Brazil in Torment

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Brazil is wracked by increased repression, growing poverty and greater insecurity; further attacks on workers, threats of war and risks of chaos - all linked to the new president, Jair Bolsonaro, who took office on 1 January, 2019. Bolsonaro symbolises the epoch in which we are living which produces the most sinister and repugnant elements. It is a law that we can be sure will be verified, whatever the political moves of the new president and his ministries, whatever his personality ... that the exploited will pay more than their predecessors and the crisis of capitalism will only get worse.

Faced with all these dangers, only the working class, through its struggles of resistance and its opposition to the fatal logic of capitalism, can open up another perspective. While sharing the global difficulty of recognising itself as a class with antagonistic interests to those of capitalism, it is by basing itself on the experiences of past struggles that the proletariat will be able to respond to the drastic attacks that have been announced and do so in the context of a social crisis of a society in decomposition[1]. But the more the consciousness of the class is liberated from all the deceptions and lies of the bourgeois class from both right and left, the more its combat will be strengthened and, in time, the goal of establishing a society without classes or exploitation.

The Brazilian crime hell and the remedies of Bolsonaro

The extent of criminality is fundamentally the consequence of the economic and moral poverty of society, a product of capitalist society rotting on its feet. The depths reached by this make daily life unliveable in some countries of Latin America such as Honduras or Venezuela; here they are the prime reason for the massive and desperate attempts at emigration. The situation has got so bad in Brazil in recent years, it has propelled the country, and some of its towns in particular, to a place high up in the world league of criminality. The following statistics give a concrete idea of the daily hell to which the most disadvantaged parts of the population are exposed.

"Brazil is one of the world's capitals for homicide, with 60,000 a year out of a population of close to 208 million inhabitants. Each year 10% of people killed in the world are Brazilian. Nearly 50 million Brazilians aged 16 or over - almost a third of the adult population - know someone who has been violently killed, according to research undertaken by the "Instinto de Vido" (Life Instinct) (...) Nearly 5 million people have been wounded by firearms and about 15 million know someone who has been killed by the police, one of the most murderous forces in the world."[2].

"According to another study, the rate of homicide in 2017 was 32.4 per 100,000, with 64,357 killed. In 2016, Brazil registered a record number of 61,819 murders, or 198 per day on average, a rate of deaths of 29.9 per 100,000 inhabitants. Seven of the twenty most violent towns in the world are in Brazil because of the increase in street violence"[3] .

Growing criminality and insecurity are plunging more and more important layers of the population into a total impasse, into the most profound despair. This scourge eating away at society has no possible solution under capitalism nor even the least possibility of its attenuation[4].

In Bolsonaro's election campaign a priority was given to the fight against violence and corruption. He was taking on these issues by advocating measures which reflect the trade-mark of the person. Behind his promises declaring war on criminality the real perspective is in fact that of an aggravation of barbarity. Drawing a critical balance-sheet of politics up until now, he expressed himself in these terms: "We can't fight violence with the politics of peace and love". So, it's necessary "to increase the performance of the police", "to double the number of people killed by the police". Just imagine the possible carnage when, "from 2009-2016, 21.9 thousand people lost their lives following police actions. Nearly all were males between 12 and 29, three-quarters of them black" (Guaracy Mingardi, a specialist in security questions and National Secretary of Public Security in an interview with Huffpost Brasil).

In fact, not only will criminality not be reduced but the number of victims of the police will increase and the first victims will be from the poor areas which are already suffering from the expansion of crime[5]. The accentuation of the violence doesn't only come from criminals and the police but also from those on the sinister and classical appendages of the extreme-right, the bands recruited from lumpen elements who were already active and have been for a while.

Regarding the fight against corruption, Bolsonaro has immediately taken "strong measures" consisting of nominating ex-anti-corruption judge, Sergio Moro, as Minister of Justice. Groomed by the CIA for operation "Lava Jato" ("Operation Car Wash") from 2014 to 2016, Moro aimed at some political figures while sparing many others even more corrupt.

Why was Lula removed from political life and Bolsonaro elected?

