Lula's political rights

Blanca Alaníz, Casa Juan O´Gorman series, Digital photography, Mexico City, 2018.
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By CAMILA MORENO*

Hope is lit, look at Lula there!

“Every time I take a step, the world moves out of place / Since the world began, it never thought of stopping”

As in Siba's song, every time Lula takes a step, Brazil moves out of place – in this case, the hole that neo-fascism and neoliberalism had shoved into us seemed to have a way out, when Lula regained his political rights.

Lula became eligible, spoke to Brazil, and the country moved out of place. Bolsonaro exchanged his Minister of Health, an Army general, for a doctor – who apparently will not change the policy of facing the pandemic in Brazil. Eduardo Bolsonaro went on to say (only) now that “our weapon is the vaccine” and they even put a rifle in Zé Gotinha’s hand. The President even announced the purchase of new vaccines, even without signing the contracts.

All of this was done after Brazil reached the sad mark of more than 280 lives lost. We can never forget that the President belittled the virus, called it a flu, defended the use of medication without any scientific proof of its effectiveness, said that the vaccine could turn people into alligators. He promoted agglomerations – without a mask, neglected the lack of oxygen in Manaus and ignored the seriousness of the new strain of the coronavirus that is now spreading across the country. The crisis is widespread. We are 3% of the world's population and 10% of coronavirus deaths! At this moment, nothing is more important than stopping the genocide. Nothing is more important than saving lives!

The pandemic, which has generated a gigantic crisis around the world, has exposed the limits and contradictions of capitalism. In Brazil, as we already know, the difficulties went beyond the virus. We also face a neo-fascist, denialist and ultra-liberal government. We face the exorbitant growth of unemployment, scientific denialism, growing poverty in every corner of the country. We can and must say that the neoliberal economic policy of Bolsonaro and Paulo Guedes brought back misery and hunger to Brazil.

It is in this context of chaos, poverty and hundreds of thousands of deaths that Lula finally had his political rights recovered, by decision of the Minister of the STF, Edson Fachin, who annulled all the unjust convictions imposed by the Republic of Curitiba, which lost their validity. With the decision, Lula became eligible.

The recovery of Lula's political rights fell like a bombshell for the Bolsonaro government, for the political class, for the Brazilian elite and filled millions of hearts with hope: from the socialist militant to the poorest worker in every corner of the country. There is a way out, there is Lula!

Lula's speech to Brazil mobilized our dreams and hope even more. Lula showed that he is, in fact, in the select group of great leaders in history, like Nelson Mandela. He knows he has been persecuted, he is aware of the injustice he has suffered, but he thinks first of his people. He knows that his martyrdom is reflected in the suffering of the population. He feels the pain of every life lost. He knows the anguish of hunger, the loss of dear lives, misery, unemployment, violence. He talks about people. He has proposals for Brazil. He knows how to get us out of this big hole they put us in. He knows Brazil, he knows our people, as much as he knows international political leaders, religious leaders, artists from all over the world. Lula delights us and excites us!

Lula will be our main instrument for direct communication with the Brazilian people, presenting concrete flags such as a vaccine for all, the right to social isolation, emergency aid of 600 reais, aid for small businessmen, social policies and must denounce the price of food, gasoline, gas and fight Bolsonaro's obscurantist discourse and neoliberal policies.

Brazil has always been polarized between a popular project and a project for the elite, and it would not be different now. Those who defend the end of polarization, in fact, defend an economic political program that is not that of the working class. Lula is in fact the opposite of Bolsonaro. While Bolsonaro manages a policy of death, Lula defends life. While Bolsonaro is a denialist, Lula defends science. While Bolsonaro governs for the elite and financial capital, Lula will be the president of the Brazilian people.

The speech by Marcos Mollica, from Banco Opportunity, a typical representative of financial capital, who stated that with Lula's return to the electoral scene, Faria Lima would have no choice and would have to support Bolsonaro was symptomatic. This is the thinking of the “owners of money” in Brazil: they ignore the deaths, genocide, the fascist threat, hunger, unemployment, violence. And that's also why our program must always point to social policies and taxation from the top floor.

Financial capital, although convenient and sporadically manifests itself against specific actions by Bolsonaro and even prefers another candidate from the status quo, had no doubts in 2018 and will have no doubts again. Neofascism and neoliberalism feed each other back and that is why it keeps the PT and Lula under constant attack: we are the left with electoral viability, with a social base, with a program, with militancy and with a perspective of power. And that's precisely why we have to resist. Their victory is the victory of barbarism.

It's time to reconnect with the people, raising the flags that make sense in people's lives. Polarize the country, confront neo-fascism and neoliberalism. Mobilize Brazil on a journey to rebuild the nation. It is necessary to dispute hegemony, values, to have priority in the social struggle, in the reconstruction of the majority.

Lula is the natural candidate and the heart of the Brazilian people. Lula excites, mobilizes, touches hearts, but that is not enough. It is not a given that bourgeois justice will allow Lula to go to the polls in 2022 and we also know that, when Lula's candidacy becomes a reality, we will still fight bravely against financial power. It is necessary that we remain alert, that we expand mobilization. The electoral victories of 2022 will be the result of a 2021 of political struggle, social struggle, grassroots work, reconstruction of the majority and programmatic dispute and values. We need to expand the fight for Fora Bolsonaro, for emergency aid of 600 reais while the pandemic lasts, for a national vaccination program for all.

We must build a recovery and reconstruction program for Brazil that is capable of recovering the Brazilian State, destroyed by Bolsonarism. Recover investment, social policies, employment, with income distribution. A program that presents the country's necessary structural reforms: in the media, politics, taxation, in the judiciary, agrarian and urban areas. Recover Petrobras, change the pre-salt regulatory framework and end the Spending Ceiling, which had perverse effects on the financing of social policies. A program that passes through the PT, the left, those who are committed to democracy in defense of the rights of the people! We are 99%. Lula president means not allowing the 1% to rule the course of Brazil!

“Look there, that star they tried to erase
Don't turn off, don't surrender
It's the brightness of people's eyes, look at her there
Look there, an idea no one can imprison
The dream more and more free
Hope is lit, look at Lula there”

*Camila Moreno is a feminist, anti-fascist, socialist and member of the National Executive of the PT

 

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