Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has embarked on the third leg of his "Lula Around Brazil" bus caravan, which has taken him to the state of Rio de Janeiro after touring its northern neighbor of Espirito Santo.
Welcomed by large crowds in the municipality of Campos, the former head of state called on Judge Sergio Moro to present one shred of evidence implicating him in several accusations made against him.
“I challenge Moro, the Public Prosecution and Federal Police to present proof against me,” Lula said, adding that “if they don't want to see me win (next year's presidential election), stop lying and square off in the elections, according to Brasil 24/7.
He went on to say that if his accusers are reluctant to run, then “ask Globo to whip up a candidate for them.” Globo, with its headquarters based in Rio de Janeiro, is the largest mass media corporation in all Latin America.
During his speech, Lula reaffirmed his commitment to hold a referendum to revoke measures implemented by the current administration of de-facto president Michel Temer, if re-elected president. “First we'll hold a referendum to revoke what they're doing. Brazil is possibly going through its worst crisis in its history.”
He added that “for the first time the country is being governed by a coup government responsible for tearing up 54 million votes” in favor of former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, and is “only welcomed by the market in order to sell Brazil."
With several bills aimed at loosening firearm controls circulating through Congress, Lula, donned a Landless Workers' Movement cap during the public event, saying he declined to give a “rifle to a farmer” and, instead, would provide “land to the worker,” noting that he's conscious of people “talking about” combatting MST.
“They believe that firearms need to be passed out among the people to reduce violence. I believe that jobs and salaries need to be distributed,” he said, according to Revista Forum.
In respect to education, Lula commented, “10 years ago his team entered a university and saw only rich whites. Today there are Black people, residents from the countryside and those from periphery neighborhoods attending university. Intelligence isn't inherent to the crib, it's in opportunities.” He added that if he's re-elected, “education will not be treated as an expenditure, but an investment.”
Lula, who left office with a record approval rating of 83 percent, according to Datafolha, went on to accuse Globo and other corporate media outlets of political persecution, which repeatedly accuse him of receiving properties as bribe payoffs. He previously stated that federal police investigators invaded his “home and the homes of my children. They even confiscated my mattress believing that cash or gold was tucked inside” but no evidence or money was found.
Lula announced that his next caravan will travel to Moro's hometown of Curitiba, the capital city Parana state.