The election of Bolsonaro takes place within a global dynamic, verifiable at the international level, of the rise of strong leaders with bellicose language, as illustrated to the point of parody by the election of Duterte in the Philippines. It is one of the consequences of the decomposition of capitalism, mired in its inextricable contradictions. The phenomenon exists in Brazil through insecurity and criminality and the fear that they give rise to, thus laying the ground for the ascension to power of people like Bolsonaro.

Nevertheless, as important as this factor is, it wasn't determinant in the election of Bolsonaro. And the proof is that another candidate, who had been the best politician in the service of Brazilian national capital since Vargas, would have been elected in the first round according to the polls if he'd been able to stand, and that despite accusations of corruption aimed at him. This is Lula, who has been put in prison so that he couldn't stand.

How do you explain the persistence of Lula's popularity? You explain it quite simply by the fact that he doesn't come across as shady as all the other contending candidates. In fact, it's the contrary, because what is clear and conforms to reality, is that the accusation and sanction against him has been particularly severe taking account of the charges against him and the fate reserved for other politicians immersed in scandal who have come out of them with just a slap on the wrist. This is true of Michel Temer of the PMDB (Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, which is a "centre" party in the political set-up of the bourgeoisie) for example.

The high results for Lula in the polls doesn't mean that his image hasn't been eroded at the end of the day and among the working class notably because of his attacks on the class during his two successive mandates. But he has largely appeared as a lesser evil, taking account of his stature and faced with all the other candidates. His popularity was greater than that of his own party, the PT, whose defeated candidate would be presented once Lula was definitively out of the race. In effect, whereas Lula would have beaten Bolsonaro in the first round, Addad, the PT's candidate, was heavily beaten by Bolsonaro in the second round. The difference between Lula and the PT is not surprising when one takes into account that, for three successive mandates, the latter was enmeshed in many areas of corruption and equally supported all the policies of austerity: those of two mandates of Lula and the still-more drastic ones of Dilma Rousseff during the first mandate and months of his second mandate before being dismissed[6].

The contrast between the political suitability of Lula on the one hand and the notorious incapacity which seems to affect Bolsonaro on the other, is striking. Why did the bourgeoisie keep back one of its own who was its main figure (during the two mandates of 2002 to 2010) during the emergence of Brazil on the international scene and the second economic miracle?[7]  In fact Lula's ousting was part of a strategy within which the United States played a major role, aiming to bring Brazil under its direct influence, given that the world's 7th economic power has been continually disengaging itself from US influence since the beginning of 2000.

After the dissolution of the western bloc, Brazil frees itself from the tutelage of the United States

For a long time before the formation of the two antagonistic rival blocs, Russia and the USA after the Second World War, Latin America constituted the back-yard of the United States up to when the eastern bloc collapsed followed by that of the west. Up to 1990, Uncle Sam could effectively defend its back-yard from any intrusion from its rival imperialist bloc. In the same way, it integrated the different countries of the South American continent into networks of bi- or multi-lateral commercial agreements primarily benefitting the United States. In order to serve its interests Uncle Sam did what it pleased in setting up governments by installing, for example, extreme right-wing dictatorships to fight against any attempts to set up left-wing governments who could express the interests of the rival bloc. This was particularly the case with Argentina, Chile and Brazil in the 1960's and 1970's. Similarly, when that threat receded, the United States could also support the democratic process putting an end to dictatorships. This was the case in Brazil in 1984 in order to get a democratic government which put an end to the rigidity in the management of the national capital from a state led by the military, thus making it more open to American penetration[8]. It is moreover this management of the state by the military which then inspired Bolsonaro when he promised to "shoot the president who privatises"[9] and who now envisages privatisation.

