Lula Returns as Covid Runs Wild in Brazil

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Brazil’s president Bolsonaro continues to deny the Covid crisis, as Lula’s return to politics creates shockwaves from the favelas to Wall St.

Paul Jay

Hi, I’m Paul Jay, and welcome to theAnalysis.news. Please don’t forget the ‘donate’ button at the top of the Web page, and there’s a ‘subscribe’ button on YouTube. And if you’re watching on YouTube, you can come on over to the Web page and donate, and be right back.

Brazil is mired in perhaps the worst COVID crisis on the planet, as President Bolsonaro continues to deny there even is a crisis. He’s making Trump look rational as COVID cases and death continue to surge in the largest country of South America and the ninth largest economy in the world. In the midst of such calamity, former President Lula da Silva was declared eligible to run for president in 2022. As a judge of the Supreme Court he essentially found, he was railroaded into jail by another Supreme Court judge who went on to be Bolsonaro’s Minister of Justice.

The possibility of Lula running again for president—and he already leads in most polls even though he hasn’t said for sure he’s even going to run—has caused shockwaves from deep in the Brazilian favelas to offices at the top of Wall Street banks. Well, Lula lead a broad front against Bolsonaro. And if he wins, what kind of policies will he advocate?

In a recent speech to the Metalworkers’ Union, Lula said, ‘It’s always important to reiterate, whenever you can, the planet is round. And Bolsonaro doesn’t know it.’ Well, has Brazil had enough of the insanity of Bolsonaro? Will he follow Trump out the presidential door in 2022? And if he loses the election, will he leave? Or will the Brazilian military intervene to stop a new era of Lula and the Brazilian left in power. That said, there was lots of criticism of Lula from the left as well while he was president. So if he wins, will he resist international finance or try to get along, as many people think he did too much of in the past?

Now joining us is Lorena Barberia. She’s a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of São Paolo. Thanks very much for joining me, Lorena.

Lorena Barberia

Thanks. It’s good to be with you tonight.

Paul Jay

So start with what’s been going on. So there’s a couple of decisions. The first judge that said that Lula could be retried, but for now, he can run again as president. But then there’s another decision I think happened yesterday or today. So where are we at with this process?

Lorena Barberia

So we’re in the process where . . . That’s correct. After many, many months, it’s very important to say that Lula has been outside of jail. He was freed several months ago. But since he was freed up to now, he’s been very low profile in the media. He hasn’t been granting interviews or giving major speeches because his case was under review and was awaiting a decision in the Supreme Court.

And a decision was made that found that the decision was really important because, as you explained, it allows for him to be able now to present himself for office if he wishes to come forward as a candidate in 2022. So that’s a first decision.

But following very shortly after the decision regarding Lula, there was a second decision this week which was discussing the judge who originally made the decision that put Lula in prison, ruling that there was bias in the way that decision was made and in the way that the procedures that were undertaken in the investigation.

And so that second decision has also been very important because the judge who prosecuted Lula, who held the hearings, who was responsible for the prosecution of the cases, is now liable for . . . Because of the allegations and the rulings that are being made, there might be consequences for him personally for violating certain procedures and violating laws.

And so the tables have, in a certain sense, turned from Lula being outside of politics and freed but in a very under-profile person that is out of jail but not in politics, to now Lula starting again to set an agenda, set discussions in Brazil, and make major political movements. And at the same time, the judge who was later nominated to be the Minister of Justice of the Bolsonaro administration but who resigned after there was evidence that President Bolsonaro was trying to tamper with police nominations and with police investigations against his administration, he resigned in protest.

But since since leaving the Bolsonaro administration, there has already been rumors about him as a possible contender and opposition to Bolsonaro in the 2022 elections. So we’re in a very interesting scenario because both Lula and Sergio Moro are very important political figures and very important for what will happen in 2022. So we’re all watching anxiously to see what’s going to be happening in the next couple of weeks.

