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Fact-checking the speech Lula gave before surrendering to police

. Apr 07, 2018
Lula speech fact-checkin arrest Lula gave a speech before turning himself in. Photo: Paulo Pinto
Lula speech fact-checkin arrest

Lula gave a speech before turning himself in. Photo: Paulo Pinto

At noon this Saturday, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took the microphone and addressed a crowd of hundreds of fervent supporters. Lula had already promised to surrender himself voluntarily to the Federal Police and begin serving his sentence of 12 years and one month in prison for corruption and money laundering.

Lula pulled no punches. He blamed the justice system, the federal prosecution office, his political rivals, and economic elites for his fate.

Lula speech arrest federal police corruption

The crowd didn’t want to let Lula go. Photo: Filipe Araujo

During his speech, Lula borrowed elements from other political icons, such as Martin Luther King, Fidel Castro, and Getulio Vargas. At one point, Lula said: “I dreamed that it was possible to have a government that would include the poor, that would promote education”. Other references included Fidel Castro: “History will prove that those who accuse me are the ones who committed crimes” – a phrase that has a similar ring to Castro’s “History will absolve me.”

In a speech intended to galvanize supporters, Lula propagated several falsehoods and distorted many facts – especially those about the investigations against him. We’ve fact-checked his speech:

</p> <h3>“[I was] the only president of the Republic without a university degree.”</h3> <p><img loading="lazy" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-3531" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995.png" alt="" width="925" height="115" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995.png 925w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-300x37.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-768x95.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 925px) 100vw, 925px" /></p> <p>While Lula certainly has the most compelling history of overcoming adversity among Brazilian presidents, he was not the only one without a university education. Café Filho, who held the republic’s highest office between August 1954 and November 1995, also didn’t have one. Café Filho started his course at a law school, but didn’t finish it.</p> <h3>“[Brazil was] the last country on earth to have a university, the very last one. All other poor countries had.”</h3> <p><img loading="lazy" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-3531" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995.png" alt="" width="925" height="115" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995.png 925w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-300x37.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-768x95.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 925px) 100vw, 925px" /></p> <p>Despite being colonized since 1500 by the Portuguese, Brazil’s only university was inaugurated in 1808, after the arrival of the <a href="https://brazilian.report/2017/09/25/colonial-brazil/">Portuguese royal family</a> to Rio de Janeiro.</p> <p>In Angola, however, the first university – Angola’s University General Studies – was inaugurated in 1962. In Ethiopia, the first university was created in 1950. In Saudi Arabia, that happened in 1956.</p> <h3>“In the U.S., once the Supreme Court rules on something, you don’t know how each Justice has voted – exactly so they won’t suffer any pressure.”</h3> <p><img loading="lazy" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-3531" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995.png" alt="" width="925" height="115" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995.png 925w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-300x37.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-768x95.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 925px) 100vw, 925px" /></p> <p>Lula implied that the Supreme Court justices who denied Lula’s habeas corpus did so because they caved to the court of public opinion. However, just like in Brazil, it is public knowledge how each of the Supreme Court Justices votes on cases.</p> <p>After each case analyzed by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Chief Justice designates one Justice to write the <a href="http://www.scotusblog.com/reference/educational-resources/supreme-court-procedure/">majority’s opinion</a> – while the losing side can write a dissenting opinion. Only about 10 percent of cases have a <em>per curium </em>opinion – that is, an opinion for the entire court.</p> <h3>“What I cannot accept is that a prosecutor who made a PowerPoint and went on television said that &#8216;the PT is a criminal organization which was created to rob Brazil.’”</h3> <p><img loading="lazy" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-3532" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-3.png" alt="" width="925" height="115" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-3.png 925w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-3-300x37.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-3-768x95.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 925px) 100vw, 925px" /></p> <p>On September 14, 2016, prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol presented the first indictment request against Lula – showing a ridiculous PowerPoint presentation. During that presentation, Dallagnol accused Lula and his party of several crimes.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-3535" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/deltan-lula-powerpoint.jpg" alt="deltan lula powerpoint" width="960" height="639" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/deltan-lula-powerpoint.jpg 960w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/deltan-lula-powerpoint-300x200.jpg 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/deltan-lula-powerpoint-768x511.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 960px) 100vw, 960px" /></p> <p>“What we see is a political party, the Workers’ Party, trying to raise public to perpetuate itself in power.” He also said: “I’m not judging the party’s views, nor its ideology, but figuring out if this political group got involved in specific crimes.”</p> <h3>“A prosecutor said he didn’t need evidence – he had conviction.”</h3> <p><img loading="lazy" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-3532" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-3.png" alt="" width="925" height="115" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-3.png 925w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-3-300x37.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-3-768x95.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 925px) 100vw, 925px" /></p> <p>Nobody associated with Operation Car Was ever uttered those words. The phrase, used by Lula supporters to prove that the investigations against him are nothing more than a witch-hunt, is a distorted quote.</p> <p>Federal Prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol actually said: “Evidence is pieces of reality that create conviction about a fact or hypothesis.” Then, he said that the collected evidence allowed him “to safely assume that Lula was the man in charge of the criminal scheme identified by Operation Car Wash.”</p> <h3>“The more they attack me, the stronger my connection with the Brazilian people gets.”</h3> <p><img loading="lazy" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-3533" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-1.png" alt="" width="925" height="115" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-1.png 925w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-1-300x37.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-1-768x95.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 925px) 100vw, 925px" /></p> <p>Political scientist Fábio Vasconcellos has analyzed presidential polls since Lula was forcefully taken in for questioning by the Federal Police, early in 2016. Back then, he was the candidate of 20 percent of voters. His electoral stock was hit at first, dropping to 17 percent, but has only gone up since, reaching 36 percent of votes in the latest polls.</p> <h3>“[My administration] reduced child mortality”</h3> <p><img loading="lazy" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-3534" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-2.png" alt="" width="925" height="115" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-2.png 925w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-2-300x37.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-2-768x95.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 925px) 100vw, 925px" /></p> <p>During Lula’s administration, child mortality has indeed gotten better. But the claim disregards the situation’s context, with Lula’s administration playing a part in a process that has being ongoing since the 1960s.</p> <h3>“[I’ve] created millions of jobs”</h3> <p><img loading="lazy" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-3533" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-1.png" alt="" width="925" height="115" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-1.png 925w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-1-300x37.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-1-768x95.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 925px) 100vw, 925px" /></p> <p>Data from the Ministry of Labor shows that 11.2 million formal jobs were created in Brazil between 2003 and 2010.</p> <h3>“I was the president who built more universities [than anyone else]”</h3> <p><img loading="lazy" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-3533" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-1.png" alt="" width="925" height="115" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-1.png 925w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-1-300x37.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/est-1995-1-768x95.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 925px) 100vw, 925px" /></p> <p>Data from the Ministry of Education shows that 28 universities were created during Lula’s tenure as president. Twenty-three of them were public institutions, and five were private ones.</p> <p>The data goes back to 1995. Since then, 27 universities were created during Fernando Henrique Cardoso’s government, and only seven during Dilma Rousseff’s stint.</p> <h6><em>This post will be updated.</em>

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