While Cuba Denies All, Brazil’s Opposition Asks for Lula’s Impeachment

    Cuba categorically denied Sunday, October 30, having contributed US$ 3 million to Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s electoral campaign in 2002 as was attributed by the latest edition of Brazil’s Veja magazine.

    "The Government of Cuba categorically rejects the slander, confirms it has never interfered in the internal affairs of a sister nation and attributes full responsibility for this propaganda scheme on the aggressive plans of imperialism against Cuba and Lula," said an official statement from the Cuban embassy in Brasí­lia.

    According to Veja, the leading Brazilian weekly, Cuba contributed with US$ 3 million to the Workers Party 2002 campaign. Brazilian law specifically bans and severely punishes outside financial contributions and oppositions sectors are now demanding the impeachment of President Lula da Silva.

    The embassy insisted the Veja report was insulting and blamed it on efforts to scuttle plans for broader cooperation between Brazil and Cuba. On Saturday, October 29, the president of Brazil’s ruling Workers Party (PT), Ricardo Berzoini, denied that Cuba contributed funds to Lula’s 2002 campaign adding that Veja "lacked credibility" and had become a vehicle for opposition to the socialist government.

    Mr. Berzoini said Veja had no evidence of the allegations, but the magazine published that money from Cuba was received between August and September 2002, based on statements from attorney Rogério Buratti, indicted on corruption charges, and economist Vladimir Poleto. Both were close advisors to current Finance Minister Antonio Palocci.

    "The dollars, packed inside cases of liquor, went through Brasí­lia and Campinas before reaching Lula’s election committee in São Paulo" reported Veja.

    Apparently the middle man in the operation was Cuban diplomat Sergio Cervantes, a close friend of Fidel Castro and of President Lula. The magazine published a picture showing Lula da Silva and Mr. Cervantes embracing.

    However Mr. Cervantes flatly denied any financial dealing, "Cuba is short of hard currency. How can it afford to send it elsewhere? That is not true," Cervantes told Veja.

    The Cuban government described the whole operation as a plot to deviate attention from the ever more complex situation United States President George Bush is facing. Mr. Bush is scheduled to visit Brazil next November 5 following the Americas summit in Mar del Plata, Argentina.

    "These fabrications must be seen in the context of the coming visit of the United States president to Brazil", said the Cuban government adding that it’s a deliberate attempt to deviate attention from the complex situation Mr. Bush is facing with "corruption investigations involving important leaders of his own party and his inner circle of advisors."

    Furthermore the claims pretend to overshadow the growing rejection of the peoples of the hemisphere to the "aggressive, hegemonic and interfering policies of the current US administration and the complete failure of the Americas Free Trade Association project of regional domination".

    Veja is not only a leading political affairs magazine. but recently uncovered a whole operation of money for votes in Brazilian Congress with illegal funds orchestrated by the Workers Party and which so far has forced the resignation of President Lula da Silva’ main advisor and the executive council of the party, plus impeachment procedures against at least 18 federal legislators.

    This article appeared originally in Mercopress – www.mercopress.com.

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    • Show Comments (4)

    • Guest

      short memory…..short sighted…. !!!!
      1) Although it was Jefferson who first revealed the buying vote scandal…..HE had no proof or evidence…..until Veja published many proofs and evidences…together with other magazines !!!!
      Please review the start of this crisis…on this site or the site of your choice !!!!!!

      2) If the PT party had good intentions….is it good intention to use corruption and vote buying ????? If you say yes….then anyone corrupted….is doing so with good intentions on their minds !!!!

      3) Bush/Clinton !!!!!!! From what you should know….the US just had 13 straight quarters of economic growth above 3 %. This is the first time since…..1986 !!!!!
      Clinton was still fucking around…..those days !!!!!!

      4) Brazil will explode !!!! Why ??????
      ALL developing nations got a strong economic boost when in 2002/3 the US decided to lower their interest rates to the lowest in 50 years. To help a worldwide recovery they also accepted huge trade deficits…that benefitted mostly….the developing nations….Brazil included.
      Comparing to other developing nations, you have a subpar growth rate ! Most did better than you !!!

      Nothing top be proud of !!!!

