Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva advised Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega not to give up democracy, in a Mexican television interview last week. This is the first time that Lula has taken a stand against the dictatorship in Nicaragua, where the Ortega government has arrested 7 presidential candidates and 24 other members of the opposition and the press since May this year.
The country will have presidential elections in November, but the opposition and international bodies denounce that the election will not be free and fair without changes. Lula and the PT have been called upon to condemn leftist dictatorships like Nicolás Maduro, in Venezuela, and Daniel Ortega, in Nicaragua.
“If I could give Daniel Ortega one piece of advice, I would give it to him and any other president. Don’t give up democracy. Be sure to defend the freedom of the press, of communication, of expression, because that is what promotes democracy, ”said journalist Sabrina Berman, of Canal Onze in Mexico.
Ortega will run for his fourth consecutive term in November after his government passed a constitutional change in 2014 that abolished the two-term limit (consecutive or not) for candidates.
Asked by the Mexican journalist what he thought of Nicaragua, “a model of the left who destroys democracy”, according to her, Lula replied:
“I haven’t had any contact with Nicaragua for ten years, I’m not sure what’s going on there. But I have information that things are not going well there, ”he said.
According to him, “in Nicaragua, it would be good to have an alternation of power”. “I told the [Hugo] Chavez, told the [Alvaro] Uribe: Every time a leader starts to think he is irreplaceable and starts to think he is indispensable, a bit of dictatorship is emerging in this country, “he said.
The former president said he finished his second term, in 2010, with 87% good and excellent in popular approval polls. “I did not accept a third term, I am largely in favor of the work-study program.”