101 years of communism in Brazil

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By MILTON PINHEIRO*

The PCB completes 101 years of an indelible presence in the political history of Brazil

The political meaning of the current historical period is marked by the ideology of anticommunism. Far-right political agencies (business counter parties), organized channels for disseminating fake news, corporate media, faith-based neo-Pentecostal churches, NGOs and coup groupings, etc., are instruments of daily action to criminalize and lie about the ideas and practices of those who fight in defense of the working class and human emancipation.

The Brazilian Communist Party (PCB) completes 101 years of an indelible presence in the political history of Brazil. Of this long existence, 56 years were spent in the most violent clandestinity and a large part of the period of legality occurs after 1985, when the burgo-military dictatorship of 1964 ended.

The Brazilian Communist Party emerged to represent a class project and to fight for the program of the Brazilian revolution. The first inspiration was the victory of the Russian Revolution of 1917, which represented the power of organized workers in defense of structural transformations and humanity.

The communists were the revolutionaries who gave meaning to the strikes of the early XNUMXth century, who marched through the streets with demonstrations in defense of the most emblematic rights of the working class, seeking to organize themselves to build a political operator that would give meaning to the emancipatory process.

The party, in the course of the 1920th century, was present in the deepest struggles of that brief century. He participated in the organization of the instruments that acted in the class struggle. Even with the “state of siege”, which defied democracy in the 1930s, a combative popular press was created. In the XNUMXs, it was present in proletarian and popular struggles, but it also had a relevant presence in the Armed Forces barracks.

With this strong presence among the military, he carried out the most important “assault on the heavens” movement in Brazilian history: the anti-fascist and revolutionary uprising of November 1935, an experiment in popular power that lasted four days in Natal (RN); also taking place in Recife and Rio de Janeiro.  

This revolutionary experience was defeated by bourgeois State troops, in alliance with local colonels and their jagunços. However, even with the errors of this process, this experience was a brave political resistance against the bourgeois State that pointed to a perspective of social hope and political autonomy of the working class.

After the brutal repression that followed the uprising, due to the persecution of the “Estado Novo”, the PCB organized resistance struggles against fascism in Brazil and when the winds of the Nazi-fascist defeat, in the second great war, crossed the horizon of the peoples, the party managed to find the light at the end of the tunnel.

The Brazilian Communist Party has legally become a mass party. Luiz Carlos Prestes was elected the most voted senator in Brazil, as well as a vigorous group of 14 federal deputies. In the following elections, for the Legislative Assemblies of the states in 1947, he elected 46 deputies and two more federal deputies. However, reactionary action was imposed again and the party was made illegal. The party's registration was revoked and then the mandates of federal and state parliamentarians.

The party has gone underground, however, now as a strong working-class political operator. He took part in the 300 strike in São Paulo, in the Petróleo é Nosso campaign, and marked the struggle for agrarian reform in a revolutionary way through the peasant uprisings in Porecatu, Trombas and Formoso. He organized demonstrations against the presence of Brazilian troops in the imperialist war in Korea, he was where the struggle was necessary throughout Brazil.

With the “August 1950 Manifesto”, he constituted new forms of struggle in deep connection with the Brazilian revolution. Free unions, popular and proletarian organizations without state control, organization of women's struggles and a combative and militant denouncement against racism. A party with a sense of class defense and perspective of fights for revolutionary ruptures.

The PCB had the greatest intellectual presence of all time; a seminal brand in Brazilian culture. After all, in the history of the XNUMXth century, the most important figures in literature, science, art, music, art, theater and cinema fought within the party.

The party was the origin of the Brazilian left, however, at the present time, it has not yet become a major political operator in this ideological field. However, in the Brazilian historical process, the most fertile struggles of the workers germinated and illuminated, with sure steps, in the dark or in the light of day, the paths along which the struggles that seek the meaning of the Brazilian revolution.

Upon completing 101 years, the Brazilian Communist Party is a phoenix of history, with mistakes and successes. He was on the side of the revolutionaries who built the anti-capitalist revolutions around the world, such as the Soviet Union, China, Korea, Cuba, Vietnam and the popular democracies of Eastern Europe and Africa. He fought alongside the anti-colonial struggle and revolutionary actions around the world. It has always been an internationalist party that has operated in defense of the world revolution.