      Lula promised 10 millions jobs during his first mandate….but after 3 years…of economic BOOM…provided only 3 millions.
      Lula promised 400’000 MST settlements during his first mandate….but after 3 years….of economic BOOM…provided only 115’000 or so settlements !

      Your country has been called a BOOM and BUST economy. You had a BOOM…so now the BUST…is on the horizon !!!! Why ?

      …..You have far more corruption now than before…as per a Brazilian poll of businessmen !!!!!!
      ….Your government has not changed anything…or very little…to infrastructure deficiency, wealth inequalities, healthcare, housing, police killings of innocents in the thousands….yearly, interest rates and lending rates provided by your financial system !!!!!!!
      …. ArchaÀ¯c bankruptcy law, high tax evasion, low tax collection, red tape, heavy bureaucracy is your daily life…in Brazil !!!!!
      ….Your country has the highest crime rate and kidnapping rate…in the world…worse than Colombia !!!!
      ….World champions too for wealth inequality ownership….after Sierra Leone!!!!!
      ….Similar rating for land ownership !!!!!
      ….50 % of youths deaths aged between 15 and 24 are due to violent crimes !!!!!
      ….Your total internal debts are increasing at a very fast annual rate. No good….sooner or later !!!!
      ….Your foreign debts decreased as a percentage of total debts simply because your currency increased sharply….after having collapsed ¨!!!! Also nothing to be proud of !!!!!!!

      I could continue…..for pages and pages…..

      The problems I mentioned dont bode well for your future !!!!

      Again….BOOM and BUST economy is what your country has been for 50 years or more. On every boom….your politicians proclaimed…..this time is the start o growth sustainability !!!!!!

      Well, whoever was President…..was dead wrong !!!!!!!

      The only points where we agree is that only in Brazil have wealthy people not realized yet that middle class would make them even richer !!!!!!!

      This demonstrate that brazilian politicians AND businesmen are not very cleaver and not business minded…as they should be !!!!!

    • Guest

      Exposed Mello?
      Having a source phone you up with a great ready made story, whilst having an agenda of their own in telling you. Whether the agenda is good or bad is hardly exposing.

      Tell me something. Name the journalist that investigated and exposed Mello?

    • Guest

      VEJA IS A GREAT MAGAZINE
      VEJA IS ONE OF THE BEST AND MOST SERIOUS NEWSMAGAZINE IN THE WORLD.

      IT WAS VEJA THAT UNVEILED THE SCANDAL THAT LED TO THE IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT COLLOR DE MELLO.

      ALL SCANDALS REVEALED BY THIS MAGAZINE AGAINST THE LULA ADMINISTRATION, INCLUDING THE BRIBERING OF POLITICIANS AT THE CONGRESS HAVE BEEN PROVED TO BE RIGHT.

      BRAZILIANS HAVE MUCH TO THANK VEJA MAGAZINE, FOR ITS FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION IN THE PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION.

    • Guest

      Veja – who?
      Veja must be the worlds biggest joke of the world. The saddest apart of all is that people believe what is written.

      Veja uncovered absolutely nothing. The scandal of pay for bribes was exposed by a corrupt politician who when faced with his demise decided that he would take down the entire fleet with him. Any link to media was a bi-product of his desire.

      The bottom line is that the press in Brasil is so biasedly unfactual these days that they benefit no-one, which I have realised at this point is exactly what ALL the politicians want – complete confusion.

      The only thing that suprises me is that the media here is not sued more often, but then again everyone has something to hide so going to court would be too much of a risk.

      It is like which rat do you bet on the black one or the brown one… at the end of the day they´re all rats.

      The saddest part is that the rank and file of PT do have good intentions, but have been betrayed. Everyone knows a rightward move would take the country back 10 years (See Bush post Clinton for a rather basic example).

      Lula is stuffed at this stage. Yet he could escape with radical changes. Cut corporate taxes and bureaucracy, limit interest rates. The savings can be picked up on forcing the wealthy owners to actually pay personal tax.

      Start to spend some of the balance of payment dollar reserves on Social improvements.

      Only in Brasil have the wealthy not worked out that a bigger middle class, makes the wealthy even wealthier – not poorer. Could it be that the wealthy like being part of a small exclusive club even more then the possibility of being super rich here.

      Brasil is ready to explode on the world economic stage. No-one in politics seems to have the guts to let !!

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