Brazil at the crossroads

Central Committee of the PCdoB releases a resolution to “Re-elect Dilma Rousseff for more changes in the country”.

Proletarian writers

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Proletarian writers

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The statement below, issued by its central committee on 8 June, sets out the position of the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) regarding the forthcoming elections in Brazil.

In the run-up to the party conventions and the World Cup, Brazil has been going through an intense political debate on the elections that will decide its future, amidst growing expectations because of the most important sports event on the planet.

In this context, the opposition has started the game of ‘championship’ losing once more, associating itself with the hostile mass national and international media, and politicising the World Cup in the worst way possible: it is trying to make Brazil fail as a host country of this mega-event and is in denial of the important economic, social and sports gains that the country has made, or of the legacy that it will leave behind.

The moment of decision has come, and the PCdoB reaffirms its assessment that great things have been done in the period between 2003 and 2014, during the governments of Lula and Dilma. Equally, we are sure that in the next four years the country, now in a better condition, will be able to overcome old obstacles and enter a new development phase, with more change and democratic structural reforms – which will result in even greater conquests for the nation and the workers.

On the basis of these convictions, the national direction board of the PCdoB sent a proposal of support for the candidacy of Dilma Rousseff, of the Workers Party (PT) for the Presidency of the Republic to its national convention.

The reasons for this decision are ones that the party has been defending publicly since its 13th congress, held in November last year, and which have been updated during the course of the political struggle this year.

Brazil’s destiny is at stake: to go forward or backwards!

The nearer we get to the elections in October, the clearer become the political crossroads that the country has reached. To continue forwards – with quick steps progressing to make further changes and preserve the conquests of the last 11 years – or to go backwards, with the return of the conservative opposition, which, when in power in the nineties, governed against the people, restricted democracy and disrespected the sovereignty of the country.

At this stage of the confrontation, within the opposition, the financial oligarchy and the most conservative sector of the upper classes look likely to choose the ‘tucano’ Aécio Neves as their favourite candidate. He is doing everything to consolidate himself as the choice of the conservative forces, and by doing so he is really showing who he is.

For a start, so as to leave no doubt as to whom he represents, he brought back to the political scene the former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso as the godfather of his candidature. Moreover, his planned governmental plan congregates the ‘crème de la crème’ of Brazil’s neo-liberal theoreticians and executives of the capitalists.

This right-wing candidate has told the bankers that he is ready to adopt bitter, “unpopular” recipes, which can only be interpreted as a cut in the rights and conquests of the people. The alternative programme that he has announced – although it was recycled and appeared in camouflage to be adapted to our days – is nevertheless the old neo-liberal recipe that failed all over the world, as well as in Brazil.

Dilma, a leader capable of conducting Brazil to a new phase of development

Brazil under the presidency of Dilma Rousseff has known how to confront the negative impacts of the crisis of capitalism. This crisis made the world economy shrink, spread unemployment and cut social rights all over the world.

The president, on the other hand, has combatted the crisis without creating a burden on the workers, nor diminishing the policies that took millions out of extreme poverty (by the way, Brazil is about to eradicate extreme poverty). One measure has been to adopt public investment policies and partnerships with the private sector – to expand the production of energy and improve logistical infrastructure, trying in that way to increase economic growth.

Unemployment rates decreased to 5.9 percent in 2013, and, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), will reduce even more in 2015. The policy of the ‘real minimum wage increase’, which the opposition calls ‘irresponsible’, has been an important tool for obtaining more value for work and reducing social inequality.

President Dilma, at the time of the June 2013 demonstrations, showed her commitment to the improvement of democracy, and in practice revealed how much she valued social movements, defending the importance of people demonstrating and trying to respond to their demands.

Recently, she regulated by decree the National Social Participation Policy, consolidating popular participation as a governmental method and strengthening the powers of councils, conferences, public consultations, and even online social participation environments.

In opposition to the demands of the demonstrations from the streets, which demanded more democracy, the opposition is revealing once more its authoritarian essence by trying to cancel the correct and progressive initiative of president Dilma.

In the last four years, Brazil has reinforced its sovereignty, relying on Latin-American and Caribbean integration, and on the creation of a counter-hegemonic pole to US imperialism. Next month, in Fortaleza, the president will host an important meeting of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

All these accomplishments were achieved while the government has been under a fierce attack from the consortium of the opposition constituted by conservative forces, by the financial oligarchy and by big communications monopolies.

President Dilma Rousseff has thus emerged at the end of her mandate and is launching her reelection campaign with her authority strengthened: she has the announced support of representative parties of a vast political scope, which encompasses parties from the left to the centre; and, apart from that, is a leader who is respected by social movements and by the people.

She showed, under difficult circumstances, the strength and competence of the Brazilian woman. Therefore, Dilma presents herself as a leader capable of renewing hope and leading Brazil to a new phase of development with more changes and conquests.

A campaign with an advanced programme and the leading role of the people and the left

The conservative opposition, rejected by the people in three consecutive elections (2002, 2006 and 2010), and facing a possible fourth defeat … despises the debate on social programmes, and it fights with all means at its disposal. The presidential succession, therefore, will continue under conditions of fierce political and social confrontation.

The PCdoB is convinced that the people will have a fourth victory – the re-election of president Dilma – stressing that nevertheless the victory will have to be won battle by battle, step by step, and that in this phase the broadness of the coalition that is about to be formed must be taken into account; the necessary value to the role of the left and of social movements must be given; as well as to the advanced government programme for the re-election campaign of the president.

The PCdoB believes that the re-election campaign of the president must be built within a great national mobilisation that forges a new political and social majority around a progressive and advanced programme. The PCdoB believes that the pivot of this programme must be democratic structural reforms. With that perspective, the PCdoB convention will approve a set of ideas and proposals for the governmental programme of our candidate.

Among these democratic structural reforms, there are four nowadays that deserve attention:

1. A political democratic reform that will raise the people’s participation in politics, strengthen the parties and combat the influence of economic and financial power in election campaigns.

2. The democratisation of the monopolistic media, to offer society the effective right to democratic communication, with full freedom of expression, which is suffocated today by the monopolies.

3. An urban reform that is capable of responding to the crisis in the cities – mainly urban mobility, safety and popular housing.

4. A progressive tax reform, placing higher taxes on the super-rich and the rentiers, taking the load off those who produce and those who work.

Due to the importance of this democratic political reform, the PCdoB proposes to the popular and progressive forces the formation of a pact around points that broaden and perfect democracy. It has become imperative to adopt a macroeconomic policy that contributes to increasing investment and the productivity of the economy, favouring also the development of Brazilian industry.

These changes are crucial for the country to be able to maintain solid and long-lasting growth, with more production of wealth – a vital condition for social progress and better pay and conditions for workers.

A project for a new phase also requires greater national integration, with a reduction in regional inequalities and the building of a strong, dynamic logistical infrastructure and economically sustainable alternatives.

Conventions: a start-up for the success of the electoral project of the PCdoB

Finally, the national leadership of the PCdoB calls on all of its leaders and militants, supported by the people and by the network of friends of our party, to reinforce their work on all fronts in order to secure the electoral victory of communists. The conventions must ensure a vigorous effort of commitment and support for our candidates.

The strengthening of the Brazilian left – a condition for the continuation of progressive change in Brazil – necessitates a stronger PCdoB at state government level, as in the case of the government of Maranhão, and a bigger representation at the Chamber of Deputies, at the Federal Senate and in the Legislative Assemblies.