Monday, October 27, 2014

Brazil: Statement of O Trabalho Current of PT on Re-election of Dilma and Tasks Ahead (27 October 2014)

Distributed 2014-11-17 by "The Organizer" of the ILC:
Statement of the O Trabalho Current of the Workers Party (PT):
Dilma Roussef, Candidate of the Workers Party, Re-elected by “the Strength and Spirit of Activists”
(27 October 2014)
In the second round of the presidential election, Dilma Roussef, current president of Brazil and leader of the Workers Party (PT), won her re-election bid thanks to popular mobilisations throughout the country. This is a defeat for the pro-imperialist reactionary forces lined up behind Aecio Neves, candidate of the Brazilian Social Democrat Party (PSDB), that led a brutal offensive against the PT candidate, resorting to all sorts of means – including a ”media coup” by Veja magazine on the eve of election day  – but that were incapable of imposing their candidate.
The re-election of Dilma cannot be dissociated from the victory of Evo Morales in Bolivia or from the result in first round in Uruguay – with TabarĂ© coming out on top, supported by the organised sectors of the working class.
It was a difficult and hard-fought victory by PT activists and popular sectors. And it was a victory in spite of the PT’s “alliance policy” with parties like the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), which split in two to support Aecio Neves -- as the PMDB candidate for the presidency of Congress, Eduardo Cunha, acknowledged shortly after the victory of Dilma.
It was a victory in the polls that was won in the streets, with a high voter support among the youth.
This does not erase the fact, however, that the National Congress elected on 5 October is the most reactionary Congress since the military dictatorship. It does not alter the fact, either, that the PT parliamentary groups (in State Assemblies and the National Congress) are smaller and that the PT has suffered defeats in its traditional strongholds (like, for instance in the ABC region, the industrial belt of Sao Paulo). This is a dire blow for the party, which must now redirect itself to reconnect with its activist base and open up the path to the fundamental changes that the nation requires and that up till now have remained pending.
That is precisely why it is very important, that in her victory speech, Dilma asserted that the “first reform to be implemented is the political reform”, proposing “a popular consultation via a plebiscite”.
Yes, it is along these lines that we can make progress, because, with “this Congress things don't work”, and it is not the High Federal Court that should dictate a political reform for the nation.
No one should underestimate the impact of the 8 million votes obtained in the Popular Referendum in favour of an exclusive, sovereign Constituent Assembly concerning the political system, the result of which was handed to Dilma by a delegation that met and discussed with her on 13 October during a meeting in Brasilia, two weeks before the second round of the election.
What “agreement” can there be with the Brazilian Social Democrat Party putsch-makers (the PSDB, of the former President Cardoso), who, in complicity with right-wing publications Veja and Globo (a powerful right wing media group), demanded the “extinction of the PT” on the eve of the second round of the election? When these cynics talk of “unity”, it is in order to paralyse the PT and implicate it in a commitment to more tax exemptions for the big corporations, higher interest rates on loans, more primary fiscal surplus (destined to pay off the foreign debt), while they get ready to deal blows against the interests of the Brazilian people, as they do not wish to abandon their privileges.
The victory in the polls, won at the price of much effort and determination, should not mask the fact that the situation is not easy in a world that is sinking deeper into the crisis of capitalism, in which unemployment affects more than 200 million persons -- and the International Labour Organisation anticipates that this figure will increase yet more.
In Brazil, things are not settled either way. Because, in spite of the gains obtained by the struggle under the Lula and Dilma governments, the captains of industry have sacked 240,000 workers between January and September; social inequality is horrendous and the billions accorded to the speculators through the primary fiscal surplus deprive public services of vital funds.
Those who have ensured the re-election of the PT candidate – primarily the workers and young people, overcoming all kinds of obstacles, including from those political currents that refused to take up this class battle and that wrongly defended the “neutrality” of blank votes or refused to go to the polls – must remain mobilised throughout the country.
They must remain mobilised to guarantee that what the majority wants, as expressed in the polls, must be respected. Mobilised to demand, with all the necessary authority, that the demands of the exploited and oppressed majority of our people must be met.
They must remain mobilised so that an official Referendum for the Constituent Assembly can become a reality, for political reform, for an Assembly with one House (without a Senate), elected by proportional representation (one voter = one vote), without corporate financing and with a vote by lists. Winning this, we know, will depend on the popular pressure on the Congress.
For this is the only means of advancing toward unblocking the way to winning fundamental reforms, such as de-militarisation of the police, agrarian reform, re-nationalisations and an end to primary fiscal surplus, among other measures.

The O Trabalho current of the PT has thrown all its forces into the election battle, campaigning as the PT used to do at the beginning. Together with comrades from “Petista Dialogue and Action”, we have contributed to the success of the Popular Referendum for a “Constituent Assembly for Political Reform”.
As for us, we did not call for even one single vote to the “allies” of the PT (who are, in fact, “saboteurs”), such as Sartori from the PMDB in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, or Pezao, also from the PMDB, in Rio de Janeiro.
We have been combatants for an exclusive PT vote and for the re-election of Dilma for a Constituent Assembly that implements real political reform. We invite those who have been at our sides in this struggle to join us, to enter our ranks in the O Trabalho current of the PT.
Together, as Petistas, we have won. But the struggle has been hard and rich in lessons that we should reflect upon, so that our party can live up to the new challenges. Because those who have lost in the polls will not stop exerting pressure.
In order to discuss the election results and to map out the next steps to be taken, together with other comrades, we are part and parcel in the organisation of the “Petista Dialogue and Action” National Meeting (29 and 30 November in Brasilia). Its preparation already has meant organising local meetings in the coming days, where we invite all those who want to take up action as the PT used to.
More than ever this is the task that is on the agenda! The struggle continues!

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