Brazil: Bolsonaro´s Predicted Demise

By Veronica O’Kelly, Socialist Alternative – ISL, Brazil

Less than a year and a half after getting into office the weakness of Bolsonaro´s government is such that, if there is no mayor change, it may fall. The debates on the left and the progressives when he won the last elections revolved around defeatist analysis, which erroneously exalted the strength of the far-right and belittled the capacity of the masses to fight back.

We have always upheld the thesis that this would be a relatively weak government. It emerged from a process of mass break with the PT, Lula and Dilma, due to disappointment with their betrayal. This process was co-opted by the right which moved to occupy the yielded political ground. We do not deny that Bolsonaro’s election victory, promising a tough stance on crime and displaying an anti-working class, right wing discourse, was a blow, but it did not imply a historical defeat as some predicted. The government of the former Brazilian army captain took office in December 2018 and within a few months had to face massive marches, strikes and panelaços across the country, including in cities where he had massive electoral support.

The pandemic accelerated the political crisis

These were the conditions the government was in when it had to confront the capitalist crisis that the coronavirus deepened. The numbers show that the Brazilian economy is in recession, with capital flight, devaluation of the real against the dollar, and inflation. Bolsonaro was tasked with advancing the austerity measures demanded by the imperialist bourgeoisie, which – as in other countries – included labour, retirement and tax reform in favor of capital and corporations. But this plan was thwarted by the popular response. This weakened Bolsonaro and he is now increasingly isolated, losing allies at every turn. The heavy blow he received from the PSL (Liberal Social Party), which led him to the presidency and in November 2019 expelled him, leaving him without a party, adds to the loss of old and important allies such as congress members, senators and even governors.

During the pandemic friction began with members of his closest circle. He fired the respected Minister of Health Mandetta and, days ago, the almighty minister of justice and former judge in charge of Lava Jato and Lula’s imprisonment, Sergio Moro, announced his resignation accusing Bolsonaro of interference with the judiciary and casting doubts over the case of Marielle Franco, the murdered PSOL council woman.

His denialist and infamous speeches demonstrated contempt for the lives of millions, as he put health and lives at risk. But they are not the product of a demented mind: Bolsonaro knows well that if he does not prioritize capitalist gains, his government will be unable to face the consequences of the economic and social crisis that is coming. That is why he applies the tactics of a crazy firefighter, throwing fuel into the fire to polarize and retain a part of his most right-wing social base. In his vision, it is the only way to stay in power… even if it is not working for now. And he knows that too.

Bolsonaro, Mourao, Guedes and all the government bandits have to go

With Moro, who expressed a bourgeois faction linked to the powerful media network O Globo, resigning, the government crisis has taken qualitative leap. The impeachment request submitted by the three MES-PSOL deputies was joined by those of Marina Silva (Redes), Ciro Gomes’ PDT, the PSB that governs several states and even the PSL, the former Bolsonaro party. Also the main reference of bourgeois opposition, right-wing and lower house president Rodrigo Maia (Democratic Party) said he was in favor of impeachment although to this day he does not define whether or not to give way to the more than 30 orders already submitted.

The PT and Lula have been refusing to lift the slogan Out Bolsonaro and Mourcao, and its axis is to strengthen a broad electoral political front opponent of the government to win the 2022 elections. Today, with the progress of the crisis, they can no longer refuse to claim the departure of Bolsonaro, although they do so formally and without mobilizing.

Within the PSOL there is still no unity on this issue and the debates are growing and reflecting deeper ones of characterization and political orientation. The line of the sector that today leads the PSOL and which leads the Socialist Spring together with minor currents such as Strengthen, Resistance and Insurgency is to follow up on the PT: they bet on an electoral front with them to defeat Bolsonaro electorally. The MES, which is ordered only by electoral and by its centrist character, ranges from opportunistic majority to the party’s left.

We, with Luta Socialista (LS), Liberdade e Revolucao Popular (LRP), Socialism ou Barbarie (SoB) and independent personalities defend the line of driving the widest unity in the fight to drive Bagnaro and his vice, the captain of the Mourcao army. We call for the formation of a classicist and anti-capitalist front that presents a political and programmatic alternative of the left and socialist for us to govern the workers.

Unions and power plants give Bagnaro air

The bureaucracy directs the main workers’ centres, the CUT and the CTB, which led by the PT, respond to the treacherous policy of not mobilizing and channeling the laborious and popular spite towards electoral exit and trust in the regime, Parliament and other institutions. While independent bureaucracy unions face adjustment measures and demand health conditions against the coronavirus, the CUT and CTB refuse to call unified national measures in a real fight plan to defeat Bolsonaro and his government.

By May 1st, all bureaucracy calls for a unitary event where neither the government nor Bolsonaro is appointed, but a very washed slogan: A new world is possible with solidarity. Former Presidents Lula and Fernando Henrique Cardozo will speak there…

PstU-LIT, with the follow-up of CST-ITU, forced a vote at the independent CSP-Conlutas plant to adhere to this act of class reconciliation. The rejection at the base of the unions and organizations that make up the CSP-Conlutas and the determined action of the United To Lutar partners, that they consistently rejected the conciliatory act, that in closing this note both the PSTU and the CST have had to rectify their embarrassing attitude.

Where’s the PSOL going?

The sector now run by the PSOL is made up of front-time and opportunistic currents. He is abandoning the PSOL’s founding program to bring him towards reconciling classes representing Lula and the PT. It is a conscious and constant policy of liquidating this independent, anti-capitalist and socialist program, which provokes increasingly disappointment in the cutting-edge sectors that saw PSOL as a radical left-wing alternative to the PT, PCdoB and other pseudo progressives who governed and still govern the service of capital.

To face this course we form the Radical Left Block together with other internal currents and present our thesis towards the next party congress: For a PSOL of struggle, radical and bases. We recently presented a document as a political resolution: Outside Bolsonaro and Mourcao! By a government of workers, workers and poor people! Only the working class can respond to the pandemic with a way out of the people.

On this path, we are moving forward with the colleagues of Lucha Socialista, promoting common campaigns and acting together in different spaces. With them we share the strategy of building the only political tool capable of defeating war plans against our people: the revolutionary, feminist, eco-socialist and international party.