The rise of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil represents a terrible blow in the international struggle to prevent runaway climate change.
The jailing of Lula da Silva in April 2018 was politically motivated. It was a coup that paved the way for Bolsonaro’s victory in Brazil’s Presidential election on Sunday 28 October 2018.
Senator Lindbergh Farias addressed the European Left Forum on behalf of Brazil’s Workers Party (PT) in Bilbao on Friday 9 November 2018. He asked the participants of the Forum to build an enormous movement in solidarity with the Brazilian people who are resisting US intervention, the rise of fascism and the political persecution of the country’s most popular politician, former President Lula da Silva who is languishing in jail.
It has been a week since the election of Jair Bolsonaro and the new President-elect is wasting no time in pushing forward his extremist agenda. He is working closely with Brazil’s outgoing President Temer to fast-track radical attacks on pensions alongside a serious assault on civil liberties before he formally takes over the Presidency on 1 January 2019. The mainstream press in Britain have presented Bolsonaro’s victory as a complete landslide, sweeping away a Brazilian left that is portrayed as having suffered a final, historic defeat. It is true that Bolsonaro’s support in this election was very substantial with over 57 million votes. But the left’s candidate for President, Fernando Haddad, secured 47 million votes, concentrated in the poorest sections of Brazilian society. This vote reflects the deep social roots that the left has in Brazil and indicates that it will continue to be a huge factor in Brazilian politics. In fact the left has already made clear its intention to resist Bolsonaro’s government, with the tens of thousands of people taking part in the first anti-Bolsonaro protest just two days after the election on Tuesday 30 October.
Jair Bolsonaro has won Brazil’s Presidential election in the final round. With 88% of votes counted, Bolsonaro has secured 55.7% of the vote, defeating the Workers Party candidate Fernando Haddad. Bolsonaro has been propelled to victory by a sophisticated imperialist intervention coordinated by the US, in alliance with the right wing in Brazil.
The outcome Brazil’s Presidential election taking place this Sunday is of the greatest importance for the people of Brazil, Latin America and for all progressive people across the world. A victory for the far right front runner, Jair Bolsonaro, would be catastrophic: the safety and welfare of tens of millions of Brazilians will be in peril, Brazil’s democracy will be under threat, the struggle to stop climate change severely compromised and Brazil’s independence and sovereignty undermined by the handing over the country’s foreign policy to Donald Trump in Washington. Aggressively stepping up the US's policy of regime change against the socialist government of Brazil’s neighbour, Venezuela, will be high on the list of priorities for Trump if Bolsonaro wins the Presidency. Only a victory for the Workers Party candidate, Fernando Haddad, can prevent this disaster and instead set Brazil back onto a course for social progress and independence from the US.
Just days before Brazilians go to the polls to elect their next President, far right front runner Jair Bolsonaro made the following threat: “these red outlaws will be banished from our homeland. It will be a clean-up, the likes of which has never been seen in Brazilian history.” Bolsonaro, a former Army Captain and admirer of Brazil’s former military dictatorship added, “either they go overseas, or they go to jail.” He was referring to the leaders and supporters of Brazil’s left, which is tens of millions strong.