Paul Jay

So you’re saying that this judge who went after Lula was actually being thought of as a possible candidate, but will this finish that off? Would these allegations against him finish his possible candidacy? And then, can Bolsonaro run again? So it could get very confusing even on the right then.

Lorena Barberia

Yes. We have to remember right now that all four of Bolsonaro’s children who are in public office and are senators and congressmen and have hold public office in Brazil, all of them are under investigation for corruption. And so one of the major promises of Bolsonaro running and winning the election was that his administration would be a clean administration. And his administration was going to be very aggressive in fighting corruption.

Paul Jay

He was going to drain the swamp.

Lorena Barberia

Yes. It just so happens that –

Paul Jay

That is Trump’s line, you know?

Lorena Barberia

Yes. And actually, what is happening right now is instead, since assuming office and since these investigations and allegations started, including of his own children, he has really been very controversial in blocking investigations and being very adamant about going after . . . protecting his family, as he claims. And so I think there is a very important part of Brazilian society that still continues to think that the anti-corruption agenda is really important, and who is disillusioned with Bolsonar and who’s looking for another political force that can continue to take that agenda and continue to lead that agenda of eliminating corruption in Brazil.

So I think Sergio Moro, in certain sense, since he did resign from Bolsonaro’s administration, in a resignation as making a very huge statement about the president intervening, and after he resigned, there was a lot of back and forth between him and the president regarding the allegations that he was making about the interference in the police and in investigations, I think he became a very important potential leader for the 2022 elections.

But, at the same time, growing evidence has been presented and has been growing that there was a lot of procedures about Lula’s prosecution, where there’s evidence that there was, for example, conversations that were ongoing between the prosecutioning and the judge, which shouldn’t have been taking place because there’s strict laws about what information can be transferred and shared between who is judging a case and who’s prosecuting in secret.

And the coordination shouldn’t have happened. And so that evidence that emerged recently, that’s the evidence that was used in the judgment that came out against Sergio Moro.

Paul Jay

Now, this decision by the Supreme Court—one, a few days ago, and then another one just yesterday or today, which are both favorable to Lula—does this reflect that the elites, at least sections of the elites in Brazil, have had enough of Bolsonaro?

Lorena Barberia

Well, this week has been really monumental in Brazil. In addition to what happened with the Supreme Court, this week we had a, for the first time in a year of the pandemic, there was a major announcement that was a manifesto that was released by economists. And what was interesting, I think there’s now over—I’m not sure the last time I checked the signatories—but there was over a thousand two hundred economists that signed this manifesto.

This was a manifesto that for the first time brought in left- and right-wing economists together to call for stronger social distancing policies and a stronger response to the pandemic. And that’s really monumental because usually, including former ministers of finance in Brazil who signed in former central bank presidents, it’s monumental that those individuals were able to agree to sign a letter with left more progressive economists together to unify and to add their voice to the table.

So even we can say the Brazilian equivalent of Wall Street is tired of the lack of leadership, the lack of response, and sees the uncertainty that is continuing about where we’re headed as a major threat to their interests. And so I think we’re seeing a lot of movement that we hadn’t seen before.

And as a result—also, that’s important to emphasize—immediately, the president, as soon as the manifesto was released the next day, the president yesterday made a major speech on nationalized television with a very different discourse than what we’ve been hearing for the last couple of months, and making promises and making claims about the type of leadership that his administration is providing in regard to COVID that was very contrary into what he said even a week ago.

Paul Jay

So now, he’s claiming that there is a crisis and he’s dealing with it?

Lorena Barberia

And he’s always been dealing with it, and he’s always been at the forefront of this crisis. And thanks to his leadership, we are about to get vaccines, and we’re making actually like the fact checks afterwards was required. Because some of the claims were we’re the fifth highest country in terms of leading vaccines, in terms of how fast and how many people were vaccinating.

