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.
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.