We stand in solidarity with working class movements in Brazil as they fight against fascism and struggle for economic, social, and political justice to build a more just and equitable future. We reaffirm our Political Platform and Resolution 14 passed at DSA 2021 Convention which underscored the importance of internationalism and building relations with mass parties and movements in Latin America as they struggle against the impacts of US imperialism across the continent.
Fascistas não passarão! A Statement on the Brazil Coup Attempt
January 10, 2023
The Democratic Socialists of America condemns the coup attempt in Brazil’s capital of Brasilia and calls on the Biden administration to revoke any refuge for former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro. Nearly two years to the day of the invasion of the US Capitol by far-right hordes, an all-too-similar scene played out in the center of Brasilia. Thousands of supporters of former President Bolsonaro gathered in the Brazilian capital, calling for the closure of the Congress and Supreme Court and an immediate intervention by the Armed Forces, messages disseminated repeatedly by Bolsonaro himself and his closest political allies throughout the four years of his administration. The protest quickly transformed into a violent invasion of the buildings which house the Brazilian Congress, Supreme Court and Presidential offices. Federal District police forces took little to no action in order to prevent the depredation, instead spending their time taking pictures and chatting with the fascist protestors.
In the face of this grave attack on Brazilian democratic institutions, the incoming Workers’ Party government led by Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva is leading an exemplary show of force against these illegitimate, pro-authoritarian coup plotters. DSA commends the strong actions that are being taken by both the Executive and Judicial branches of the government, including the hasty roundup and arrest of over 300 antidemocratic protestors before they could even flee the capital city, the call for an arrest warrant for the leader of the security forces in the Federal District of Brasilia, and the temporary suspension of the mandate of the Bolsonaro-supporting governor of the Federal District. Only swift and decisive action can bring the fascist far-right to heel in Brazil and in all other countries facing this authoritarian threat, with no backdoor pardons or amnesty agreements!
DSA applauds the Biden administration and numerous US Congressional representatives, including DSA-endorsed Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, for swiftly condemning this coup attempt. We also echo AOC’s call to deport Bolsonaro from US territory, as he has been residing in central Florida since December 31st, in a desperate attempt to escape prosecution from the heinous crimes he committed while in office. As the US government continues to close legal pathways for migrants and refugees fleeing economic privation and political violence in other countries, it is inacceptable for the Biden administration to allow a far-right demagogue intimately linked to crimes ranging from corruption to genocide against indigenous peoples to remain on US soil. Zero tolerance for fascists here at home and abroad!
This week, we urge our members to support the pro-democracy acts being organized by the Workers Party (PT) and Brazilian social movements both in Brazil and in the US. We stand in unwavering solidarity with our comrades in the PT who we were fortunate to meet and exchange ideas with as part of our delegations to Brazil in 2022. Only a mass, united front led by the global working class will be able to effectively deter the existential political threat posed by the authoritarian far-right that masterminded these criminal acts here and abroad. DSA pledges to intensify our work to protect democracy and build international socialist solidarity, in the face of fascist barbarism in Brazil and around the globe. Fascistas não passarão!
DSA IC Congratulates Lula for his Historic Electoral Victory in the 2022 Presidential Elections
November 7, 2022
The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) International Committee congratulates Presidential candidate Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva, Vice-Presidential candidate Gerardo Alckmin, the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT), Partido Socialismo e Liberdade (PSOL) and the Vamos Juntos pelo Brasil electoral coalition for their historic win in the elections which took place on October 30, 2022. This victory is a resounding condemnation by the Brazilian people of the genocidal, ecocidal, neo-fascist modus operandi of the outgoing Bolsonaro administration. We stand with the PT, PSOL, and the new Lula administration as they take advantage of this moment to intensify the fight for a more dignified, democratic and inclusive Brazil.
The effects of the tragic Bolsonaro government on the Brazilian population will be hard to erase – with over 33 million people suffering food insecurity, a record 63 million people living under the poverty line (close to 30% of the entire population), increased assassinations and persecution of the LGBTQI+ community, and a disastrous anti-scientific handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the unnecessary deaths of over 688,000 Brazilians. In addition, the Bolsonaro government actively encouraged ranchers and illegal miners to pillage the Amazon rainforest, leading to a 75% increase in deforestation of that crucial ecosystem since Bolsonaro’s inauguration in 2019, seriously compromising the country’s (and the world’s) ability to reduce carbon emissions.
