Lisbon .- The president-elect of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, recovered today in Lisbon the close bilateral relations that his country and Portugal have historically maintained, after four years of estrangement by the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro.
After his presence at the COP27 Climate Summit in Egypt, Lula chose Portugal as his first destination after being elected president, an act that on Portuguese soil is seen as a symbol of the resumption of relations between the two countries.
The leader of the Workers’ Party (PT) arrived in the Portuguese capital this Friday for a two-day visit that has raised great expectations and with an agenda marked by institutional meetings and contact with the Brazilian community in Portugal.
The Portuguese-Brazilian “reconciliation” was reflected in the warm welcome that the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, gave Lula upon his arrival at his official residence, the Palácio de Belém.
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The Portuguese head of state received Lula outside the building, where he got out of the car, a gesture that he had not made two hours earlier for his meeting with the president of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi.
In Belém, the future Brazilian president held a meeting with Rebelo de Sousa and the Portuguese Foreign Minister, João Gomes Cravinho, with a strong presence of the local and foreign press despite the fact that he did not make any statements. His agenda also includes a meeting with the prime minister, the socialist António Costa.
It is a very different scenario from that experienced with Bolsonaro, who maintained a tense institutional relationship with Portugal.
The Portuguese president visited Brazil last July and Bolsonaro refused to receive him after learning that Rebelo de Sousa was going to meet with Lula.
Bolsonaro himself did not make any official visits to Portugal during his tenure as head of state, something unusual among Brazilian presidents.
In addition to the Presidency, the Portuguese socialist government has also shown more affinity with Lula than with Bolsonaro and Costa published a video a few days before the second round of the presidential elections to make public his support for the PT candidate.
CONTACT WITH THE BRAZILIAN COMMUNITY
Lula’s visit to Portugal is also aimed at making contact with the Brazilian community in the country and thanking them for the support shown in the presidential elections.
The PT candidate obtained a clear victory in the three Portuguese consulates -Lisbon, Porto and Faro-, with more than 60% of the votes in the capital.
Some of those supporters waited for him this Friday at the doors of the restaurant where he had a meeting with Brazilian businessmen upon his arrival in Lisbon.
In addition, his presence in the Palácio de Belém sparked two simultaneous demonstrations at the gates of the residence of the Portuguese head of state.
While his followers chanted in his favor, another group of Brazilians stationed next to him, supporters of Bolsonaro, shouted “thief, your place is in prison.” For his second day of visit, the president-elect plans an event to get closer to the Brazilian community at the Lisbon University Institute