Brazil

Bolsonaro, Brazil and the left

Luiza Xavier spoke at Ideas for Freedom, the Workers' Liberty summer school 2021. I feel like people in the UK, especially people, are not really tuned into what's going on in South America, are a bit surprised by the mad figure that is Bolsonaro suddenly taking power in Brazil, especially after years of PT government led to massive social reforms. 2013, I think, is a good point to start talking about how Bolsonaro managed to get into power. In 2013 there were massive demonstrations in Brazil all over, and they got kick started because of some protests around the bus fares in Sao Paulo. In...

Women's Fightback: Don't trust the "ethics committees"

Rogério Caboclo, the Brazilian Football Confederation president, has been suspended after accusations of “sexual and moral harassment”. The suspension comes just days after the announcement that Brazil will host the Copa America, Brazil was chosen at the last minute after Colombia was forced to withdraw because of anti-government protests and co-host Argentina was ruled out due to coronavirus infection rates. The worker alleges Caboclo called her into his office and asked her to remove her mask and offered her alcohol. The employee messaged two CBF directors who came and “rescued” her. However...

A setback for Bolsonaro

On 8 March, Brazilian Supreme Court judge Edson Fachin suspended four corruption charges against ex-president Lula. The charges were related to a triplex apartment, a farm and donations to the Lula institute, all allegedly given to him as bribes. Lula had previously been found guilty on those charges. He went to prison for 580 days, and was barred from running for the presidency against Bolsonaro in 2019. The charges were suspended with the reasoning that Sergio Moro was not the “natural” judge for the case, so in theory a judgement on whether Lula is guilty of corruption or not is still due...

Brazil in the pandemic

Brazil is one of the epicentres of the pandemic, surpassing 1.4 million cases and 60 thousand deaths. The pandemic has not plateaued in Brazil, yet the worst affected areas, in terms of numbers of cases, Rio and SĂŁo Paulo, have started reopening commerce, bars and restaurants. The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, maintains his position against social distancing measures (which are left to be done by local governments on a much smaller budget), and has recently vetoed policy passed in congress making the use of face-coverings compulsory in shops, schools and churches. Bolsonaro has also...

Brazil in the pandemic

Join us for our weekly online meeting, Sunday 26 July, from 6.30pm where Luiza Xavier will discuss the political background to current events in Brazil. Brazil is now one of the epicentres of the coronavirus pandemic with 1000 per day dying for the third day in a row on 20 June, and more than 50,659 killed by the virus as of 22 June. The far-right Bolsonaro government's irrational response to the pandemic has triggered political turmoil. Brazil is susceptible to the pandemic because of its weak social support system, overcrowded prison population, and the urban poor living in overcrowded...

Brazil in the pandemic

Brazil is now one of the epicentres of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The number of confirmed cases is over 200,000, and deaths over 15,000, making it the fourth largest outbreak in the world. The still almost-exponentially-increasing number of cases has, however, not been enough to convince Jair Bolsonaro to establish any sort of federal social distancing policy. The president was instead interviewed at a floating barbecue party (!) as the number of deaths reached 10,000. Local governments have tried to institute their own policies, but lack of federal funding, extreme poverty and years of...

Marxists and “left governments”

“We are not a government party; we are the party of irreconcilable opposition… Our tasks... we realise not through the medium of bourgeois governments... but exclusively through the education of the masses through agitation, through explaining to the workers what they should defend and what they should overthrow. Such a “defence” cannot give immediate miraculous results. But we do not even pretend to be miracle workers. As things stand, we are a revolutionary minority. Our work must be directed so that the workers on whom we have influence should correctly appraise events, not permit...

Amazon fires threaten the Earth

Fires are sweeping the Amazon rainforest. They are facilitated by global warming to date and also fuel future climatic catastrophe. They have been driven by deforestation and sparked further deforestation. Brazil’s president Bolsonaro and politicians internationally have responded with empty words and little action. August saw a spike in fires across the world’s largest rainforest. In 2019 so far Brazil’s space agency has recorded over 40,000. There are fires in the Amazon all year round, and August is generally the beginning of “fire season”, but this year’s rate of fires is nonetheless...

General strike in Brazil

On Friday 14 June, schools, public transport, banks, universities and factories in Brazil stopped in Brazil for the first general strike under the right-wing Bolsonaro administration which took office in January. The strike was called collectively by various trade union “centrals”, political parties (such as the PT, PSOL and the PCdoB), and numerous student unions. Its main demand is a stop to the pensions reform, which is set to go through the Chamber of Deputies in the week starting 17 June. Pensions have been used as a scapegoat, since the Temer government, to justify the lack of investment...

Edge of Democracy

Petra Costa was a child when Workers’ Party (PT) leader Lula da Silva became President of Brazil in 2003. Her parents had been detained and worked underground for the PT and the overthrow of the military dictatorship of 1965-1985. This documentary is a personal quest to make sense of her deep disappointment at the overthrow of the PT government of 2003-2018 by supporters of that military dictatorship. She has assembled footage of her family, of protests, of interviews with PT supporters, with the two PT Presidents Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, and, of parliamentary proceedings. Opponents...

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