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Supporters hang posters of presidential candidate Luiz Inácio "Lula" da Silva of the Workers Party (PT) in his hometown city of Caetes, Brazil, Oct. 1, 2002. Dado Galdieri

In Love with Lula

by Juan Pérez Cabral

OCTOBER 4, 2002. Brazil could elect a left-wing President on Sunday. Workers Party candidate, Luiz Inácio da Silva, universally known as "Lula," has a whooping 43 per cent support in the polls, enough to win outright on a first-round of balloting.

As the battered real attests, the former metalworkers union leader and three-time failed presidential candidate still frightens many on Wall Street in spite of his trimmed beard, suit and tie, centrist textile millionaire running mate, and sweet nothings campaign utterances.

The haves fear the newly-minted "Little Lula Peace and Love," as Brazilians have nicknamed him, still hides the old leftist firebrand wolf, ready to show his teeth come inauguration day.

Whether sheep, wolf or poodle, Lula's election to head the largest country in Latin America will sound the death knell for U.S.-IMF neoliberalism from Guatemala to Patagonia (Fox's Mexico still being enthralled by it).

Lula didn't kill it. Argentina's collapse did. He'll just bury it and turn the page.

Related links:

For Lula's Choices: Who's who in the Oct. 6 Brazilian presidential election at Brazzil.com.

For Brazil: Running out of time in The Economist.

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