The rise of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil represents a terrible blow in the international struggle to prevent runaway climate change.
Daniel Hunt, a founding editor of Brasil Wire addressed the launch meeting of the Brazil Solidarity Initiative. He powerfully summarised how the US has intervened to politically persecute the left and decapitate its leadership through the two coups against Dilma Rousseff and Lula da Silva. This US intervention has paved the way for a fascist to become the President of the world’s fifth most populous country. Building an immense movement of solidarity with the progressive people of Brazil is absolutely vital. Below is the full transcript of Daniel’s speech.
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.
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.