Two Months of the Neoliberal Coup Against the People and Brazil’s Democracy

By João Pedro Stédile on July 10, 2016


Photo: Bill Hackwell

Brazil is experiencing a severe economic, political, social, and environmental crisis. We lived similar historical crises during the decade of 30’s, 60’s and 80’s and all of them demanded great debates in society, and huge political participation and disputes in the class struggle. Its outcome was always delayed and was only possible around a new project that could unite the social base to support it. Or the ruling classes resorted to the military.

And now what’s happening? The ruling class has no project for the country. The Temer/Cunha Government is just an attempt to quickly implement measures in the interest of the capitalists. The ruling class is divided into three currents of policy direction.First there is the core of economic power, which is controlled by financial capital and transnational companies that aims to apply the neoliberal recipe. But that is an anti-national and anti-popular project. Then there is the lumpen-burgeoisie core, formed by conservative politicians and led by the Cunha-Temer-Juca parties, which works only for its narrow interests. And a third core, which acts for ideological reasons also with international links. It is the core of Rede Globo, Moro, MPF-PF. Among them there are disagreements and contradictions, because they too work in their own interests and not by a national vision.

Considering an absence of a government direction, and given the growing crisis, they decided to overthrow President Dilma, stormed the government, with the connivance of the judiciary, in order to try to apply a neoliberal emergency program.

Every day the interim government takes action against the workers and their rights. Its main goal is to restore the rates of profit and the process of accumulation of wealth in Brazil, for banks and transnational corporations. To accomplish this they are attacking workers’ rights and social rights in general. In addition, they are increasing the unemployment rates, which is a way of lowering wages and dominate the working class.

They are robbing the public coffers, limiting social spending and thus, allocating the resources that before was for education, health, social security, and now is only for the interests of capitalists. According to economists, they are vying for around 200 billion reais of the Union budget.

On the other hand, the 400 billion for the payment of interest to banks, are untouchable. They want to increase the minimum age of retirement from 65 years up to 70 years as advocated by Temer’s illegal government. And, so far not one word has been said about the 62 billion reais of Social Security exemption given the undertakings in 2015 alone.

They are jump starting the privatization process, by dismantling public services and threatening even the free healthcare system and the program “Mais Medicos”. They have warned that our lands will be handed over to foreign capital.  They closed the Ministry of Agrarian Development and ended the policies for family agriculture and agrarian reform.

Their supporters on the streets said they were fighting corruption. They should be ashamed. Three of their ministers have been revoked for embezzling public money and many more are in the judicial process for the same thing. There has never been a government so contaminated with corruption like this one.

The popular movements that have been coming together in the Frente Brasil Popular, have consistently held that the first step forward is to respect democracy with the reinstatement of President Dilma to the presidency of the government. However there is an urgent need to begin immediately a CHARTER of COMMITMENT with the people by implementing a new program that insists on our national sovereignty and supports the needs of the people. The second step needs President Dilma organizes a ministry that dialogues with society about how to resolve the economic crisis in a way that would solve the people’s problems.

Third, we must urgently make a political reform to rebuild and democratize the Brazilian electoral system, so that the people can actually elect their true representatives. The current Congress has no moral authority to act on any projects of reform. The only way to change this would be to create via plebiscite an exclusive constituent assembly to quickly make the political reforms before the 2018 elections.

And fourthly, we need to go building a new popular project for Brazil starting from a broad discussion of proposals and ideas with all sectors of Brazilian society. Although it takes time, it is the only way to get out of the crisis.

We will gain forces not by the correctness of the proposal, but if we can encourage the broad masses of the working class to actively participate by mobilizing in the streets. We know that it is necessary to organize large national mobilizations of the working class, against the coup, unemployment and to fight against the national anti-sovereignty direction that the crooks are taking. We must aim for a general strike by the working class as a form of protest towards changing the relationship of forces.

The Frente Brazil Popular and the Frente Povo sem medor have agreed on making the largest possible mobilization in Rio de Janeiro and the capital on August 5 at the opening of the Olympics.

The outcome of this huge crisis is still a doubt and the fight will be long and arduous.

João Pedro Stédile is a leader of the Landless Movement of Brazil (MST)

Dois meses de golpe neoliberal: contra o povo e a democracia | Brasil de Fato

Source: Brazil De Fato