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In a letter, Lula defends that Assange is not extradited

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Brasil de Fato – Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva published, on Monday (21), a letter in the international newspaper The Guardian, in which he defends the non-extradition of Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, to the United States.

The document released in the British press, where Assange’s trial takes place, warns about the risks of the Australian journalist’s extradition to the USA. According to Lula, “everyone knows where the United States government’s thirst for revenge against Assange comes from.”

“In partnership with newspapers The New York Times, El País, Le Monde, The Guardian and the magazine Der Spiegel, Assange revealed to the world the atrocities and war crimes committed by the United States during the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and the torture to which the prisoners at the Guantánamo Base were subjected ”, says the ex-president.

In the letter, the PT leader also states that Brazil is indebted to Assange, due to his work on WikiLeaks, which, in 2016, made public the meetings between the interim government of Michel Temer and US Department of State officials to address issues related to the privatization of the Brazilian pre-salt.

False and dangerous accusation

“It was by reading the secret documents released by Assange that the Brazilians learned of the promiscuous relations between the then Foreign Minister of Temer, José Serra, and senior officials of the US oil giants Exxon Mobil and Chevron – among them, Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon, appointed Secretary of State by Donald Trump. ”

Lula classifies the US president’s accusation as “false and dangerous” that Assange had helped Chelsea Manning, a former military man and source of documents leaked by Wikileaks, hacking government computers.

“It is false because Assange’s only effort was to try to help protect the identity of his source, right and duty for all journalists. It is dangerous because advising sources on how to avoid being arrested is what every ethical investigative journalist does. To criminalize this is to put journalists from all over the world in danger ”, emphasizes Lula in the defense of Assange.

Read Lula’s letter

Assange is a free speech hero, and he cannot be extradited to the United States.

In the coming days the British Justice will decide the fate of the
Australian journalist Julian Assange, a man who is being
unfairly treated as a criminal. Assange did not commit crimes, Assange
he is a hero of freedom.

The United Kingdom will say whether it accepts or rejects the request for extradition of
Assange to the United States, where he responds to 18 charges for
part of that country’s government. If he is extradited, Assange, 49,
can be sentenced to up to 175 years in prison, a penalty equivalent to imprisonment
perpetual.

To prevent this barbarity from being consummated, I call on the
Democrats committed to the freedom of expression of Brazil and of
all corners of the world to join the international trend that
defends Assange’s innocence and demands his immediate release.

This is the first time in the history of the United States that a journalist has been prosecuted for spying. The world knows, however, that Julian Assange has never spied on the United States. What he did was to make public documents he received from soldier Chelsea Manning, an army intelligence analyst, a role he had held in Iraq and Afghanistan. Chelsea was tried, sentenced to seven years in prison and is now free.

Everyone knows where the United States government’s thirst for revenge against Assange comes from. In partnership with The New York Times, El País, Le Monde, The Guardian and Der Spiegel, Assange revealed to the world the atrocities and war crimes committed by the United States during the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and torture to which prisoners at Guantánamo Base submitted.

Pleasure to kill

The world still remembers the terrifying video released by Assange, recorded from a military helicopter, recording that American soldiers shot in the streets of Baghdad – apparently for the simple pleasure of killing – twelve unarmed civilians, including two journalists from the Reuters agency.

In addition to all these reasons, Brazilians owe a debt
additional with Julian Assange. Were the files revealed by your page
Wikileaks that made public the meetings that took place since 2016
between coup government ministers and senior civil servants
State Department to address privatization issues
of the Brazilian pre-salt.

It was by reading the secret documents released by Assange that the
Brazilians learned of the promiscuous relations between the then Minister of
Foreign Affairs of Temer, José Serra, and senior leaders of the
American oil giants Exxon Mobil and Chevron – among them
Rex Tillerson, Exxon CEO, appointed Secretary of State by Donald
Trump.

The statement made by the Trump administration is false and dangerous
to justify the process – that Assange tried to help Manning to
hacking government computers.

It is false because Assange’s only effort was to try to help protect the identity of his source, right and duty for all journalists. It is dangerous because advising sources on how to avoid being arrested is what every ethical investigative journalist does. To criminalize this is to put journalists around the world in danger.

Essential task

When Bolsonaro tried to sue American journalist Glenn
Greenwald, earlier this year, for exposing the corruption that led to my
unjust and illegal imprisonment, the Brazilian government copied this new and
dangerous theory used by the US government against Assange.

All people and institutions committed to freedom of expression – and not just the big vehicles with which Wikileaks shared Washington’s secrets – have an essential task at hand: to demand the immediate release of Julian Assange from the UK.

We know that the charges against Assange head-on hurt the
First Amendment to the American Constitution, which guarantees freedom of
press and expression. We also know that the treaties between the USA and
United Kingdom prevents the extradition of those accused of political crimes.

The risks of his extradition, however, are real. none
Democrat can allow someone who has rendered such relevant services to
freedom be punished for it. Assange, I repeat, is a hero of
democracy. And it must be released immediately.

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, former president of Brazil

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Economy

11 million Bolivians will have free vaccine against covid

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São Paulo – Former Bolivian President Evo Morales commented, this Wednesday (21st), the importance of youth in the electoral process that led Luis Arce, from the Movement to Socialism (MAS), to victory in the presidential election of October 18 . “Young people saw what it is like to live under the right and the dictatorship. And they reflected on how we were with our revolution and how we were under the coup, ”he said. Evo was overthrown by a coup in November 2019 that brought lawyer and TV presenter Jeanine Áñez to the presidency. With 90% of the official count completed. at 3:40 pm on this Wednesday (21st), Luis Arce approaches 55% of the valid votes. “What was at stake on October 18 was to go back to the past with the privatists or continue to the future with the nationalists,” said Evo Morales in an interview with Breno Altman (watch below).

Asked how the country will recover from the economic crisis aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic, he replied that it will be with the presence of the state. The Bolivian guaranteed that Bolivia will normalize relations with China, Cuba, “some European countries” and Russia. “Those who once asked for market, market, market, now say State, State State, in the face of the pandemic.”

Vaccine against covid-19

“We are going to face the pandemic. When we have the vaccine, we will distribute it to all 11 million Bolivians for free. ” According to him, tackling the pandemic and the crisis will be done through joint work between the federal government, governors and mayors.

In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro not only boycotts health policies, but goes further. On Wednesday, he forbade the country to buy the Chinese vaccine CoronaVac, which would have 46 million doses through negotiations with the state of São Paulo announced the day before by the Minister of Health, Eduardo Pazuello. “I don’t give up my authority”, justified the Brazilian’s head of state.

South America

About neighbors in South America, Evo Morales highlighted the “profound ideological and programmatic difference” between MAS and the president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, from Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, and the former Argentine president Mauricio Macri. But it was diplomatic. “Whether it is left or right, we must work together respecting our differences. South Americans cannot be isolated, ”he said.

Morales acknowledged that he may have been mistaken as president. “I was wrong, but I am a human being,” he said. “Now we have experience in public management, and we are going to take Bolivia forward, united, organized.” He affirmed that the new government will make “a pact of union between the parties of the right, businessmen and workers, a great national agreement, to raise the economy”, adding: “The moment is to consolidate our process of change, democracy does not end on election day ”.

Evo has been in Argentina since December 2019, where he went into exile after the coup in the country. He said that the return to his country still has no forecast. In an interview with BBC Brazil, the president-elect was not positive about the possible participation of the ex-president in the new government. “If Evo Morales wants to help us, he will be very welcome. But that does not mean that Morales will be in the government. It will be my government, ”he said.

Check out Evo Morales interview with Breno Altman

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