Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Joe Biden, Lula da Silva focus on democracy, climate

President Joe Biden and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva met at the White House on Friday and reflected on how their nations were tested in their respective battles to preserve democracy, with the U.S. president declaring that democracy ultimately “prevailed” over the far-right mobs that stormed their governments’ halls of power in an attempt to overturn election victories.
Biden defeated incumbent Donald Trump in a fraught 2020 race, securing victory with thin margins in several battleground states. In Brazil’s recent election, its tightest since its return to democracy over three decades ago, Lula, the leftist leader of the Workers’ Party, squeaked out a win against right-wing incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, who earned the nickname “Trump of the Tropics” and was an outspoken admirer of the former U.S. president.
Both Trump and Bolsonaro sowed doubts about the vote, without presenting evidence, but their claims nevertheless resonated with their most die-hard supporters. In the U.S. Capitol, Trump supporters staged the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection seeking to prevent Biden’s win from being certified. Last month, thousands of rioters stormed the Brazilian capital aiming to oust the newly-inaugurated Lula.
“Both our nations’ strong democracies have been tested of late … very much tested,” Biden said at the start of their Oval Office meeting. “But both in the United States and Brazil, democracy prevailed.”


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