Lula da Silva: A Marxist politician in Brazil

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva Fast Facts

On 6 February 2013 a Brazilian politician, Lula da Silva, announced his intention to run for President of Brazil in the 2013 elections. At his first debate with the Democratic Movement of the Republic (MDB), he was confronted by his opponent Geraldo Alckmin, but survived with a landslide victory. On 16 March 2013 he was declared winner in the first round but was defeated by Dilma Rousseff in the second round, the first election in which the winner was not from the previous presidential term. He was subsequently removed from office for corruption.

Lula da Silva was born on 22 February 1953 into a working class family. He went to school at the State University of Campinas, a public state-run university in Brazil, although his studies were interrupted due to various periods of military service. He became involved in the student wing of the Communist Party of Brazil in university. After a brief period as secretary-general of the student union at the University of São Paulo (known as the São Paulo University), he entered the Communist Party’s International Secretariat of the University of São Paulo. In 1974, he returned to university, and soon rose to become the editor-in-chief of the Marxist magazine, Política da Mulher, which was edited by his wife, Marisa, and her husband, Silvio Santos, also a Marxist.

Lula da Silva first married in 1973, after a short courtship. Marisa met Silvio Santos at a Marxism conference, and they married in 1974. He had a daughter and then a son.

Lula da Silva participated in the first democratic municipal elections in Brazil in 1973, in São Paulo, where he stood for the Communist Party’s Central Committee in the Municipal Committee for Social Action (MS), the first Marxist party branch to enter electoral politics. He was defeated by the official Republican Party candidate, Manuel Helder Barata, who had been a teacher at the University of São Paulo (known as the University of S

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