Following the dissolution of the western bloc, Brazil, as other countries in South America and the world, used this relaxation of pressure in order to play its own geopolitical cards. Thus, it was able to take its distance from the United States on both economic and political grounds. In fact, during the whole period corresponding to the presidency of Lula (2003 - 2007 - 2011) the country distinguished itself through important economic developments but also through certain political positions opposed to the United States. In particular the opposition of the Lula government was crucial in aborting the North American ALCA project (free-exchange zone of the Americas) in 2005, a multi-lateral free-exchange deal which covered all the countries of the continent, with the exception of Cuba. A similar opposition was also shown through the promotion of non-aligned countries in Latin America and elsewhere. Thus, in 2010, Brazil opposed the United States on the question of Iran. At the same time, it established international economic relations (BRICS) which strengthened its independence in relation to the United States. A fact which marked this trajectory and distancing from the United States, in April 2009, China became the main commercial partner of Brazil in place of the United States[10]. Brazil gained a more and more hegemonic position over the whole South American continent, thanks to its economic and diplomatic power. So much so that during the Lula government Brazil became the main competitor to the US in the region; competitor but not declared enemy. In fact, Lula established relations with both China and the United States, while clearly favouring China; it's much more comforting to have a powerful "partner" some geographical distance away, in contrast to the United States.

Some cheating which was also an Achilles heel in the growth of Brazil's power

An expression and factor in the growth of Brazil's power at the economic level was the large Brazilian businesses dynamised by investments from the state banks[11]. These imposed themselves on the international scene, notably through the energy sector, food, naval construction, armaments, services, etc...

Among the above figures were the businesses of Petrobas (oil production and derivatives) BRF (animal proteins, meat and derivatives), Odebrecht (heavy construction, armaments and services to Petrobas).  Thus, for example, thanks to intensive public financing, the BRF became the principal producer and exporter of animal protein in the world, present in more than 30 countries. The Brazilian multinational Odebrecht (twelfth in the world), which had business in almost every country of South America, in some old Portuguese colonies in Africa and even beyond, certainly constituted an important instrument for the economic penetration of Brazil outside the frontiers of South America.

Moreover, protectionist measures were equally applied, aiming to impose the presence of Brazilian businesses in different circumstances: cooperation with foreign businesses wanting to extract oil from Brazilian territory; all equipment put together in Brazil had to integrate components made in Brazil as soon as they were available.

Another type of protectionist measure favourising the large Brazilian enterprises was "illegal" even if practiced around the world. Odebrecht, for example, had a service specialist in bribery for obtaining bigger contracts and this in every country it operated in. This enterprise, the same as others such as the AOS, were organised in a cartel in the BTP, remunerating the staff of the group Petrobas and complicit politicians through an estimated amount of 1 and 5% of contracts. A system was put in place to hold back billions of reals (the Brazilian currency) with the aim of financing political parties and/or enriching personnel ("Brazil: everyone understands how 'Lava Jato' works". Le Monde, published March 26, 2017 and again, April 2018).

The pressure of the United States on the Brazilian state and operation "Lava Jato"

Evidently, none of the economic rivals of the United States can counter the fact that the world's main economic power draws the economic part of its ranking in the world to the detriment of its competitors, particularly from the fact  that its currency is the currency of international exchange. On the contrary, the United States has been particularly vigilant in making sure that there are punishing sanctions against any country guilty of not observing the laws of competition. Thus, cheating by Brazil has served as a pretext and target for a massive offensive aimed at dismantling the entire economic organization on which they relied. The reprisals were all the more draconian since they acted through them not only to inflict economic sanctions for the failures regarding competition, but above all to disorganise the protectionist measures of the Brazilian economy (legal or not, such as the systematic use if bribes), and to bring a pliant Brazil back under exclusive American influence by neutralising the political forces most influential and hostile to such an orientation. Witness the treatment meted out to the most popular politician in Brazil, Lula, condemned to 12 years in prison (a sentence which has since been more than doubled) during an expedient procedure lacking significant proof concerning so-called personal enrichment[12]. It is moreover not insignificant that it’s the accusation most difficult to prove, that of personal enrichment, which has nevertheless been retained against Lula, because it was most likely to be considered by the electorate, whereas other accusations from numerous witnesses, relating to the malpractices of the Brazilian state, seem not to have been taken into account.

