Brazil: The Regime of Exception is a Short Step to Become an International Pariah!


Statement of Corrente Comunista Revolucionária (Section of the RCIT in Brazil), 23 August 2018,




In 1985, as president of Brazil, José Sarney, the first civilian president after the end of the military dictatorship opened the inaugural session of the 40th General Assembly of United Nations. In his speech, he highlighted Brazil's return to democracy and condemned the Apartheid, a regime of racial segregation practiced in South Africa. The president gave the world the tone of how Brazil would from that moment position itself in its foreign relations. At the time, Sarney also communicated to the UN, the decision to adhere to the Covenants of the Organization of Civil and Political Rights and to the Conventions against Torture and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.


Exactly 38 years later, on August 17, 2018, the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHCR) asked the Brazilian government to guarantee the political rights of former President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva in prison and not prevent him from competing in the October presidential election until all the appeals of his condemnation are completed. The manifestation of the UNHCR happened after request by the lawyers of Lula, presented at the end of April of this year. At the moment Lula is imprisoned, almost incommunicado, also forbidden to participate in electoral debates in radios and television networks, while in polls he reaches almost 40% of the intentions to vote.


The leading jurists argue that Brazil, when it voluntarily took the decision to accede to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, automatically transformed this international treaty into a law that must be complied with it internally. The country should therefore be linked to the decisions of the United Nations within this document, as are those of the UN Human Rights Committee. Cristiano Zanin, one of Lula's lawyers stressed that "this is a mandatory decision, it is a decision that Brazil has to fulfill. Brazil sovereignly obliged itself to accept the jurisdiction of the UN Human Rights Committee, an injunction of this international body has to be fulfilled, it is obligatory!" Zanin also recalled that there are doctrinal works of important Brazilian jurists as well as precedents in the courts, recognizing not only the validity but also as the compulsory character of UN Committee decisions.


But let us not have illusions. The United Nations is a body controlled by the United States and other imperialist countries. The most likely motive for this decision by the Human Rights Committee may be related to the fear of world imperialism that the political situation in Brazil may be out of control and generate a pre-revolutionary situation that could spread throughout South America at an exact moment that the Venezuelan government is at the focus of intervention threats.


Anyway, the reaction against the document Committee of the UN by the reactionary putschist government of Michel Temer was immediate. The Justice Minister Torquato Jardim said that the preliminary injunction to Brazil adopt "the necessary measures" to guarantee Lula's participation in the elections has "no legal relevance, an undue political and ideological interference."


This same news that benefits Lula was featured in the world's leading newspapers, such as New York Times, Le Monde, El Pais, The Guardian,etc, was totally ignored by major Brazilian newspapers, beginning with the All-Powerful Globo TV network. However, failing to keep this as a secret for a long time, Globo decided to lessen the impact of the news by stating that the statement of the UN Human Rights Committee was worthless, it was just a recommendation.


It is clear to anyone who wants to see that the discussion goes beyond legal means and becomes essentially political. If Lula, being arrested and incommunicado, reaches a 39% support in the surveys, by a population that saw his social, labor and civil rights being exploded after the coup d'état in 2016, it is not difficult to imagine what would be with him free and campaigning .


The case of Lula da Silva's extreme dubious conviction, with a strong political content, is not the only one in recent years. The regime of exception is directed against the huge majority of the people with some measures worthy of an Apartheid regime. The presumption of innocence until the judicial appeal was ultimately thrown in the trash. The witness immunities made under psychological torture with suspects of corruption are only realized after threats from several long years of imprisonment make the accused to accuse his own mother. The so-called Coercive Conduction accompanied by sensationalist television networks, without the citizen being previously informed or even summoned, became a judicial media spectacle. A Coercive Conduction is a juridical tool created whereby any citizen can be arrested and taken by surprise to the police department to provide clarification of alleged crimes which previously he even did not know he was being investigated.


The demoralization of politics and politicians sponsored by the media and the judiciary transformed legislative and executive power into mere adjuncts. Today in Brazil, not very subtly, the government is actually exercised by the Federal Supreme Court along with powerful TV Globo television in association with the Public Prosecutors. Members of these institutions have become superstars in the name of the "fight against corruption", but in fact with strong semi-fascist totalitarian tendencies. The public prosecutors have even proposed to demand the end of the right to habeas corpus.


Within this context, it was not surprising to see the Brazilian ruling elite arrogant reaction to the UN document that calls for respect for the very laws of the Brazilian constitution. In not fulfilling the determination of the UN Human Rights Committee, as established by law, the Brazilian government is in a short step from becoming an international pariah as it was South Africa in the Apartheid era.


There is also another element of crisis for the ruling class. Geraldo Alckmin, former governor of the state of São Paulo (the richest in the country), is the favorite presidential candidate of the financial sector, of imperialism and of the ruling elite as a whole, currently receives only 5% in the polls. The reflection of this is that the national currency, the Real, is suffering a speculative attack of the market, having risen that week to more than 4 reais to buy 1 dollar. This is a development very similar to what is happening to Turkey. Day by day it becomes clear that the presidential race should take place, on the one hand, between the extreme-right, represented by the semi-fascist candidate Jair Bolsonaro and, on the other hand, the left with Lula da Silva or his substitute in the PT (Fernando Haddad) or another candidate considered from the left. But even this possibility can be run over by upcoming events.


With just over 5 weeks left for the presidential election, we are witnessing a real impasse that raises the following doubts: 1) If the political and economic crisis grows, will there really be elections in October? 2) If the winner will be a leftist, will he actually take office? 3) If he takes office will he stay until the end of the term? 4) Anyway, will they succeed in implementing neoliberal structural reforms?


The position of the CCR is clearly for the end of the exception regime, consequently for the return of democracy and the end of all the structural reforms made by the reactionary putchist government of Michel Temer. We have no illusions about bourgeois democracy; in the end we know that all elections are controlled by the bourgeoisie. However, the weakening or destruction of the few rights that the working class possesses within bourgeois democracy is something of interest to the revolutionaries.


* No to the criminalization of political demonstrations and the criminalization of social movements!


* Immediate freedom to Lula da Silva and his right to run the presidential elections!


* Down with all measures of exception regime like Coercive Conduction and witness immunity!


* Public safety is not the role of the Armed Forces! For the cancellation of federal military intervention in the state of Rio de Janeiro!


* For the creation of action committees in factories, unions, neighborhoods, favelas and peripheral regions in defense of our rights and against the putschist government and against any military intervention! For committees of self-defense of the workers and poor in the neighborhoods and peripheries!


* Down with the constitutional law that allows the army to intervene in political matters!


* For the Revolutionary Constituent Assembly!


* For a Government of the Workers in alliance with the Urban and Rural Poor!


* For a revolutionary workers' party – a new World Party of the Socialist Revolution! For the Fifth International