The President of France Emmanuel Macron praised this Thursday, (28), the Lula government’s actions to rebuild democracy and the balance of institutions after the coup attacks on January 8, 2023.

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“My entire entourage and I, personally, feel immensely honored to be here at your side today, in this place, in this Praça dos Três Poderes, which was attacked, practically destroyed, or, at least, quite mistreated by the enemies of democracy. way in which [Lula] managed to restore the balance of democracy and carrying out this international debate means a lot to us”, declared Macron during a visit to the Palácio do Planalto.

The French president had a series of disagreements with Bolsonaro, who even mocked Macron’s wife on social media. Now, he states that Brazilian democracy had “strength” to resist coup attacks “with a democratic alternation, fully and comprehensively restoring all balances”, according to the translation made by the Brazilian government.

Afterwards, Lula highlighted the partnership between the two countries and recalled that Macron received him in France as head of state when he was not yet president, during Jair Bolsonaro’s government. “This really marked my life. The growing respect I have for France only increased after President Macron’s gesture,” she said.


The French president was received by Lula this Thursday as one of the last appointments of his three-day trip to Brazil, which began on Tuesday (26). On his first trip to the country, he passed through the states of Pará, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo before arriving in Brasília, where he signed more than twenty treaties on topics ranging from the defense industry to the preservation of the Amazon, combating mining, technological development and cultural partnerships between countries.

Macron also announced that France intends to make investments of around 1 billion euros in Brazil in the coming years, including public and private initiatives, and recalled measures defended by both countries on the international stage, such as taxation of the super-rich.

France is currently the third largest investor in Brazil. Last year, it invested R$8.4 billion in the country in the areas of hotels, defense, technology, among others. The country is still the largest foreign employer in Brazil.

In addition to the commercial and strategic agreements, the meeting between the two presidents was marked by Lula handing over the necklace of the National Order of the Southern Cross to Emmanuel Macron. The honor is the highest Brazilian decoration given to foreign authorities. In return, Macron awarded First Lady Janja da Silva an insignia of the national order of the legion of honor in the rank of officer and explained that Lula had already been awarded this honor by the French government in the past and, therefore, would also grace the first lady.

Fragmented Venezuelan opposition

Lula and Macron were also questioned by the press about the situation of the elections in Venezuela. The Brazilian president stated that it is “serious” that an opposition candidate for Nicolás Maduro’s government was unable to register to run in the elections. He was supported by French President Emmanuel Macron, who endorsed the PT member’s speech and said he expected a solution to the situation this week.

“It is serious that the candidate could not have been registered. She was not banned by the courts, (she) tried to use the computer and was unable to enter, this caused damage”, stated Lula when asked by the press about the situation in the neighboring country, where teacher Corina Yoris tried to register and was unable to do so due to a technical problem.

He also compared the situation with Brazil: “It is prohibited here to prohibit, unless there is a judicial punishment and this punishment guarantees the right to defense”, Lula continued.

Afterwards, Macron said he agreed with everything Lula said about Venezuela, but adopted a more alarmist tone about the country.

“We are going to do everything we can to convince President Maduro and the electoral system to reinstate the candidates. We firmly condemn the fact that they removed a very good candidate from this process and I hope that it will be possible to have a new milestone built this week. Let us not despair, but the situation is serious and has worsened with the latest decision,” said Macron.

The Brazilian president also stated that he will appoint observers to monitor the electoral process in the neighboring country, and said he hopes it will take place as in Brazil: “I don’t want anything better or worse. I want the elections to be held like we do here in Brazil . With everyone’s participation. Whoever wants to participate, participates, whoever loses cries, whoever wins smiles and so democracy continues”, said the PT member.

He also recalled that in 2018 he was prevented by the Electoral Court from running for office and named Fernando Haddad to exemplify that these are situations that can occur in a democracy.

Lula and Macron’s demonstrations come after the Venezuelan government declared that a note released by Itamaraty on the Venezuelan elections appears “to have been written by the United States Department of State”. In the note, the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that it is following Venezuela’s electoral process with “expectation and concern”.

“Based on the information available, it is noted that the candidate nominated by the Unitary Platform, an opposition political force, and over which there were no judicial decisions, was prevented from registering, which is not compatible with the Barbados agreements”, he stated the Itamaraty in the text.

This Thursday, Lula recalled that he had already spoken to Maduro about the importance of the Venezuelan elections taking place without complications and questions. “I was with Maduro in Guyana, for a Caricom meeting and I had a long meeting with Maduro. And I told Maduro that the most important thing to reestablish normality in Venezuela is not to have electoral problems, and that the elections were called in the most democratic way possible”, said the PT member before condemning the situation of the candidate who was unable to register due to technical problems.

In the Venezuelan political scene, where Chavismo has been a hegemonic political force for years, the opposition often fragments during electoral periods and, this time, it was no different: there will be 12 candidates trying to prevent Maduro’s re-election at the polls.

Part of the opposition was betting on the name of former deputy María Corina Machado, from Vente Venezuela, to face the current president. But the opponent is disqualified from holding public office for 15 years and, therefore, chose professor Corina Yoris to take her place. She was also unable to register, citing problems on the National Electoral Council (CNE) website.

Without Corina, the governor of Zulia, Manuel Rosales, from the Un Nuevo Tiempo (UNT) party, who registered on the night of March 25, emerges as a strong right-wing name for the dispute.

Mercosur-European Union Agreement

The French president also took advantage of the visit to criticize the proposed agreement between Mercosur and the European Union. According to him, the current agreement has been negotiated for more than 20 years and has not been updated, covering, for example, issues such as climate. For him, the agreement “needs to be renegotiated from scratch”.

“Mercosur is a terrible agreement as it is being negotiated now. This agreement was negotiated 20 years ago. I do not defend this agreement. It is not what we want,” he said. “Let’s put aside an agreement from 20 years ago and build a new, more responsible agreement, providing for issues such as climate and reciprocity”, highlighted Macron in his participation in the Brazil-France Economic Forum, held at the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo. Paulo (Fiesp).

Editing: Matheus Alves de Almeida


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