of the honesty and the innocence that I sleep. None of them.

I’m not above justice. If I did not believe in Justice I wouldn’t have made a political party. I would have proposed a revolution in this country. But I believe in Justice. In a fair Justice. In a court of law that votes on a process based on the case files, based on the information of the accusations, the defenses, the concrete evidence that has the crime weapon.

What I can not admit is a prosecutor who made a Power Point presentation and went on television to say that the PT is a criminal organization that was born to steal from Brazil. And that Lula, being the most important figure of this party, Lula is the boss. And so, if Lula is the boss, says the prosecutor: “I do not need evidence, I am convinced.” I want him to keep his conviction to his buddies, to his minions, not to me. Not to me. Certainly a thief would not be demanding proof. A thief would be quiet, with his mouth closed, hoping the press would not speak his name.

I have over 70 hours of Jornal Nacional [Rede Globo’s popular news program] grinding me. I have over 70 magazine covers attacking me. I have over thousands of pages of newspapers and articles attacking me. I also have Record attacking me. I also have Bandeirantes attacking me. I also have radio stations from the countryside, radio stations from other states. And what they do not realize is that the more they attack me, the more my relationship with the Brazilian people grows.

Lula says he is dream builder

I’m not afraid of them. I have already said that I would like to have a debate with Moro about the charge he filed against me. I wish he would show me some evidence. I’ve already challenged the TRF4 judges to go to a debate in any university they choose, at a club they choose to prove what the crime I’ve committed in this country. And I sometimes get the impression and I get the impression because I’m a dream builder, I long ago dreamed that it was possible to govern this country by involving millions and millions of poor people in the economy, involving millions of people in the universities, creating millions and millions of jobs in this country. I dreamed that it was possible for a metallurgist without a university degree to take better care of education than the graduates and those civil servants (who passed exams to get their positions) who governed this country and take care of education. I dreamed that it was possible for us to reduce child mortality by taking milk, beans and rice so that children could eat every day. I dreamed that it was possible to take the students from the underprivileged areas and put them in the best universities in this country so that we do not have, so that we do not have judges and prosecutors only from the elite. Soon we will have judges and prosecutors born in the favela of Heliópolis, born in Itaquera, born in the underprivileged areas. We are going to have a lot of people from Sem Terra [Landless movement], from the CUT, MTST [Homeless movement] graduated. This crime I committed. I committed it and it is this crime that they do not want me to commit anymore. It is because of this crime that I have about ten lawsuits against me. And if it is for this crime to put poor people in the university, blacks in the university, allowing poor people to eat meat, poor people to buy cars, poor people to travel by plane, poor people to have their small land, to be micro-entrepreneurs, to have their own houses. If this is the crime I committed, I want to say: I will continue being a criminal in this country because I will do much more. I will do much more.

Comrades, in 1990, in 1986, I was the most voted constituent deputy in the history of the country and we discovered that within the PT, Manuela, comrades, Ivan was from the PT at the time, there was a distrust that only those with a mandate had power inside PT. Those who had no mandate …

Wow I did not mention Senator Humberto Costa that I saw here, Humberto Costa, Senator of Pernambuco and I forgot to mention you, nobody gave me the list with the everyone’s names. Fátima [Bezerra] will be the new governor of Rio Grande do Norte. This one [Wadih Damous], along with Paulo Pimenta, is a friend who fights the most and reports Lava Jato. Rosseto [Miguel] was Minister of Labor and Social Security and may be the governor of Rio Grande do Sul in these elections now. Here is our friend Jandira Feghali who is an extraordinarily combative friend. Glauber Rocha, it’s Braga, it’s Braga. Everyone, get it and bring it to me. Someone prepares a list of names for me so I can mention people.

So, comrades, when I realized that the people suspected that people were only valued inside PT if they were member of the congress, Manuela and Guilherme, do you know what I did? I stopped being a deputy. Because I wanted to prove to the PT that I would continue to be the most important figure of the PT without having a mandate, because if someone wants to beat me in the PT there is only one way, and it is by working more than I do and like the people more than I do, because if you don’t like them, you will not win.

Well, now we are in a delicate situation. I may be living the moment of greatest indignation that a human being can live. It is not easy what my family suffers. It is not easy what my children suffer. It is not easy what Marisa suffered and I want to say that the anticipation of Marisa’s death was the sham and the slander that the press and the Public Ministry did towards her. I’m sure of it. Because I think these people have no kids, no souls and no idea of what a mother or a father feels when they see a child being massacred, when they see a child being attacked. And then, my comrades, I decided to raise my head.

