Lula Contemplates his Navel

Lula Points to his Navel
Lula Points to his Navel
As Obama has said, "Lula's the man." So, all ears tuned in on Lula the other day in Londrina, Paraná when he spoke of his role in achieving the licensing of the Madeira River dams. What follows is a direct transcript of Lula's words of wisdom, with the help of a translator to more clearly elucidate his technical arguments:

" So I think that today we no longer should no longer discuss these themes ideologically, and we should instead sit around the table and discuss how we can make them (the projects) better...I remember it as if it were yesterday, Dilma (Lula's Chief-of-Staff and presidential candidate) took part when we were to approve the hydroelectric projects for the Madeira River, Santo Antônia (Santo Antônio) and Juruá...Jirau. The fight you can not even imagine, how we wasted months discussing the grains of sand that were at the bottom of the river...We had to contract the best professor in the world in this area, who was an Indian who came from the United States, and who delivered to me a pot of sand from the bottom of the sea to show how sand runs, and what it would do and what it wouldn't do.

Translation - "The Madeira dams had a serious sedimentation problem that could affect the dams' operation and result in flooding territory in Bolivia, so we took some money from the World Bank and hired a French scientist who works with the dams industry to tell everybody not to worry."

When we solved the problem of the sand, someone else came to me and talked about the fish, that there were a lot of catfish and that the little fish wouldn't be able to swim, to dam there in the Andes, that whole thing. I made a commitment, for when I leave the presidency, to buy a canoe, catch the little catfish, put them in the canoe, take them to the other side and bring them back. No, no.

When the person was telling me that we couldn't build the dam because of the catfish, I asked: what catfish? Maybe she didn't remember, but she didn't know the name of even one catfish. And I told her: is it the mandi-chorão you're talking about? Or the African catfish? Or the pintado? Or the pirarara? Or the cachara? Because, in reality, it was very theoretical. And I got a friend of ours, from Campo Grande, Jaime, of Project Pacu, who is the largest fish-raiser today, and he raises all those fish from the Madeira River, where we're building the dams, in captivity. And I have there in the Alvorada Lake (in Brasília), not in the big lake, but rather in the little lake inside, I have a fish that weighs 20 kilos.

Translation - "We know that the Madeira dams will destroy valuable fish stocks and maybe even lead to their extinction, but I don't really care what happens to them, so I have tried to make the entire issue appear ridiculous and make the public laugh at legitimate environmental concerns."

So, we did it. Finally we did it. And when everything was ready, someone came to say the following: look, you can't because there is a pool of water there which has mercury, and you can't build a dam. We had to get the Ministry of Health and send a team there. It would have been cheaper to resettle the families in a penthouse apartment in Copacabana rather than build the dam. Finally, we built the dams.

Translation - "We know that private companies will only invest in dams if the government subsidizes them. The government will end up having to deal with the serious social and health problems caused by the dams, but I'll be out of office by then, out fishing."