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Brazil and Venezuela: Did Chávez Finance Lula's Campaign?


Caracas, 4 July 2005 | The storm of denouncements of corruption that broke out over Brazil’s officialdom the last few weeks—and which has already cost the most powerful cabinet minister his job—promises evermore spicy details. The denouncements by an old ally of Lula’s has exposed how it was that the hierarchy in the Workers' Party managed party finances; according to what has been proven up to this date, the Workers' Party kept a parallel set of books with money presumably diverted from state enterprises. These funds may have been used to bribe legislators whose votes were necessary for the government in Parliament.

What with the exposé of recent days, some people with good memories—most of them parliamentarians—assure that the Workers' Party also was not transparent at the time it received the millions for the electoral campaign of 2002, which resulted in the presidential victory of Lula da Silva. And they easily list the main foreign benefactors of the Workers' Party candidate; Hugo Chávez, they assure, contributed 10 million dollars to the campaign of the one whom he calls his compañero. Fidel Castro and Muammar Qaddafi may have contributed 5 and 3 million dollars respectively, so swear the informants. Chavista solidarity must greatly explain the Worker's Party and Lula's fidelity toward Chávez, whom they have been defending since the days when Lula was merely president elect and Venezuela was struggling with the oil workers’ strike.

In the futuristic Congress building in Brasilia it is assured that as the Workers’ Party’s dirty laundry floats to the surface, those contributions made by the Venezuelan president to the Brazilian’s campaign in 2002 will also be made public.

Translation by W.K.

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