Written by PSTU – Brasil
Thursday, 28 August 2014 18:25
Let’s support the workers and socialist candidacy of Zé Maria for president of Brazil.
We want to address to the socialist parties and movements around the world.
All followed the huge demonstrations of June last year in Brazil, which questioned governments and major political parties. Since then, numerous strikes continued to shake the country, such as the subway workers strike on the eve of the World Cup.
But now, the big companies and the major parties want to reestablish their control to elect one of their candidates in the October presidential elections. They spend billions in the political campaign to deceive the people. After the elections, they will apply a harsh economic plan to “adjust” the country to the economic crisis that lies ahead. Dilma Rousseff (PT), Marina Silva (PSB) or Aecio Neves (PSDB) will strongly attack the workers to make them pay for the crisis that is coming in.
The PT (Workers Party) rules the country for twelve years. It had enormous political capital for the support of the majority of workers. Many activists around the world still reckon that the PT’s government is “leftist”. The 3 PT’s governments so far have been implementing some social programs like the “Bolsa Família” [Family Subsidy] to ensure an electoral base, but actually they rule for the multinationals and banks.
According to Economática – the most reputable consulting company in this issue – the banks profited 550 per cent more during both president Lula’s terms than in both PSDB (right opposition) governments before him (1994-2002). Dilma Rousseff (PT) maintained this trend: the Bradesco Bank, a leading private bank, had the largest profit of its history in the first half of 2014.
The big mobilizations of June 2013 clashed with the federal government of Dilma Rousseff over transport fares, public Education and Health and the PT never regained the popularity it had before.
The Right opposition, represented by Aecio Neves (PSDB) try to take advantage of the erosion of the PT’s popularity, but failed so far. The people are disappointed with the PT’s government as well as the rightist candidate.
Marina Silva, PSB’s candidate, appears as something “new”, capitalizing on PT and PSDB’s embarrassment after June 2013. It is just one deceive more of the bourgeois democracy. Marina is also a candidate of the Right. She has nothing to do with the June demonstrations, from which she kept apart all the time. Her vice president candidate is Beto Albuquerque, a representant of the large agribusiness companies in Brazil. The coordinator of her campaign is the billion dollar Maria Alice Setubal, heir of Itau’s owner, the second largest private bank in the country and among the top 100 in the world.
Marina Silva is seen as an advocate of the natural environment. However, when she was the Minister of Environment (2003-2008) under Lula’s government, some of the biggest setbacks of the ecological history of the country took place, such as the release of GMOs (genetically modified organism) in agriculture. She also defended the Public Forest Management Act that enables the privatization of entire forests for the private sector’s profiting.
These are the major candidacies. Each of them will spend about US$ 130 million (officially informed to the Electoral Court, out of what is not informed) in the political campaign. Around US$ 400 million will be wasted by each one of those bosses’ candidates until October. The big contractors and banks invest heavily in those candidates, for the continuous enjoyment of favors from the state.
A working class and socialist alternative
We present a different candidate; the socialist worker Zé Maria. An alternative candidacy born from those who were on the front line of protests in June, as well as in the 24-hours general strike in July and August last year. From those who were fighting together with the subway workers, during their strike, in São Paulo or with the street sweepers of Rio de Janeiro, as well as the construction workers of Fortaleza and Belém. Either along with the students in their struggles for free transport fares throughout the country.
It is no coincidence that Zé Maria has the support of Altino dos Prazeres, leader of the subway workers strike and of the Subway Workers Trade Union of São Paulo, as well as leaders of strikes throughout the country. Osmarino Amancio, historic leader of the rubber tappers from Acre and opponent of Marina Silva, supports Zé Maria too. Leaders of movements against women, blacks and homosexuals oppression are part of his campaign. Leaders opposed to the National Union of Students (UNE) – a supporter of PT’s governments – are also engaged in Zé Maria’s campaign.
Our campaign has no money from companies or corruption. Every penny spent on our humble campaign will come from the support of workers themselves. We don’t accept a penny from the companies or their owners and shareholders because our goal is to fight them. We can’t depend financially on those who rule this country.
We actually tried to build a Left Front in the country, but it was impossible. There is no programmatic agreement between us and the PSOL on basic issues such as the demand of the re-nationalization of privatized state owned companies during the PSDB and PT governments. Nor there was an agreement on minimum points as not accepting money from the companies. The presidential candidate Luciana Genro from PSOL has just received funds from the company Zaffari. This – a campaign funded by businesses – was the path took by the PT, resulting in what is well known. It’s not our path. So there was no electoral Left Front in the country.
We want to address to socialist movements around the world so that we could fight together also in this electoral terrain. The bourgeois candidates have political and material support from multinationals and imperialist governments. We want the political support of socialist and revolutionary movements around the world.
We want to strengthen a working class alternative, pointing to a workers’ government without bosses, which can’t be achieved in an electoral perspective. But we participate in the elections to spread a revolutionary socialist program and to support the ongoing struggles.
Defending this alternative is also very important to reveal that there is not only the disjunctive “PT x Right” in Brazil. To combat the illusions in the false alternative represented by Marina Silva. The socialist movements can help to deconstruct the electoral farce that is being assembled in Brazil.
Zé Maria is a working class candidate, a symbol of strikers in the country. A workers candidate for the workers in struggle. A socialist candidate, unhesitating advocate of the nationalization of banks and multinational companies in the country to face the crisis. Who stands clearly for the non-payment of the public debt to the banks in order to ensure 10% of GDP for state education and 10% of GDP to state health. Who defends the expropriation of large agribusiness companies and the land reform in the country.
Such candidacy is internationalist as well. Zé Maria went to Haiti to support the heroic struggle of the Black Haitian people against the military occupation by the Brazilian army in the service of imperialism and the UN. He attended the demonstrations of solidarity with the Palestinian people against the massacre of Gaza by the nazi-fascist state of Israel. Zé takes an important role in the campaign to support to the Syrian people in their fight against the murderous dictatorship of Assad.
Zé Maria’s candidacy is remarkable in relation to the fight against oppression of blacks, women and homosexuals. Not coincidentally, his vice president candidate is Claudia Durans, a Black and female fighter. The women’s situation hasn’t changed in Dilma Rousseff’s term, because the big business continue to rule the country under her administration and their interests are associated with the combination of women oppression with economic exploitation to increase their profits.
We want to invite the socialist parties and movements around the world to give your political support to the candidacy of Zé Maria, which will be happily highlighted on our website.
PSTU’s National Leadership