At the beginning of June, the Bolsonaro government announced another change in the leadership of Petrobras, the majority state-owned oil and gas company. It is the fourth change of leadership this government has made and just 40 days after the previous one. The government tapped Caio Mário Paes de Andrade, direct advisor to Minister Paulo Guedes.
Editorial Opinião Socialista, PSTU Brazil
Faced with the vertiginous increase in fuel and gas prices, the Brazilian government is trying to momentarily slow it down given the election year. The truth is that the changes in Petrobras do not modify the price escalation precisely because they do not affect the main cause of the spike: the accelerated privatization of Petrobras, which imposes the International Price Parity (IPP), which makes us pay in dollars for the fuel and gas produced here, in reais (Brazilian currency). Meanwhile, we also receive a starvation salary, in reais.
This situation means that we are paying, with inflation, famine, and hunger, for the profits of the big bankers and shareholders who hold the majority of Petrobras shares on the New York Stock Exchange. Bolsonaro does not want to change that, on the contrary, he wants to privatize Petrobras once and for all and give everything directly to the bankers.
But it is not only Petrobras that the government wants to do away with. The document “Project of the Nation, Brazil in 2035”, presented by the Villas Bôas Institute with the support of Bolsonaro’s military buddies, exposes the plan of these people. In addition to privatizations, and the surrender of the Amazon to agribusiness and big mining companies, the government’s project is to do away with free public health and education. This, accompanied with authoritarianism and dictatorship. Bowing down to imperialism on the one hand and a stick for the people on the other.
Barbarism and regression
It is not necessary to wait until 2035 to see the result of bolsonarismo. On May 24, while the Constitution and Justice Commission (CCJ) of the Chamber of Deputies was voting on a bill to charge tuition fees at the public university, in Rio de Janeiro the police carried out another massacre, this time in Vila Cruzeiro. At press time, there were already 25 confirmed dead, among them hairdresser Gabriele Ferreira da Cunha, 41, hit from behind.
This is Bolsonaro’s Brazil: barbarism, massacre, and repression of the poor and blacks, on the one hand, and an end of public education and health, on the other. In the midst of this, Guedes even wants to end the FGTS [Guarantee Fund] of the workers and exempt even more of the big businessmen.
However, the workers are not watching all this with arms folded. The workers of CSN [National Steel Company] of Congonhas and Volta Redonda show us how to mobilize. In the region of São José dos Campos, in Vale do Paraíba, the workers of Avibrás (who make missiles and rockets for space research and military applications) are fighting against the closing of the factory and mass layoffs, the same situation as the workers of Caoa Chery, who have occupied the factory as we were writing this article.
Unifying the fights
As the national meeting of the CSP-Conlutas pointed out, it is necessary to unify the struggles taking place throughout the country. To unite them with the struggles of the homeless for Zero Eviction, the struggles of the indigenous against the Temporary Framework, which establishes that the indigenous can only claim the lands they occupied until the 1988 Constitution, and for the titling of the reserves, and also of the quilombolas; the struggle of the poor people against the genocide of the black youth; of the landless, of the youth, of education and health. In this process, it is also necessary to advance in the organization of class self-defense against the ultra-right, repression, and threats to democratic freedoms.
At the same time, it is necessary to build a project of class and socialist independence, that attacks the profits and properties of the big billionaires to guarantee employment, wages, rights, land, environmental protection, and sovereignty. An alternative that reverses the surrender of the country, re-establishes all privatized companies, and expropriates the hundred largest companies. An alternative that finally puts an end to exploitation and all oppression.
A useful vote is to strengthen a socialist alternative
The alternative represented by Lula and Alckmin is not a solution for the workers, but a trap. A capitalist project to the liking of bankers, multinationals, and big business that does not profoundly change the inequality that we have had here for 500 years. So much so that it is not enough to have Alckmin as vice-president, but they called in Pérsio Arida and Lara Resende, formulators of the Plano Real during the government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso (FHC), to formulate the economic policy proposal.
Calling to vote for Lula and Alckmin in the first round is not a “useful vote” to defeat Bolsonaro. Especially since we will not defeat authoritarian threats and the ultra-right only or mainly through elections, in alliance with the same billionaires for whom Bolsonaro and Guedes rule. Such a government, invariably, will attack the workers and will end in frustration later, strengthening that same ultra-right, which will be armed, organized, and ready to return with more force.
The PSTU acts in the elections mainly to dispute the consciousness of the most advanced sectors of the class for a socialist and revolutionary strategy. In the first elections in which the PT participated, for example, in 1982, in the midst of the dictatorship, it did not call for a “useful vote”. On the contrary, it acted to strengthen classism. “Our objective is not only to win votes but mainly to serve the political organization of the workers. For the PT, elections are a tool to advance and grow the mobilization and organization of the people. Worker votes worker. To win the elections is to vote for the PT,” said a party leaflet.
Since then, the PT abandoned classism, adapted itself to the regime, governed for the bankers and bosses, and now offers an alternative to the bourgeoisie in the elections.
A useful vote for the workers, the youth, and the poor people is what strengthens an independent, socialist, and revolutionary alternative. A project to destroy this system that exploits and oppresses us and to defend another society. It is in favor of this alternative that we put the pre-candidacy of Vera, of the Socialist and Revolutionary Pole and of the PSTU.
Article published in www.pstu.org.br, 5/25/2022