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LATIN AMERICA | 07-12-2022 18:53

Lula and Maduro show solidarity with Fernández de Kirchner after conviction

"We express our firm rejection of the permanent media and political persecution to which the vice-president has been subjected," the Venezuelan leader wrote on Twitter.

The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, and the president-elect of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, expressed this Wednesday their solidarity with the Argentine vice-president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who was sentenced this week to six years in prison for corruption.

"From Venezuela, we express our firm rejection of the permanent media and political persecution to which the vice-president has been subjected," Maduro wrote on his Twitter account. "Sooner rather than later, the truth will prevail, and the voice of the Argentine people will be respected," he stressed.

Lula, who governed between 2003 and 2010, and who begins a third term on January 1, characterised Kirchner as a "victim of 'lawfare'" in reference to the practice of using the law to promote political persecution.

"Here in Brazil, we know well how much this practice can cause damage to democracy. I hope there will be impartial and independent justice for everyone and for the people of Argentina," Lula added, alluding to his corruption convictions in the "Operation Car Wash" case, which were later annulled due to procedural irregularities.

Kirchner, 69, was found guilty on Tuesday of "fraudulent administration" to the detriment of the state in the granting of road works in the province of Santa Cruz (southern Patagonia), where she built her political career with her husband, the late President Nestor Kirchner (2003-2007).

Despite the conviction, Fernández de Kirchner will avoid prison for the foreseeable future as a result of her congressional immunity.

Chavismo maintains a historically close relationship with the Kirchners, first promoted by the late Hugo Chávez, and then furthered by the incumbent Maduro.

Lula has also been seen as part of that "pink tide" of the left that started at the beginning of the century.

Brazil's president-elect defeated far-right Jair Bolsonaro this October in a polarising election, in which he ran after Brazil's supreme court overturned his 19-month prison sentence.

 

- TIMES/AFP

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