The Trump of the Tropics vs. the Bernie of Brazil


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Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss the huge news out of Brazil this week, where a judge annulled the corruption conviction of the country’s former leftist president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, opening the door for him to possibly run for president in 2022. The gang talks about what Lula was accused of, the debate about whether the case was fairly prosecuted, why Lula is revered by many of the country’s poor but loathed by its conservative elites, and how his return to the political scene could set the stage for a fiery election contest against the country’s current president, the far-right Jair Bolsonaro.


Two Vox videos, one on Operation Car Wash and the other on Bolsonaro’s rise, provide great context.

Back when it happened, Zack explained Operation Car Wash for Vox.

Here’s Lula’s recent interview with The Ink where he discusses his, uh, vigor.

The Intercept Brazil showed Sergio Moro’s connections to the prosecution during Operation Car Wash.

Voice of America offered a good rundown of the case against Lula.

Reuters covered Lula’s “stump speech” that has many speculating about his 2022 plans.

Bolsonaro’s messaging on Covid-19 has been disastrous, BBC News reported.

The stats Jenn cited about Lula’s approval rating after he left office came from El País.


Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox

Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox

Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), White House reporter, Vox

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207 episodes