Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

President of Brazil (2003–2010, 2023–present)

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (born October 27, 1945) is a Brazilian politician and former trade union leader currently serving as the 39th President of Brazil since 1 January 2023. He previously served as the 35th President of Brazil from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2010. The Brazilian Supreme Court in 2021 overturned Lula's convictions for corruption because he had not received a fair trial.

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.




  • Look, my friend. I don't speak the language here, I've got no money, the food stinks, there's no rice, no beans. I'd rather be arrested in Brazil than stay in this dump of a country.
    • Lula da Silva (1975), Cited in: Emir Sader, ‎Ken Silverstein (1991) Without Fear of Being Happy. p. 41
    • After being advised to stay in the United States when his brother was arrested in Brazil as a communist subversive.


  • Brazil has rediscovered itself, and this rediscovery is being expressed in its people's enthusiasm and their desire to mobilize to face the huge problems that lie ahead of us.
    • 'Dialogue with the President of Brazil on Global Governance' at the 'Annual Meeting 2003' of the World Economic Forum (January 26, 2003).
  • I am the son of an illiterate father and mother.
    • In: Speech published at (August 2005)
  • From an ethical point of view the price difference is grotesque and from a political point of view, it represents a lack of respect, as though a sick Brazilian is inferior.
  • A long time ago I learned not to put the blame for backwardness in Brazil on the US. We have to blame ourselves. Our backwardness is caused by an elite which for a century didn't think about the majority and subordinated itself to foreign interests.
  • I want to know if the people are in the shit and I want to take the people out of the shit in which they are." – during a speech in São Luís, the capital of the Brazilian state of Maranhão. After recognizing he cursed, he stated: "Of course I cursed. Tomorrow, commentators of the major newspapers will say that Lula cursed, but I'm aware that they curse more than I do everyday, and I'm aware of how the poor people of this country live.


  • If there is something which I am proud, in this country, it is that there is no living soul more honest than me. Not even in the Federal Police, not even in the Public Ministry, not even in the Catholic Church, not even in the evangelical church. There may be just as equal, but I doubt it.
  • What we can’t have is this country being run governed by a bunch of lunatics. The country doesn’t deserve this and above all the people do not deserve this. Brazil is adrift - so far he doesn’t know what to do.
  • Does anyone really think the US is going to favour Brazil? [...] Americans think of themselves first, second, third, fourth, fifth – and if there’s any time left over they think about Americans. And these Brazilian lackeys go around thinking the Americans will do anything for us.


  • [Q:] So Volodomyr Zelensky should have talked to Putin more, even with 100,000 Russian troops at his border?
    [A:] I don’t know the President of Ukraine. But his behavior is a bit weird. It seems like he’s part of the spectacle. He is on television morning, noon, and night. He is in the U.K. parliament, the German parliament, the French parliament, the Italian parliament, as if he were waging a political campaign. He should be at the negotiating table.
    [Q:] Can you really say that to Zelensky? He didn’t want a war, it came to him.
    [A:] He did want war. If he didn’t want war, he would have negotiated a little more. That’s it. I criticized Putin when I was in Mexico City [in March], saying that it was a mistake to invade. But I don’t think anyone is trying to help create peace. People are stimulating hate against Putin. That won’t solve things! We need to reach an agreement. But people are encouraging [the war]. You are encouraging this guy [Zelensky], and then he thinks he is the cherry on your cake. We should be having a serious conversation: "OK, you were a nice comedian. But let us not make war for you to show up on TV." And we should say to Putin: "You have a lot of weapons, but you don’t need to use them on Ukraine. Let’s talk!"
  • How can the world’s largest economic power say that it has no milk for children after President Biden announced $40 billion to buy arms meant for the war in Ukraine? (During his presidential campaign in 2022)
    ... Zelensky is as responsible as Putin for the war. Because in the war, there’s not just one person guilty... (in an interview with Time magazine May 2022)
    If I win the election we will make an effort for dialogue to establish peace again. We are not interested in any type of war (tweeted in August 2022)
    The only position that interests Brazil in terms of the question of Ukraine and Russia is peace. The time of war is the time of destruction. The world needs peace, addressing the issue of the climate, and ending hunger. (Tweeted in October 2022)



Quotes about

  • Germany announced on January 25 that it would send tanks to Ukraine, in a significant escalation of the NATO proxy war against Russia. Berlin subsequently asked Brazil to ship tank munitions to Kiev. But newly inaugurated left-wing President Lula da Silva declined to do so. Lula was a co-founder of the BRICS bloc, consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. He has long called for a multipolar world, and supports South-South cooperation and regional integration. Lula has denounced Western governments for ramping up the violence in Ukraine instead of encouraging peace negotiations.
  • as I glanced around the table on the summit's second day, I couldn't help but wonder how a larger role for the BRICS in global governance might play out. Brazil's president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, for example, had visited the Oval Office in March, and I'd found him impressive. A grizzled, engaging former labor leader who'd been jailed for protesting the previous military government and then elected in 2002, he had initiated a series of pragmatic reforms that sent Brazil's growth rate soaring, expanded its middle class, and provided housing and education to millions of its poorest citizens. He also reportedly had the scruples of a Tammany Hall boss, and rumors swirled about government cronyism, sweetheart deals, and kickbacks that ran into the billions.
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