The term "Lava Jato" made its first public appearance in March 2014 and was then closely followed by leaks of confessions of an ex-high official of Petrobas, conceded in the hope of a lenient sentence regarding the existence of a vast system of bribery to the management staff of this business, aimed at being awarded contracts. Following which, the opposition daily - "Veja" - published the names of forty suspect deputies from the centre-left in power, essentially from the PMDB, the PT and the Brazilian Socialist Party.

Cases of corruption going back to 2008 led to the mobilisation of the bourgeois state’s organs of control. This led to operation "Lava Jato" whose work was constituted by the federal police, members of the public ministry and judges. Its first public interventions went back to 2014. For its work, this task force appealed to the tribunals responsible for verifying the state's accounts, to the judicial power, to the public ministry and the federal police, with the constitution of special groups of the latter set up to "fight" organised criminality under all its forms.

Some strong elements allow us to consider that this judicial mobilisation took place through a powerful interaction with the highest authorities in the United States, even the product of the overt interference of the latter. Thus documents divulged by Wikileaks talked of a seminar in Rio de Janeiro in October 2009 showing the cooperation of the federal police, Justice, the public ministry of Brazil and representatives from North America[13]. In fact, there was nothing surprising about this seminar when one is aware that, on one hand, the United States had an interest, but also given the fact that, since the 1960's, the leaders of judicial and ministerial power in Brazil were ardent defenders of American institutions which gave them courts, training, conferences, assistance to enquiries, etc. Such cooperation is nowhere denied by the Prosecutor General of the Republic, Rodrigo Janot, someone central to "Lava Jato", when he explained that the "Brazilian results" were the outcome "of an intense exchange with the United States which had provided Brazil with training courses and recycling for Brazilian research and with more technology and planning techniques for research". The prosecutor punctuated this with: "All this means that Brazil has a relationship of equals with all other states"[14]; in case there was any doubt of the relationship with United States! We can quote here the title of another article: "The FBI has been involved in operation Lava Jato since the beginning and prided itself on that fact in front of everyone"[15].

In the context of this pressure of the United States on Brazil, we should also note the recordings made by the NSA of presidential conversations, of ministries, the director of the Central Bank and military chiefs[16].

We shouldn't be surprised at the leaks of the first results of "Lava Jato" in 2014 regarding the system of bribery at Petrobas. In fact, these came at "a good time", weakening Dilma Rousseff and the PT in the re-election campaign whose result was uncertain, while, in the incriminating period in question, Rousseff was the President of the administrative council of Petrobas and the PT was also implicated through some of its members being involved in the management of this state enterprise.

Nevertheless, this first flurry of revelations from "Lava Jato" wasn't enough to remove Dilma Rousseff from carrying out the business of the country. In fact, the outgoing president was re-elected against the candidate for the PSDB, even if it was difficult given that she was tainted by the affair and weakened by the worsening of the economic situation of Brazil. However, the fact that she was re-elected in this context showed the confidence that an important part of the bourgeoisie had in her to assume the defence of the interests of the national capital. In fact, for this electoral consultation, as the previous one, she called upon a significant level of financial resources provided by large industrial businesses, the finance and service sector.

However, she was rapidly and more deeply discredited through the severe anti-working class measures that she had to take (reneging on her electoral promises). She was again confronted in the street early in 2015, through demonstration initiated by the right but avoiding the appearance of political parties. In these demonstrations, which brought together millions, there were also conservatives, liberals and partisans of the military taking power. It's worth mentioning here that these demonstrations served as a springboard for promoting speeches in defence of the military candidate and notorious homophobe, Bolsonaro.

The previous "allies" of Dilma Rousseff then constituted, without her and the PT, a new and striking parliamentary majority in alliance with other opposition parties notably the PSDB and of sections of parties such as the PMDB (Social Democratic Party of Brazil), the PDT (Workers' Democratic Party), the PSB (Socialist Party of Brazil), all of the DEM (Democrats) and other minor parties. Dilma Rousseff was removed in August 2018 by a vote in the Senate at the end of a controversial procedure.

The consequences of "Lava Jato" on the political life of the bourgeoisie.

