Brazil: A coup by imperialism against the workers and the tasks of the communists in the new cold war


08/05/2016 by socialistfight

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff sworn in for the second time in 2015, now facing impeachment, dismissal and possible jail in a US imperialist sponsored constitutional coup.

By Humberto Rodrigues, “Folha do Trabalhador” newspaper, Communist Workers Front, Brazilian section of LCFI.

The impeachment push to overthrow the government of the PT in Brazil has been orchestrated since 2013. It is a parliamentary coup d’etat to take out the PT government at any cost. Corruption crimes of which the PT was accused have been proven to be practiced by all his tormentors and on a much larger scale. The bourgeois opposition lost the last four presidential elections in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. These political representatives of the bourgeoisie, supported by imperialism, can only regain the presidency of Brazil by subverting the functioning of the current presidential government system, even though Brazilian bourgeois democracy is extremely limited. This was only possible after the unification of the entire bourgeoisie as a class against the PT, aggravating the dictatorship of capital.

The economic crisis is also an instrument of political struggle. It was not only the reduction in imports of commodities by China that weakened the Brazilian economy and caused the recession. The fall in oil prices to one third of the amount that it sold at two years ago (a barrel of oil dropped from $110 to £30 US dollars) was caused by manoeuvres performed by the US. The main objective was to weaken their opponent petro-states, many of whom are organic members or associates politically the BRICS, whose economies rely on that commodity, such as Russia, Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia and co. The US became the world’s largest oil producer in 2015, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia, starting to export too, which Washington had banned since the oil crisis in the 1970s.

Petrobras, the Brazilian state giant oil company has consistently been the victim of legal and speculative attacks (judicial operation anti-PT “Car Wash”). Behind these attacks are the rating agencies and investment risk assessors of big finance capital; speculators like George Soros and the brothers Koch, magnates of US oil, which also fund the scam artist NGOs in Brazil, the same as those who supported the coup in Ukraine.

The strategic plan to sabotage the economy has been a “war effort” to overthrow the PT and get rid of this obstacle to expansion of the exploitation of workers by imperialism. The Federation of São Paulo State Industries (FIESP), the landlords of the Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock of Brazil (CNA), the media monopoly of the “Globo”, the owner of the drinks multinational AmBev, Jorge Paulo Lemann, the richest bourgeois in the country, sabotaged the economy. They threatened lock-outs if the impeachment was not approved, they gave collective vacations to their workers, caused the recession, sponsored the coup, the demonstrations, hyped up the panic about the Zika virus emanating from the poor, thus expanding the size of the protests and guiding its political and legal representatives in conspiring to overthrow Dilma by all means. This is real “bullying” by political forces and the media. Result: the wealthy middle classes, driven by public opinion became a con man’s army. The erosion of parliamentary support for the government of the PT in Congress fell to less than one third of the parliamentary vote against the impeachment.

As it was in 1964, the current Coup is not only the product of disputes between two wings of the Brazilian bourgeoisie. Imperialism is supporting the wing of the ruling class which is the majority. On the other hand, increasingly isolated, it is the PT. The coup of 2016 wants to oust the PT government and marginalise the party, but the main target is the workers and their historical social conquests. The capitalists in Brazil seek restore their profit rates by the overexploitation of the masses,

The 1964 coup in Brazil was the first of a series to install military dictatorships in the Latin American continent in the 1960s and 1970. That was a preventive manoeuvre of imperialism during the Cold War against the then existing workers’ states to prevent the expansion the influence of the Cuban revolution on the continent. Now, in a more sophisticated and orderly manner, imperialism holds parliamentary coups in Latin America. We live in another cold war, the enemies are new bourgeois powers and the current scams seek to re-impose US influence on the continent, which is visibly weakening in the twenty-first century.

Victory for India at BRICS Summit

 The crisis of 2008 in US and Europe opens up space for expansion of the influence of BRICS on the planet

The 2008 capitalist crisis triggered a US economic slowdown and the European Union on the world market. It was then that a group of countries led by China and Russia, the BRICS, of which Brazil is part, occupied this space. The constitution of capitalist imperialism of the rival bloc was possible because right in front of Brazil, India and South Africa, China and Russia are nations that have become capitalist powers. China and Russia combine exceptionally in its constitution:

1) an unparalleled mass of workers and energy resources;

2) because unlike the semi-colonies that are unable to resolve outstanding bourgeois tasks and live subjugated by imperialist oppression, China and Russia held the bourgeois historic tasks during the period in which they were workers’ states, through bureaucratic or distorted proletarian dictatorships;

3) the crisis of 2008 and the economic downturn of imperialism opened space in the world market for China to spend to import from other countries what the imperialist metropolises in recession stopped buying, and for Russia to broaden its energy sales (gas and oil) and weapons in better condition.