Lula explains he was convicted by the press

Do not think I’m against Lava Jato, no. Lava Jato, if it gets thieves, they have to get real thieves, who stole, and arrest them. We all want that. All of us, our whole lives, have said, only poor people go to jail, rich people don’t. We have all said it. And I want you to keep putting rich people in jail. I want it. Now, what’s the problem? It is because you can not make judgments  subordinated to the press, because, deep down, you destroy people in society, the image of the people and then the judges will judge and say: “I can’t go against public opinion because the opinion public is asking to revoke. ” If you want to vote based on public opinion, drop the gown and go to be a candidate for the congress. Choose a political party and go be a candidate. Now, the gown is a lifelong job. A citizen must vote only on the basis of the case file. Furthermore, I do not think that Supreme Court justice should give a statement about how they are going to vote. In the United States voting ends and you do not know who the citizen voted for exactly so that he is not a victim of pressure. Imagine a guy being charged with suicide [murder] and he was not the killer. What does the family of the deceased want? That he be killed. That he be condemned. So the judge has to have, unlike us, the cooler head, more responsibility to prosecute or condemn.

The Public Ministry is a very strong institution so this boys who enter very young, go to law school, then study for three more years because their fathers can afford. These boys need to know a little about life. They need to know a little politics in order to do what they do in Brazilian society. There is something called responsibility. And do not think that when I say this that I am against it. I was president and I appointed four prosecutors and gave speeches in all the inaugurations and I would say, the stronger the institution, the more accountable its members have to be. You can not condemn people by the press and put them to trial later. You remember when I went to give testimony there in Curitiba I told Moro: you can not absolve me because Globo is demanding that you condemn me and you will condemn me.

Well, I think that just like TRF4 and Moro, Lava Jato and Globo, they have a dream. The dream is that, first, the coup did not end with Dilma. The coup will only conclude when they manage to convince Lula to not be a candidate for President in 2018.

They don’t want it, not because I’m going to be elected. They do not want me to participate. Only because there is a possibility that each one of us can be elected. They do not want Lula back because poor people, in their opinion, can’t have rights. Poor people can’t eat prime beef. Poor people can’t fly. Poor people can’t go to the university. Poor people were born, according to their logic, to eat and have second-class things.

So, comrades, the other dream they have is the photograph of Lula imprisoned. I can imagine Veja’s getting horny while putting on their cover a picture of me in prison . I imagine Globo getting horny putting a photograph of me in prison. They will have multiple orgasms.

Lula says he decided to turn himself in

They… they have ordered my arrest. And let me tell you something: I’ll comply with their arrest warrant. And I will do it because I want to transfer the responsibility. They think that everything that happens in this country happens because of me. I was already sentenced to 3 years in jail because a judge in Manaus understood that I do not need a weapon, I have a bad language, so it was necessary to make Lula shut up, because if he doesn’t shut up, he’ll keep saying phrases like I said : “It is time for the jaguar to drink water” and the peasants killed a farmer and they thought that my phrase was the password.

What responsibility do I want to transfer? They already tried to arrest me due to obstruction of justice, it did not work. They now want to get me into preventive custody, which is a more serious thing, because there is no habeas corpus. Vaccari has been in jail for three years. Marcelo Odebrecht spent 400 million and had no habeas corpus. I will not spend a penny. But I will go there with the following belief: they will discover, for the first time, what I have said every day.

They do not know. They do not know that the problem of this country is not called Lula, the problem of this country is called you, the conscience of the people, the PT, the PCdoB, the MST, the MTST, they know that there are a lot of people. And what our pastor says, and I have said it in every speech, it is no use trying to prevent me from walking through this country, because there are millions and millions of Lula, of Boulos, of Manuela, of Dilma Rousseff to walk for me. It’s no use trying to stop, you know, with my ideas, they’re already hovering in the air and there is no way to imprison them. It’s no use trying to stop my dream, because when I stop dreaming, I’ll dream through your heads and through your dreams. It’s no use thinking that everything will stop the day that Lula has a heart attack, it’s silly, because my heart will beat through your heart and there are millions of hearts.

Lula says he is no longer a human being but an idea

It’s no use thinking they’re going to stop me, I will not stop because I’m no longer a human being, I’m an idea, an idea mixed with your idea, and I’m sure comrades like the sem-terra [landless], MTST, comrades from CUT and the trade union movement know, and this is proof, this is proof, I’m going to obey their order and you, you’re going to have to transform, each one of you, you’re not going to call yourself Chiquinha, Joãozinho, Zezinho, Albertinho anymore. All of you, from now on, will become Lula and you will walk through this country doing what you have to do. And it’s every day! It’s every day! They have to know that the death of a combatant does not stop the revolution. They have to know. They have to know that we are going to definitely make a regulation of the media so that people do not fall victims to their lies every single day. They have to know that you, perhaps, are even smarter than I am, and you will be able to burn the tires you burn so much, organize the marches that you want so much, occupy in the countryside and in the city. It seemed difficult to occupy São Bernardo, and tomorrow you will receive the news that you have gained the land you invaded.