All the important political formations of Brazilian politics have been affected by the revelations of "Lava Jato". Major figures of the Brazilian bourgeoisie were targeted for investigation, even humiliated (particularly the boss of Odebrecht) by deafening revelations of suspicions, of proofs against them and they were thrown to the wolves by the press who broadcast them immediately. News and specialist programmes became the theatre of "popular judicial deliberations" to which the viewer was invited. The "all powerful" judiciary seemed to cut off the head of the state and even make it submit. No boss or high-level management, or parts of the party could feel safe.

But far from strengthening the image of its institutions and democracy "Lavo Jato" has discredited them still more. If the corruption and the rot have effectively been shamelessly and publicly exposed, the means used for this end was at least questionable. This was the institutionalisation and banalisation of denunciations[17] . Further it quickly became clear that all the defendants were not equal in front of the justice of "Lava Jato", and that the most severe sanctions were applied to those that they wanted to remove from power. The example of Lula alone sums up this situation.

We find the same iniquity regarding the sanctions levelled against the "guilty" Brazilian businesses. In this case it's the United States handing out the punishment and "generously" accepting arrangements in order to avoid colossal penalties. For example, the American government demanded that the J&F business (BRF) transferred its operational control by setting itself up as an American business if it wanted to avoid sanctions. As for Odebrecht, it paid a very heavy penalty.

The return of a Brazil to the exclusive influence of the United States and its consequences

During the election campaign Bolsonaro made it very clear to the United States and China that he would break with the latter if elected by making an official visit to Taiwan. Doing this he clearly showed the orientations of the "Washington candidate", supported by part of the Brazilian bourgeoisie, to be put in place after his election became certain with the removal of Lula. It was the end of the relatively comfortable position of unequal equilibrium between the United States and China[18].

"Lava Jato" constituted an essential link of the "recuperation" of Brazil by the United States, dismantling all economic protections - legal and illegal - and the state subsidies favouring Brazilian business. The consequences will be very heavy for Brazil. In fact, the removal of these protections has already begun to dangerously expose Brazilian business to the competition of the United States. This will only worsen with the strengthening of the economic "cooperation" between the two countries. Added to that, in the context of a more and more difficult world economy, are the devastating consequences of the debt policy of the country under Lula and Dilma Rousseff.

On the level of international relations, like a poodle, Bolsonaro treads in the footsteps of Trump and his erratic diplomacy by deciding, in a move towards Israel, to transfer the Brazilian embassy to Jerusalem. More recently the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, went to Brazil for Bolsonaro's investiture and talked in an interview with the new president about the "opportunity to work together against authoritarian regimes", in an allusion to Venezuela and Cuba, and made veiled references to putting the brake on Chinese expansionism. Brazil thus finds itself fully implicated in the global imperialist maelstrom as clearly illustrated by ex-US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley: "It's good to have a new pro-American leader in South America, who will join the fight against the dictators of Venezuela and Cuba and who clearly sees the dangers of the growing influence of China in the region" [19].

With the election of Bolsonaro the United States has effectively re-taken control of its back yard since Brazil occupies almost half of the South American continent, with frontiers with the majority of other countries in the continent, and it is the main military power in the region. And Brazil will be at the forefront of the United States' strategy to put an end to the Maduro regime in Venezuela. As soon as Trump quickly recognised the self-proclaimed new president, Juan Guaido, Bolsonaro did the same. Now Venezuela finds itself practically confined behind its frontier's walls by the right-wing governments of Colombia and Brazil. This situation has created a climate of confrontation in the region with unpredictable consequences at the military level, since the Maduro government is ready to resist with the support of Russia, China and Cuba; but also on the social level because this will only aggravate the terrible conditions in which the Venezuelan population are living and provoke a new mass exodus, a source of instability  at the borders of the three countries as well as Guyana.

What can we expect with Bolsonaro?

Through a vast enterprise, lasting years and mobilising its own significant forces (without counting those mobilised in Brazil through "Lava Jato"), the United States has finally achieved its aim, which is to fully integrate Brazil under its influence. It is thus a success of American diplomacy and all the services which go along with it: judicial power, the FBI, espionage... But nevertheless, the success is perhaps not complete.

