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.
In Brazil, the military and civil police forces are controlled by the state governors. In an interview on GloboNews TV, Governor-elect Witzel said that he wants snipers to perform police operations in favelas to “kill criminals who are carrying restricted weapons.” He has already requested the Rio de Janeiro Civil and Military Police to provide the names of the elite snipers which they have available. According to him, the Rio police, already among the world’s most violent, will have a carte blanche to kill – or to kill even more than they already do in the favelas.
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.
At the moment that I write this article (October 2018), Brazil is about to elect Jair Bolsonaro as President of the Republic. He is an ex-military officer and politician who is openly fascist, homophobic, misogynist and racist. Intellectually very limited and with a political career that is absolutely mediocre, Bolsonaro has already publicly declared that “Democracy is good for nothing,” and that the only way to solve Brazil’s problems, is through a new dictatorship that would kill at least 30,000 people. His idol is the great torturer of the Brazilian military dictatorship, Colonel Brilhante Ustra, who used to insert rats in prisoners’ vaginas.
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.
With just over a week to go until the final round of Brazil’s Presidential election the left are hitting back against the tsunami of far right fake news emanating from Jair Bolsonaro’s campaign. Bolsonaro’s support has surged in recent weeks as a result of a sophisticated social media campaign which, under the guidance of Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon, has bombarded the electorate with fake news, lies and slander all targeting the left’s candidates for President (Fernando Haddad of the Workers Party) and Vice President (Manuela D’Avila of the Communist Party of Brazil).
Brazilian army officers have been playing an increasing role the building of far-right Presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro’s platform. Three generals are now working on his economic and infrastructure plans: Oswaldo Ferreira, Augusto Heleno, and Aléssio Ribeiro Souto.
Jair Bolsonaro’s rapid rise to become front-runner in Brazil’s Presidential election is being accompanied by a wave of violence. His far right supporters have brutally attacked the left, women, Black people, LGBT people and journalists. If Bolsonaro wins the Presidency on Sunday 28 October – as Brazil’s leading pollsters are currently predicting - the situation facing the left, the labour movement, the working class and the oppressed in Brazil will be extremely dangerous. It is therefore vital that the working class movement and all those supporting democracy outside Brazil are fully aware of the full extent of the wave of violence Bolsonaro’s supporters are unleashing and which his entire campaign encourages. The events described below are simply a small part of the violence unfolding in Brazil.