In this long history of struggles, it is important to honor the founders, but also the men and women who fought for the PCB to be here today. Figures such as Minervino de Oliveira, Octávio Brandão, Elisa Branco, Giocondo Dias, Carlos Marighella, Lyndolpho Silva, Maria Aragão, Mário Alves, José Maria Crispim, Yeda Maria Ferreira, Osvaldo Pacheco, Câmara Ferreira, Antonieta Campos da Paz, Horácio Macedo, Ana Montenegro, Dinarco Reis, Paulo Cavalcanti, Iraci Picanço, Gregório Bezerra, Maria Brandão, Zuleika D'Alembert, Adalgisa Cavalcanti and the legendary Luiz Carlos Prestes.

In a moment of great symbolism like the present, it is necessary to remember those historical militants who had their blood spilled when they fought in defense of the working class, democratic freedoms and against bourgeois oppression. The 43 martyrs murdered by the bourgeois-military dictatorship of 1964 will never be forgotten: Ivan Rocha Aguiar (student), Antogildo Pascoal Viana (worker), Carlos Schirmer (worker), Pedro Domiense de Oliveira (postman), Manuel Alves de Oliveira (military). , Newton Eduardo de Oliveira (worker), João Alfredo (peasant), Pedro Inácio de Araújo (peasant), Israel Tavares Roque (worker), Divo Fernandes D'oliveira (maritime), Severino Elias de Melo (military), Inocêncio Pereira Alves (Tailor), Lucindo Costa (civil servant), João Roberto Borges de Souza (student), José Dalmo Guimarães Lins (journalist), Francisco da Chagas Pereira (military), Epaminondas Gomes de Oliveira (shoemaker), Ismael Silva de Jesus (student ), Célio Augusto Guedes (dentist), José Mendes de Sá Roriz (military), Davi Capistrano da Costa (military), José Roman (worker), João Massena Melo (worker), Luiz Ignácio Maranhão Filho (journalist), Valter de Souza Ribeiro (military), Afonso Henrique Martins Saldanha (teacher), Elson Costa (truck driver), Hiran de Lima Pereira (administrator), Jayme Amorim de Miranda (journalist), Nestor Veras (peasant), Itair Veloso (worker), Alberto Aleixo ( worker), José Ferreira de Almeida (military), José Maximino de Andrade Neto (military), Pedro Jerônimo de Souza (shopkeeper), José Montenegro de Lima (student), Orlando Bonfim (journalist), Vladimir Herzog (journalist), Neide Alves Santos (propagandist), Manoel Fiel Filho (worker), Feliciano Eugênio Neto (worker), Lourenço Camelo Mesquita (taxi driver) and José Pinheiro Jobim (diplomat).

Even with the pre-1964 mistakes, the struggle developed by the PCB in the construction of popular and proletarian movements, and in the articulation of the Democratic Front, were fundamental to defeat the dictatorship and establish a new era of democratic freedoms with the end of the military regime.

The 1980s were times of political and ideological confusion, they are the worst moment in the history of the Brazilian Communist Party, when political tacticism tried to kill the strategic operator. However, the red phoenix knew how to operate its purge and organize the revolutionary reconstruction from 1992 onwards.

The PCB returned to the centrality of proletarian and popular struggles, placing the socialist strategy on the order of the day as a central formulation to guide tactical action. It built instruments to combat the sociability of the capitalist order, such as the Coletivo Feminista Classista Ana Montenegro (CFCAM), Coletivo Negro Minervino de Oliveira (CNMO) and the LGBTComunista. It advanced in the organization of mass fronts, like the Communist Youth Union (UJC) and the Classist Unit (UC).

In these 101 years of struggle, the Brazilian Communist Party knew how to make the necessary self-criticism and reorganize flags and actions to operate in today's battles of class struggles. The party assumed its historic commitment with the anti-imperialist anti-capitalist flags, against capitalist exploitation and the oppressions of bourgeois society, always in the perspective of the Brazilian revolution and the confirmation of the socialist project.

Today, Brazilian communists are completing 101 years of struggles that marked the history of Brazil and the world. After all, many of the communist militants fought in the Spanish civil war, the French resistance and the battles of the second world war in Europe.

During this long journey, the blood of the militants was mixed with the red of the communist flag and fertilized the fertile soil of the battles that the working class developed in Brazil and in the world.

With this history and with the confirmation of these flags, the Brazilian Communist Party is still not the biggest party of the Brazilian left, but there will be no working class struggles without its convinced presence. After all, the political operator of long-standing Brazilian history, since the beginning of the XNUMXth century, finds meaning for his revolutionary praxis in the slogan “we were, are and will be communists”.

Long live the 101 years of the PCB!

*Milton Pinheiro He is a PCB militant, political scientist and professor of history at the State University of Bahia (UNEB).


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