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Twelve years after handing over the presidential seat, socialist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva regained power in Brazil. Lula obtained 50.9% of the vote, less than two percentage points ahead of the president Jair Bolsonaro.
After the victory, El American consulted political analyst Miguel Velarde on what this electoral result meant for the American region, now filled with socialist regimes, and the challenges that Lula will face in his government.
Velarde stressed that the election result is a demonstration of a country that is divided, but, above all, in his opinion, it shows that Bolsonaro has greater and more consolidated support than had been said.
Therefore, he emphasized that this was reflected in the results of the mayoral and congressional elections. “The main variable of analysis is that in Brazil two countries coexist with two opposing positions and visions. One that has always supported Lula and that longs for or remembers the years in which he was president, in which evidently an important sector improved its life, and another that is a new sector, but much bigger than what many said, which is bolsonarismo, which has consolidated in the last few years”.
Furthermore, Velarde explained that this triumph will not be as significant for the left in Latin America as it could have been in previous years, mainly because there are leftist leaders who are no longer around and do not have the same resources of at least a decade ago, such as when, for example, Hugo Chávez governed Venezuela and promoted socialist unity in the continent. The specialist commented that Lula will have the challenge of governing under greater popular pressure and a possible economic crisis.
“In this new wave of 21st-century socialism, power is not the same as in the first wave. Not only because some of its main actors are gone, such as Hugo Chávez in Venezuela or Correa in Ecuador, but also because they do not have the same resources,” he said.
Lula, an ally of leftist regimes
However, Lula’s triumph means an advance of socialism in the region. Celebrated by Democratic President Joe Biden, Lula’s coming to power represents a consolidation of left-wing governments in Latin American countries.
This warning was made by Venezuelan political analyst Roderick Navarro to El Nacional, who detailed that one of the first measures Lula will take as president will be to recognize Nicolás Maduro as president of Venezuela.
“If Lula wins, it will mean that Venezuela will have one friend less and our country needs friends. Especially after the fact that in the United States there is an administration that is friendly to left-wing progressivism,” Navarro said.
And the Maduro regime has not been slow to show its alliance with Lula. The first vice-president of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), Diosdado Cabello, celebrated on Monday the new ideological closeness between the Chavista regime and its neighbors Colombia and Brazil, after the victory of Lula da Silva the day before in the South American giant.
“In January, Lula will be in power and it should be a broad path for the union between Brazil and Venezuela, as it is happening with Colombia. In June, Colombia almost declared war on us, but not today. A new president, appointed ambassadors, new rules of the game are beginning to be established, possibilities are opening up”, said Cabello in a press conference broadcasted by the state channel VTV.
Cabello raised the possibility of a new consolidation of left-wing governments in Latin America. All this occurs in the midst of a context in which the Biden administration is open to the left in the region.
“With Lula’s triumph, Venezuela and Colombia can make joint proposals, because there is some kind of closeness, of respect,” said Diosdado Cabello.
Williams Perdomo es periodista y escritor, especializado en las fuentes Política y Cultura.