In 2009, China became the largest exporter and importer of goods to Brazil. Since 1500 Brazilian trade has been dominated by the successively dominant capitalist powers on the planet at the time, Portugal, England and then the USA.

In 2015, the economies of the five members of the BRICS account for 20% of world GDP and the exchange between them corresponded to 250 billion dollars. Capitalist relations between the BRICS states are dominated by the export of goods, especially commodities and on the export of capital. The bourgeoisies of China and Russia has imperialistic pretensions, but they are not as yet imperialist. For Marxists, imperialism is characterized by the export of capital and is the expansionist policy of finance capital. Thus, capitalist relations between the BRICS themselves and between BRICS and other non-imperialist countries are relations of bourgeois exploitation of workers, against which we fight, but not relations of imperialist domination. In every fight, we always take the side opposed to imperialism. However, even though in this fight we are on the side of the oppressed country or people against imperialism and its agents, we always pursue our struggle to build a revolutionary workers’ party for the conquest of workers’ power.

 The empire strikes back

When it recovered from the acute phase of the 2008 crisis, thanks to growing poverty and wage reduction of its working class, the US resumed the initiative in the geopolitical field and tried to restore by all means, especially economic blackmail, their commercial influence and lost policy. The coup is the most violent form taken for the resumption of this influence when the governments of countries dominated by imperialism do not peacefully cede to imperialist interests.

Before being triggered in Brazil in 2013, several coups were performed under this strategy in smaller countries such as Honduras, Paraguay, Libya, Ukraine, Thailand, where governments approached the BRICS or governments that are near to the Bolivarian of Venezuela and Bolivia. These were the blows against the periphery of the BRICS.

The coup is an expression of imperialist counter-attack. We are living in the second wave of imperialist counter-attack now against the very members of the BRICS, imperialism moves all his pawns, trade war, speculative attack, economic blockade, sponsors challenging candidates and harassment by civil war. To resist this counterattack many countries form a resistance block headed by Russia and China. This began the conflict intensification which is the new cold war, this time between capitalist states. This cold war already sees conflicts and indirect military disputes, as in Syria, Ukraine and Yemen. The conflict is heading towards a Third World War.

Image result for Coup and anti Coup demonstrations in Brazil May 2016 imagesImage result for Coup and anti Coup demonstrations in Brazil May 2016 images

Rival mobilisations, the pro-imperialists mobilisation the wealthy and well off middle classes and the working class and poor mobilise against the coup and against US imperialism

 Phase two of the counter-attack of imperialist is a race against time to combat the de-dollarization threat

The main threat of BRICS imperialism in the current stage of the Cold War lies in the economic and monetary issues. The BRICS want to negotiate among themselves without paying tribute to the US. They seek to avoid this by conducting their business transactions in their own currencies and by creating banks to boost their relations and investments. These moves are designed to dispense with the IMF, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank which are controlled by imperialism and used at the same time to control other nations. The US profit from the dollarized world economy because they can print paper and buy what they want. The US imperialist economy will be harmed by the de-dollarization of economic relations advocated by the BRICS. Printed papers lose “value”. As a consequence they would no longer be accepted. Those who keep dollars would want to get rid of them because they would be depreciating, which would flood the market. All US government bonds will be worthless. It would be impossible to finance their purchases. Foreign trade in dollars would evaporate. The financial market would explode. The American, Japanese and European economies would be wiped out. And as a consequence the US government’s ability to finance its war machine.

If the artificial ballast imposed by the military superiority since 1971 is dismantled, then the “Super Imperialism” acquired by the US and spoken of by Michael Hudson, the Bretton Woods Agreement established with England at the end of World War II is lost. (Hudson, M. (2003). Super imperialism: The origin and fundamentals of US world dominance (2nd ed.). London, UK: Pluto Press.) That is why there is such a great struggle to prevent the establishment of alternative currencies, or multilateral organizations to replace the IMF and the World Bank.

In April 2016, the imperialist counterattack entered its second phase. Honduras, Paraguay, Thailand, Libya, Ukraine, were on the margins of the BRICS. Now, the attack is directed against the weakest members, beginning with South Africa and Brazil. The replacement of the dollar standard for gold immensely would be immensely beneficial to South Africa. Imperialism lost a battle for Zuma’s impeachment in South Africa and won another in Brazil against Rousseff, already salivating by its strike against Petrobras.

