[Marxism] Brazilian Bishops and Landless Workers Disillusioned

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Fri Aug 12 09:55:54 MDT 2005

(Latin America's largest and most populous country
is one riven with contradictions and problems and 
how could it be otherwise? Absent a revolutionary
government or the overturn of capitalism, and with
the armed apparatus of the capitalist repressive
forces still firmly intact, what maneuvering room
the Workers Party government of Luis Ignacio Lula
da Silva retains is extremely limited. Within that
context and understanding, unrealistic expectations
for Lula can only lead to disillusionment. 

(Cuba's government and media, have generally taken 
a friendly attitude toward Lula and the Workers
Party government. Breaking Washington's blockade of
the island by actively trading with it and opposing
political steps to isolate the country using things
like the UNHRC, meetings with the dissidents, etc.

(Yet Cuba's neither oblivious to nor does Cuba's media 
cover up for the situation in Latin America's largest
and most populous country for diplomatic reasons. As
the political right mounts a massive campaign against
Lula's government, emphasizing all of what it sees as
the negative and corrupt things going on there, at the
same time, it would be a mistake to pretend that there
aren't gigantic problems there. 

(Cuba's media doesn't make that mistake, as this report
in Prensa Latina just posted today demonstrates. Also,
Cuba's Cuba's Centro Juan Marinello published a book 
by Emir Sadir analyzing the contradictions of Lula's 
Brazil quite some time prior to the one New Left Review 
published. This)

Brazilian Bishops and Landless Workers Disillusioned

Sao Paulo, Aug 11 (Prensa Latina) The National Conference
of Bishops (CNBB) and The Landless Workers Movement (MST),
two allies of President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, have
expressed disillusionment because the government has not
fulfilled their expectations.

Their sentiments are neither new nor exclusive to these
forces, but are stronger, saying that despite some
outstanding achievements compared to previous governments,
they have not kept electoral promises of deep change.

At their annual assembly, the bishops are discussing a
document released Wednesday which states "the climate is of
discouragement because few of the social and political
proposals to benefit the poorest have been put into

The document said there is considerable perplexity at the
neoliberal turn of measures adopted by the Executive, and
questioned why Lula has failed to implement the necessary
structural changes.

The national office of the MST reminded that the current
government was elected by the Brazilian people to carry out
change, and told Prensa Latina that it is no longer

They said the government is ambiguous, swinging from left
to right, the State is administratively structured against
the poor to benefit the rich, and they are especially
disenchanted with agrarian reform, which is as slow as a

The MST added that the government believed agrobusiness
would be the solution for poverty without appreciating that
the maintenance of neoliberal economic policies prevents
the execution of any program of Agrarian Reform.

The Conference of Brazilian Bishops and the MST are both
analyzing the three-month political crisis caused by
allegations of illicit use of electoral funds by The
Workers Party (PT).

The Bishop´s document said the electoral alliances are
designed to give governability to the President, and the PT
has fallen into the same traps that condemned their
opponents, asking "Can the PT survive? What would happen if
it disappeared?"

The MST said the crisis is not limited to corruption, but
is even more grave, it is the crisis of a model.

"The people are not recognized in this system of
representation, they do not have political power and cannot
exercise what the Federal Constitution says: all power
comes from the people," they said.

The MST stressed that the only way out for the country is
for all organised forces to unite, discuss, and build a new
project for their country, a project that puts the people

That project should include "economic policies which will
fulfill the needs of the people, such as employment,
income, land, housing, education and culture, and create a
society without inequality and injustice," they concluded.


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