Brazil: a cornered Bolsonaro

The president leads the austerity crusade against the Latin American people. A faithful ally of Trump, that intends to unleash the weight of the capitalist crisis on the working class with his right wing speech and profile. Since he took office, he has focused on attacking every one of our rights. That is why he spews misogynistic, homophobic ad xenophobic hate speech. That is why, when the fires in the Amazon rainforest had just begun, this despicable representative of the bourgeoisie made declarations that were even repulsive and unacceptable for his own allies. First he said they were lies, then that ecologists had caused the fires, and all the while hiding official data and information.

But Bolsonaro has a problem called mobilization. There is an increasing response of the people to his policies of war against the people. First the women came out with the “Ele Não” mobilization, then the youth and students confronting the austerity measures against public education and universities, then the workers who mobilized against the pension reform, the indigenous peoples against the advancement of agribusiness and mining projects in their lands, while dozens of conflicts erupt in different parts of the country with the people defending their rights.

Unfortunately, the union leaderships do not live up to the circumstances and in the face of this attack, they are missing in action. The demand of “greve geral” (general strike) is increasingly urgent and necessary, but the trade union centrals and the main unions do not call for it. This is how the different struggle processes in the country, that are radicalised and on the rise, are dispersed and lack continuity. Hence the urgency of a unified call to a “greve geral” with continuity, unifying and strengthening our struggles.

Losing from above and below

In addition to his increasing weakness in the public opinion of the masses, Bolsonaro is also facing a loss of social base that causes a crisis with the bourgeois governors and politicians who support him. The magnitude of the devastation in the Amazon is unacceptable for large sectors of the middle class that have supported him so far. So some governors are breaking with him and condemning the national government. In mobilizations throughout the country, including the “panelazos”, and social networks, the demand “Fora Bolsonaro” has installed with force.

The others who cannot let this atrocity pass are the presidents of the countries that maintain commercial relations with Brazil. The brutality with which Bolsonaro advanced against the Amazon and then responded to critics was repulsive for the international society. Since the first images were made public, complaints have rained in on social networks of artistic, social and political personalities from around the world. There have also been declarations of ruptures of trade agreements from presidents like Macron, who called the G7 to review those agreements and questioned the pact between the European Union and the Mercosur. A hypocrisy since they themselves are the ones who promote and lead with the multinational corporations of their own countries this productive model of environmental depredation.

Latin American governments have also joined the chorus of statements of concern about the fires and collaboration to put them out. Of course, they see the risk that this televised devastation means to their own extractive and agribusiness plans.

Is the right strong?

The highly promoted strength of the reactionary right wing president does not seem to be such. Large sectors linked to imperialism fed the idea of an extreme right wave in the region and that Bosonaro led it. It seems that Trump’s plans and his attempt to regain terrain in the face of the capitalist crisis are crumbling. On August 11, they received a blow in Argentina when Mauricio Macri was defeated, opening a situation of greater weakness for right-wing projects in the region. Today, in that framework of greater weakness, the Amazon fires are happening and they cause a deepening of the cracks and weaknesses of the imperialist project against the people of Latin American.

Bolsonaro emerges as a representative and spokesperson of the disappointment of millions with the PT government, a populist government that not only did not meet the needs of the people, but also deepened a model of wealth distribution in favour of the corporations. That is why our current raises the need to advance with anti-capitalist measures in the region, to truly break with this system of austerity and hunger against working people.

The solution is eco-socialist

The imagees of the burning Amazon are barbaric, worthy of the catastrophic or science fiction cinema that anticipates a devastated world. But it is not cinema or fiction, it is our planet suffering the consequences of a productive system that pollutes, exterminates and kills with the sole goal of maintaining the profits of a handful of businessmen. The government attacked the Amazon rainforest with mining projects and the expansion of the green frontier for agricultural projects. That is why the Amazon is burning. It is not the climate or a divine mandate, it is the capitalist productive system in the hands of an ecocide. The flags, banners, songs and statements of the mobilizations focuse on this. Bolsonaro is responsible for the capitalist devastation of the country.

Putting out the fire and remedying the socio-environmental damage is not enough, we must also turn the priorities around and transform the productive matrix. It is necessary o declare an environmental emergency and use whatever resources are necessary, prohibit open air mining, deforestation and every extractivist productive development in the affected areas, apply a remediation plan (paid for by the corporations that caused this disaster) and an agrarian reform.

In the framework of replacing hydrocarbon based energy production with clean and renewable productive mechanisms, which leads to posing the expropriation of oil companies. What is produced, for whom and who produces are also key issues. Capitalism produces irrationally under the laws of the accumulation of capital for 1% of humanity. They make the decisions that the other 99% suffers. That is why it is not just the productive model that we question, we also want to democratically plan and organize social production so a minority of businessmen do not decide for all of us.

We struggle for radical changes, our strategy is the anti-capitalist, internationalist, feminist and eco-socialist class struggle.

Veronica O’Kelly