Lula in Lisbon: controversial anniversary visit
Brazil’s President Lula is in Portugal on a state visit. At a summit meeting with his counterpart Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on Sunday, Lula once again advocated the idea of forming a group of states with the goal of "sitting down at a table with both Ukraine and Russia". Lula is scheduled to give a speech in parliament on Tuesday, the anniversary of Portugal’s Carnation Revolution. Is this a good idea?
Pouring fuel on the fire of ideological entrenchment
Visão says it would be a mistake to have Brazil’s controversial president address parliament on that day:
“Having Lula here on that date was already a crazy idea for several reasons. April 25 has always been a date that favours entrenched positions. ... There are those who want to appropriate it and those who reject it; there are divisions, quarrels and constant arguing. April 25, as the date that put an end to a 41-year dictatorship, can have neither owners nor detractors. ... It must belong to everyone. ... And it’s common sense to realise that inviting Lula da Silva to take part in this event is pouring fuel on the fire and exacerbating the entrenchment.”
Use this opportunity
In Público, political scientist and former defence minister Nuno Severiano Teixeira calls on the hosts to confront Lula in parliament:
“Lula must be received with the dignity that the head of state of a country with which Portugal has strong historical and current ties deserves. However, it must be explained to him calmly but clearly that the aggressor and the victim do not bear the same political and moral responsibility: if Russia surrenders, the war ends, if Ukraine surrenders, it is the end of Ukraine. The time to say this is during his visit to Portugal. The place to say it is the Assembly of the Republic.”