Le Monde Names for First Time Ever Man of the Year. And Chooses Brazil’s Lula

Lula chosen by Le Monde for Man of the Year Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for French daily Le Monde is "Man of the Year" for "personifying a giant." It is the first time in its history the French publication, which was founded in 1944, has made this designation.

Lula, who is leaving his term of office in 2010 without performing an amendment to Brazilian Constitution, "knew exactly how to be a democratic figure and fight against poverty," Le Monde wrote about him.

The newspaper described he Brazilian leader as "a referent to emerging countries and also to the developing world." Lula, 64, has, according to the French publication, "positioned his country in the world."

The Brazilian president will be leaving his term of office at the end of 2010, without intending to perform a constitutional amendment and, thanks to this, being unable to get re-elected. Le Monde portrays him as the one president who was able to "offer a new image to Latin America." And adds: "Lula's excellent reputation is Brazil's renovation."

The article, written by Rio de Janeiro news correspondent Jean Pierre Langellier, outlines Lula's profile and praises his administration. "Lula seems to be interested in everything: diplomacy, commerce, energy, climate, immigration, space, drugs," the articles describes.

Lula was the first Latin American president Barack Obama received in the White House. According to Le Monde's view, he came ahead because the former union leader has successfully directed a country that is complex, focusing on economic development, inequality and the protection of the environment. Obama referred to him "as the most popular politician in the world."

The profile the article describes includes pros and cons. As it states: "Even though Lula has cut poverty figures and millions of Brazilians have improved their ways of living, his country remains to be one of the most unbalanced nations in the world, strongly divided between a rich south and a forgotten north."

A to-do list and "unresolved matter issues" are also included in Le Monde's article. Those are: "Primary and secondary low-level education, deficient health care system, heavy bureaucracy, inefficient police and a lazy justice."

Lula has been in the media spotlight all through 2009, thanks to his policies and the way in which he has positioned Brazil in the international focus.



  • Show Comments (2)

  • Andrade

    Hi Anonymous,

    First of all I would thank you so much for dividing your rants in paragraphs as requested by another blogger. Thus they become more comprehensible;

    Second of all, I must point out that you use the word “Jingoism” loosely to describe me and the rest of the Brasilians. Probably you are mixing it up with the term “Xenophobia”. I am neither, though most of my countrymen have become “Xenophobic” recently (God knows why) and most of yours turned into “Jingoistic”.

    Third of all, You have made the following comments several times:

    [quote]While Lula should be acknowledged for his attempts to change things, as well as for his real victories, yet recently, I have come to seriously doubt the integrity of Lula when he openly hugged and befriended the Iranian dictator and stated that Iran has as much right as any other nation to develop nuclear weapons.[/quote]

    Your complaint is Lula hugged and greeted President of Iran and hence you are “Seriously” in doubt of his integrity.You are not too convincing in your arguments. You are yet to explain why we should follow the American example of declaring Iran & North Korea as “Rogue States”, when you are doing brisk business with PRC and your erstwhile “enemies” Vietnam (both of them are Communist states, aren’t they?)

    Sorry to say that you personify the typical American redneck more than I represent the Brasilian version. You are clueless of the Geopolitics, Dude, and think that the rest of the world should know-tow in front of you all.

    I recall you mentioning that you are a certified teacher and hopefully you are not licensed to teach History and Geopolitics.

  • anonymous

    Hmmh, Le Monde awards Lula the Man of the Year. Now was that before or after he hugged and befriended iran’s tyranical president mahmoud Ahmadinejad? I am an American, and I once had great respect for Lula for attempting to reverse the vast inequality of wealth in Brazil. While I think he should be given credit for the “bolsa de famila” plan to provide a minimum amount of money to poor families as well as his good faith effort to negotiate with the landless movement, and to speak out against oppression of the indigenous people of the Amazon, I have to wonder, as mentioned above, about the “unresolved matter issues: Primary and secondary low-level education, deficient health care system, heavy bureaucracy, inefficient police and a lazy justice.”
    While Lula should be acknowledged for his attempts to change things, as well as for his real victories, yet recently, I have come to seriously doubt the integrity of Lula when he openly hugged and befriended the Iranian dictator and stated that Iran has as much right as any other nation to develop nuclear weapons. Yes, most people would not deny a country a right to develop nuclear weapons, but the case of Iran is exceptional, and for Lula to not see this, it is quite insensitive and reckless, especially for a leader pursuing a greater voice in world politics. Lula would have distinguished Brazil better in the world forum by promoting various reforms that he has promoted in Brazil, but not by befriending a dangerous tyrant. I have to wonder what kind of secret deal is in the making between Brazil and Iran: does Brazil wish to help Iran in pursuing nuclear weapons? If they were to do so, they would be complicit if Iran were to attack Israel. What makes Iran exceptional is that the president denies the occurrence of the holocaust while denouncing and demonizing jews much like the Nazi’s did. The man denies that the holocaust existed. Such claims are denounced by the EU charter, yet Lula wants to hug and befriend this guy? Likewise, while I am no apologist for the Israelis in their treatment of Palestinians, all peace-loving people should denounce Ahmadinejad and his war mongering. He has openly stated that he wants to wipe Israel off the map. Most nations of the world understand the grave nature of allowing Iran to have nuclear weapons, so why would Lula hug and befriend this man? While Brazil needs to look after its own interest and be independent of the US, it also should endorse universal values of human rights. This alliance with Iran only diminishes the stature of Lula and Brazil in world politics. And I suspect it is mmotivated by some lowly self-interest. Most nations see that Ahmadinejad is a “loose canon” who is jeopardizing peace in the middle east as well as in europe. He is not only a pariah throughout the world, but in his homeland, Iran, he is equally is even more despised as he is currently ordering his military and secret police to attack, beat, torture, arrest, and murder the majority of citizens who are protesting the fake elections that brought him to power. Most fair-minded, peace-loving people of the world see him for what he is: a ruthless war-mongering tryant torturing his own people and jeopardizing world peace. So why is Lula hugging and befriending him. Man of the Year? Shame on Lula, he is legitimizing a foul dictator, and insulting the people of Iran as well as other people striving for peace. Finally, Brazilians should understand that this is not a problem that only affects the US and Israel. the EU is as vulnerable to a nuclear attack by Iran as is Israel, and a nuclear attack anywhere in the world would be catastrophic and heinous deed that would cause chaos and a contraction and suspension of relations in all nations. Why is Lula befriending this man? Something stinks about it all to me.

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