The last stage of the manoeuvre consisted of providing Brazil at the election with a candidate who can carry out the new orientation. The candidate has been found and has won the election[20] thanks to the manoeuvres that we know about. But the least one can say about him is that he is not very "presentable". It's true that there wasn't really much choice given that "Lava Jato" had rendered the traditional political forces and formations unusable for a period. They were even more discredited than before and, equally, someone like Lula, an incomparably more accomplished politician, was incompatible with the new orientation.

If for a time Bolsonaro could seduce a fringe of the population which voted for him at the election, he could also become a weak point in the set-up if he doesn't change his style.

Bolsonaro has a caricature personality and even Marine Le Pen refuses to support his misogyny and homophobia. An old military man, he's nostalgic for the military dictatorship that existed in Brazil between 1964 and 1985. He has promised to cleanse the country of  “reds". His political family clan also make up part of this decor. One of his sons, Edouardo Bolsonaro (Federal Deputy of the state of Sao Paulo) decidedly follows his father's footsteps, but is even more “excessive": he wants to label Brazil's Landless Workers' Movement as a terrorist organisation and for him "there's no problem" if "it's necessary to put a hundred thousand in prison". He also wants to classify communism as a crime.

Riding the "Lava Jato" wave, Bolsonaro is prepared to put on the costume of the White Knight. To this end, in 2016 he quit his old party, the Progressive Party (PP), the party most implicated in the scandals which hit the country (of 56 deputies affiliated to the PP, 31 were accused of corruption). But his first false step occurred before his investiture. Among the political figures that he chose to be part of his future government, some have already been accused of corruption. It's as if Mr. Clean has already stained his white presidential finery even before taking office. Worse, the total absence of restraint from his clan[21] has already made him appear as a sinister clown. In talking about discords in the Bolsonaro camp, one of his sons regaled us with the sordid details. The disagreements were such, he tells us, that, "There are some that would like the death of Bolsonaro". Whether it is bluff or not, it demonstrates the stupidity and hypocrisy of the Bolsonaro clan, its links with criminal militias of Rio de Janeiro[22], or the involvement of his son, Flavio, in dodgy bank deals (the “Queiroz affair”[23]). These are clear proof of the rottenness at the heart of the clan which has been put at the head of the state. 

Unfortunately, we can have no joy in the deep stupidity of Bolsonaro and a part of his entourage by thinking that there could be a good defender of the interests of the bourgeoisie. Either it will be a puppet manipulated backstage or there could be a tendency for things to spiral out of control, notably on the level of imperialist tensions, which could have disastrous consequences for much of the population.

Against the traps of anti-fascism and anti-Yankee imperialism, develop the class struggle

There are some harsh tests awaiting the working class in Brazil via the economic attacks already underway and those in the pipeline. Pension reform is "the first great challenge" among others, as the ultra-liberal Minister of Economics announced at his investiture and characterised by the media as "The thorny question of a costly regime for the state, with the markets insisting on these steps"[24] ("Brazil: the Bolsonaro government saluted by the stock-exchange").

The general difficulty of the working class at the global level in recognising itself as a class with antagonistic interests to those of capital has affected its reaction faced with a deluge of attacks which will hit it in Brazil. But it's also through the necessary riposte, the criticism of its own weaknesses that it will be able to take a step forward towards a more united, massive and unified struggle and abandon the mystifications weighing on its consciousness, particularly those peddled by the left (PT) and the extreme-left of capital (Trotskyists etc). It's for that reason that it is necessary to re-appropriate past experiences, remembering in particular:

- the massive and spontaneous mobilisation of the metal-workers of 1979, going well beyond the annual mobilisation of this time around wages launched by the unions with the aim of keeping wages in line with inflation.

- the way in which Lula repressed the air-traffic controllers in 2007 who spontaneously went on strike faced with a dramatic deterioration in their working conditions. They organised outside of the union confines (strikes in this sector were forbidden) and this despite threats of imprisonment from the military command of aeronautics. Lula in particular publicly accused them of "irresponsibility and treachery" (read our articles in Portuguese: "Diante dos embates do capital, os controladores aereos respondem com a luta"[25] and "Repressao e marginalizacao do movimento dos controladores aereos"[26].)

