Brazil: The Shadow of the Military in the Putschist Regime!


For a United Front of Struggle of PT, CUT, MST, MTST, and all other Mass Workers and Popular against the looming Dictatorship! For Critical Support for the PT Candidate at the Presidential Election!


Statement of Corrente Comunista Revolucionária (Section of the RCIT in Brazil), 12 September 2018,




In an interview with O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper last week, army commander General Eduardo Villas-Bôas put the cards on the table about how the military thinks about the current electoral process. Lula can not be candidate, period!


It is necessary to clarify that the military of the Armed Forces and of all Brazilian military organizations are prohibited, by constitutional law, from expressing themselves on political and party issues. The decree 4346, of 2002, specifies the prohibitions to military on the following political manifestations: 1) The military in activity is forbidden to publicly manifest, without being authorized, on matters of political-partisan nature. 2) To take part, using military uniform, in manifestations of political-partisan nature. 3) To discuss or provoke discussion, by any means of communication, on political or military matters, unless duly authorized.


However, the current reality in Brazil after the parliamentary coup that toppled President-elect Dilma Rousseff as well as placing Michel Temer's ultra-reactionary government in office with its ultra-liberal economic measures in the presidency put back the role of the military as political protagonists. It began with the intervention of the army in the city of Rio de Janeiro. In practice Brazil is already, to a certain degree, under the tutelage of the military, the semi-dictatorship in disguise!


It is in this context that General Villas Boas affirmed that the decision of the United Nations Humans Rights Committee, which favors the right of former President Lula to participate in the campaign, even while imprisoned "is an attempt to invade our national sovereignty." The general also stated that "the worst case scenario is to have someone in a sub-judice situation, facing both the Constitution and the Clean Sheet Law, removing legitimacy, hampering the stability and governance of the future government and further dividing Brazilian society." The statements of General Villas Boas are added to the joint aberrations putschists of the judicial system, the media, the Public Ministry, and the Federal Police, etc. As we denounced in our previous articles, the country is sinking more and more into the regime of exception, and the demoralization of Brazil at an international level is becoming increasingly evident.


The Risk of a New Military Coup is not Ruled Out


Today is September 11, the bloody anniversary of the military coup of Chile in 1973, a date never to be forgotten by the Chilean and the Latin American people. The history of Brazil is no different from our Latin American brothers and sisters. It is 500 years since the discovery of the region by the Portuguese and only in 1945 the first presidential elections took place with direct secret vote and from these elected governments two suffered impeachment (Fernando Collor and Dilma Roussef). In total, the bourgeois democracy in the country did not exceed 50 years, from 1945 to 1964 (military coup) and from 1989 to 2016 (Parliamentary coup).


That is why General Villas Boas' speech should not be minimized. We even consider that the threat is not restricted to Lula da Silva as a candidate, but to any leftist leadership or party that eventually wins the elections and dare to oppose the interests of the market and imperialism.


What strikes our attention in the speech of Villas Boas is that when speaking of the decision of the UN Human Rights Committee and denouncing a supposed "invasion of national sovereignty" he does not say a word about the policy of total and complete delivery of the national patrimony carried out by the illegitimate government of Michel Temer.


Temer and his putschist gang have been delivering the national industry and the wealth of the country to the international vultures, the Great Powers (USA, China, Europe, etc.). The list is huge: Petrobras, pre-salt oil wells, Embraer, Eletrobrás, Guarani Aquifer (1), not to mention US military operations in the Amazon. Were not these facts a clear violation of national sovereignty?!


Only Mass Struggle Can Stop the Counterrevolution!


The political instability coupled with economic instability after the coup continues to grow. The coup regime is not willing to abandon the attacks on the workers and poor. A new coup within the coup is not ruled out, i.e. the undisguised military intervention for what they call "re-establishing law and order."


The only way to defeat the right is the revolutionary mobilization of the masses in the streets and via mass strikes and general strikes. It’s necessary to ensure not only the elections without interference from the military, but with the firm determination to revoke the harsh economic and social measures against the workers already made by Temer, to cancel the so-called structural reforms and privatizations, to end the monopolistic domination of the mass media which are controlled by a few families. According to survey of the German government-funded Media Ownership Monitor (MOM) conducted jointly by the Brazilian NGO Intervozes and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) based in France, five families control 50% of the communication means with the largest audience in Brazil!


We of the CCR reaffirm the call to the reformist and socialist parties, trade unions and mass organizations (e.g. PT, PCdoB, CUT, MST, MTST) to immediately establish a united front of struggle to organize a massive fight against reactionary attacks. We need the creation of action committees in factories, unions, favelas, peripherals neighborhoods to organize the masses and to plan democratically the struggle. We need a national congress of delegates from all parties and mass organizations, as well as the action committees to organize the struggle. We call for the creation of self-defense committees that are essential for resisting fascist bandits and state repression.


Let us be clear: only such a mass united front of struggle can halt the reactionary attacks! Only the overthrow of the ruling elite, the smashing of the bourgeois armed forces and its replacement by a workers and popular army and the expropriation of the capitalist class, in other words, only the creation of a workers government, in close alliance with the urban and rural poor, can remove the danger of a military dictatorship!


Electoral tactic


We have no illusions about the limitation of bourgeois democracy and the corrupt parliamentary system. However, we unconditionally defend all democratic rights against the putschists, military or institutional. We combine this defense of democratic rights with a call by a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly with delegates elected by the workers and popular sectors that can debate and build proposals to solve the great problems of the Brazilian people.


It would be a fatal mistake if revolutionaries would be indifferent towards the upcoming elections. It is obvious that the ruling elite want to avoid another PT-led government at any costs. That would render ineffective all their efforts since 2015 to overthrow the PT-led government of Dilma Rousseff and to imprison Lula da Silva.


In the past the CCR didn’t call for critical support for Lula or Rousseff because their candidature always had a popular front character symbolized by the fact that the Vice President was from the PMDB, an open bourgeois party. This time this is different as they have a Vice President from the PCdoB which is clearly a smaller reformist, bourgeois workers party.


At the same time, there exists a massive polarization among the Brazil people with the huge majority of the working class and poor rallying behind the PT. In such a situation, it is important for revolutionaries to call for a critical vote for Fernando Haddad, the PT candidate. It is true that he is a right-reformist politician. But this election reflects a significant class polarization and the PT reflects – in a reformist way – the aspirations of the working class and all anti-putschist segments of the society. Revolutionaries stand in their camp and have to patiently explain why the reformist policy of the PT inevitably leads to failure and why a revolutionary program fighting for a workers government, in close alliance with the urban and rural poor, is the only way forward!