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Bono Waxes Enthusiastic About Brazil Lula’s Battle on Poverty

U2 Irish rock band leader and social activist Bono met privately on Sunday, February 19, with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazilian capital BrasÀ­lia and lauded the President’s fight against poverty.

"It is a dream to be here because Lula (Silva) is fighting against poverty not only here but also in Africa. I feel very enthusiastic about it," Bono told cheering fans at Brasí­lia’s airport.

"Bono for president of United Nations," read the sign of one of many fans waiting outside the presidential retreat for a glimpse of the rocker. Bono has worked on poverty relief efforts and Lula’s best known social program is called Zero Hunger.

Brazilian Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil, who became famous as a pop music star before joining the government, was also present at the barbecue in the presidential farm.

U2, performing in Brazil for the first time since 1998, will play at Sao Paulo’s Morumbi stadium on Monday and Tuesday.

According to Lula’s spokesperson André Singer, the Brazilian president told Bono of his plans to develop biodiesel production in the Northeast of the country where 40 million of the poorest Brazilians are concentrated.

Private companies and the Agrarian Reform Ministry will conduct the program that is expected to distribute land among peasants to farm oil producing crops.

"For each worker in the biodiesel industry, a thousand jobs will be created in the camp; Lula’s administration target is 100,000 new jobs by the time his mandate is up," said Mr. Singer.

"Our dream is to develop Northeast Brazil on bio-diesel", President Lula told the U2 band leader.

Meanwhile in Rio the city was still recovering from the two hours Rolling Stones open show in Copacabana.

The Stones had visited Brazil three times, but Saturday was the first time the band played for free in the country, where few can afford tickets to see top international acts.

About 400 city workers hauled almost 220 tons of rubbish left behind by the 1.3 million people who attended the concert, which brought a Carnaval spirit to the city a week ahead of the world-famous annual celebration.

Civil defense officials said nearly 500 people received minor medical treatment during and after the show. The most serious cases were three stabbings during robbery attempts, but none of the victims reportedly suffered life-threatening wounds.

The Stones’ opened with "Jumpin’ Jack Flash" and played mostly older hits, with a few songs from their newest album, "A Bigger Bang."

Mercopress – www.mercopress.com

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  • Guest

    Criminal!!! ???
    In response to the comment above:
    that clearly comes from a Brazilian ultra-conservative who morally supports the military rightwing dictatorship which controlled the government for 24 years until 1988. Little Pinko?? Does that mean anything these days??? The fact is, like him or not, Lula is the very first working class (that is non-wealthy aristocratic class) person to be elected president in Brazil EVER, and the only president to not be from a long line of wealthy, ultra right-wing, corrupt puppies of the U.S. By the way, the “RULING CLASS” of Brazil is in fact still the wealthy class: but they can’t stand seeing Lula as President so they made up (with the media’s help) his purported involvement with the corruption by a handful of congressmen. The rich HATE the fact that Lula is president and the economy is in its best shape since Brazil became a democracy.

    Moreover, thanks in part to Lula’s cracking down on federal level corruption Brazil is probably at its LEAST CORRUPT point in its very corrupt history. You can check this in the news by seeing how many federal agents he had arrested for corruption since he took office. We are talking about a country which ten years ago (under Fernando Henrique Cordoso) had police gunning down street children and getting away with it, as well as having a privatization plan which did nothing but increase enormously Brazil’s poverty and violence. And Fernando Cordoso did absolutely nothing to Right these Wrongs.

    The so-called “Vote Buying” hasn’t been proven yet (it is being investigated) and the participants are basically congressman and local politicians (like mayors) which involved ridiculous amounts of money like USD$10,000 for putting up campaign posters. Blaming the president for what congressman do is forgetting that the government is a three branch system (unfortunately, with checks and balances that didn’t work). The U.S. still buys election votes, so the practice didn’t start in Brazil under Lula, DUH! But with the Iraq war going on when Lula was elected, the didn’t have the resources to help buy votes to defeat Lula in 2002.

    All of the right wing presidents since 1988 were aided by Vote Buying through the Brazilian media, totally munipulating the election in their favor. This is proven, and you can even get old tapes of the presidential debates to see how they were edited to make the media’s candidate come out on top of the polls. Lula is by far the LEAST corrupt politician to step foot in the presidency EVER. His problem is that he is an idealist in a country which doesn’t have ideals, and subject to the corrupt forces of past governments and a extremely corrupt media and corrupt local governments.

    By the way, Brazil is in fact at its best point in history economically (Brazil Risk is at it lowest since it was first measured!), inflation and unemployment are down, and maintains very good relations with the U.S., Europe, India, China, and the whole world (except Argentina’s soccer team!). IF THE COUNTRY AIN’T BROKE, DON”T FIX IT, STUPID! Ciao…

  • Guest

    Criminal!!
    Lula is nothing short of a scumbag criminal like most other politicians. It is something of a testament to the stupidity of the Brazilian underclass that they don’t believe he knew anything about mensalao!! That he has the nerve to declare he is fighting poverty while giving the ruling class a license to steal. Lula could do much more in the fight against poverty by doing more to eliminate the deeply seated culture of corruption. Not until you realize the incredibly vast sums of money that are being stolen do you begin to realize the scope of his hypocrisy – scummy little terd!!

    LULA WILL BE JUDGED HARSHLY!!! LOL!!! that shit is funny. You sure are judging him harshly during the ongonig CPI eh? Really putting his feet to the fire this time. God he must be sweating under those hot lamps while explaining to investigators how one of his closest friend and fellow politician was stealing money and he had no idea it was happening. God Brazilians are so naive. Most people cannot affect real change when their politcians commit criminal acts but at least they are willing to admit when they are scum!! You all need to admit that the little pinko will only do more damage when his commie sidekicks (Chavez, Kirchner and Morales) all roll back the clock and nationalize natural resources and start naming themselves “leaders for life”. Scary what populist crap still flies down here. It’s almost like you didn’t learn anything at all . . .

  • Guest

    Fight on poverty
    Fighting poverty is not a joke so if this is not factual Lula will be judged harshly.

    I can understand this is re-election year and you are somehow pesimistic for obvious reasons, but only time will tell if these are just empty words.

    If Lula is not serious, and this is election talk, Lula would be letting down the whole country as well as himself and his administration!!!

  • Guest

    What fight on poverty ?
    Around 40 % of your population are living on less than US$ 150.- per month !
    And this amount increased…just because your currency went up sharply on the US$ !

    IS THAT A FIGHT AGAINST POVERTY IN THE COUNTRY, WORLD CHAMPION OF WEALTH INEQUALITY ??????

    That is just what Lula is telling you, but what he is telling you is not factual.

    But as long as you swallow every of his many lies, Lula is quite happy, especially this year….a re-election year !

  • Guest

    FIGHT AGAINST POVERTY
    Lula should commended, for his fight against poverty in the Northeast, which is long overdue.

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