Excepts from a Newsweek interview:
NW: You often criticize the privatization process. But thanks to the sale of state companies even the poorest Brazilians have cell phones, and former public companies like Vale have become world-beaters under private ownership.
Lula: But the state could have done the same things.
NW: Except that it didn't.
Lula: It didn't because the Brazilian elite used public companies for their own ends. When you do that , any company will go broke, anywhere in the world. I think the privatizations were a mistake.
The interview continues......
NW: The Mercosul trading bloc, which Brazil leads, only allows full democracies that respect human rights as members. Does Venezuela qualify?
Lula: Give me one example of how Venezuela is undemocratic.
NW: Thirty-four radio stations closed by the government in one weekend. Repression of independent trade unions and government persecution of political rivals. Gangs linked to the government of Hugo Chávez vandalizing the only independent television broadcaster.
Lula: That's not the government's version.
NW: Is there any doubt?
Lula: Let's be frank on one thing. First, each country establishes the democratic regime that suits its people. It's a sovereign decision of every nation.
Hat Tip (Kids Prefer Cheese)