Th Gea

Lula, the UN and a Trip to Cuba (II).

By Armando F. Valladares.

Edited by Federico Ferrero

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From the UN assembly the Brazilian president will leave for the island prison.

Who will be the Lula who is to arrive in Cuba? That of December of 2001, in harmony with his historical revolutionary image? That of January of 2002, that was already in a speedy process of metamorphosis? Or a contradictory mixture of both?

I am inclined to the third option, the one proper to the zigzagging and contradictory path of President Lula, that includes since his having affirmed - during another trip to Havana, in November of 2000 - that he would place emphasis on his "socialist program" and that did not want a "pink PT" or "PT light," but, yes, a red one, to the point of saying practically the opposite - as he has just done in Caracas, flanked by President Chávez - who does not like to be called leftist and that he never was a Communist (Daniel Piza, envoy to Havana, "Lula defends an increasingly socialistic PT," O Estado de S. Paulo, Nov. 30, 2000; Eliane Cantanhêde, "I do not like the label of 'leftist,' says Lula," Folha of S. Paulo, August 27, 2003).

A Lula with a zigzagging and contradictory step, that some interpret as a symptom of vacillating, errors and even failures, without understanding that we are in the age of chaos and contradiction; and that there are those who resort to these things as a method to confuse logic and common sense; to weaken the will; and to dull the sensibility of those who continue distrusting the new revolutionary tactics.

This is the systematically zigzagging road which will be able to characterize the next stopover of President Lula in Cuba. Very probably, before, during or after his trip to Havana President Lula will say and/or do something to maintain the illusions that he has managed to create in the minds even of international figures such as the American ambassador in Brasilia, the new Undersecretary of State for Affairs of the Western Hemisphere, Roger Noriega and also President Bush; and, at the same time, he will say and/or do something that pleases the pro-Castroites of Cuba, Brazil and Latin America.

But all this, as already indicated, forms part of the path of contradiction and chaos. If Lula does not succeed in convincing some people that he did something effective in favor of the enslaved Cuban people, at least he will leave them with a benevolent doubt...and a paralyzing one. The result of his trip will also be calculated in a way that favors, even if discretely, the continuation of the Castroite dictatorship and/or the passage toward a "post-Castroism" controlled by officials of the current regime who are already being prepared for that fraudulent role. Will President Lula and his chancellor go so far as to offer their services as eventual mediators in Cuba, just as they are disposed to do in other countries, including Colombia? Furthermore, it remains to be said that to deliver to President Lula the role of mediator in Cuba would be almost like placing a wolf as the mediator of conflicts in a chicken coop.

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