- from the experience of the spontaneous movement of 2013, following the increase in transport fares, which was at the initiative of young proletarians and mobilising thousands in more than a hundred towns generalising into a protest against the reduction of the social wage. There was a massive rejection here of the political parties, mainly the PT, as well as the union and student organisations. Other expressions of the class struggle appeared, although in a minority, through assemblies deciding what action to take[27].

New difficulties will probably emerge as a consequence of the present situation and are likely to get in the way of the class struggle in Brazil. It's important to prepare for them.

Bolsonaro is so detestable that he is capable of polarising the anger provoked by the economic attacks around him. The danger would be to only see the personality and not the crisis of capitalism behind the attacks. The possibility exists of a similar danger concerning the political orientation of Bolsonaro and the extreme right, as the extreme left don't hesitate to blame him for the worsening of living conditions. It's possible that in the future Lula and the PT will again assume the responsibility of diverting discontent against the right and extreme right towards a left alternative. It's also necessary to keep a clear head regarding any party, from extreme right to extreme left, taking the reins of the state if necessary, and assuming the responsibility to defend the interest of the national capital to the detriment of the exploited class. Further, it is important to remember that the injustice of which Lula was a victim through "Lava Jato", particularly when one compares his fate to the clemency reserved for many of his notoriously shady political "colleagues", doesn't at all mean that the old metal-worker can be characterised as honest and still less a defender of the workers.

Similarly, there's no lack of voices trying to divert the workers towards opposing " Yankee imperialism which oppresses Brazil" and from which it's necessary to be "liberated". This is a tragic impasse which has already been demonstrated. It implies the mobilisation alongside a part of the Brazilian bourgeoisie against the American bourgeoisie. The proletariat has no country to defend, only its class interests. Faced with such a mystification there is a single slogan: class struggle in every country against capitalism!

That's not immediate and can only be a perspective, but it is always with this aim and this perspective which must guide the action of the proletariat and seen as a link in the chain leading to the world proletarian revolution.


Revolução Internacional, 6 February 2019















[1]  The decomposition of society concerns every country, even if unequally, and is expressed through a number of different phenomena making it more and more difficult for the emergence of a perspective to overcome and go beyond capitalism. Among its most salient manifestations, we have already put forward the unprecedented development of criminality, corruption, terrorism, the use of drugs, sects, and the religious spirit, each for themselves... As a consequence of the deepening of this phenomenon of decomposition of society we also find more and more disastrous "accidental" and "natural" catastrophes, a recent example of which was the tragedy caused by the rupture of the Vale dam at Brumadinho in Brazil made up of millions of cubic metres of mining residues from the exploitation of a neighbouring mine. The result was more than 200 deaths, one illustration in millions of others in the world of the deadly irrationality of a capitalism gasping for breath.

[4]  According to some propaganda from the bourgeoisie, the possibility exists of lowering the figures of criminality. These ideas use the case of Colombia where it's thanks to the elimination of the main drug cartels. The problem is that the example of Colombia can't be generalised, particularly from the fact that in the majority of countries with rising criminality it is essentially from the existence of a multitude of small gangs and, above all, isolated individuals.

[5]  It's for that reason that Bolsonaro's election results were very weak in these areas

[6]  In fact, the lengths of the attacks led by the government of Dilma Rousseff blurred the memory somewhat of the "less brutal" attacks of the preceding Lula governments.

[7]  Brazil's "economic miracle" took place between 1968 and 1973 when the average rate of industrial growth was over 24%, double that of the economy of the country in general. The first "miracle" was financed by so much debt that at the beginning of the 1980's the country was on the verge of bankruptcy.

[8]  See"Understanding the influence of the United States in the political and economic crisis in Brazil".

[9]  Reproduced in different articles, including "Bolsonaro - uma analise marxista d sua politica". "Bolsonaro - a marxist analysis of his politics", "#carta" (a Trotskyist current within the PSOL).

