An Exclusive With Fmr. Brazilian President Lula

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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: AMANPOUR: You came and gave a big speech this past week. And you have said that you’re 75 years old, but the words give up do not exist in my vocabulary, and you think you have the energy of a 30-year-old. So, are you considering another run for the presidency in your country?

LUIZ INACIO LULA DA SILVA, FORMER BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I believe, Christiane, that this is not a major issue that we should discuss today in Brazil. In Brazil today, we have to discuss the survival of our people. We have a lot of unemployed people. We have a lot of people that are starving and hunger, and during my administration, we had ended hunger in Brazil, recognized by the U.N. And, unfortunately, the lack of responsibility of those that are in the administration today, which is very similar to what Trump did in the U.S., is leading Brazil to great impoverishment. And it’s taking Brazil also to be a victim and be the epicenter of the COVID-19 around the world. It’s a great shame. During my government, Brazil was the sixth largest economy in the world. And now we went down in the ranking to the 12th largest economy of the world. We will discuss my candidacy for the presidency when it comes time, but now we have to discuss the survival of 210 million Brazilians.

AMANPOUR: You have also called President Bolsonaro imbecilic. You have called him a moron. What would you do differently, and how would you do it, in terms of COVID, for instance?

DA SILVA (through translator): Well, first of all, COVID started to have a mistaken treatment here in Brazil, almost around the world, too. And also in the U.S., with President Trump, the lack of responsibility was tremendous. The president did not believe in the effects and the strength and force of the virus. He thought it was just a flu. And he thought that the people didn’t have to use masks. A good administration would have created a scientific committee, a committee for — with the governors, and with the committee with health heads of health departments, so we have a national protocol. And now we have reached almost 3,000 deaths a day. So, this is a disease that there’s no control in Brazil. The governors are making a tremendous endeavor, but the mayors are taking a lot of efforts, but the president of the republic lacks responsibility. And he’s even prescribing medicine that doesn’t work, that no one believes in. He doesn’t behave himself as a president that is concerned with the health of — the care of the people. Now Brazil is a rogue country. And, unfortunately, our government does not respect anyone, and that’s why no one respects Brazil today.

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