And in Brazil, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is challenging his conviction on corruption charges, after the judge who ruled on his case accepted a top position in the Cabinet of far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro. Lula’s lawyers argue that newly appointed Justice Minister Sérgio Moro has “proven his bias” by joining Bolsonaro’s Cabinet and that the charges against Lula were always politically motivated and designed to keep him from running for the presidency again. Lula is currently serving a 12-year term in prison; polls ahead of the election showed he was on track to win easily. In October, the world-renowned linguist, dissident and author Noam Chomsky visited Lula in prison; he recently spoke to Democracy Now! about that encounter.
Noam Chomsky: “Solitary confinement, barred from receiving books, press or journals and, crucially, the courts decided, not permitted to make a public statement, unlike, say, a convicted murderer. So he’s silenced, put away. Then comes the next step, a huge—there has been a major—in fact, I think he should be regarded as probably the most important political prisoner in the world today.”