Brazil: Interview with Glauber Braga. Federal Deputy for Rio de Janeiro. Pre-candidate for President for the PSOL

Glauber Braga PSOL

Below we share the interview that the International Socialist League conducted with comrade Glauber Braga, Federal Deputy (legislator) for Rio de Janeiro and pre-presidential candidate for the PSOL. His candidacy is promoted by a group of organizations within the party, signatories of a programmatic manifesto in defense of the historical flags of the PSOL, currently threatened by sectors that intend to re-found it to attach it to the front of class conciliation promoted by the PT.

Dear Glauber, 29M was a day of great mobilizations throughout the country, what is your assessment?

Glauber Braga: First, thank you for the opportunity to do this interview. The 29th it had a fundamental importance. Brazil organized in its most varied regions to say NO MORE to the policies implemented by Jair Bolsonaro. More than 116 million people suffer some type of food insecurity in Brazil. Millions of people are starving. A death policy implemented by the Ministry of Health, with the guidance of Bolsonaro, which has already killed more than 460,000 people. And they still use the pandemic period to try to push through privatizations and counter reforms. What makes stop is the organization, the mobilization of the Brazilian people. The 29th was a strong demonstration that the majority of the Brazilian population cannot take this anymore and that Bolsonaro has to leave the presidency of the republic immediately.

Why do you think that Lula did not participate or call to mobilize on 29M?

GB: Well, I think that question can best be answered by the political forces that made the decision to not get involved, to not put all their energy into 29M. From our side, we consider that postponing to next year the expectations for Bolsonaro’s defeat, or outsourcing that task to the institutions, is a mistake. We have to put all energy into defeating Bolsonaro and his politics now. And this is done with mobilization, with popular articulation. If we place too many expectations in bourgeois instruments or institutions for that defeat, we could be making a big mistake. Because in the application of the ultra-liberal agenda, the extreme right and the liberal right that disguises itself as the center, come together to apply the same agenda. And a significant portion of that right that masquerades as center is who dominates the orientation of the Brazilian institutions. Betting on and working for popular organization so that the people defeat Jair Bolsonaro is, to our understanding, the best way.

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Tell me what you think of the PT’s strategy and what your opinion is on the orientation of sectors of the PSOL to form a Broad Front with Lula at its head.

GB: The PSOL membership will decide this, either in a Congress in September or in an Electoral Conference next year. I offered my name as a presidential pre-candidate with the support of a group of political forces of the party and this pre-candidacy was born with three immediate tasks: the first, to show that you can be a pre-candidate without outsourcing all expectations to the electoral route for next year; second, the anti-capitalist program, in dialogue with social movements and organized civil society, that has the ability to be non-sectarian but has political radicalism and is popular. We cannot hide under the table. We have to present ourselves in full; and the third task, to not turn our back on that unity of the left that the more extended vanguard or those who reject the Bolsonaro government ask for, but we do not accept being coopted by the liberal right that disguises itself as the center. Doria, Mandeta, Moro, Paes, Maia, Lemann and company cannot sit at this table. A program of the left that is not afraid to say that it is anti-capitalist, that is at the disposal of the strengthening of the socialist strategy.

Is there space for a radical left proposal?

GB: Look, I think there is a lot of space in Brazil to strengthen the radical left. Every day I see more youth mobilizing, organizing to defend the socialist strategy. And I say more, we can only overcome Bolsonaro and those who support him with a project that is radical left. What does Bolsonaro sustain? The ultra-liberal agenda of dismantling social guarantees, the agenda of expanding the penal and punitive state and various fundamentalisms. Without a radical project you cannot confront that, you cannot defeat those structures. This is the task of the PSOL, this is the task of the radical left. The strengthening of the socialist strategy to overcome this Bolsonarist capitalism. That is why we cannot be afraid to defend an anti-capitalist program.

The manifesto of your pre-candidacy launching proposes 4 axes. Which are they?

GB: The initial proposal of the manifesto is much broader than this, whoever wants to know has only to search for “Glauber Manifesto”, I will say a super summary.

First axis: defeating rentism and neoliberalism. Nationalization of the financial system, referendum to revoke privatizations and couter-reforms.

Second: to defeat the large ladowners and the policies of environmental destruction with a departure from the current model that is agro-exporter for a model of strengthening agro-ecology and family farming, protecting all of our biomes.

Third: strengthening public services and social guarantees, a “super SUS” (Unified Health System), universalization of public health and education, confronting the interests of private health and education. We cannot naturalize that in a pandemic period, we have billionaires in private health. This is absurd and has to be confronted to strengthen public guarantees.

Fourth: confrontation with structural racism, LGBTphobia, sexism and with ten-year plans in dialogue with all social forces and movements that have been facing oppression for a long time.

Anything we have not asked and consider important?GB: Thank you for the interview, I repeat that we are going through a very difficult time, I already talked about this but I want to repeat it. In Brazil, our mobilization in the streets is a political necessity, it is not a whim or a desire, it is for survival. More than 116 million Brazilians go through some type of food insecurity, millions of people go hungry, as I have already said. More than 460 thousand people died due to the fatal policy of the federal government. And the people are mobilized. The 29th was a success, there is already a mobilization called for June 13 and also a broad national mobilization for June 19. We stand firmly for defeating the self-styled fascists. Long live the socialist struggle! Down with capitalism!