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Biden to greet Brazil’s Lula at the White House



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President Biden on Friday hosts the brand new chief of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and every man is hoping for a lift from the opposite as they attempt to put their nations’ earlier administrations behind them.

Biden and Lula, because the Brazilian is understood, defeated populists with authoritarian tendencies of their presidential elections, with each dropping candidates — Donald Trump right here and Jair Bolsonaro there — refusing to acknowledge their rival’s victory.

Supporters of the defeated incumbents attacked authorities establishments in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, and in Brasilia on Jan. 8 of this yr, in a stunning and violent problem to the Western Hemisphere’s two largest democracies.

“It’s about solidarity for our respective democracies and actually having the ability to show that democracy can ship,” a senior Biden administration official mentioned forward of the Friday afternoon assembly within the describing the presidents’ agendas. He requested anonymity to debate the encounter earlier than it occurred.

Trump had a pleasant relationship with Bolsonaro, a far-right politician who praised navy dictatorships, attacked LGBTQ and girls’s rights, and oversaw huge destruction of the Amazon rainforest.

Biden has been eager to reset the connection with Brazil from the second of Lula’s victory, telephoning him promptly to congratulate him and once more to supply assist when the assaults on Brazilian authorities establishments broke out final month.

As Trump did with Biden in 2021, Bolsonaro refused to attend Lula’s inauguration on Jan. 1, and as an alternative fled to southern Florida the place he has been staying close to Disney World whereas making an attempt to acquire a U.S. visa. U.S. officers say they haven’t obtained a request from Brazil for Bolsonaro’s extradition. Bolsonaro denies he instigated the assaults on Brazil’s Supreme Court docket, Congress and presidential workplace.

“The first significance of this journey for Lula is the symbolism of it,” mentioned Bruna Santos of the Brazil Institute on the Wilson Heart assume tank in Washington. “It’s his alternative to show his management and dedication to democracy and [attract] worldwide cooperation in direction of combating the acute proper.”

Lula is a veteran leftist, and his different engagements on his quick journey to the U.S. embrace conferences with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and officers on the AFL-CIO. However in contrast to earlier in his profession, Lula is a way more pragmatic politician now and desires Biden’s assist as a lot as he does the Cuban management or others alongside the political spectrum, which has shifted left in a lot of Latin America.

Santos mentioned she believed the connection between Biden and Lula, who’ve recognized one another for years, is one in every of empathy.

“I don’t assume Biden is trying on the area with the lens of the previous, proper versus left,” she mentioned. “His agenda now could be defending democracy in a world of competitors democracy versus autocracy.”

The opposite main concern for the 2 presidents is “wrestling again the Amazon from organized crime,” mentioned Cecilia Tornaghi, senior coverage advisor on the Americas Society in New York. Biden could make an enormous assertion about one in every of his principal coverage objectives, engaged on the surroundings, with out a lot opposition since saving the Amazon is a way more broadly accepted purpose within the local weather motion.

“It’s low-hanging fruit for Biden whereas Lula wants all the assistance he can get,” she mentioned from Brazil.

The senior Biden administration official mentioned racial justice can be dominating the presidents’ agenda as they have a look at “how we are able to actually advance shared priorities on ethnic and racial inclusion in each our nations.”

Lula’s delegation consists of his minister for racial equality, a publish that Bolsonaro eradicated however the brand new president is reviving. Anielle Franco is a Black Brazilian in a rustic the place Black individuals are routinely marginalized. Her sister, well-known human rights activist Marielle Franco, was assassinated in 2018, a political homicide that continues to be unsolved.

However there are additionally areas by which Biden and Lula actually is not going to agree. Lula has refused to assist Ukraine militarily in its struggle with Russia, as an alternative providing to talk to each Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin to barter peace.