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.
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: