[Marxism] Brizola

Nestor Gorojovsky nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
Wed Jun 23 07:50:59 MDT 2004

Respuesta a: Re: [Marxism] Brizola
Remitido por: Johannes Schneider
Fecha: Miércoles 23 de Junio de 2004 
Hora: 11:55

> Am Wed, 23 Jun 2004 01:11:48 -0300 hat Nestor Gorojovsky 
> <nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar> geschrieben:
> > Leonel Brizola died yesterday.
> >
> Guardian orbituary:
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/story/0,3604,1245043,00.html
>  From the NYT orbituary:
> http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/23/international/americas/23brizolaobit.html
> "His political views remained almost unchanged since the 1960's. Until his 
> death, he advocated a militant form of economic nationalism, liberal 
> benefits for government employees and a generous education policy.
> Mr. Brizola's radical politics eventually put him at odds with Mr. da 
> Silva, the former union leader who was elected president in October 2002 
> in his fourth bid for the presidency. Mr. Brizola backed Mr. da Silva in 
> his first year in office, but broke with the government in December, 
> alleging that the president had abandoned his leftist roots."
> But what are your thoughts, Nestor?

My first thought is that I should ask our Brazilian cdes. on this 
list, among which there are many able and insightful observers of the 
Brazilian political scenario, to give their own opinion.

I would rather express my feelings.  Before that, I will sketch some 
short lines, which may be plagued with mistakes, for which I will ask 
your good will, and the help of our Brazilian cdes. on the list.

Brizola was the last representative of the generation of Latin 
American revolutionaries who, during the age of interimperialist 
strife that began in 1930, attempted a path of their own for national 
liberation, a non-socialist path of course but nevertheless concrete 
and progressive, which not only generated prosperity and self-
reliance for their countries, but also worked to give a sense of 
dignity to the masses.

It is very well known that after his governments seized without 
compensation American enterprises in his home state of Rio Grande do 
Sul (ITT, among others), the State Department kept him always in the 
cross-hairs.  The 1964 coup is said not to have been given against 
President J. Goulart as much as against the future President, 

Forced to exile, he went to Montevideo first, later to Portugal when 
the Uruguayan dictatorship forced him out in 1977.  He could not 
repeat Perón's saga of leadership from outside the country, however.  
When he returned to Brazil, some ten or fifteen years ago, his 
prestige was unharmed, but he could not build a political 
representation for his ideas.  The gigantic, newly born, assertive 
and privileged proletariat of Sao Paulo and the South were too big 
for his abilities and strengths.

Thus, instead of taking Brizola as their representative, they put a 
unionist, from their own ranks, at the helm of the state.

But, could Brizola go ahead with his ideas of the 60s?  This is an 
open question.  IMHO, all the experiences of the age that opened up 
around 1930 were confronting serious difficulties _of their own make_ 
in the mid-60s already, and Brizola's Travalhismo wasn't an 

The American-sponsored military feared him so much that they menaced 
with bombing Porto Alegre if he did not resign in 1964.  He did not 
wage the battle, maybe due to sound tactical considerations.  But the 
path that Brazil took from that coup onwards, in a sense, turned 
Brizola in a great relic of a glorious past.

Anyway, I feel a great grief.  A lifelong fighter for the rights of 
the dispossessed, a honest and serious anti-imperialist, has passed 
away.  He was no Marxist.  But he was one of us.  These are my 

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 
"Sí, una sola debe ser la patria de los sudamericanos".
Simón Bolívar al gobierno secesionista y disgregador de 
Buenos Aires, 1822
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