We commend the wide range of democratic forces under the Vamos Juntos pelo Brasil banner which came together to defend Brazilian democratic institutions in the face of Bolsonaro’s unfounded yet persistent threats. In particular, we salute Lula and the PT for the unprecedented political comeback that they have made, after years of legal, political and mediatic persecution which led to Lula’s illegal and immoral imprisonment by politically-motivated prosecutors and judges in 2018-2019. Now more than ever, we stand with Lula and the larger Brazilian left against the use of lawfare and in condemnation of the role of the US Department of Justice in the criminal Lava Jato investigations.
Despite the challenges that the Lula administration will certainly face, the new government represents a significant opportunity to contribute to the creation of a more sovereign Latin America, less beholden to US interests and more focused on promoting social and economic development on a regional scale vis-a-vis the strengthening of political projects such as UNASUL and CELAC. This victory effectively consolidates the new “Pink Tide” of left and center-left governments that have taken power across almost all of Latin America over the last two years. We believe that this current movement has the possibility of reenergizing a shell-shocked global left – just as it did when it birthed the World Social Forum and stopped the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas in the early 2000s.
As the DSA International Committee, we pledge to continue to struggle and learn from our comrades in the PT, PSOL, and Brazilian social movements, just as we did during the high-level delegations that visited Sao Paulo in April/May and October of 2022. We will also continue to work with Brazilian diaspora communities in the US to help build a strong base of support for the new Lula administration. We understand that this victory, however uplifting and inspiring, is just a first step in the fight against neo-fascism, neoliberalism and ecocide which is playing out in both the US and Brazil, and we commit ourselves to continuing that fight together with our Brazilian left comrades and the incoming Lula government.
Brazil Delegation 2022
DSA sent two delegations to Brazil in May and September of 2022 consisting of members from the National Political Committee and the International Committee who traveled to Sao Paulo to offer concrete solidarity to Brazilian political and union leaders on the front lines of the struggle for human, labor and environmental rights. The delegation joined parties, organizations, and leaders across the international left, including the Homeless Workers’ Movement (MTST) and Landless Workers’ Movement (MST), Brazil’s main national trade union the Unified Workers’ Central (CUT), the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL), the Workers’ Party (PT), the youth wing of the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) the Socialist Youth Union, the Sao Paulo Forum, and others in solidarity and political accompaniment as the PT’s electoral coalition worked to re-elect Lula as President, as well as other important down ballot races, and protect the democracy of one of the largest voting populations in the world.
DSA in Brazil Report Back Call
Panelists: Rosane, Alexandre Pupo, Gabriel Acevero, Kristian Hernandez, Ashik Siddique, Jana Silverman, James E-T, Sofia Guimaraes
June 27, 2022
From April 29 – May 4, Kristian Hernandez, Ashik Siddique, and Sofia Cutler Guimaraes (NPC), Jana Silverman (International Committee), James E-T (NCC-YDSA), and Gabriel Acevero, (Maryland State Delegate – Socialists in Office) went to Sao Paulo, Brazil as part of an exchange hosted by the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT), Central Unica dos Trabalhadores (CUT), and Foro de Sao Paulo.
During the week they spent in Brazil, they heard first-hand about the attacks against workers being spearheaded by Jair Bolsonaro’s neo-fascist government, and the tragic consequences of the 1964-1985 US-sponsored military dictatorship. However, they also learned about how unions, social movements and socialist activists are resisting neo-fascism and neoliberalism, and building the campaign to elect Lula in this October’s Presidential elections.
Join the webinar to hear from the members of the DSA in Brazil delegation about what DSA can learn from the struggles of Brazilian popular movements, and discuss how DSA can play a role in defending democracy in Brazil during this crucial election year. In addition to the delegation members, the call will also feature James Green, Co-coordinator of the US Network for Democracy in Brazil, Alexandre Pupo, International Affairs Secretary of the PT youth wing, and other representatives of the PT and CUT that DSA met with during the trip.
Rebuilding Socialism in Brazil
Panelists: Monica Valente, Juneia Batista, Fabio de Sa e Silva
April 19, 2022
Twenty years ago, the Workers’ Party (PT) came to power in Brazil and implemented policies that brought 40 million people out of poverty, offered new educational opportunities to poor, Afro-Brazilian and indigenous youth, and strengthened South-South solidarity, in order to counterbalance US imperialism in Latin America. However the attempts to advance towards democratic socialism in Brazil under the PT governments were derailed after the 2016 parliamentary coup against President Dilma Rousseff and then definitively buried after the election of neo-fascist Jair Bolsonaro in 2018. In Bolsonaro’s three and a half years in office, his government has destroyed record swathes of the Amazon forest, persecuted social movement leaders, gutted labor rights, and deliberately mishandled the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the deaths of over 661,000 Brazilians from the virus. As Brazilians prepare to head to the polls this October, their choice between rebuilding their democracy or continuing a barbaric slide towards authoritarianism could not be any clearer.
In this webinar, we will hear from Brazilian political and union leaders on the front lines of the struggle for human and labor rights, and learn about what we can do as activists in the US to fight against any undue US government intervention in the Brazilian political process. We will also give details about the upcoming NPC/IC May Day Delegation to Brazil and talk about what DSA aims to learn from the PT and other social movement partners during this trip.
Speaker: Dilma Rousseff, Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT)
August 7, 2021
DSA IC denounces the practice of Lawfare against Lula in Brazil and applauds the restoration of Lula’s political rights
March 21, 2021
On March 8, 2021, Supreme Court justice Luiz Edson Fachin annulled the criminal convictions against Workers Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores or PT) leader and former President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva on procedural grounds arguing that the corruption cases against Lula should have been tried in the Federal courts in Brasilia instead of in the regional courts in the city of Curitiba under the notoriously partial judge Sergio Moro. With this ruling, Lula has effectively regained his political rights for the time being and can now potentially run as the PT Presidential candidate in the 2022 elections against the far-right current President Jair Bolsonaro. Lula’s reentrance into the political scenario provides an important counterbalance to Bolsonaro’s neo-fascist discourse and practice, which has led to unprecedented levels of deforestation in the Amazon, systematic assassinations of indigenous, Afro-Brazilian, and landless workers movement leaders, and the deliberate mismanagement of the COVID-19 health crisis, which has caused the death of over 277,000 Brazilians from the virus since March 2020.
While DSA welcomes the restoration of Lula’s political rights, we also call for the Brazilian Supreme Court to conduct a more thorough investigation of the illegal and immoral collusion between Judge Moro and the prosecutors leading the “Car Wash” (Lava Jato) investigations linked to allegations of corruption in the national oil company Petrobras. From the very beginning of the Car Wash investigations, Moro and the prosecutorial team have systematically conducted lawfare (political warfare using legal mechanisms) against Lula and the PT in general. From 2014-2018, Moro used and abused his prerogatives as judge to keep the accused in indefinite pretrial detention, to repeatedly share information and strategies with the prosecutors, and to use illegal wiretaps against Lula and former President Dilma Rousseff and then leak the conversations obtained through those wiretaps to the rabidly right-wing mass media. This strategy was used to make sure that Lula was condemned in the court of public opinion before he could attempt to prove his innocence under the legal system. For his service to the Brazilian economic and political elites, Moro was awarded the post of Justice Minister under Bolsonaro but then left the government in a political gambit as Bolsonaro’s popularity began to decline in April 2020.
DSA urges the Supreme Court to ensure that the case brought by Lula’s lawyers to conclusively overturn the sentences against him due to Moro’s partiality is speedily resolved, thus allowing the Brazilian people to elect Lula in 2022 if they so desire. In addition, DSA calls for further investigations into the collaborations between Sergio Moro and the Car Wash prosecutorial team and the US Justice Department, in possible violation of both Brazilian and international treaty law as denounced by 13 US Members of Congress in August 2019.
As the son of an illiterate peasant family who rose to power through the labor movement, Lula has historically defied the Brazilian political establishment. We express our unwavering solidarity with Lula, the PT, and the Brazilian people as they fight for their lives and livelihoods under Bolsonaro’s genocidal administration. Lula livre! Lula inocente! (Lula is free, Lula is innocent!)