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On Monday, March 25, the presidential spokesman, General Rêgo Barros, announced Jair Bolsonaro’s order to commemorate the date of the 1964 military coup, March 31, in barracks and military installations throughout the country. In a period of turmoil – when Bolsonaro’s popularity melts, discontent with the government’s general incompetence and proposed pension reform grows – conflicts with Rodrigo Maia and the leaders of the “centrão” grow, the absurd polemics of Bolsonaro cause indignation and the links of the militia with the presidential family and its advisers are revealed-, the announcement of the “commemorations” of the coup d’état is a way for Bolsonaro to retake the offensive and make the coession of its social base.

The agenda, signed by the Minister of Defense, Fernando Azevedo e Silva, and by the commanders of the Armed Forces, presents the coup d’état deposition of João Goulart as a result of popular clamor and the pressures of the Cold War – tacitly assuming that the military at the time followed the determinations of U.S. imperialism. This position demonstrates that the military leadership continues to vindicate the coup and, therefore, is ready, if it is the case, to do again. When they claim that part of society and the media called for it, they show that the bourgeoisie made the choice for the coup. And it was to her that they served.

Today, we have a government whose president has 64 as a model, which indicates that his policy, if he can choose, is repression against the opposition and against the people, if they mobilize. However, repression is not seen as the priority policy of the majority of the bourgeoisie, which does not think it is necessary to maintain its domination of a line whose center is the repression of any manifestation of opposition. It prefers an option of ideological and political hegemony that it is currently able to maintain. In this sense, there is a division between the priority will of the president and on the part of his government (there is another part, by signal linked more to the military leadership, which prefers to govern with the hegemonic corporations of the bourgeoisie, which does not have the same inclinations of Bolsonaro) and the bourgeoisie that mostly wants a more functional government, centered on the application of neoliberalism.

Apology of torture and deaths

The reactionary positions of Bolsonaro and his ministers cause international embarrassment. On a visit to Chile, the protests repudiated his presence in the country and denounced his praiseworthy statements by Pinochet and the bloody Chilean dictatorship. Even the right-wing Sebastián Piñera, Chilean president, expressed his disagreement with Bolsonaro’s positions in the face of the shock caused in that country. Throughout his political career, Bolsonaro exalted the military regime and its crimes, in other words, someone who advocates torture and death occupies the presidential chair. His idol, Brilhante Ustra, is a notorious torturer and murderer, whose crimes were revealed by the National Truth Commission (CNV) and recognized by the Justice. The CNV also revealed details of the functioning of the torture centres, of the cases of execution and concealment of bodies, of rape and sexual violence, of violence against children and mothers. In the period, in addition to the thousands of cases of arbitrary detentions, political persecution, cassation of fundamental rights, censorship and exile.

For memory, truth and justice

Bolsonaro’s “commemoration” proposal was received with indignation, showing that the attempt by the extreme right to rewrite the history of Brazil and the world (reaching the delirium of Ernesto Araújo with his “left” Nazism) to mobilize its reactionary base will not succeed. The response to the provocations shows that resistance exists in broad plots of society. There are good examples in Paulo Coelho’s position, denouncing that he was arrested and tortured, and in the mobilizations that were called by the students of Mackenzie, in the traditional Maria Antônia street, that forced Bolsonaro to cancel his visit to avoid the protests. The most expressive was the courageous office of judge Ivani Silva da Luz in liminar – later married – which prohibited commemorations of the coup by the government. A broad unity of action was organized, with the convocation of protests throughout the country, demonstrations in the press and judicial questioning of social and political organizations, in a broad spectrum that involved the OAB, artists and part of the church. This struggle must continue, with the necessary defense of memory, truth and justice in Brazil, where there was no transitional justice to punish torturers and murderers, as happened in neighboring countries such as Argentina and Uruguay.

We will join the events of March 31 and April 1 throughout the country, rejecting Bolsonaro, the extreme right, and adding our voice to the outcry: dictatorship never again! For ours who fell and for those who will come after us!

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  • Pedro Fuentes
  • Bernardo Corrêa
  • Charles Rosa
  • Clara Baeder