[10]  "In April 2009, for the first time in the history of Brazil, China became its main commercial partner, replacing the United States. A month earlier it had already become the main importer of Brazilian goods (...) Since the 1930's the United States has been strongly implanted in the first position (...) This change of situation points first of all to the contraction of American commerce with the rest of the world that's linked to the economic crisis, a phenomenon which also affects the European Union with its relationship with Brazil. But above all it shows a strong and continual rise of buying by China. Exports from Brazil to China have, in value, multiplied 15 times between 2000 and 2008. They progressed 75% between 2007 and 2008. This increase allowed Brazil to draw up, in the first four months of 2008, a commercial surplus double that of the same period of 2008. Brazil's three main commercial partners are now, in order, China, the United States and Argentina”. "China has become the main commercial partner of Brazil", Le Monde, 8.5.2009.

[11]  The BNDS (Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento) which distributed the finances thus benefitting the regime, Lula directly led the lobby with some leaders in the PT being associated to represent the corporations.

[12]  The accusation rejected the demand of Lula's collaboration with the judiciary, which meant a reduction to his sentence while the system of appeal to the deletion implemented in "Lava Jato" was inseparable from these judicial proceedings.

[13]  The documents divulged by Wikileaks, particularly of a training team of Americans teaching Brazilian pupils (and other nationalities as well), reveal the secrets of "enquiries and sanctions in the business of money-laundering, notably formal and informal cooperation between countries, the confiscation of assets, methods of collecting proof, complaints procedures, control and relationships to non-governmental organisations (NGO's), suspicions of financial irregularities". The report concluded that “the Brazilian judicial sector is clearly very interested in the fight against terrorism, but it needs tools and training in order to effectively use its forces" "Wikileaks: EUA criou curso para treinar Moro e Juristas" (US training for Moro and the jurists). The article of Wikileaks quoted is "BRAZIL: ILLICIT FINANCE CONFERENCE USES THE "T" WORD SUCCESSFULLY"

[15],"The FBI was involved in 'Lava from the beginning and is proud of it".

[16]  "Wikileaks: Dilma, inistros e aviao presidencial foram espionados pela NSA". "Dilma: her ministries and presidential plane spied on by the NSA".

[17]  Thus, for example, the 77 managers of Odebrecht heard by the courts denounced 415 politicians responsible belonging to 26 parties (out of 35) in 21 states (out of 26 within the Federation). Among them 5 ex-presidents of Brazil: MM. Jose Sarney, Fernando Collor de Mello, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva and Mme. Dilma Rousseff. M. Temer was equally cited a number of times but he wasn't questioned about acts prior to his mandate, according to the Constitution. During the course of his deposition, M. Marcelo Odebrecht declared bribes of a hundred million euros between 2008 and 2015 to the Workers' Party (PT) and further official contributions during the election campaign. "The old presidents Lula and Dilma Rousseff were looking for our support even if they never asked for money directly", he added. "In Brazil the ramifications of the Odebrecht scandal" (Le Monde diplomatique - date lacking).

[18]  We evidently don't know how long this forced marriage will last nor what will come out of the adventure. One thing is certain is that it is in the interests of the premier world power not to take the risk of distancing itself from Brazil which, inevitably, would open up another door to the intentions of China to ensconce itself in South America, and the prospect of a direct and perilous threat for American supremacy both on the economic and military levels.

However, we should remember that operation "recuperate Brazil" began, in the main, during the years of the Obama administration.  Will the unpredictable Trump be capable of not compromising it? Moreover, even if China has received very strong signals from Bolsonaro and the Trump administration, that's not the end of its privileged relations with Brazil and it's clear that it's not going to completely withdraw; far from it. On the economic level first, it is impossible because it would have dramatic consequences for the Brazilian economy which even the United States wouldn't want. Further, it's evident that China is far from accepting its eviction, as seen by the fact that it has already moved for the acquisition of Brazilian businesses which Bolsonaro aims to privatise.

[20]  With the official support, open or not, of all the parties of left and right.

[21]  Made up particularly of all Bolsonaro's sons who have made their career supporting "papa"


South America