Brazil: Right-Wing Opposition threatens with a Coup d’État

Corrente Comunista Revolucionária (RCIT Brazil), 18.11.2014, and


On 13 November, the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo published that during, this year’s election campaign, agents of the federal police, who are now heading up the Lavajato operation against corruption at Petrobras, used social networking to praise Senator Aecio Neves, the PSDB candidate for president, and attack former President Lula and his successor, Dilma Rousseff, who was seeking reelection. Among other adjectives these agents dubbed the incumbent president a “tapir” (a large herbivorous mammal, similar in shape to a pig – Editor) while declaring that “communism and socialism are great evils which threaten society.”

This past weekend was marked by federal police conducting arrests of big businessmen and powerful contractors known to be big contributors to electoral funding. A clear message is being sent to this sector of the bourgeoisie: "Stop funding the election campaigns of the PT."

The PMDB, the main ally of Rousseff's government, put forth as its candidate for president of the chamber of federal deputies, Mr Eduardo Cunha, a move which likely augers a possible betrayal and break with the Popular Front which has ruled the country since 2003. Securing the position of president of the chamber of federal deputies for Cunha can assure a possible impeachment of President Dilma.

This weekend, the Justice Minister, José Eduardo Cardozo (PT-SP), went public and denounced the use by the PSDB opposition of prisons for achieving a political “third round,” a euphemism for a coup. But at the same time it is clear that the PT machine does not control its pseudo-ally PMDB, let alone the federal police.

On her way to Australia for the G-20, Dilma tried not to make any comment, but when confronted by the national press at the site of the conference had to explain that all allegations will be investigated, regardless of whom they hurt, even though she herself knows that most of the pain will be felt by the federal government. During the years of the Lula government, Dilma was responsible for the management of Petrobras and established a reputation of being “competent.”

Once, the professional rightwing coup politician, Carlos Lacerda, remarked about the possibility of former dictator Getúlio Vargas’ winning the election of 1950 "He cannot be a candidate; if he is candidate he cannot win, if he wins he cannot take office; if he takes office he will be overthrown." The same process is now underway.

Clearly, the mainly financial bourgeoisie linked to US-European imperialism, feels that after twelve years of PT governments, its continued rule is no longer acceptable. However, the Lula-Dilma government has, in recent years, built a strong relationship with the Chinese and Russian imperialism. China is the main trading partner of Brazil. Rousseff declared this same weekend in Brisbane, Australia at the G-20, that Brazil is neutral on the question of the Ukraine, in practice giving Brazilian support to Putin and Russian imperialism.

The possible impeachment of Dilma would have the PMDB vice president, Michel Temer, assume the presidency and, if so, all indications are that Brazil’s current pro-China/Russia alignment would be finished. This entire process of a “constitutional coup” is being managed directly by Western imperialism, with the United States in the lead. This last weekend, for the second time, a demonstration of ten thousand people was held in São Paulo against the re-election of Dilma and, according to the press, it included elements of the far right calling for the return of the military.

While there is little chance of a military coup in style of the 1960s/70s, there is a real possibility that a coup will be led by the judicial authorities and the parliament like in Honduras and Paraguay. Such a right-wing coup in the largest Latin American country will have a profound effect on all the governments in the region, particularly those of Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina.

In the event of a coup, we in the CCR and RCIT will take the same position as we have in similar cases in the past, like those in Honduras (2009), Paraguay (2012), and Thailand (2014): we will oppose any such coup and defend the government against any attempt by sectors of the ruling class to undermine or abolish bourgeois democracy. However, our defense of bourgeois democracy against any coup will not make use of backroom maneuverings, like those used by reformist leaders, but will be by means of class struggle: we will call upon the workers’ and popular movements – the PT, CUT, MST, etc. – to mobilize on the streets against the danger of a coup. It is entirely absurd that the PT should still, today, adhere to the popular front tactic, seeing as its so-called PMDB ally has already deserted this stance. Rather, the rank and file workers of the PT and CUT must force their leaderships to break all associations with the PMDB and the other bourgeois allies and mobilize for the expropriation of big business, the media, and the banks, and their placement under workers’ control. It is equally vital that self-defense units be formed by the workers and poor to fight back against the golpistas!

This is the Marxist method of the united front: looking for joint practical actions with the reformist workers’ movement against the capitalist attacks with the aim of dissolving the popular front. The united front is in clear opposition to the rotten method of popular frontism as practiced by various leftist organizations, either covertly like the PSOL or overly like the LC. In the recent presidential elections, these centrist organizations called for their members and supporters to vote for the popular front list of PT-Rousseff/PMDB-Temer. In other words, they supported the very same PMDB which is now fomenting threats of a coup d’état! Lenin and Trotsky always refused to provide any electoral support for popular fronts and this policy is still correct today, as recent events have demonstrated.

It is absolutely urgent that workers’ and the poor found a revolutionary party which refuses to give any support to popular fronts and which, at the same time, develops a non-sectarian, united front approach towards the reformist workers who are mostly still aligned with the PT. The CCR is committed to building such a party.