Leaders from the United States, France and other western and regional nations quickly offered congratulations Sunday to Brazil’s president-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva after his narrow victory was announced.
Lula bested far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, whom some have called the “Tropical Trump,” after his similar style and political allyship with former US president Donald Trump.
Like Trump in 2020, Bolsonaro had cast doubt on the voting process leading up to the bitterly divisive election, and hinted he might reject the outcome if he lost.
Shortly after Lula was declared the winner, US President Joe Biden said in a statement: “I send my congratulations to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on his election to be the next president of Brazil following free, fair, and credible elections.”
“I look forward to working together to continue the cooperation between our two countries in the months and years ahead,” the Democrat added.
French leader Emmanuel Macron also offered his good wishes, saying the poll opened “a new page” in Brazil’s history.
“Together, we will join forces to take up the many common challenges and renew the ties of friendship between our two countries,” the French president said on Twitter, minutes after the announcement of the final election results.
All eyes in western capitals have been on the outcome of the election, with the future of the Amazon rainforest and its impact on the global climate emergency at stake.
In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered a hearty “Congratulations, Lula!” and said: “The people of Brazil have spoken.”
Trudeau looked forward to working with Lula — who served as Brazil’s president from 2003 to 2010 — “to strengthen the partnership between our countries” and to “advance shared priorities — like protecting the environment.”
President Alberto Fernandez of neighboring Argentina said Lula’s win “opens a new era for the history of Latin America. A time of hope and future that begins today.”
“After so many injustices you lived through, the people of Brazil have elected you and democracy has triumphed,” he added in a tweet.
After leaving office, Lula was imprisoned for 18 months on controversial, since-quashed corruption charges.
Leftist Lula’s return to power in Brazil follows a string of left-wing wins in Latin America.
Gustavo Petro, who became Colombia’s first leftist president after his election this summer, tweeted simply “Long live Lula.”
He later shared a map showing that the majority of Latin American countries are now led by leftist governments.
Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, also from the left-wing, tweeted: “Lula won, blessed people of Brazil. There will be equality and humanism.”
And Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro offered a “big hug” to Lula, saying in a tweet: “Long live the peoples determined to be free, sovereign and independent! Today in Brazil democracy triumphed.”