By Worthy News’ George Whitten and Stefan J. Bos
RIO DE JANEIRO/JAKARTA (Worthy News) – Brazil’s military could still intervene to prevent leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from becoming the next president, well-informed sources suggested Tuesday.
But the sources, with close knowledge about the situation, also told Worthy News that they did “not expect military intervention until the World Cup is completed.
The finals of the soccer mega-event in Qatar are due December 18.
The tensions come as outgoing rightwing Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro hasn’t recognized the elections, citing concerns about alleged irregularities.
He recently made a speechless appearance at a military graduation ceremony where he was praised for his relations with the army, Worthy News monitored. “Let me open these brief words by thanking President Bolsonaro for his presence, which lends much luster to this event,” said Army Commander Marco Antonio Freire to the nearly 400 officer candidates and others in attendance.
The outgoing Bolsonaro attended the ceremony in Resende, about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) southeast of his residence in Brazil’s capital, where he has been holed up since losing the October 30 runoff Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva,
also known as Lula.
President-elect Lula confirmed over the weekend that he plans a trip to the United States to meet with President Joe Biden before taking office on January 1.
“A representative of President Biden is traveling here to Brazil…to hold talks and discuss the date,” he stressed.
“If it’s possible for me to travel [to the U.S.], the trip would be after December 12,” the day his victory is formally ratified by Brazil’s electoral tribunal, Lula told reporters.
U.S.-Brazilian relations have worsened since Biden defeated former president Donald J. Trump, Bolsonaro’s political role model, in the 2020 US election.
While he has been controversial, Bolsonaro was also praised by leaders for supporting initiatives to help persecuted Christians and conservative values.
Lula said that toes look set to warm under Lula, who previously led Brazil from 2003 to 2010. I think we have a lot to say to each other. The United States is facing the same problems with democracy as Brazil. The damage Trump did to American democracy is the same as what Bolsonaro did to Brazil.”
Diplomatic issues on the table will include “US-Brazilian relations, Brazil’s role in the new geopolitics (and) the unnecessary Ukraine war,” he said.
The Biden administration will also likely be keen to discuss climate policy after what critics said was four years of surging deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest under agribusiness ally Bolsonaro.
Lula vowed last month at the United Nations climate conference in Egypt — which Bolsonaro skipped — to fight for zero deforestation in Brazil’s 60-percent share of the world’s biggest rainforest.
Lula, 77, had throat cancer in 2011, and his trademark raspy voice has grown even hoarser since.
“My doctors told me to talk as little as possible, but no matter how hard I try, I can’t do it,” said the charismatic ex-metalworker.
The incoming president said he would also begin naming his cabinet ministers after December 12. But with the army looking over his shoulders, observers expected a tough road ahead.
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