ATHENS – His party rebranded itself as Progressive instead of Radical, but Greece’s major opposition SYRIZA leader and former Premier Alexis Tsipras is staying close to his leftist ideals, even traveling to Brazil for the swearing-in ceremony of new President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
For da Silva, it was a comeback against the odds, narrowly beating far-right anti-vaxxer incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro in an October, 2022 runoff election, the loser heading to Florida.
It was a three-year turnaround for da Silva, who was released from prison after being convicted of corruption charges – which were overturned – and 12 years after his first two terms as President.
Tsipras had attended the funeral of Cuba’s former President Fidel Castro, one of his idols and supports the repressive regime of Venezuelan Nicolas Maduro, whose polices he has lauded despite hardships brought to the people.
Among others, Tsipras met with Argentina’s President Alberto Ángel Fernández and sat in the first row of the guests who were former heads of state and government, next to the former President of Chile, Ricardo Lagos, and the former President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, said Greece’s state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency ANA-MPA.
Lagos said Tsipras that the former Premier’s battle – before capitulation – to European Union forces who made him impose austerity measures in return for a bailout of 86 billion euros ($90.75 billion) was watched closely by progressive forces in Latin America.
Morales, a Socialist, referred to his trip to Greece, and also asked to be briefed on the political situation in Greece and expressed his desire to visit Greece in order to assist SYRIZA for the upcoming 2023 elections.
Tsipras also was said to have had a warm meeting with Cuba’s Alternate Finance Minister Josefina Vidal, who remembered Tsipras’ attendance at the funeral of Castro, where the SYRIZA leader praised the late leader.
“We love you very much in Cuba and remember your speech, how passionately you spoke and your visit remain engraved in our memory,” said Vidal, the report added.
Tsipras also shook hands with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who has repeatedly threatened Greece with war.