Vicente Nunes – Correspondent
posted on 07/02/2022 07:47
(credit: JURE MAKOVEC)
Lisbon, Portugal — The President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, arrived in São Paulo, this Saturday (2/7), willing to meet with former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, of the PT, which led President Jair Bolsonaro to cancel the lunch he would have on Monday (4/2) with the Portuguese leader. Rebelo de Souza traveled to Brazil to celebrate the centenary of the first flight across the Atlantic made by Sacadura Cabral and Gago Coutinho. “You don’t die because a lunch was cancelled. There is no drama in it”, said the president shortly before leaving for Brazil.
According to him, Bolsonaro invited them to have lunch. Rebelo de Castro already had an agenda in Brazil and decided to extend it for another day for the appointment with the Brazilian president. His displacement to Brasília, by the way, would require internal logistics. A Brazilian Air Force (FAB) plane would have to move him from the country’s capital so he could board in another city, probably Recife, back to Portugal.
“Whoever invites you to lunch is the one who decides whether to have lunch or not,” said Rebelo de Souza. He said he understood the Brazilian political context, but recalled that, last year, he was in Brazil and talked to former Brazilian presidents and, even so, Bolsonaro called him for lunch. “So there is a parallel in the situation,” he stressed. In addition to Lula, the Portuguese leader will meet with former president Michel Temer and should speak with Fernando Henrique Cardoso.
For the Portuguese president, “it is evident that if the President of the Republic of Brazil understands that he cannot, does not want to, it is not opportune, it is not in his schedule at this moment to maintain the invitation, which, by the way, he sent me in writing, that do it”. “Whoever invites has the word to keep the invitation or not”, he stressed.
Brazil and Ukraine
Rebelo de Sousa recalled that there are important political issues, on which Portugal and Brazil disagree. “On the issue of Ukraine, Brazil and Portugal had different positions. Portugal is an ally of Ukraine, Brazil is not. This is a heavy situation. Lunch, no,” he emphasized.
In his opinion, however, nothing gets in the way of relations between the two countries, as it is not about people, but about relations between peoples. There are, according to him, more than 200,000 Brazilians living in Portugal today and more than 1 million Portuguese in Brazil. “We therefore have to know what is fundamental and what is not,” he said. This Saturday, the Portuguese president participates in the Book Biennial.