Brazil

Federal Police arrived at the home of former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at 6am on Friday, March 4th, executing a bench warrant, commanding him to appear before the authorities to give testimony. Lula was released 3 hours later and has not yet been indicted.

The President [Speaker] of the Brazilian parliament, Eduardo Cunha is manoeuvring in an attempt to save his own skin. [Cunha has been charged with taking millions in bribes in connection with a kickbacks scheme that has embroiled state-run oil company Petrobras.] What does his acceptance of the request to initiate impeachment against Dilma mean? And what position should the working class adopt?

Both the internal and external debt of Brazil are skyrocketing. The internal debt has reached R$3.6trn and the external debt is now US$555bn. International capital is becoming worried about default.

During the 11th to the 13th of June the downbeat 5th Congress of the PT (Partido Trabalhador – the “Workers Party”) took place. This was a congress marked by disinterest in the plenary speeches, by booing from its participants, by pessimism about the political situation, demonstrating a crisis in the Party that deepens every day. This situation is set to continue as this Congress reaffirmed the political line that caused all this, a line promoted by the interests of a corrupted leadership.

On April 20 and 21, Esquerda Marxista held its "Chico Lessa" National Conference in the city of Praia Grande, near São Paulo. There were more than 100 participants from different states of the country, including delegates from the different regions. The delegates were elected following political discussions over the Central Committees report on the situation in Brazil. The Conference took place after the successful National Cadre School, an educational meeting held between April 17 and 19 in the  same area as the Conference.

More than 200 people are reported to have been injured as a teachers protest was violently attacked by special force police in the Brazilian city of Curitiba. The activists of the Esquerda Marxista [Marxist Left], the Brazilian section of the IMT, were present on the front line of the demonstration. Besides tear gas, which was thrown from police helicopters, the Police attacked the crowds with thousands of rubber bullets, pepper gas, water canons and attack dogs. At the same time 17 police

...

Some people never die; they live on in the legacy they leave behind. This was the feeling of those who filled the chamber of the City Council of Joinville on March 5 to pay tribute to Comrade Francisco Lessa. Old and new comrades in arms, family and friends, from various cities and states, gathered to remember this great man, a convinced Communist, who died holding an unshakable faith in the future of humanity. His lifelong partner, our comrade Cynthia, and his daughter Petra Lessa, were present and joined the others who stood up to sing the Internationale at the end of the ceremony.

The Central Committee of Esquerda Marxist (the Marxist Left) notes with deep regret the death of our comrade Chico Lessa, which occurred on Saturday morning (28/02). We offer all our sympathy to the family and friends of Comrade Chico.

Today the World Cup opens in Brazil, but with a very different atmosphere to what usually accompanies such an event, as the widespread protest movements and strikes taking place in the country clearly demonstrate. Here we publish an article by comrades of the [Marxist Left] that highlights the enormous social and class contradictions that have surfaced around the tournament.

The World Cup events being held in 12 cities across Brazil are set to begin in several days. Half a million tourists are expected to flood into Brazil. However, instead of the expected celebrations and weeks of national rejoicing in a country long-known for its proud football traditions, there is enormous tension as the events are set to begin on June 12th.

On October 27, the Military Police of São Paulo governor Alckmin killed yet another young man. The killer claims he inadvertently fired the gun. Douglas Martins was killed. He was 17 and lived in the poor neighbourhood of Jaçanã, famous for the Trem das Onze song by Adoniran Barbosa.

The struggles of the working class worldwide are heating up. In Brazil, after the "June Days" [protests against bus fare increases], the Dilma government, without meeting any of the demands raised by the youth and the working class, announced a package of mass privatizations: harbours, oil, roads and airports.

The struggle for the reduction of public transport fares, which began in Sao Paulo, has sparked a change in the political situation in the country. The Marxist Left (Esquerda Marxista) was one of the initiators of this ongoing struggle back in May. Here Serge Goulart provides a balance sheet of that movement – originally published in America Socialista.