Brazil

This article was originally published by our Brazilian comrades on 29 May. The situation has developed subsequently, and we will release updates in due course.

The following article was written by a doctor, who works in the city of São Paulo. COVID-19 precipitated and exacerbated the conditions of an ongoing social and economic crisis in Brazil, and internationally. The bourgeoisie is confused and divided in the face of a problem that it cannot bear, but it also cannot solve.

On 13 May, the officially declared total number of deaths resulting from COVID-19 in Brazil reached 13,149, with 749 deaths registered in the previous 24 hours. The political crisis in the country is also escalating, as our Brazilian comrades report.

The political crisis is accelerating. Bolsonaro is isolating himself more and more as his government teeters. The press is adding pressure and calling for investigations. Ex-president Fernando Henrique Cardoso is calling for Bolsonaro’s resignation. Right-wing politicians, who were elected in the wake of Bolsonaro (Doria, Witzel etc.), jumped ship a long time ago, like all good opportunists. Mandetta is gone. Moro is gone. And the question that many ask is: how long can right-hand-man Paulo Guedes last?

A major political crisis has broken out in Brazil. The Minister of Justice Moro resigned yesterday after president Bolsonaro removed the head of the Federal Police (FP) Valeixo, who had been nominated by Moro. The now former minister of justice has accused Bolsonaro of wanting to appoint a new FP head from whom he could get information in relation to cases involving Bolsonaro's sons, including the assassination of PSOL councillor Marielle Franco.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created one disaster after another in Latin America, exposing the naked contempt of the ruling class for the workers of the region. But with the memory of Red October still fresh, this explosive new development is preparing revolutionary upheaval in the near future.

The coronavirus crisis has already begun to cause bottlenecks in cargo transport in Brazil, demonstrating the weaknesses of our system due to the monopoly of the road sector for general cargo transportation. With the aggravation of the Covid-19 pandemic more restrictive measures may be adopted, which will prevent the delivery of cargo of all products that are consumed internally in the country, especially food.

Coronavirus has arrived in the immense favelas of Rio de Janeiro. The number of cases of contaminated slum dwellers is difficult to know, because counting and recording have been done based on the officially recognized neighbourhoods, which do not cover the slums.

The following open letter was issued by workers of the Hotel Transamérica chain in Brazil, who are putting out a series of demands to ensure their safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the end of 2019, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) announced a drop in unemployment from 12.3 percent in 2018 to 11.9 percent in 2019, that is, a 0.4 percent reduction. This change is not only insignificant, it’s also distorted: over the same period the number of discouraged workers, who gave up looking for work, increased by 1.4 percent. Informal workers – those without any kind of contract or self-employed – increased significantly, reaching a record number of 41 percent of workers who have some occupation. In practice, this means that unemployment has not decreased. On the contrary, it has led to discouragement or dragged workers into a precarious work

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This article was originally published on 14 March. The situation in Brazil has developed since, and more updates will be forthcoming, but it shows how the Bolsonaro government’s first move was to protect profits and continue attacks on the working class rather than protect public health.

On 4 December, the chamber of deputies approved the "anti-crime bill", presented by Justice Minister Sergio Moro. Overall, 408 congressmen voted "yes", including almost all of the PT (Workers’ Party) and three congressmen from the PSOL (Socialism and Liberty Party). This positioning from supposedly left-wing parliamentarians exposes the extent to which one can go while working within the system, demonstrating the wrong policy, ignoring the global class struggle, and showing a lack of confidence in the working class.

Lula’s release is a defeat for Operação Lava Jato (Operation Car Wash – the criminal investigation that aimed to clean up the rotten Brazilian state institutions before the eyes of the masses). Therefore, his release is a positive development for the struggle of the working class. Esquerda Marxista (the Brazilian section of the IMT) has been fighting against Lava Jato since the beginning and we denounced the conviction and imprisonment of José Dirceu and Lula, who were sentenced without proof in a political trial that is a

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The following is an open letter to members of PSOL by Marxist Left (the IMT in Brazil), responding to the announcement of a new resolution adopted by PSOL’s National Directory that lays the ground for alliances with bourgeois parties.