So there was a lot of discussion. But it’s become very clear that Bolsonaro is shifting his position and he has a new Minister of Health who’ll also assume this week, and who is actual medical doctor. So we transferred from a military general to a civilian medical doctor as the Minister of Health.

And both the Minister of Health, this new Minister of Health and Bolsonaro, are both emphasizing now that our salvation is vaccines. So instead of thinking about the exit strategy now is we’re going to do vaccines, but we’re not going to do . . . What’s also important to notice is what they didn’t say in the speeches. So what we didn’t talk a lot about is social distancing, masks, testing, all of the other parts of a response that we need to coordinate and lead and invest in, in a moment that’s really great.

We have over three thousand deaths per day in Brazil, yesterday we had, for the first time in the history of the pandemic. So we’re in a very critical moment. And it’s very clear the vaccines have to be a complement to a very comprehensive strategy in a continentally-sized country. And so as slow as vaccines are coming, we can’t just assume that vaccines are going to resolve all of Brazil’s problems. It’s not a magic bullet.

Paul Jay

And are people resisting wearing masks, and the government’s not advocating wearing masks?

Lorena Barberia

So we have a federal law that was passed by Congress that he vetoed several parts of the legislation. And the vetoes were overturned in July. So since July, there’s very strong policies in place regarding masks mandates across Brazil. But in fact –

Paul Jay

But Bolsonaro tried to . . . He tried to veto this.

Lorena Barberia

He vetoed, and his veto was overridden. In some of the clauses of the Mask Mandate law, his vetoes were sustained. But we do have a mask mandate across Brazil. The problem is enforcement. And the problem is also that political leaders don’t use masks, including President Bolsonaro, as rigorously and as an example.

And so we have a lot of ‘What is the flavor of the day?’ Some days we’re going to wear masks; some days we’re not. We never know, with a lot of the political leadership at the national level, what is the example that’s going to be chosen? So some days, Bolsonaro takes off his mask and goes to a crowd and socializes and shakes hands with everyone.

In a couple of days after Lula spoke, what we saw is a very different picture of a Bolsonaro wearing a mask and setting the kind of example that he hasn’t set before. So Lula’s –

Paul Jay

Because in Lula’s speech, he really condemned Bolsonaro’s COVID policies –

Lorena Barberia

Yes, he made a point.

Paul Jay

And lack thereof.

Lorena Barberia

He made a point to speak about, and we have to remember that Lula appointed very important and very prominent health ministers that had it very important contributions as part of his administration. So he cited and he made references to talking about his experience in government and his experience while he was in government, what he would do and how he sees the current moment.

And I think that was a very powerful and direct part of his speech that really made an impact into making the media, making policy makers, making leaders understand that we are going to debate the pandemic in the 2022 election. Because part of the strategy of the Bolsonaro Government is, ‘We are going to say that it’s the governors and the mayors that just couldn’t get their acts together. And we’re going to run in 2022, trying to run away from the pandemic and say it wasn’t our fault. It was other people in government’s fault.’

And I think what was critical about Lula’s speech this week was pointing to attention is we are going to debate and we’re going to debate about what you should have done.

Paul Jay

Now, there is a story that got some attention here that the Brazilian government had arranged for several, I don’t know, hundred thousands or even a million doses of the Sputnik, the Russian vaccine, and that the Americans leaned on the Brazilian government not to distribute it. Is that true? Is that story legitimate?

Lorena Barberia

So, unfortunately, one of the things that’s been happening in the last couple of months, we don’t have a lot of transparency about the actual negotiations and who is making the negotiations and what are the prices that are being charged and the agreements that are being charged.

But there was a movement by private entrepreneurs in Brazil who wanted to procure the vaccine and make an agreement to arrange for the Gamaleya Institute to work with a local manufacturer and pharmaceutical company in Brazil to make and distribute the Sputnik vaccine in Brazil locally.

