Brazil: Another Major Crisis of the Bolsonaro Government Explodes



Political turmoil on the eve of the 57th anniversary of the military dictatorship


Statement of Corrente Comunista Revolucionária (Brazilian section of RCIT), 1 April 2021, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT),




On the morning of the 30th of this month, the eve of the 57th anniversary of the nefarious military coup of March 31, 1964, President Jair Bolsonaro dismissed the defense minister, General Fernando de Azevedo Silva, and the commanders of the Army, Navy and of Aeronautics.


The day before, the president was forced to dismiss the foreign minister, Ernesto Araujo. Araújo was the main overseas representative of the Bolsonaro government's submission to former U.S. President Donald Trump, even making statements that Joe Biden's election was through fraud, immediately causing a crisis with the new government even before Biden took office. Moreover, he was very comfortable to utter various offenses to the government of China and its ambassador to Brazil while he was in office. Such attitudes deeply frightened the powerful export agribusiness sector fearful of losing billionaire deals with commodity sales to the Middle Kingdom. At least half of the national congress is made up of landowners.


The president was felting the danger of an impending impeachment process not only as a result of Trump's defeat, but also being considered primarily responsible for Covid-19's immense death toll (318,000). Genocide is the most common name that is today called the president. The country has been experiencing a growing economic crisis for some years and which worsened in the face of the pandemic with rising inflation that reached almost 5% in 2020, a devastating drop in GDP of less than 4.1%, unemployment in the range of 15% of the active population (14 million people), the devaluation of the currency against the dollar reaching 40%, and consequently a sharp increase in hunger and the misery of the people.


However, the factor that further triggered the crisis in the Bolsonaro government was the return to the scene of former President Lula da Silva after the Supreme Court, in a still temporary decision, canceled the trial in which he was convicted. A judgment considered to be a kind of lawfare and full of impartiality by Judge Moro, including reported by the New York Times newspaper that in an article considered the judge as the one who “perverted the Brazilian judicial system”. (1) Lula's return infuriated President Bolsonaro. It is said that he demanded from the, meanwhile dismissed, defense minister, General Fernando de Azevedo Silva, a statement of repudiation to the Supreme Court for having released Lula, which was categorically rejected by both the minister and the other commanders of the Armed Forces.


The dismissal of the defense minister and the commanders of the Armed Forces took place in this turbulent context. But this is no guarantee for Bolsonaro that in future the substitutes would support a coup within the coup to allow the rise of the former Captain to establish an explicit Bonapartist dictatorship. Brazil is not Myanmar. The national financial bourgeoisie knows that the new U.S. Administration of Joe Biden does not have confidence in Bolsonaro. The European Union with Macron at the head leads the rejection of the president purposely and claiming defense of the Amazon, but in fact for electoral reasons it is managing to delay a billionaire EU agreement with Mercosur.


The current situation can be summarized as follows: The traditional right represented by the bourgeois PSDB, PMDB, PP, DEM, which are traditional opponents of the Workers' Party, do not have the strength to impose themselves as a protagonist in this dispute. Left-wing sectors such as PT, PSOL, PCdoB, etc., also do not achieve this condition. Much less strength has the extreme right which tends to supporting the president, PSL, Republican Party, New Party, etc.


This impasse demonstrates that there is no possibility of an immediate impeachment, not for now. However, the consequences of this week's events could be one of the following:


1) A possible impeachment putting Vice President General Mourão in power, which is difficult because it is considered by all to be a process that takes months.


2) Immediate removal of the president due to complete inability to hold office.


3) A Bolsonaro government that will arrive until the elections of 2022 with permanent instability, without imposing itself, but also not very weakened.


The dream of a large part of the Brazilian reformist left is a new alliance with the traditional right. Lula da Silva already made a speech on March 10, shortly after the Supreme Court decision pointing to this solution, that is, a strong Frente Ampla (Broad Front coalition) with the same sectors that made the parliamentary coup in 2016 possible and paved the way for the ascent of the extreme right in the person of Jair Bolsonaro.


Such an alliance is in no way in the interest of the workers and the oppressed. It would be an alliance in which to face defeating Bolsonaro there will be a condition for the left to not hinder the so-called neoliberal reforms.


We from the Corrente Comunista Revolucionária, Brazilian section of RCIT, consider it as important to strongly resist to any attempt by Bolsonaro to harden the regime through a coup within the coup. However, we also reject such a broad Frente Ampla with the sectors of the traditional right, justified with the argument of fighting fascism. In practice, such a alliance would only serve to intensify more neoliberal economic measures. The task of defeating Bolsonaro regime and his far-right militias lies with the workers in an organized manner and not with right-wing parties and the bourgeoisie. The same with an impeachment process. We don’t prefer General Mourão to Bolsonaro!


We call the left and the trade union to go into the offensive and to mobilize for a plano de luta (fight plan) including mass demonstrations strikes and general strikes. Such a plan needs to include social, economic, democratic and health demands.


We propose to fight for a workers and popular government based on popular councils and militias. We call the left and the trade union to fight for such a perspective instead of any treacherous electoral alliances with the right wing.


In fact, what we need is an independent and authentic revolutionary party – nationally and internationally. The RCIT calls revolutionary activists in Brazil and globally to unite on the basis of a program of struggle against the current reactionary offensive of the bourgeoisie.




1 Operation Car Wash Was No Magic Bullet. The largest anti-graft effort in the world couldn’t stop endemic corruption in Brazil. By Gaspard Estrada


See on this also: Michael Pröbsting: Military Coups and Revolutionary Tactics. Some Theoretical Thoughts on Different Types of Coups in the Present Period and the Consequential Tasks of Marxist Revolutionaries, 5 December 2017,