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Rio de Janeiro as a mirror of Brazil

Thiago Aguiar and Israel Dutra  (MES-PSOL’s National Secretariat ) – 11.17

The common place that Rio de Janeiro is the mirror of Brazil was felt very strongly in the week. On this occasion, another chapter in Operation Cadena Velha, splitting the Operation Lava-Chorro, ended up bringing to the chain a fundamental part of the leading nucleus of the ‘fluminense’ PMDB. They were delivered to the federal police jail, Jorge Picciani, chief of the scheme and six times president of ALERJ, Paulo Mello, president of ALERJ between 2011 and 2015, and the current leader of the Pezão government, Edson Albertassi.

The vote of the plenary session of the Federal Regional Court of the 2nd Region determined the prison based on the investigation that hurries the protection for the interests of the big companies that operate in the public transport. It has been two decades already creating laws tailored to the interests of the owners of bus companies, headed by Jacob Barata Filho, known as “King of the Bus”, and his poster, the Fetranspor.

Coincidence or not, on the date that commemorates the first year of Sérgio Cabral prison, part of his work team returns to find him again, this time behind the bars of the Benfica prison. The testimony of the marketer of the campaigns of the PMDB in Rio, Renato Pereira, also involves the son of Picciani, the current Minister of Sports, Leonardo Picciani. According to data, only on the part of Fetranspor, Picciani father received almost 80 million reais, during his dealings with the ALERJ. The other son of the Picciani clan, businessman Felipe, was arrested on Tuesday, as part of the same operation.

24 hours later, the decision of the ALERJ, by 39 votes in favor and 10 opponents, reversed the position of the debarkers, freeing the three corrupt deputies. The protest called for the afternoon of today, day 17, ended in clashes with the police, rubber bullets, wounded and bombs. The demonstration was led by the PSOL, movement of the servers and youths to avoid the rescue operation of the corrupt. A broad sense of anger and indignation against politicians runs through the Rio after the “days of impunity” at the end of the day.

The crisis that affects the Rio

In recent months, another issue raised Rio de Janeiro, once again, in the center of the headlines: the real chaos in public safety. A sore that affects hundreds of thousands of people in the capital of Rio de Janeiro – which leads to a curfew, spectacular television images and military reinforcement – causes damages of all kinds for life in the city, especially for the working class and the poor town. Children without classes in municipal schools, armed confrontation between factions and police forces, in which the State demonstrates its characteristic face of violence against the masses and directly stimulates the genocide of the population of the periphery.

It is also in Rio, after the sumptuous expenses in the Olympiad and in the World Cup, that the fiscal crisis finds the social crisis. The severe adjustment against public functionalism, punished and without wages; the structural crisis of public health; the lack of budget that is leading universities to close the doors; and the privatization of the CEDAE (State Water and Sewer Company) are measures that have a laboratory in Rio, but begin to spread throughout the country. The negotiation that Temer imposed as a form of “fiscal recovery regime” is the treaty for the states to tighten the adjustment even more.

A Republic defaced by corruption and schemes

On the holiday of November 15, alluding to the proclamation of the Republic, was marked by the news of Rio de Janeiro. As a symbol of “our Republic”, we have the derision of the enrichment of corrupt politicians, forming a privileged caste, which unites important leaders of the executive, legislative and even judicial powers. As Luciana Genro explained well, in an article published in Revista Movimento:

“On this November 15, Rio de Janeiro is the most finished expression of the kind of Republic that we are. The res publica – that is, the public thing – in Brazil is privatized by corruption and by the large economic groups that command the country. “

This is what we call “political system” in the country. To protect and keep intact the interests of business groups, despite popular demands, traditional politicians perpetuate themselves in front of governments, chambers, assemblies and prefectures.

Such promiscuous relations are those that preside over the political link of the current regime with its material support. The aforementioned Carioca PMDB keeps Moreira Franco as Temer’s squire, after seeing capo Eduardo Cunha fall after leading the palacie coup that deposed Dilma.

It can not be forgotten that the foundation of these corrupt relations of the New Republic was the pact between classes and parties that the PT and Lula embraced to reach the Planalto. The rise of the PMDB in Fluminense was part of a very well structured plan between Lula, Cabral and Paes (until then intimate).

Without taking serious measures against corruption and without denouncing the role played by partisan castes, the indignation of the millions whose lives are affected by the economic crisis can not be reached, in a torrent of anger and disenchantment. The essence of the regime, of the fear itself, of its party creator, is revealed and undressed in the eyes of millions: small and big corruptions to maintain private profit schemes of the big businessmen.

Resistance to government plans, which would also react in the field of civil rights, exists and needs to be coordinated. The beautiful demonstration on November 13, with thousands of women taking to the streets against the PEC 181 that withdraws the right to abortion in case of rape was a breath of hope. The black conscience day marches, marked for the capitals on November 20, are another fundamental point of social resistance. The union movement is still on the defensive, with the date of November 10 setting up a still fragile response to the bosses’ attacks. It is necessary to prepare for the fight against the reform of social security.

A necessary break

We need to put all the energy so that impunity does not come out victorious in that conflict. It is necessary to keep the dome of the Carioca PMDB in jail, reaching Governor Pezão, to dismantle the scheme as a whole. It is necessary to confiscate the assets and fortunes of those corrupt and their various agents to heal public accounts, pay the servers and keep universities open. Recover the millions stolen by the gang of Cabral and Picciani to pay the 13th pensioners and servers.

A true political revolution would be necessary before the exhaustion of the current political variants. A necessary break, with new institutions, new ways of doing and managing politics.

The case of the bus mafia in Rio shows an interesting encounter between the struggles of June 2013 and the dismantling of the regime, in which the Lava Jato plays a fundamental role. The story is made in a tortuous way, but the fact is that the perception that bus fares were a fraud, that cups and Olympics were corruption of contractors, politicians and corporations, and that the political regime has no representativeness completely checked.

As Rio de Janeiro is part of a national struggle, we believe that it is the role of PSOL – articulated with a front that unifies the best of the socialist left – to present an alternative and a program to account for the battle for the necessary rupture. A program that is clear in anti-regime tasks, combining exemplary measures in the fight against corruption with anti-capitalist measures such as the taxation of large fortunes, the expropriation of the large conglomerates involved in the schemes of the Lava -Church, the review of economic policy and the cancellation of counter-reforms. More than ever, a program that talks with June 2013 and can overcome the strategy that most of the left has invested in recent years: democratic-popular, without a horizon of clash with the majority interests, leading to a conciliation classes and reformism without reforms.

The Sixth Congress of PSOL, which will take place in two weeks, has to be addressed on these issues, as well as giving way to a pre-candidacy of the left to appear as an alternative outside of the corrupt regime that it unleashes in Rio de Janeiro and in the country. Uniting resistance against adjustment, the fight against corruption and the struggle for rights in a solid alternative in the field of elections and struggles is the most important task of the conjuncture.



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