SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has pledged to travel around Latin America offering support for leftist leaders at a moment when the region is engulfed by growing political turmoil.
"I'm finally free and willing to fight," Lula said in a video message that was broadcast at the Puebla Group's meeting in Buenos Aires on Saturday. "I'm willing to walk across Brazil and travel around Latin America" said the 74-year-old politician, who walked out of jail on Friday following a top court decision that reversed rules for imprisoning convicts.
In a three-minute message, Lula bashed Latin America's elite and defended focusing on jobs and income distribution in order to improve life quality in the region. Argentina's President-elect Alberto Fernandez "can do that and be an example to other countries," he said.
The Puebla Group, which is a body created in July that brings together left-wing leaders from the region, is discussing priorities for Latin America during a meeting this weekend. Former presidents such as Brazil's Dilma Rousseff, Uruguay's Jose Mujica, Paraguay's Fernando Lugo and Spain's Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero are some of its higher-profile members.
(Andrade in São Paulo, do Rosario from Buenos Aires, Argentina.)
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