The arrest and sentencing of former President of Brazil, Lula da Silva, is one of the most shameful pages in the recent history of Latin America. It is hard not to conclude that this is a vicious political act to prevent Lula from being a candidate in the presidential election later this year.
Lula has done a great amount of work to lift the vast masses of Brazilian people out of poverty.
He has worked hard for the unity of Latin America and the Caribbean. He remains the most popular leader in Brazil and one of the most respected in the region.
This jailing of Lula is an attack on democracy in our region. It is endangering all the democratic gains made by the people of Latin America and the Caribbean, gains that were achieved through struggles in which many lost their lives.
I extend solidarity to the peoples of our continent and the Caribbean in general and to the democratic forces in Brazil in particular on the attack on one of our foremost fighters for peace and social progress. I join my voice with the millions throughout the world in calling for the immediate release of President Lula. I call on the Government of Guyana to condemn this attack and demand the release of President Lula.
Let us work together to stop the persecution of the patriots of our continent.