And part of the fallout in the discussion is first, that’s very controversial because public procurement in a country that has a public health system, and who . . . The priority should be right now to think about public procurement and coordinating public procurement of a vaccine that’s shifted to trying to think about what other agreements can be made and who can make purchases in the private sector. That’s a first raising alarm signal because that’s not what the government should be doing in this moment, is sanctioning a free-for- all.

It should be coordinating public procurement through its public health system to distribute and vaccinate its population. Because it’s luckily that it has that infrastructure that many countries don’t have.

But the second thing that was very controversial is that the vaccines that are being negotiated, and what ended up being negotiated, is not actually the Gamaleya—which at least we have even more documented research regarding that vaccine—but a vaccine from India, from the Bharat manufacturers that we don’t yet even have clinical trial information yet on.

And lots of different promises around those vaccines. When that was criticized, then the government moved to sign agreements with Pfizer and with Johnson & Johnson. So there’s a lot of also important nuances to the story around vaccines, because there’s a lot of geopolitics involved. There’s a lot of private sector interests of big pharmas involved. And there’s a lot of also concerned by the slowness of the vaccine rollout and the fact that we don’t have enough vaccines.

Paul Jay

But is it correct that the United States, the State Department, leaned on the Brazilian government not to use the Russian vaccine? Or is that –

Lorena Barberia

I haven’t seen –

Paul Jay

Is that a real story?

Lorena Barberia

I haven’t seen official confirmation. I know that there’s . . . Of course, there’s lots of rumours in this moment of lot of things. The same thing with the Russians, right? And the Chinese. Every week, we’re reading a new conspiracy theory. But I haven’t formally seen anything specifically showing that evidence.

Paul Jay

Okay, so I mean, just again, to say how important all this is to the world, if COVID does not get controlled in Brazil, it’s not going to get controlled in South America. And if it’s not controlled in South America, trying to control it in North America isn’t going to mean that much. And of course, it’s not just South America. It means Africa, and really the whole world. But Brazil’s critical in all of this. And anyway, let’s get back to Lula.

So Lula makes a speech to the Metalworkers’ Union, which sounds like the beginning of a campaign. He doesn’t call it that, but he’s already talking about what he would have done if he was president, and he goes through various policies and so on. What has this done in terms of the politics?

Now, last time we talked, in spite of all the craziness, you were telling us that Bolsonaro’s polling was still pretty good. He was still quite popular. Is that still the case?

Lorena Barberia

Yes, it’s still the case. So one of the things that’s important, though, to underscore—and this is not only the case for Brazil, but for many countries in the developing world—is that before the pandemic, all of the polling was done in person and it was done in public transportation sector . . . you would go to a bus station or a subway station and interview people. And during the pandemic, polling has changed, and we’re polling people over the phone.

But it is true that those polls that we’re doing since the pandemic started, he has had a steady following of the Brazilian population that is about a third of voters, plus or minus, who stay loyal and who approve of his administration. It’s important to underscore that that is lower as compared to previous Brazilian presidents at the same moment in their presidency. He’s still performing at a lower level of approval than Dilma, than President Lula, than Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

But he still does have a third of the electorate behind him in approving, even after this whole year of crises in which we’ve seen . . . that we’re really seeing right now as you were saying, first, we have over three thousand deaths last night, but also we have two variants of concern that have emerged in Brazil. So there’s a variant of concern from Manaus and a variant of concern that emerged in Rio. And so there’s a lot of concerns about that actually, it’s a very serious situation.

This is no longer something that it’s easy to deny that we’re making up these numbers, or as the Minister of Health that was newly appointed this week said in a certain address, ‘I’m going to go see if really the hospitals are that full to see if really the excess capacity that we’re talking about the health system collapsing, if it’s truly the case or if there’s statistics are being manipulated.’ People know people. Everyone knows someone who died.

