[Fwd: The Brazilian Workers Party and the Coming Presidential Election]
grok at sprint.ca
Wed Apr 3 12:51:11 MST 2002
From: ILC <ilcinfo at earthlink.net>
Subject: The Brazilian Workers Party and the Coming Presidential Election
Date: 03 Apr 2002 11:28:27 -0800
International Liaison Committee for a Workers International (ILC)
P.O. Box 40009, San Francisco, CA 94140.
Tel. (415) 626-1175; fax: (415) 626-1217.
email: ILC at energy-net.org or ilcinfo at earthlink.net
The Brazilian Workers Party and the Coming Presidential Election
We are reprinting below an important Appeal adopted by members of an
internal current in the Workers Party (PT) of Brazil that goes by the
name of "The PT Must Respect Its Mandate!" This current, which
actively promotes the campaigns of the International Liaison
Committee, elected two full members and one alternate member to the
national leadership of the PT in the recent internal party elections.
Their Appeal calls for a vote for "Lula for President to Break with
To fully understand the significance of this Appeal, it is necessary
to point out that on March 17, 2002, the members of the Brazilian PT
will be called upon to designate their candidate for the national
presidential election, which is in October 2002. At this point, Luis
Inacio "Lula" da Silva is by far the frontrunner.
This election takes place at a time when, in relation to the recent
revolutionary uprisings in Argentina, a situation has developed in
Brazil in which the masses are avidly trying to put a stop to the
avalanche of blows and reactionary measures taken against them and
against the Brazilian nation by the government of Fernando Henrique
Cardoso -- a government that has plundered, privatized and literally
sold off the Brazilian nation.
This is a time, moreover, when the PT is increasingly portrayed as
the likely winner of the presidential election. Hence it is a time
when the greatest pressures are being exerted upon the PT leadership
by imperialism and all the forces attached to it for the PT to ensure
the continuity of policies waged in the service of the multinational
The PT leadership, reflecting this immense pressure to "toe the
line," is seeking to form an electoral alliance with representatives
of the Brazilian ruling class. One wing of the PT leadership is
looking to form an alliance with the right-wing Liberal Party. They
are hoping that Liberal Party leader Alencar could become Lula's
vice-presidential running mate. Other sectors of the PT leadership
are hoping to secure alliances with the so-called "left" sectors of
the ruling class; that is, with representatives of the PSB, PDT or
In the Appeal below, which is addressed primarily to all the
activists of the PT, the signatories express clearly the aspirations
of the workers and people of Brazil who want Lula to become president
and who want the PT, once in office, to respond to their most
immediate and vital needs: to put an end to the dire hardship which
the present government is continually plunging them into, to break
with imperialism's dictates, which are dragging them into the same
abyss as neighboring Argentina.
And the signatories of this Appeal categorically oppose any alliances
with sectors of the ruling class. In this way, they are seeking to
defend the continuity of the PT as an independent workers' party. -
Declaration of the Slate "The PT Must Respect its Mandate!"
Lula for President to Break with the IMF!
Brothers and Sisters,
We are at a crossroads. The people are asking, "Where are we going"?
The country, immersed in a grave crisis, is entering a decisive
moment. Washington and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have
pillaged the country to pay back the foreign debt for eight long
years through the government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso (PSDP-PFL)
and the state governments and municipalities that apply their
Today, these forces are looking to win the presidential election in
October -- by any and all means -- so that they can ensure a
government in continuity with the current one.
This would be a disaster for the Brazilian workers and nation. It
would be the continuation, in Brazil, of Bush's politics of war
against the peoples -- the politics of pillage against which the
people of Argentina have risen up.
Working people, with their organizations, are trying to resist and
fight back. They are resisting with protests and strikes -- such as
the general strike on March 21st called by the CUT trade union
federation against the flexibilization of the CLT [the law which
protects labor rights in Brazil-ed] -- and with rallies, marches and
Now, more than ever, it is important to win and expell from power the
pro-IMF parties in order to save the Brazilian nation from being
dismantled, as is occurring in Argentina. This is what's at stake.
That is why we are calling for a PT government, with Lula as
President, to implement the following measures:
1. Break the agreements with the IMF and stop the payment of the foreign debt,
2. Enact a thorough agrarian reform law and allocate budget funds for
public services (education, health and housing),
3. Re-nationalize privatized businesses and services, create jobs and
pay all back and lost wages,
4. Defend the labor rights codified in the CLT,
5. Revoke the LRF [Law of Fiscal Responsibility, which penalizes
state and municipal governments if they fail to pay their share of
the foreign debt-ed.], the Reform of Social Security, and the Law on
the Municipilization of Education,
6. Restore national sovereignty and pull out of the Free Trade Area
of the Americas (FTAA) negotiations,
7. Promote peace among the peoples, and oppose Bush's war.
These are the measures the Brazilian people hope for and expect as
they place their aspirations in Lula and the PT. A first step to open
a future for the nation is possible and necessary -- a PT government,
headed by Lula, supported by the CUT trade union federation and the
popular organizations, that breaks with the IMF.
Brothers and Sisters,
The assasinations and attacks against PT mayors across Brazil are an
attempt to intimidate us. The government is seeking to manipulate the
elections, undermining democracy at every step.
In this situation, there is talk of a PT electoral alliance with the
PL [the right wing Liberal Party-ed.], with the boss Alencar running
as the vice presidential candidate. Other PT leaders are courting
Garotinho of the PSB, as well as sectors of the PDT -- and even
Quercia from the PMDB -- as possible vice presidential running mates.
How is this possible?
Alencar wants to maintain Arminio Fraga as head of the Central Bank.
He wants to continue to negotiate the FTAA and to apply the "Banco de
Horas" [i.e. the annualization and flexibilization of the work
schedule-ed.] in his own businesses. The majority of deputies of the
PL voted for the flexibilization of the CLT. Alencar as a vice
presidential running mate is out of the question! It's impossible to
form an alliance with him!
And how could we repeat the disastrous experience of the alliance
with Garotinho in Rio de Janeiro? He is a corrupt politician who
represses, fires, plays the card of the fiscal war, and doesn't miss
an opportunity to attack the PT. Garotinho is unacceptable!
How can we form an alliance with Brizola and Ciro who, while in
government, applied the policies of the IMF? It's not possible! It
would be to imprison the PT in a government like that of FHC -- just
The workers did not build the PT to form alliances such as these. As
the founding declaration of the PT in 1980 states: "The PT was born
from the desire for independent workers' politics. It was born
because the workers were tired of serving as the mass labor power for
the politicians and the parties committed to the existing economic,
social and political order."
Brothers and Sisters,
We, the first signatories of this declaration, all of us members of
the electoral slate "The PT Must Respect its Mandate!" call to
struggle for and vote for an authentic PT government -- a government
at the service of the workers and the people.
We defend the PT as a true workers' party. The PT in government
cannot abandon the people's conquests, such as the 30% budget
spending on education in Sao Paulo, nor can it sanction a city
councillor [Gianazzi, the PT council member in Sao Paulo who was
disciplined by the PT for voting against budget cuts in
education-ed.] who defends it.
We call upon all workers and youth willing to organize this fightback
today to join in the building of "Committees for a PT Government That
Breaks with the IMF," and to participate next May in the National
Conference of these Committees.
On behalf of the "The PT Must Respect its Mandate!" slate:
Markus Sokol and Laercio Barbosa, members of the National Leadership
of the PT, and Serge Goulart, Alternate
Sao Paulo, Brazil -- March 17, 2002
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