Video by Ricardo Stuckert
President Lula offered solidarity on Thursday (9 December) to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who was arrested this week after his group published cables written by American diplomats, and he criticized the Brazilian media for not defending the Australian activist and the freedom of expression. “The guy was arrested, and yet I’m not seeing any protest against the [restriction on the] freedom of expression. It’s strange — no one saying anything,” said the president, who made a point of registering his protest:
Hey, Stuckinha (Ricardo Stuckert, the president’s official photographer), you can post the first protest on the Blog do Planalto, anyway, against the [restriction on the] freedom of expression on the Internet, so that people can protest, because the guy was only distributing what he read. And, if he read it, that’s because someone wrote it. The guilty party isn’t those who published it but those who wrote it. Therefore, instead of blaming those who published it, blame those who wrote nonsense. So, my solidarity to WikiLeaks for making things public, and my protest against the [restriction on the] freedom of expression.
Lula, who was participating in the ceremony to present the four-year balance sheet of the Growth Acceleration Program (PAC) at the Palácio do Planalto in Brasília (Federal District), also claimed that he would ignore them if his ambassadors too sent cables of the kind sent by American ambassadors and warned President-elect Dilma Rousseff to advise her Foreign Minister thus: “If there’s nothing to write about, don’t scribble nonsense — just send a blank message.”
Listen to the president’s speech at the ceremony in full:
The original article “Presidente presta solidariedade em público ao Wikileaks” was published in the Blog do Planalto, the official blog of the presidency of Brazil, on 9 December 2010. Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at] gmail.com).