Many people know several people who have been in the hospital. Many people know many people who weren’t able to get tested and had to go to several different places before they were able to get treatment. So it’s a very difficult situation because people have familiarity with the virus; people have familiarity with how lethal it is; people are seeing that we have new variants, but there’s still a group of voters that back President Bolsonaro.

Paul Jay

Why?

Lorena Barberia

I think one of the things is that, like we were talking about before, Bolsonaro has been very strategic or very, very intelligent about framing the pandemic as something that was the responsibility of governors and municipal mayors to solve and to address. And that he can do so much at the national level, but local effort is what really matters. And we saw this afternoon, we had the first address by the now fourth Minister of Health during President Bolsonaro’s administration.

And during that address, the Minister of Communication interrupted the Health Minister to say, ‘You know, we’re distributing vaccines. But the problem is that the governors and the mayors are not getting the vaccines quickly out enough to the population. And you really need to look at and investigate the governors and mayors.’ And so that’s consistently what Bolsonaro likes to do in his speeches.

He likes to say, ‘I’m trying, but I can only do so much at the national level unless the governors and mayors do their part.’ And when we see with voters, we see a really strong division. The same voters who favor and approve Bolsonaro are also the same voters who identify that the key agents that are responsible for the pandemic response is the governors and mayors.

And when you ask the opposition—so the 70 percent who oppose Bolsonaro—whose responsibility is it for the crisis we are in, those voters identify the national leadership. So we live in the same pandemic; we know the same people who are getting sick and getting dying, but we see that the responsibility as being due to different people.

Paul Jay

Now, what’s happening amongst the poor? Because life did get better for the poor under Lula, if I understand it correctly. And even if much of the left thought he could have done more, still, life got better. Is life continuing, did it continue to get better under Bolsonaro or not?

Lorena Barberia

So life –

Paul Jay

Am I correct in the assumption to –

Lorena Barberia

Yes. So one thing that’s really important to understand 2020 is there was a major effort to launch an emergency cash transfer program. That program reached over 60 million individuals in Brazil last year. And that program was much more generous than emergency cash transfers that existed in previous administrations. The problem is that that cash, emergency cash transfer rollout program, when it was launched, we have to remember the pandemic peaked or we started to see a rise in cases in March.

But most of the emergency assistance that arrived for those 60 million individuals, it arrived in May and June. And when it arrived, in order for you to access the funds, you needed to wait in line in banks. And once you got paid, because it was physical transfers of funds, you needed to go to use actually the funds in person. And so at the same time that we were saying, ‘We need for everyone to stay at home. We need for people to be careful,’ we were saying, ‘But it’s okay for you guys to spend money. It’s okay for you guys to wait in line.

It’s okay for you guys to take on the bus and be on the Metro to go get your aid.’

And so I think that that kind of underscores that first, Bolsonaro was very . . . it was an important program. It helped to solve a massive crisis that was starting to take place in Brazil. We were hearing reports of hunger. We are hearing reports of a very difficult situation. And that intervention, that cash transfer program, was really important in May and June. And it made a huge difference in the recovery of the Brazilian economy in the mid-months of last year.

But what happened is that aid was very poorly targeted, and it was very poorly designed in terms of the message it was trying to send. And now, the aid has dried out, and there’s no aid in place. And so we’re in a peak moment again, just like last March, but when we see . . . Except last March, we were seeing the beginning of the pandemic hit Brazil. And today, we’re at the second peak in Brazil of deaths and cases without any emergency program in place.

And if we do start an emergency program in place of cash transfers, it’s only going to be put in place probably in May. So we’re going to have the same situation again. The aid is going to arrive too late to make a difference to the most vulnerable informal workers who need to stay home and to the poor, to the working poor.

And at the same time, we have to remember, 10 to 20 million jobs have been lost during the pandemic in Brazil. So the situation is very serious for the working poor. And we need to be thinking about that that’s increasingly going to be very difficult for Brazil to manage.

