April 10, 2016

BRAZIL: Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) Denounces Attempts to Impeach President Dilma

Secretary of Politics and International Relations of the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB), José Reinaldo Carvalho, gave interviews to various media linked to communist and revolutionary parties and organisations from numerous countries in Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia on the current attempts to impeach President Dilma Rousseff. We publish here a synthesis of the main questions and answers.

Question: How do you evaluate the demonstrations against Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment and in favour of democracy? How do you support the classification of the impeachment process as a coup?

José Reinaldo Carvalho: The Republic’s Constitution, approved in 1988 by a Constitutional Assembly, which is in place since the dictatorship was overcome, established the impeachment as a judicially valid mechanism to remove the president of the Republic. The required point to initiate such a process is that the president commits a 'responsibility crime'. Well, the present movers and supporters of the impeachment process did not present evidences or proofs that President Dilma Rousseff has committed any 'responsibility crimes'. They accuse her of having failed in the execution of the government’s budget because she took extraordinary administrative and financial measures to assure, in a moment of monetary restrictions stemming from economic hardships, the realisation of the public and social policies, and to finance the economic development. Therefore, the motivations for the impeachment process are political, a pretext, under the cover of a judicial argument, to overthrow the Republic’s president. The impeachment of the highest chief in the country, when she did not commit a 'responsibility crime' is, thus, a form of political coup, a coup d’état. This is why we say – and we do so as a form of denunciation – that a coup d’état is under way, a coup built in phases, and it is now in the phase of outright execution. Obviously, this time it is different from the 1964 coup, since there is a difference in the political context in the world, and the country. The methods are also of a different nature. In 1964, a military coup was committed. Now, this is an institutional and media coup, in which sectors of the police and judicial apparatus act together in connivance with the neo-liberal and conservative opposition. As for the massive demonstrations on March 31, as well as those on March 18 (pro-Dilma demonstrations), they were huge and showed the capacity for mobilisation of the people’s forces, as well as the profound democratic consciousness of the Brazilian people.

Question: Which are the origins of the political crisis?

José Reinaldo Carvalho: The current political crisis has its origin, more immediately, in the fact that the neo-liberal and conservative opposition is represented by the contemporary right-wing parties, led by PSDB. It has its genesis in the private and monopolised media, in sectors of the police and judicial apparatus that did not accept their fourth and consecutive defeat, in the last presidential elections, held in October 2014. This opposition imagined, it could, in those elections, stop the progressive cycle inaugurated in the country with Lula’s first election, in 2002, which despite the gaps, enabled the country to advance in achieving important political and social changes, in the exercise of the international solidarity and in the construction of an independent Latin America. Viewed from a broader perspective, the current political crisis is also an expression of the structural conditions and the deep conflicts in the Brazilian society. It is the expression of a struggle between the two paths, of the country’s historical crossroad. The path that can take Brazil to affirm itself as a democratic, independent and socially just nation, in antagonism with that which supports the maintenance of the privileges of the dominant classes, of the underdevelopment and an undemocratic political power.

Question: However, corruption is a reality.

José Reinaldo Carvalho: Indeed. Corruption is among the political system’s structural defects, a chronic disease, and combating it requires political, administrative and judicial energetic positioning. It is necessary to say that, despite the mistakes committed, it was during the government of the Workers’ Party that the supervision, control and fight against corruption has worked the most and with complete autonomy. The coup parties are the most corrupt in the country’s political system. The fight against corruption undertaken by them is a feeble slogan. It is a struggle created for political ends.

Question: Is justice above any suspicions?

José Reinaldo Carvalho: Absolutely, not.

Question: The right-wing parties are not the only ones in the offensive against the president. PMDB, allied to the government, has just left it. What is the goal and who can PT still count on?

José Reinaldo Carvalho: Since a long time, PMDB has not been a progressive force anymore. Its presence in the government obeys the imperatives of political conveniences – to be close to power to obtain advantages and better conditions to develop customer policies. PMDB has within it a strong centre right-wing, which is currently predominant. To avoid the impeachment, it is necessary to count on the people’s strength on the streets and on a myriad of demonstrations pushed forward from organised sectors of society, since the workers’ masses, liberal professionals, academic intellectuals, the cultural and artistic world, judicial and sports spheres are all against the process of impeachment. At the level of parliament, government should count on the support of small-parties and of individual parliamentarians, independent of their parties’ positions.

Question: If President Dilma overcomes the impeachment, how will she be able to govern until the end of her mandate?

José Reinaldo Carvalho: If the government wins the battle, it will have to promote a new political pact, which will require the people’s mobilisation and the unity among democratic and progressive forces, pushed forward from an emergency programme, concerned with surmounting the economic crisis and prevent its effects from hitting the people’s rights and achievements.

Question: What can we possibly foresee, in case the president is overthrown?

José Reinaldo Carvalho: If the president is overthrown, the government that will emerge will eventually be under the leadership of the Republic’s vice president, Michel Temer, who is also PMDB’s president, and the political instability will probably aggravate. It will be a government of national treason, with authoritarian tendencies, despite of the Constitutional façade Michel Temer displays; an anti-popular government, committed to an agenda elaborated according to the national and international monopolist-financial capital. Certainly, there will be an open struggle, an energetic opposition by PT, PCdoB and other progressive parties, and by the social movements, against these coup forces forming the government. In any scenario, Brazil will live through stormy moments, which will require lucidity, unmasking (to make clear their real intentions), wideness, and a spirit of resistance and struggle from the Leftist parties.

Question: Why could not the PT, which won four consecutive presidential elections, obtain a comfortable majority in the two Houses of the Congress?

José Reinaldo Carvalho: This is a reflection of a correlation of forces still too unfavourable for the progressive forces; it reveals the enormous political power of the dominant classes. It is necessary to remember that Brazil is a Federal Republic and that the oligarchic powers are still too strong in the units (states) composing the Federation. Furthermore, it is necessary to highlight that the economic powers exert strong influence on the electoral campaigns. The electoral campaigns’ financing is private and entrepreneurial. For that matter, this is one of the sources of corruption.

Question: Is a reform of the political system possible?

José Reinaldo Carvalho: The political system’s reform is one of the most indispensable and urgent structural reforms needed today. The forces and convictions to do it are not gathered yet. However, it is evident that the current political system has failed and does not serve the democratic and social struggle of the progressive forces. To reform the political system is one of the most demanding and urgent tasks to achieve Brazil’s broader and deeper democratisation.

Question: What are the implications of the crisis to the activities of the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB)?

José Reinaldo Carvalho: PCdoB, with PT, other progressive parties and social movements, backs President Dilma’s government, rejects the coup, is resolute on the success of the people’s demonstrations defending democracy, and it is deep into political activities in the scope of the legislative houses to avoid the impeachment. PCdoB considers that the political battle underway has strategic meaning, and it will exert strong impact on the workers’ and the Brazilian people’s struggle, as well as on all of Latin America’s, for their national and social emancipation. This is not only the PCdoB’ stance, but also of what I could call all the responsible Left.