For two months I have been unjustly imprisoned, without committing any crime. For two months I have been unable to travel the country I love, bringing the message of hope for a better and more just Brazil, with opportunities for all, as I have always done in 45 years of public life.
I have been deprived of living daily with my children, my grandchildren, my great-granddaughter, my friends and companions. But I have no doubt that the real reason they put me here is to prevent me from sharing with my big family; the Brazilian people. This is what distresses me the most, because I know that outside, every day more and more families are going backward to living in the streets, abandoned by the state that should be protecting them.
From where I am, I want to renew the message of faith I have in Brazil and in our people. Together, we have been able to overcome difficult times, serious economic, political and social crises. In my government, we were able to overcome hunger, unemployment, recession, and the enormous pressures of international capital and its representatives in the country. Together, we have reduced the age-old disease of social inequality that marked Brazil’s formation including the genocide of the indigenous, the slavery of Black people and the exploitation of the workers of the city and the countryside.
We steadily fought injustice. With our heads held high we have come to be considered the most optimistic people in the world. We have deepened our democracy and we have gained international prominence with the creation of UNASUR, CELAC, BRICS and our solidarity with African countries. Our voice was heard in the G8 and in the most important world forums.
I am sure we can rebuild this country and dream again of being a great nation. That’s what keeps me fighting.
Those who accused me in Lava Jato know that they lied, because I never owned it, never had possession, never spent one night in such a Guarujá apartment. Those who condemned me, Sérgio Moro and the TRF-4 judges, know that they set up a judicial farce to arrest me because I demonstrated my innocence in the case and they failed to present proof of the crime that they accuse me of.
To this day I ask myself, where is the proof?
I was not treated by the prosecutors of Lava Jato, Moro and TRF-4 as a citizen equal to others. I have always been treated as an enemy.
I do not cultivate hatred or rancor, but I doubt my tormentors can sleep with a clear conscience.
Against all injustices, I have the constitutional right to appeal in freedom, but this right has been denied to me so far for the sole reason being that my name is Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
When it became clear that they were going to take me by force, without crime or evidence, I decided to stay in Brazil and face my executioners. I know my place in history and I know the place reserved for those who today persecute me. I am sure that Justice will make the truth prevail.
In the caravans I did recently in Brazil, I saw hope in people’s eyes. And I have also seen the anguish of those who are suffering from the return of hunger, unemployment, malnutrition, school dropout, rights robbed of workers, and the destruction of the constitutionally guaranteed social inclusion policies now denied in practice.
I am again a candidate for the Presidency of the Republic to help end the suffering of the people
I take on this mission because I have a great responsibility with Brazil and because the Brazilians have the right to vote freely in a project which stand for more solidarity, a more just and sovereign country, and persevering the project of Latin American integration.
I am a candidate because I sincerely believe that the Electoral Court will maintain consistency with its precedents of jurisprudence since 2002, not bowing to the blackmail of the exception only to hurt my right and the right of voters to cast their ballots for who best represents them.
I have had many candidacies in my career, but this one is different; this one is the commitment of my life. Those who had the privilege of seeing Brazil advance on behalf of the poorest, after centuries of exclusion and abandonment, cannot be omitted at the most difficult time for our people.
We have the right to dream again, after the nightmare that was imposed on us by the 2016 coup.
They lied to overthrow President Dilma Rousseff who was legitimately elected. They lied that the country would improve if the PT quit the government; that there would be more jobs and more development. They lied to impose the program defeated at the polls in 2014. They lied to destroy the project of eradicating the misery that we put in place from my government. They lied so they could deliver the national wealth to the holders of economic and financial power, in a scandalous betrayal of the people that had been manifested in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014, in a clear and unequivocal way.
The hour of truth is coming.
I want to be president of Brazil again because I have already proved that it is possible to build a better Brazil for our people. We prove that the country can grow for the benefit of all when the government places the workers and the poorest in the spotlight and does not become a slave to the interests of the rich and powerful. And we prove that only the inclusion of millions of poor people can we make the economy grow and recover.
I dream of being president of Brazil to end the suffering of those who do not have more money to buy the gas canister, who use wood for cooking or worse, use alcohol and become victims of serious accidents and burns. This is one of the cruelest setbacks caused by Petrobras’ policy of destruction and national sovereignty, led by PSDB supporters who backed the 2016 coup.
Petrobrás was not created to generate gains for Wall Street speculators in New York, but to ensure oil self-sufficiency in Brazil at prices compatible with the popular economy. Petrobrás has to be Brazilian again. You can be certain that we are going to end this history of selling its assets. It will no longer be hostage to the multinational oil corporations. It will once again play a strategic role in the country’s development, including in directing resources to education; our passport for the future.
I dream of a country where democracy prevails over media monopoly, prejudice and discrimination.
I dream of being the president of a country where everyone has rights and nobody has privileges.
A country where everyone can have three meals a day again; where children can attend school and where everyone has the right to work with living wages and the protection of the law. A country in which every rural worker has access to land again to produce, with financial and technical assistance.
A country where people will once again have confidence in the present and hope for the future. And for this very reason to be respected internationally, to promote Latin American integration and cooperation with Africa, and to exercise a sovereign position in the international dialogues on trade and the environment and for peace and friendship among people.
We know the way to fulfill these dreams. Today it goes through the holding of free and democratic elections, with the participation of all political forces, with no rules of exception to prevent just one candidate.
Only then will we have a government with legitimacy to face the great challenges, which can dialogue with all sectors of the nation backed by the popular vote. It is to this mission that I propose to accept the presidential candidacy by the Workers’ Party.
We have already shown that it is possible to make a government of national pacification, in which Brazil will walk to meet the Brazilians, especially the poorest and the workers.
I created a government where the poor were included in the country’s budget, with more income distribution and less hunger; with more health and less child mortality; with more respect and affirmation of the rights of women, of blacks and of diversity, and with less violence; with more education at all levels and fewer children out of school; with more access to universities and technical education and fewer young people excluded from the future; with more popular housing and fewer occupancy conflicts in the cities; with more settlements and land distribution and fewer conflicts of occupation in the countryside; with more respect for the indigenous populations, with more salary gains and guarantee of the rights of the workers, with more dialogue with the unions, social movements and business organizations and less social conflicts.
It was a time of peace and prosperity, as we have never had before in history.
I believe, from the bottom of my heart, that Brazil can be happy again. And it can advance much more than what we conquered together, when the government was of the people.
In order to achieve this goal, we must unite the democratic forces of all Brazil, respecting the autonomy of the parties and the movements, but always having as reference a more unified and fairer project of our country that will rescue the dignity and hope of our people. I’m sure we’ll be together at the end of this walk.
The only way that such meeting will not happen is if I am not alive.
See you very soon my people
Long live Brazil! Long live Democracy! Long live the Brazilian people!
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva