Brazil: Bolsonaro’s Auto-Putsch Failed!


Workers on the move to the general strike on June 14!


Statement of the Corrente Comunista Revolucionária-CCR (Brazilian section of the RCIT), 31 May 2019,




The demonstrations of radical right-wing forces on 26 May have been a failure. These demonstrations had been organized by social networks close to President Bolsonaro and his sons. They called for a regime change with fascist characteristic, for closing of the Congress, closing of the National Supreme Court and for centralizing powers in Bolsonaro’s hands. It was an ill-fated attempt of ultra-reactionary and fascist forces to impose their plans to build a Bonapartist system.


The bourgeois sectors that struck the coup in 2016 are in the midst of a power struggle but their ultimate aims were the push through radical neoliberal reforms. However, in this process fascist forces could massively grow which became very visible during the demonstrations on 26 May. Characteristically, the demonstrators were mostly white middle class, conservative, racist and slave-minded.


The mobilizations in favor of the president were much smaller than the march of 1.5 million on May 15. This was a protest against the cuts in education, but also against the reform of Social Security (a fact hidden by the media) that were led by educators and students. The fact that the monopolized press has hidden that the demonstrations of May 15 were also against the reform of Social Security meant that even some sites of leftist organizations in Latin America (included Trotskyist organizations) also could not elaborate a more accurate analysis of the events.


This risky attitude of Bolsonaro occurred shortly after the Public Prosecutor's Office have requested the bank and fiscal secrecy breach of his son Flávio Bolsonaro and of another 94 people and some companies, on April 15, when they affirmed to have gathered information of that he would have invested 2 million dollars in the purchase of 19 properties. "The sales declared between 2010 and 2017 would represent a profit of 750 thousand dollars," said the Prosecutors. It then listed a total of 37 properties in a request for information to Rio de Janeiros’ registry offices. Such movements are considered as a form of money laundering by the prosecutors. Flávio is also being investigated for alleged links with the militias that killed councilwoman Marielle from the party PSOL. The breach of bank secrecy may directly hit the wife of President, Michelle Bolsonaro, because of a poorly explained deposit of about 10,000 dollars made by a former employee of Flavio, Fabrício Queiroz.


The day after his son's bank secrecy was broken, during an official trip to Dallas in the United States, Bolsonaro angrily declared, "Do you want to hit me? Come to me. You want to break my secrecy, I know you have to have a fact, but I'll open my bank breach. You will not get me !!". Soon after, Bolsonaro made the "convocation" of the population in support of his government for May 26.


The monopolized bourgeois press (Folha de São Paulo newspaper, Organizações Globo, Rede Bandeirantes television, etc.) controlled by the financial system criminally has hidden the fascist characteristic of these demonstrations preferring to show the few photos in which some supporters of Bolsonaro defended the reform of Social Security and others in favor of the liberation of weapons to the richer population (the cost of registering and buying weapons amounts to almost a thousand dollars). Much more important for sectors of bourgeois press is to defend neoliberal reforms, even if an openly fascist regime is needed.


However not all the bourgeoisie agrees to Bolsonaro’s plans. The powerful Federation of Industry of the State of São Paulo-FIESP refused to give its support, as well as the traditional right-wing parties PSDB, DEM, PP, etc., as well as the powerful agribusiness sector that has a strong lobby in the national congress and bugged off, including the far-right organization Movimento Brasil Livre-MBL. One of the leaders of MBL, Kim Kataguiri, said: "We did not join because we do not agree with protesters, government supporters who desire that the president can freely do what he wants. The president needs to be complimented when he is right and criticized when he makes mistakes, like any healthy democracy. And, secondly, because we do not agree with guidelines such as the closing of the Federal Supreme Court and the National Congress."


The day after the relative failure of the Bolsonarists demonstrations, the president makes a strategic withdrawal and met with the presidents of the federal and Senate Chambers along with the president of the Supreme Court to establish a pact of governability in the name of economic reforms. One question remains in the air, what is the Supreme Court president doing in a meeting between the executive and the legislature to establish economic measures that explicitly go against the constitution? Brazil has reached the point when the traditional disguise that there is independence between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary is being openly abandoned.




What is Bolsonaro's true power project?




There is only one project that unifies all those sectors of the bourgeoisie that are in an open struggle for power: the neoliberal reforms. The bourgeoisie, in choosing Jair Bolsonaro in the 2018 elections, hoped that Jair Bolsonaro would be the right man for this project. They were already aware of his lack of preparation, his political incapacity and his truculence, but everyone hoped to be able to control himself when he took power, including the generals who prevented Lula da Silva from the Workers Party from being a candidate. What they did not expect is that Bolsonaro and his family clan, guided by their guru, the US-based astrologer Olavo de Carvalho, had their own power project that they do not want to be submissive to either the congress or the Federal Supreme Court and even refuse to be submissive to generals, for example Vice President Hamilton Mourão. Bolsonaro and his clan desire a Bonapartist regime with strong fascist tonalities to make not only ultraliberal reforms but to crush all resistance from the mass movement, all workers' and peasants organizations.


Bolsonaro's Bonapartist project has the support of a small sector of businessmen, also the low-ranking officers of the Armed Forces, the military police in the federal states, the raging, fascist Bolsonarists middle class whose numbers in demonstration on May 26 were far below the demonstration of educators and students in the latter May 15. The Workers' Party, the main opposition party, remains at the same level of 30% electoral support. Such indices clearly demonstrate that the traditional rightist party which organized the institutional coup against President Roussef in practice has paved the way for the radicalized extreme neo-fascist movement leaded by the president Jair Bolsonaro.




Brazil on the verge of a recession




In a long article published on May 27 on the Spanish website El País the prestigious Keynesian economist Jose Luis Oreiro points out that the chance of Brazil entering into a technical recession in 2019 is at 70%. The economist argues that the moment is not cutting off but increasing public investment, and calls Paulo Guedes à "poker player" by linking the solution to the economic disaster scenario to the approval of the Pension Reform. Oreiro also says that the current austerity policy of the economy minister's team is misguided and will not help put the country back on the path of growth. On the contrary, Oreiro evaluates that the Brazilian economy is already showing signs of contraction and Brazil is in danger of plunging back into recession. The economist's opinion contradicts liberal economists, since, in his evaluation, the moment is not of cuts, but of increase of the public investment. (1)


According to José Luis Oreiro, the unemployment rate in Brazil was 12.4% in the quarter, reaching 13.1 million people, according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). According to data released by the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) "The result shows the return of the economy to the negative terrain after eight quarters of growth. This scenario is disheartening when it turns out that the previous eight quarters were not enough to stimulate a significant resumption of the economy after the recession of 2014-2016. These figures reflect the political and economic uncertainty that has a direct effect on investments and impact the evolution of economic activity, especially the industrial sector, which has jeopardized the resumption of employment affecting the consumption of families."




General strike June 14, How are mass movements organizing?




It is within this chaotic context of economic, political and social crisis implanted since the institutional coup d´etat in 2016, after the electoral fraud built with the arrest and impediment of Lula da Silva-PT, after the series of attacks on social and labor rights, the successive privatizations of national wealth, that all the trade union centrals and the main parties on the left were forced to mobilize the masses. What is at stake is the struggle against ultra-neo-liberal barbarism, the struggle for democratic rights coupled with the struggle for socialism for the liberation of the working class of the city and the peasants. (2)


The website of the Unified Workers' Central-CUT announces that "The general strike of 14 June against pension reform and more jobs, which is being organized by the CUT and other union centers - CTB, Força Sindical, CGTB, CSB, Nova Central, CSP-Conlutas and Intersindical - won the adhesion of students and teachers after the Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) government announced cuts that made public education impossible, from elementary to post-graduate education in the country." Also joining the mobilization of the general strike are the MST, the MTST, the PCO, the PSOL, PCdoB, etc.


The Brazilian section of the RCIT will be present in the demonstrations.