Brazilian President Lula da Silva earned riotous applause from the Alt-Media Community (AMC) after saying on Saturday that “What I can say to you is that if I’m president of Brazil, and he comes to Brazil, there’s no way he will be arrested.” His remarks referred to the possibility of President Putin attending next year’s G20 Summit in Rio despite Brazil being a signatory to the Rome Statute and thus politically obligated to arrest the Russian leader per the ICC’s warrant from half a year ago.
Fellow BRICS member South Africa earlier balked at inviting him to attend the group’s summit last month and reached a compromise whereby he’d participate via video instead. They completely bungled the optics of this outcome as was explained here at the time, but the event nevertheless went off without a hitch and even saw BRICS more than double its number of members. The same can be said about this weekend’s G20 Summit that President Putin also didn’t attend.
The Kremlin clumsily choreographed his decision and was constructively critiqued for that here, especially since India isn’t a signatory to the Rome Statute so the Russian leader faced no threat of arrest unlike if he would have turned up in South Africa a few weeks prior. It was assessed here that he was probably advised to give up on participating in the G20 at the leadership level in order to signal his country’s commitment to accelerating financial multipolarity processes through BRICS.
He declined participating in last November’s G20 Summit in Bali despite there being no ICC arrest warrant for him at the time so skipping the subsequent one in Delhi suggested that there’s more at play than the official excuse shared by his spokesman alleging that he’s simply too busy nowadays. Moreover, the next three years’ worth of summits will be hosted by Brazil, South Africa, and then the US, with the first two being ICC members and the last being his country’s top geopolitical foe.
By deciding to sit the latest Delhi Summit out, President Putin sent the signal that he won’t participate in person in the next such yearly event until 2027 at the earliest, and it might not even be possible during that year either if the host turns out to be an ICC member or a geopolitical foe. It was against this backdrop that Lula announced that “there’s no way he will be arrested” if he visits Brazil for next year’s event, but then he flip-flopped a full day later by saying that it’ll be up to the judiciary to decide on that.
According to Reuters, his exact words were as follows: “If Putin decides to join (next year’s summit), it is the judiciary’s power to decide (on a possible arrest) and not my government.” Lula also said that “I want to know why the U.S, India and China didn’t sign the ICC treaty and why our country signed it.” This appears to be more of a distraction to divert anger from his base over this sudden policy reversal than a sincere intent to pull out of the ICC, however, since he had two earlier terms to do so if he really wanted.
In one fell swoop, Lula made fools out of everyone in the AMC who effusively praised him for his “bravery” in earlier guaranteeing President Putin’s safety despite Western pressure to arrest him if he visits during next year’s G20 Summit. Even those who casually follow Brazilian affairs know that the country is a largely run by the judicial system much more than by publicly elected representatives or even the military so there were credible reasons to be skeptical of his earlier promise.
Instead of waiting to see how everything unfolded, these same influencers jumped the gun by implying or even outright claiming that his words disprove prior criticism of him for condemning Russia in his joint statement with Biden and ordering Brazil to vote in support of an anti-Russian UNGA Resolution. The reality that average members of the AMC have yet to realize is that they’re being manipulated by these same leftist- and/or liberal-aligned influencers who want to cover up for the aforesaid facts.
As was explained here, the Workers’ Party (PT) has been infected with the ideological virus of liberal–globalism that’s turning this historically socialist movement into a Brazilian knockoff of the US Democrats with whom Lula reportedly plans to ally in pushing “progressivism” (“wokeism”) across the world. This accounts for PT founder Lula’s previously mentioned moves that contrast with his successor Dilma Rousseff’s decision to abstain from an anti-Russian UNGA vote during 2014’s Crimean Crisis.
The PT’s transformation from a socialist vanguard to a “woke” ally of the US Democrats was due to their leadership overreacting to the revival of far-right views during former President Jair Bolsonaro’s tenure and the resultant exacerbation of their country’s “culture war”. They could have remained faithful to socialism but gambled that it’s better to move towards “wokeism”. This had obvious socio-cultural implications but also geopolitical ones too as proven by Lula’s unfriendly political stance towards Russia.
The party’s propagandists know how unpopular this approach is across the Global South and therefore tried gaslighting about it by ridiculously claiming that condemning Russia in a joint statement with Biden and voting against it at the UNGA are supposedly secretly signals proving Lula’s support of Russia. Suffice to say, few multipolar supporters fell for this insult to their intelligence, but many of those that are leftist-aligned still felt uncomfortable calling him out lest their fellow ideologues viciously “cancel” them.
This doublethink persisted into the present and is why many of these same propagandists and leftist-aligned skeptics prematurely sang his praises on Saturday as opposed to waiting to see how everything unfolds even though they themselves know very well that the judiciary is the one calling the shots. They also willfully ignored Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira strongly implying in late March that President Putin would indeed be arrested if he visited Brazil in order to mislead their targeted AMC audience about Lula.
Returning back to Lula’s flip-flopping after having informed readers of the full context behind his words, it’s arguably the case that his initial comments were nothing but a cheap attempt to generate positive headlines among the AMC in order to further mislead average members about his worldview. He’ll continue trying to balance between China and the US, however clumsily this occurs in practice, but he’s not Russian-friendly like this latest psy-op falsely suggested as proven by his earlier anti-Russian policies.