Brazil: Under the permanent Shadow of a Military Coup

Prepare a General Strike against the Threats by the Army Command! Down with the Army’s Constitutional Right to Intervene!


Statement of the Corrente Comunista Revolucionária (CCR, Brazil Section of the RCIT), 27 September 2017,




On September 15, in a lecture held on Friday night at the Grand Orient Masonic Lodge in Brasilia, the army general Antonio Hamilton Martins Mourão repeated three times on the possibility of military intervention in the face of the crisis faced by the country if the situation is not resolved by the institutions themselves. The general's address was an answer to the following question from one of the listeners: "The Federal Constitution of 1988 admits a constitutional intervention with the use of the Armed Forces. The Executive and Legislative Powers are rotten, full of corruption. Is not this the moment for this intervention? "


Among other things, what drew attention to General Mourão's response were the following statements: "It is obvious that when we look with dread and sadness at the facts that are surrounding us ... why are not we going to knock this whole thing down ? (...) until there comes a time when either the institutions solve the political problem by the action of the Judiciary, removing from public life those elements involved in all the illicits, or we have to impose it, "and added one more important information: We have already prepared very well done plans!(for intervention). So, in the present moment, what do we envision? That the ruling powers will have to seek the solution. If they could not, the time will come when we will have to impose a solution!"


Facing the repercussions of the incident, the Defense Minister of govern Temer, Raul Jungmann, summoned Army commander General Eduardo Villas Bôas to ask him for explanations regarding the military's statements while urging that "measures be taken ". However, Villas Bôas stated that General Antonio Mourão will not be punished, and by emphasizing that the possibility of an intervention "occurs permanently" and that "the Armed Forces have mandated to make [a military intervention] in the imminence of chaos". In fact, the Brazilian constitution approved in 1988, has an article that allows the Armed Forces to intervene if, in their opinion, what is called "chaos" occurs.


The (non) reaction of the parties and social movements


Such a declaration by General Mourão suggesting a new military coup should make all parties and social movements to react to the situation. They should already begin making intense mobilization against any military intervention and organization in the workplaces and neighborhoods.


But the reaction of the legalized left parties such as the PT, PCdoB, PSOL were extremely bureaucratic, asking for explanations from Temer's putchist government and demanding respect for the laws in the name of democracy. The websites of the CUT and the MST do not makes any comment on the subject.


The PSTU contradictorily states that there is no danger of coup "because US imperialism does not want it", so they don’t feel it is necessary to alert and mobilize the population. Instead, the PSTU says that "If there is a military coup, a general strike is necessary!" Obviously, they are foolish to ignore the fact that, first, mass resistance against a military coup must be organized before such a coup in order to prevent it. It might well be too late to organize such a general strike after such a coup because the military will be than in a favorable position to suppress it. Secondly, such a general strike can not be organized out of the blue but needs sufficient time and prior organization.


A rare, and positive, exception is the Partido de Causa Operária-PCO, which calls on all organizations to at least alert the population to organized resistance.


The position of CCR


There is a part of the workers who support this speech for the return of the military, instilled by the intense criminalization of politics by much of the media and right-wing organized groups. Anti-communism and hatred of the parties and leftist movement has resurfaced with great force in the last four years. The institutional coup against the government of Dilma Roussef-PT, with the endorsement of US imperialism, put the most reactionary and conservative forces in power. The so-called structural reforms (labor, outsourcing, social security, etc.) are being practiced with little or no resistance from social movements. The leadership of the mass movement organized, instead of calling for an indefinite general strike against such reforms, only one or two alternate days of general strike, which did not change the intensity of the attacks.


It is by no means fixed if there is a military coup. The ruling class will not make such a decision light-mindedly given the risks involved in such a maneuver. But the mere threat of the return of the military should make us all alert.


It is urgent to mobilize and to create workers' and popular committees at workplaces, in factories, in neighborhoods to organize the resistance. Such committees should immediately begin to organize the struggle against the reactionary reforms – on the streets with mass mobilizations, with general strikes, etc. In order to be able to defend the masses against the inevitable repression by the regime it is crucial to organize self-defense units.


Finally, the military threats demonstrate once more the reactionary character of the army’s constitutional right to intervene in domestic politics. This clause in the constitution allows for such coups. The working class and the popular masses must fight against this and enforce the congregation of a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly. Delegates of such a body should be controllable by those who elected them and should be open to recall by their constituents. It must not be controlled by the ruling class which would only manipulate it in its interests but instead it should be convened and protected by workers’ and popular militias against any intimidation of reactionary forces. The task of such an assembly should be to work out a new constitution. Revolutionaries would advocate a consistent democratic, socialist constitution in such an assembly.


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


* For the cancellation of the Pension and Labor Reform, privatizations and outsourcing!


* Down with the army’s constitutional right to intervene in domestic politics! For a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly!


* For a revolutionary workers' party – a new world party of the socialist revolution! The Fifth International