Merida, April 3rd 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Luiz Lula da Silva, president of Brazil from 2003 to 1 January 2011, recorded a video message “to the people of Venezuela”, lending his support to candidate for the Venezuelan presidency, Nicolas Maduro, while opposition candidate Henrique Capriles continued to argue for the “Brazilian model”.
“I don’t want to interfere in Venezuela’s internal affairs, but I can’t help making this declaration for the future of a country that is so dear to the Brazilian people,” Lula said
“In the eight years that I was president of Brazil I had the opportunity to spend time with Nicolas Maduro while he was minister for foreign affairs. Maduro stood out brilliantly in the struggle to define Venezuela to the world and in the construction of a more democratic and solidarious Latin America,” he said.
“He played a decisive role in the formation of [regional blocs] UNASUR and CELAC...and his deep bond with our dear and memorable Hugo Chavez was always visible, the two of them shared the same ideas about the future of our continent and the big problems of the world... [and] the challenges that Venezuela is facing...in defence of the poor”.
“Chavez’s great work was the transformation of Venezuela into a more just country...and I’m sure that Maduro as president will be capable of fulfilling the goals of Chavez,” he continued.
“One phrase that sums up everything I feel: Maduro as President; it’s the Venezuela that Chavez dreamed of,” Lula concluded.
When Maduro played the message yesterday, he said that Lula had expressed his desire to record it as a present to Chavez. Maduro thanked him for the gesture.
Lula’s comments follow declarations made repeatedly over the last few weeks by opposition candidate Henrique Capriles that if elected, he would copy the “Brazilian model”. On 1 April he said it was the combination of state and private companies that “brought 30 million people out of poverty” in Brazil.
Capriles said he appreciated Brazil’s economic model and hoped to “use it to bring the country [Venezuela] forward”.
Opposition legislator Maria Corina Machado responded to Lula’s message saying it was an “open intervention” by Lula, whose opinion, she said, “doesn’t represent nor reflect the thoughts of the [Brazilian] government or the Brazilian people”.
Last year, when Capriles also talked of emulating the Brazilian model in the lead up to the October elections, Valter Pomar, one of the secretaries of the governing Brazilian Workers Party (PT), in power since 2003, rejected Capriles’ comments and said the Brazilian government supported, and identified with the Chavez government.
He said it seemed “funny that the rightwing [of Venezuela] tries to say that it wants to make itself seem similar to what we’re doing in Brazil”.