Paul Jay

And there’s another piece to the economic crisis I was reading today. I don’t know if people watching know Brazil is a major manufacturer of automobiles. In fact, I believe Brazil manufactures more cars than Canada does. And Canada has a pretty big auto industry. And this shortage of semiconductors is such that I see there’s layoffs now in Brazilian auto manufacturers because they just don’t have the parts to make the cars.

Anyway, given all of this, you’d think it’s fertile ground for Lula to make his comeback. Last time we talked, you said that the Brazilian left was really quite fractured, and there wasn’t a kind of united opposition to Bolsonaro. So is this the difference maker? Will a broad front be constructed around Lula? Can he bring all of those forces together, which I guess he had done in the past?

Lorena Barberia

Yes, I think that it’s too early. And I really want to underscore, I still think that that’s a major weakness that we have right now in terms of building a coalition, if we’re able . . . And if we think about what’s going to happen in the 2022 elections, multiple candidates repeating what happened in 2018 is what brought Bolsonaro to office.

And so the more people are on the campaign, and the more people and the more political parties are dividing the vote, that is really going to be a major impediment to defeating Bolsonaro. Because I think we’re very clear that he has a strong core group of loyal voters. And the 70 percent that oppose him, they need to unite around a common party, a common candidate, a common vision, or a coalition that is willing to work together and allow one one candidate to be president and govern together.

And like we said, Lula has been able to do that in the past. But it’s very difficult because in this moment, he would need to align with a lot of parties who are still not willing to and want to be risk being identified with him. And part of it has to do with the corruption allegations. That is a part of his speech when he did, he made the speech last week. He didn’t come out and make any statements of saying, ‘I’m sorry, I’ve made some mistakes.’

And I think for some political parties in Brazil and for some political leaders in Brazil, he needs to meet them halfway, and he needs to acknowledge that there is evidence that there was money laundering. There is evidence that there was serious problems in terms of he’s not the first; it’s not the end of the problem, but he needs to come forth and be more frank about that and have a franker discussion than he’s having if he wants other parties to come to the table.

Paul Jay

Because even if the process that put him in jail and took him out of the campaigning, even if that process was railroading and flawed, a lot of people believe there’s a lot of reality to the allegations of corruption.

Lorena Barberia

Yes, a lot of people, and I think also the prosecution did . . . There is evidence, especially if we think about what happened with Petrobras, we think about a lot of the evidence that has been put. There is evidence that especially, it can be that a lot of the corruption that took place is corruption that was money that was being laundered to pay off congressmen to pass policies. We can argue about where the money was going and for what it was going for.

And it wasn’t going to build or for personal gain.

But it still doesn’t take away the fact that money was being diverted and money was being used for illegal purposes and that money shouldn’t have been diverted that way. So I think we still have –

Paul Jay

There’s video of a payoff, right?

Lorena Barberia

Yes, there’s videos; there’s a lot of evidence. And I think we need to have a conversation, especially if we want . . . It’s very difficult for us to keep the conversation very polarized. So we have a very polarized society in this moment. If we want to reduce the level of polarization, we need to have a frank conversation about what happened and make some kind of minimum agreements about what we agree minimally occurred. And we don’t have that right now in Brazilian politics at the level that we need to form a strong coalition to oppose President Bolsonaro.

Paul Jay

Because I think Lula has said, ‘Yes, some of this happened, but that’s the way it is.’ If you wanted to pass what he would call progressive legislation, they had to bribe some right-wing senators to get it done. And he sort of justifies it. Is that true?

Lorena Barberia

And he also claims that a large . . . There’s also an argument about ‘I can’t be responsible for everything. That there was decisions that were made. They were not authorized by myself. People in my government made decisions. And those people need to be held accountable,’ not in those words, and he hasn’t said that. But I think there is an implication of not everything that happened that went wrong is due to Lula’s per se, but it also is due to other people, even ministers who turned against Lula and testified against Lula in order to get lower sentences and get pardons.

