President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) today transformed the UN (United Nations) tribune into an electoral platform by attacking his opponent at the polls, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT), citing acts in favor of his candidacy for reelection on the 7/7/2020. 9 and address issues such as corruption at Petrobras and fuel prices.
The national chief executive gave a 20-minute speech at the opening of the UN General Assembly in New York, days after he was criticized for using Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral to campaign.
‘This is the Brazil of the past’. Without mentioning former President Lula by name, Bolsonaro cited the corruption scandals involving Petrobras, the state-owned company with the greatest projection in the international market, and declared that “the person responsible for this was convicted in three instances”.
The candidate for reelection omitted, however, that the sentences were overturned by the STF (Supreme Federal Court). For this reason, PT does not respond criminally and is eligible.
The former president was convicted in two cases in the 1st and 2nd instances — in the case of the Guarujá triplex, the STJ (Superior Court of Justice) maintained the conviction, reducing the sentence. However, the sentences were extinguished by decision of the last instance (that is, the Supreme Court). Accused in three other cases, Lula was acquitted. He has no conviction with final judgment, that is, when it is no longer possible to present appeals.
Ideological polarization. Bolsonaro referred to the PT governments, which preceded him in the period from 2003 to 2018, as “the left” — in alignment with the strategy of ideological polarization, one of his campaign banners.
Between 2003 and 2015 alone, when the left presided over Brazil, Petrobras’ indebtedness due to mismanagement, political subdivision, and deviations, reached the mark of 170 billion dollars. The person responsible for this was unanimously convicted in three instances. Whistleblowers returned a billion dollars, and we paid the American stock exchange another billion for losses to its shareholders. This is the Brazil of the past
‘Civic Demonstration’ on 7/9. Bolsonaro said in the UN tribune that he considered that the electoral acts carried out on September 7, when the country celebrated the bicentennial of the country’s Independence, were “the greatest civic demonstration in the country’s history”.
“Millions of Brazilians took to the streets, summoned by their president, wearing the colors of our flag. It was the greatest civic demonstration in the history of our country, a people who believe in God, Fatherland, family and freedom.”
Keeping an eye on the women’s vote. The president and candidate for reelection also took advantage of the space in the UN tribune to, once again, try to dialogue with the female electorate in Brazil. According to Bolsonaro, the government has prioritized the “protection of women” during the current term and cited the first lady, Michelle Bolsonaro, as an example of female empowerment.
“I also want to highlight here the priority we have given to the protection of women. Our effort to sanction more than 70 legal norms on the subject since the beginning of my government, in 2019, is proof of this commitment.”
“We work in Brazil so that we have strong and independent women, so they can get wherever they want. First lady Michelle Bolsonaro has brought new meaning to volunteer work since 2019, with special attention to people with disabilities and rare diseases”, completed.
Bolsonaro defends reform at the UN. In a message to world leaders, the Chief Executive defended the idea of reforming the United Nations and the Security Council of the body. In his view, the war initiated by Russia in Ukraine, a neighboring country, “serves as a warning” for a restructuring to be carried out.
“We raised the United Nations amidst the rubble of the Second World War, what motivated us at that moment was the determination to avoid repeating the cycle of destruction that marked the first half of the 20th century. To a certain extent we can say that we were successful , but today, the conflict in Ukraine serves as a warning, a reform of the UN is essential for us to find world peace”, he declared.
The UN was created in 1945, after the end of the Second World War, with the aim of preventing other conflicts like that from occurring. The Security Council is its most important body and is responsible for maintaining world security. During the speech, Bolsonaro said that, after 25 years of debates, “it is clear that we need to seek innovative solutions”, highlighting the fact that Brazil has already occupied a seat on the Security Council on 11 occasions.
The Security Council is made up of 15 members and only five are permanent. The composition of the permanent members, which form its core, brings together the victorious powers of the Second World War and have veto power over any resolution taken by the institution: USA, France, Great Britain, Russia (until 1991 USSR) and China (since 1971, since until this year Taiwan was the official representative of the Chinese people).
Peace in Ukraine. Bolsonaro today exhibited at the UN a different position in relation to the stance adopted at the beginning of the Ukraine war, a period in which he came to declare himself personally “neutral”, on the grounds that trade relations with Russia, the aggressor country, could not be harmed.
This time, the Brazilian president said that the country was “guided by the principles of International Law and the UN Charter” and defended an “immediate ceasefire” in the Eastern European region.
“In the face of the conflict itself, Brazil has been guided by the principles of International Law and the UN Charter. Principles that are also enshrined in our Constitution. We defend an immediate ceasefire, the protection of civilians and non-combatants, the preservation of critical infrastructure to assist the population and the maintenance of all channels of dialogue between the parties in conflict. These are the first steps towards achieving a solution that is lasting and sustainable.”
Gasoline price. As he has done during his electoral campaign activities in Brazil, Bolsonaro has tried to emphasize the government’s efforts to contain the rise in fuel prices. According to him, since June, the amount charged for gasoline “has fallen by more than 30%”.
“Today, a liter in Brazil costs around US$ 0.90. The price of electricity has also dropped by more than 15%. of state intervention. It was the result of a tax rationalization policy formulated and implemented with the support of the National Congress.”
First to speak. As is tradition at the UN General Assembly, the Brazilian president was the first head of state to speak at the event, at agency headquarters in New York.
He was accompanied by the first lady, Michelle, and the ministers of the Civil House, Ciro Nogueira, and of Foreign Affairs, Carlos França.
Since taking power, Bolsonaro has used the UN rostrum to reinforce government positions, counter criticism and attack institutions related to the left.