Lula says he had a chance to ask for political asylum

Therefore, comrades, I had a chance now. I was in Uruguay, between Livramento and Rivera, and people would tell me this: “Lula, you take a short walk there. Just cross the street. Pretend you’re going to buy a ‘’little whiskey”, you’re in Uruguay with Pepe Mujica and you leave and do not come back, you ask for political asylum. “Lula, you can go to the embassy of Bolivia, you can go to the embassy of Uruguay. “Lula, go to the Russian embassy. “Lula, go to the embassy, ​​from there you talk.”

I said, “I’m too old.” My age is to face them, looking in their eyes and I will face them accepting, accepting to comply with the arrest warrant. I want to know how many days they will think they are imprisoning me and whatever many more days they leave me there, more Lulas will be born in this country and more people will want to fight in this country, because democracy, democracy has no limits, it has no time for us to fight. So I’m doing something very conscious, very conscious. I told the comrades: if it depended on my will I would not go, but I go because they will say tomorrow that Lula is a fugitive, that Lula is hiding. No! I’m not hiding, I go there in their beard so they know I’m not afraid, for them to know that I’m not going to run and for them to know that I’m going to prove my innocence. They have to know that. And do whatever they want. Do whatever they want.

I’ll finish with a phrase I picked up in 1982 from a 10-year-old girl in Catanduva, I do not know who she is, and this phrase has no author. The phrase said: “the powerful can kill one, two or three roses, but they will never be able to stop the arrival of spring.” And our fight is in search of spring. They have to know that we want more housing, more schools, we want less mortality, we do not want to repeat the barbarity they did with Marielle in Rio de Janeiro. We do not want to repeat the barbarity that is done with black youth in the peripheries of this country. We no longer want malnutrition to return, the mortality due to malnutrition in this country. We no longer want youth to have no hope of getting into a university, because this country is so stupid that it was the last country in the world to have a university. The last one! All the poorer countries did, because they did not want the Brazilian youth to study. And they said it was to expensive to have schools. One wonders how much the cost was to not build them 50 years ago.

So I want you to know that I am proud, profoundly proud, of having been the only President without a university degree, but I am the President who has made the most universities in the history of this country to show these people to not confuse intelligence with the number of years of schooling. This is not intelligence, it is knowledge. Intelligence is when you know how to make a decision. Intelligence is when you have a side. Intelligence is when you are not afraid to discuss with your friends what is a priority, and the priority of this country is to ensure that this country regains citizenship. They will not sell Petrobras! Let’s make a new constituent! Let’s repeal the oil law that they are doing! We will not let the BNDES be sold, we will not let Caixa Econômica be sold, we will not let Banco do Brasil be destroyed! And we will strengthen family farming, which is responsible for 70% of the food we eat in this country.

Lula thanks his true friends

It is with this belief, comrades, with head held high, as I am talking to you, that I want to get there and tell the delegate I am at your disposal and history, history in a few days will prove who committed crimes, was the delegate who accused me, it was the judge who judged me and it was the Public Ministry that was frivolous with me, therefore, comrades, I don’t have a place in my heart for everyone, but I want you to know if there’s one thing I learned to like in this world is my relationship with the people, when I take one of your hands, when I hug one of you, when I kiss … now I’m kissing man and woman the same way, do not mix anymore, when I kiss one of you, I’m not kissing with ulterior motives, I’m kissing because when I was president I said I was going back to where I came from and I know who are my eternal friends and who are the occasional friends, the ones wearing neckties who were after me now disappeared and those who are with me are those friends who were my friends before I was the President of the Republic, those who ate rabada [beef tail] here in Zelão, those who ate chicken with polenta there in Demarchi, is the one who had calf’s foot broth in Zelão , these are still our friends, it is those who have the courage to invade a land to build houses, it is those who have the courage to organize a strike against Social Security, it is those who have the courage to have some strike occupy a field to make a productive farm, it is those who actually need the State. So, comrades, I’m going to tell you something, you’re going to realize that I’m going to get out of this bigger, stronger, truer and more innocent because I want to prove that they’ve committed a crime, a political crime of chasing a man who has 50 years of political history, and for that I am very grateful, I can not pay the gratitude, the affection and the respect that you have dedicated for me in these many years, I want to tell you, Guilherme and Manuela, I want to tell you both, for me, it is a proud moment to belong to a generation that at its end is seeing two young people fighting for the right to be President of the Republic of this country. So, comrades, a big hug, you can be sure that this neck here does not bend, my mother already made the neck short so it doesn’t bend and it will not bend because I go with my head held high and I’m going to leave there sticking out my chest because I’m going to prove my innocence. A hug, comrades. Thank you, thank you very much to all of you for all you’ve helped me with.

A kiss, my dear ones, and thank you very much!

Translator Note

1 Lula uses companheira (female) e companheiro (male) to refer to his companions, friends ans comrades. We have decided to use ‘comrades’ in this translation.

Mídia democrática, plural, em rede, pela diversidade e defesa implacável dos direitos humanos.
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Mídia democrática, plural, em rede, pela diversidade e defesa implacável dos direitos humanos.
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