Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

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Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva "was elected president of Brazil on October 27, 2002. He is the first Brazilian president elected to succeed another democratically elected president in four decades.

"He has been an important leader in the country since the 1960s, holding key positions in metallurgical unions during the resistance against Brazilian military rule. A scene from his leadership of a strike in 1979 conveys his power to mobilize and motivate: With 80,000 metallurgical workers gathered in a soccer stadium without a stage or sound equipment, Lula spoke to those workers nearest to him, and those workers re-transmitted the message, and the communication chain soon reached all those in attendance.

"Lula founded the Worker's Party in 1980, together with other union workers, intellectuals, politicians and representatives of social movements, such as rural and religious leaders. Invitations from unions around the world prompted him to travel to the United States, Japan and all around Europe and Latin America.

"Lula began his career as a government official in 1986 when he campaigned successfully to become a member of Brazil's Chamber of Deputies. He now is the first president of Brazil elected from the Worker's Party. Lula is married to Marisa Letícia and has five children." [1]

In September 2008 da Silva said that "people (should) be allowed to smoke anywhere they choose"[2]

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  1. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Kellogg Institute, accessed March 12, 2008.
  2. 'Brazil’s President lights up smoking debate", Tobacco Reporter, September 8, 2008