The Brazilian government was overcome by a sense of profound indignation as
a result of the calumnious article on President Luiz Inácio Lula da
Silva in The New York Times. The reporter of this prestigious newspaper
simply invented a "national concern" regarding presidential habits
that turned out to be a pile of offensive and prejudiced affirmations against
the leader of Brazil. Most of the information is based on obscure sources,
which are simply unreliable.
The final result is an
example of the worst possible kind of yellow journalism. We were surprised
to see this type of thing in The New York Times; it has no factual
basis and infringes upon the most elementary norms of journalistic ethics.
The Brazilian ambassador
in Washington has received instructions to contact the newspaper and transmit
the Brazilian government's indignation and surprise at allowing such gratuitous
insults to be directed at the President of Brazil.
President Lula exercises
the duties of his office with total responsibility and dedication. His work
day is more than 12 hours long, which is easy to prove just by talking to
anyone who works with him, including journalists who work at the Palácio
The president personally
oversees the government's principal programs and, of course, makes all the
most important executive branch decisions. The whole country is a witness
to the high level of responsibility and seriousness that the Lula administration
has dedicated to dealing with the difficult problems that face the country
since taking office a year and four months ago.
The President's social
habits are moderate and no different from those of the average Brazilian.
The only explanation for the article's attempt to create doubts regarding
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's profound commitment to the country's
institutions and his credibility is prejudice and lack of ethics.
The Brazilian government
is studying legal recourse to defend the honor of the president of Brazil
and the country's image abroad.
Brasília, May 9,
(This is the complete
text of the note from the Brazilian government regarding an article entitled
"Brazilian Leader's Tippling Becomes National Concern," by Larry
Rohter, which appeared in The New York Times on Sunday.)
André Singer is the spokesman for Brazilian President Luiz Inácio
Lula da Silva. He can be reached at email@example.com.