Don’t Lie, Mr. President

Brazilian presidential elections: Lula and Alckmin in TV debateAt the end of September, I wrote on my blog: “I read in the news that the Workers Party’s president, Ricardo Berzoini, announced this Friday that he was leaving the presidency of the party. The announcement was made by him, soon after the end of the PT’s national executive committee’s meeting.

“The reason for the resignation, of course, was the dossier affair. Well, I’ll be darned! But wasn’t the dossier case something strictly connected to the São Paulo PT, as Tarso Genro, the Republic’s General Explainer used to say?

“Every time the PT tries to explain the inexplicable, they get more and more entangled. The big question is where did the 1.7 million reais (about US$ 800,000) seized by the police and which had been set aside for the payment of the dossier come from? Even the Supreme Ignoramus says he wants to see the case solved.

“That’s what he says. Because if he really wanted it, it would be quite simple to find out: just ask those PT members involved where did so much dough come from. Sunday, we have a debate between Lula and Alckmin. If I were Alckmin, this would be the first question I would ask. If he doesn’t it will be for cowardice before the power.”

Alckmin was no coward. He asked the question and asked it first. Henceforward, it was a non-stop drubbing, with hardly any time for the opponent to breathe. The so-called Chayote Popsicle, always with that top-of-the class student look, showed to be a scathing and implacable heavyweight.

And he started parading in front of a speechless, semiparalyzed-by-stupor Lula, the whole laundry list of the PT’s lies, including the mensalão (big monthly allowance), the Valerioduto, the BBG bank involvement. It’s true that he skipped many of them: the murder of Celso Daniel, of Toninho of the PT, the favorable treatment given the First Son who got close to US$ 7 million from Telemar and so on.

Knocked down and always getting confused with words, Lula answered that he wants to know more than anybody else “who devised this Machiavellian plan,” he wants to know the dossier’s content and the source of the money. Now, for Machiavellian you expect something well devised, and not a disaster set up by three or four stooges.

Lula is appalled because the “Machiavellian plan” failed. If it hadn’t failed he would be enjoying the hanky-panky’s pickings. As for content, it is widely publicized on the Internet.

Regarding the money source, which is what really matters now, there is not a thing preventing the president from asking his own banker-barbecuer: “Comrade, the sirloin is just right, but just between the two of us tell me where did all that dough come from?”

Trying to clumsily defend himself, Lula said he is not policeman, but President and assured that the Federal Police is going to discover where the money came from. “A serious investigation takes time,” he concluded.

Now, he could have used the services of his former minister Antonio Palocci, who in 24 hours discovered the colossal fortune amassed by a poor Northeastern caretaker. (The caretaker had said that the minister had participated in meetings in which there were plenty of exchange of favors, booze and prostitutes. And Palocci wished to discredit the man.) US$ 12,000 can be found in a jiffy. To find about US$ 800,000 with a dollar pack in the mix, it takes much longer.

“Don’t lie, Lula!” – said Alckmin. I am getting into the big six-o and for the first time in my life I had the pleasure of watching an opponent say that to a President. Lula has always lied, since his unionist days to this day.

He lied while shouting out against the IMF. Today he pays even what hasn’t been billed yet. He lied while shouting out against the temporary measures and today he has become champion in issuing these temporary measures. He lied while saying he was defending public workers. He had hardly been inaugurated when he got his hand into the pensioners’ pockets.

He has been lying for ever because he is wrapped up in a bigger lie, the Workers’ Party, where real workers is something you won’t find. The PT is a party organized by intellectuals who long for Bolshevism. They needed a worker as an icon and grabbed what was easier at hand, the most docile one, the one they could manipulate the most.

It happens that the easier-at-hand worker was tired of being a worker and when he was elected he was already for two decades living under the patronage of a business man. The PT claims that a worker took power in 2003. Nothing of the kind. He who took the power was an idle drifter.

In interviews on TV, I always watch journalists gobbling down Lula’s flimsy lies, as if some deontological code dictated that a journalist has to passively accept the lies an interviewee tells him.

For the first time in my life, I had the chance to watch and hear from a candidate what should have been said a long time ago: “Don’t lie, Lula!” Lula suffered the scolding as a boy embarrassed by his pranks. The trouble is that they are not pranks, but crimes.

Once again turning to his clumsy metaphors, the Supreme Ignoramus said: “Neither a president, nor a family man is able to know everything. How many times, you are in the kitchen, something happens in the living room, and you never know about it.”

Without mentioning that a family man would need to be deaf, blind and dumb to not know what is happening in the living room, it’s inconceivable that a President, who has very well equipped information services, doesn’t know what’s happening in his party or in the rooms contiguous to his office.

“If the comrades made a mistake, they will have to pay,” said the Supreme Chief. Always carefully avoiding the word crime. As Josiph Vissarionovitch Djugatchivili used to say after his massacres. “We made a mistake,” Stalin used to say.

A mistake is corrected with an admonishment. an apology request. Crime is more serious. The Workers Party members have been committing crimes in their desperate attempt to maintain power and they rely on a complacent capo, always the first to define crimes as mistakes.

The PT is reckoning the future consequences of its crimes. On October 2, even before the debate, one of the regime’s watchdogs, former minister and Ceará’s representative elect, Ciro Gomes, threatened us with civil war: “If those Brazilians who are the poorest feel that, even inside the institutions, a coup-like practice act prevented Lula from being elected, I really fear for the next day that Brazil will live”.

In other words, the opposition can dispute an election. As long as it doesn’t win it. If it does win then we have a coup. The tyrant apprentices learn fast their homework and think beyond the boss himself.

Monday, in the daily Folha de S. Paulo, Ciro once again said that he fears for what it can happen in case Lula loses these elections due to corruption charges. “Imagine if the masses think they took the election from Lula through a manipulation of a scandal on television?”

It happens that the scandal was not produced by any opponent but by the PT itself. Uncomfortable with the idea of having shot themselves – with a cannon I would say – on the foot, Brasília’s courtiers claim that it was the opposition that pulled the trigger. The PT is full of corpses in the closet and can’t find a plausible way of bringing them into daylight.

The Sunday debate brought new enthusiasm to the electorate who is fed up with a government bogged up to the neck in corruption and that might be reelected thanks to the petty corruption it promotes among the poorest.

If I were Alckmin, in the coming debate I would start with this first question: “Well, President, haven’t you been able to find out the origin of those 1.7 million yet?

We are all ears.

Janer Cristaldo – he holds a Ph.D. from University of Paris, Sorbonne – is an author, translator, lawyer, philosopher and journalist and lives in São Paulo. His e-mail address is

Translated from the Portuguese by Arlindo Silva.


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