(b. 27 Oct 1945).
President of Brazil, 2002– Born into a poor family in the state of Pernambuco, he received little formal education before eventually becoming a worker in the automobile industry. He became a trade union leader, and in 1980 was instrumental in founding the Workers' Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores). Elected to Congress in 1986, he stood unsuccessfully for President three times before winning the elections of 2002 and 2006. He assured investors of Brazil's commitment to paying its debts, with his left-wing populism being more evident in the foreign policy arena. He sought to reduce the USA's influence over the continent by strengthening regional alliances such as Mercosur, while also forming close relations with other emerging left-wing populist regimes in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).