Another "soft coup" in Latin America?
Impeachment and Rural Violence: Two Faces of the Same Class Struggle
João Pedro Stedile April 17, 2016
The vote on impeachment, which is in a decisive week, makes clear the interests of the ruling classes and their inclination to reverse the losses from the global economic crisis. It is the class struggle carried out in government offices.
Brazil is experiencing a severe economic, political and social crisis, and, in this scenario, economic power wants to restore their profit rates. But those who hold this power are not going to get out of the crisis by themselves. For this, they need to wipe out all the social gains, take away workers' rights, privatize the power and oil companies, and implement the neoliberal project.
This project of the elites is being presented by the PMDB in the form of what would be a future Temer government. So what is at stake is whether we will return to neoliberalism or not. That's what they need to remove President Dilma. And that is the central element of the class struggle, which is intensifying.
I believe that society has mobilized and denounced that what is happening is a political process that has spurious motivations that have nothing to do with President Dilma's behavior and her government. And this awareness is leading people to take to the streets in the struggle for democracy, which is what is at stake at this point.
According to the assessment of many political analysts that have followed this issue, the government will lose in the Commission but will win on the House floor. This is because the process developers have failed to prove that the president has committed a crime. To use tax “pedaling” is an accounting gimmick that all the presidents of the Republic have done and, among the current governors, 24 of them have already practiced it. So, if this is considered a crime, you should also have impeachment of all of them.
I think after the vote, there are only two possible scenarios. If there is no coup, President Dilma has been strengthened, but will have the task of reassembling her government from other bases. Reassembling the ministry, now in dialogue with the forces of society, not just the parties, and resume the program that got her elected in October 2014. I hope that Lula can be the coordinator of this process.
If there is a coup, we will get a government crisis with an unpredictable outcome because 80% of the population will not accept a Temer-Cunha Mendes-government, nor a neoliberal program, which will bring even more problems for the Brazilian people. So if there is a coup, the political crisis will deepen, and there will be no way out in the short term.
Far from the Palacio do Planalto, the class struggle has been using firearms. In Quedas de Iguaçu (PR), the alliance of oligarchs and local governments killed two farm workers on Thursday April 7 in the same month in which we remember the 20th anniversary of the massacre of Carajás.
What happened in Paraná was a provocation organized by the secretary of the chief of staff of the state government, which has historical, financial and political ties with the company that fraudulently claims the land that belongs to the Union. He wanted to show his support for his patrons and supported the provocation which led to two deaths.
This tragedy shows how the elites react when they feel they are immune from punishment. It was in that context that the massacre of Carajás, Corumbiará, happened 20 years ago, not to mention the massacres in the cities, during the FHC government. Because the political and ideological victory of neoliberalism in the elections signaled the most belligerent elites that can now act with impunity.
For our part, we do not cower, but we will take all possible care not to fall into provocations or pitfalls of violence of the large estates. Our role as the MST is to continue the struggle for agrarian reform. We will continue occupying unproductive estates. We will continue occupying the lands of politicians, companies and farmers who are indebted to the Union by avoiding taxes and do not pay loans in public banks.
We know there are more than 5 million hectares in these conditions in all states of Brazil, and that more than 130 thousand families could be settled. This is the equivalent of all our people in encampments. And you do not need the government to spend a penny in compensation.
We will continue our struggle for a people's agrarian reform, which means in addition to occupying the unproductive estates we will be producing healthy food without pesticides for the entire population.
And on April 17, we will organize mobilizations throughout the country. After all, it's the law! Because the Cardoso government, ashamed of the massacre that took place in 1996, decreed April 17 as National Day of Struggle for Agrarian Reform, in one of the last acts of his second term. There will not be a coup! And we will have agrarian reform.