And so I think it’s a very messy and very difficult conversation because there’s been a lot of throwing the blame around different people. And different people for different reasons have given evidence. And not all of the evidence points to that Lula was coordinating the schemes—this is correct—but it’s still important to be addressed that he needs to be more assertive about what kind of government he would construct in his next administration and how much this would not happen if you were able to win office again, or if someone who he supports as president were to win.

Paul Jay

Is there any other figure that the progressive and left and democratic forces unite around? Is there anyone else?

Lorena Barberia

It’s difficult because there’s been, for example, a lot of important governors who have been really important right now in the pandemic response and in contesting President Bolsonaro. But I think it’s difficult because many of these leaders, they come from fragmented or smaller political parties. And so the burden for them to bring together a coalition, to have the resources to really launch a major campaign and to be viable candidates is much harder.

But we do have some governors and some mayors that have been . . . drawn a lot of attention and a lot of interest because they’ve actually been able—for example, in the case of a couple of cases—to show a really different response to the pandemic is possible and voters will support that. Yes, there is concerns about the economy. Yes, there’s lower use of masks than we would like. Yes, people go out and don’t obey all the rules, but we can still construct agreements about a different pandemic response than what is being led by President Bolsonaro.

Paul Jay

Now, Bolsonaro’s not only a COVID denier, he’s also a climate change denier, climate science denier on the whole. Given the importance of Brazil and the Amazon to the fate of the world and climate, is climate at all an issue in Brazilian politics?

Lorena Barberia

Truthfully, in this moment, climate is not as high on the political agenda as it should be. And I think that it’s an important concern. But we have to remember the context, right, with the economy and the humanitarian, in this moment, crisis that is in Brazil, Brazil is undergoing, the environment, unfortunately, is not on the radar as high of a priority as it should be. And part of it is also very difficult because a lot of what would happen to protect the Amazon, including speaking about indigenous peoples, one of the things we’ve been doing a lot of work to try to figure out is how much protection is going to actually get vaccines to indigenous peoples and making sure that they’re protected and that they’re also not as gravely affected by the pandemic.

A lot of that requires people going out and going to these communities that are very vulnerable and who’ve had a huge toll during the pandemic. So having policing to protect deforestation, all those activities in this moment, is very difficult because the humanitarian crisis is very strong. And there’s not a lot of attention to enforcing other parts of important agendas. And that includes education; that includes the environment; that includes a lot of other huge pillars of Brazilian society that are not being paid attention to it and not getting the attention that they should be.

And meanwhile –

Paul Jay

Well, we’ll see whether the Biden adminis . . . Oh, sorry, go ahead now.

Lorena Barberia

No, I was going to say it’s just that meanwhile, the Minister of the Environment is making sure to actually do the opposite. So trying to pass laws to be more flexible and allow more exploration in the Amazon. So we’re in a very difficult situation. And the environment is something that we really need to work harder to get discussed in Brazil.

Paul Jay

Well, if the Biden administration is actually serious about what they claim is a commitment to a real climate change policy, then you would think it would also direct their foreign policy. And United States would actually lean on the Brazilian government and help develop some real climate strategy for the Amazon. But I’m not so sure that’s what Wall Street wants in Brazil; they certainly haven’t in the past. But I guess that’s to be seen.

Well, listen, that’s really great. Let’s leave it there for today. And let’s do it again soon. Thanks so much, Lorena.

Lorena Barberia

Okay, thank you, Paul.

Paul Jay

And thank you for joining me on theAnalysis.news, and don’t forget the ‘donate’ button and the ‘subscribe’ button on YouTube and all of that stuff. Thanks again.

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  • Great article. Biden foreign policy is just a continuation of old corporate parties foreign policy did not except much from him. He is just too old and so uninformed. The white matter in his brain is winning.

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