Brazilian front-runner slams US billions for Ukraine — Analysis

Brazilian presidential candidate LuizInacio Lula da Silva criticized Joe Biden this week in campaign speeches. This was referring to the $40 billion in US military aid Washington pledged Ukraine. Lula polls well ahead of Jair Bolsonaro in the forthcoming presidential election.

“Biden, who has never made a speech to give $1 to those who are starving in Africa, announces $40 billion to help Ukraine buy weapons,”Lula stated Wednesday in Porto Alegre “This can’t be!”He concluded.

The 76-year old is the candidate of Leftist Party of Workers, and the most likely to win the October presidential election.

Lula raised the topic of $40 billion when he spoke in Sao Paulo Tuesday. How is it possible, he asked, that the world’s supposedly strongest economy is reduced to scouring the globe for baby formula – amid shortages in the US – even as Biden pledges billions in weapons sales to Kiev?

Half of the $40 billion package will be used to purchase weapons for Ukraine. The remainder would go towards funding the government in Kiev and replenishing the Pentagon’s stockpiles. It also funds US military deployments throughout Europe. Biden signed it on May 21 after both chambers of Congress passed it with token Republican opposition. Biden was on his way to Asia at that time and was able to attach his signature.

Lula previously attacked Biden for his actions in Ukraine.

“The United States has a lot of political clout. Biden could not have done it. [the conflict], not incited it,”Lula spoke in an interview in May with Time magazine.

Brazil's Lula names those responsible for Ukraine conflict

“And now we are going to have to foot the bill because of the war on Ukraine. Argentina and Bolivia also will be responsible. You’re not punishing [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. You’re punishing many different countries, you’re punishing mankind,”He concluded.

Lula, who was President of Brazil between 2003 and 2010, is still one of Brazil’s most beloved politicians. He was convicted on corruption charges and jailed in 2018 – during the interim presidency that had impeached his successor, Dilma Rousseff – but the conviction was annulled in 2021. Brazilian Supreme Court found that Lula was not given a fair trial and allowed him to run again for office.

Datafolha’s most recent polls show that Lula is 21 points ahead of Bolsonaro.

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