In Brazil, the scam artists have infiltrated and hijacked the demonstrations began against the increase of public transport tickets in 2013. In August of that year, the US appointed as ambassador in Brazil Liliana Ayalde, who had orchestrated the parliamentary coup that ousted Lugo in Paraguay in 2012, and had been expelled from Bolivia in 2013, accused of trying to make another coup against Evo Morales.

In March 2014 the first overt phase of the judicial operation “Lava jet” opened. It was, aimed at cutting the PT ties with certain sectors of the bourgeoisie, especially owners of construction companies, which are commercially associated with the Lula and Dilma governments in conducting major infrastructure projects in Brazil and nearby countries of BRICS-funded Brazilian capital, Cuba, Venezuela and African countries. This unprecedented arrest of members of the big bourgeois, who employ more than one hundred thousand workers, can only be explained as part of a war operation orchestrated by much more powerful capitalist interests, by imperialism itself. It certainly was not the work of the proletarian dictatorship. The aim is to isolate the Workers’ Party by forcing prisoners to perform the work of bourgeois technocrats and by “winning vigilantism” on the streets to produce evidence to criminalise Dilma, Lula and the PT. This judicial operation, commanded by a young judge in collaboration with the CIA and the FBI, was mounted in the state of Paraná, the state’s best federation controlled by the PSDB party born of a rupture of the PMDB that best represented the interests of imperialism since the fall of Collor in the early 1990s. [1]

The crisis of 2008 ruptured the “balance of inter-state relations” and opened the period of an inter-capitalist cold war

  “In the economic sphere these constant disruptions and restorations of the equilibrium assumes the form of strikes, lockouts, revolutionary struggle. In the sphere of inter–state relations the disruption of equilibrium means war or – in a weaker form – tariff war, economic war, or blockade.” Trotsky, ‘Report on the World Economic Crisis and the New Tasks of the Communist International’ 1921

The 2008 crisis enabled the existence of a new balance of power in the relationship between states. Although this continues to dominate the planet, imperialism does so in a less favorable situation, cannot do to Syria in the second decade of this century what they did to Afghanistan and Iraq. Obama may act as ostentatious as Bush and but is forced to resort to what some analysts is calling “hybrid war” [2]. The last of the direct military intervention of the troops of imperialism that resulted in the overthrow of a ruler was in Libya. Since then, he has been acting increasingly via mercenary agents who are increasingly barbaric (the Islamic State) and fascist (Ukraine), etc.

The 1964 coup in Brazil was driven by the US as a preventive measure, in the midst of the cold war of the US vs. USSR, after the triumph of the Cuban revolution, the first anti-capitalist social and anti-imperialist revolution in Latin America. Washington feared the contagion of the continent by the Cuban revolution and orchestrated coups and dictatorships in most Latin American countries, starting with Brazil.

The 2016 coup in Brazil, with its similarities and differences with other devious manouvers carried out in the current decade, is also part of the preventive reaction of imperialism amid the current cold war. The fact that the US is going through its presidential elections influences the parliamentary-judicial way and the gradual pace that this struggle is taking as they await the changing of the commander-in-chief of the imperialist forces. Not surprisingly politics is now dominated by the White House’s efforts to gain time in the diplomatic field for the reestablishment of relations with Cuba, for Iran’s nuclear disarmament and for the ceasefires in Syria and Ukraine to work. At the same time, imperialist agents, supported by such instruments of hybrid warfare as the mainstream media, are making advances in Latin America by using the political exhaustion of the semi-bonapartist and populist governments in Argentina, Venezuela, Bolivia and Peru to overcome electoral defeats via parliamentarian machinations.

Vice-President Michel Temer (PMDB) is merely a stand-in for the real pro-imperialist plans of US imperial9ism and its Brazilian agents

 The PT capitulates to these constitutional coups against the presidential elections to install their government to legitimise repression

The vice president conspirator against Rousseff Michel Temer (PMDB [1]), will be composed of almost all the parties of the system and will have a majority in both houses of Congress, but cannot muster the strength to impose the coup program that advocates privatisation, wiping out democratic rights and social programs, etc. Temer attempts to strangle the social movements by economic means and by criminalisation. He will support the “anti-terrorism” legislation which was commissioned by the US and adopted by Dilma. This is a pre-bonapartist provisional government of fear, an intermediate step towards a government supported by a police-military dictatorship, legalized at the polls and supported by a greater middle class social consensus in the midst of a witch hunting process aimed at wiping out the PT.

Sectors of the bourgeoisie and imperialism coupists in Brazil are preparing for the post-Temer regime. So these scammers feel the need to hold new election to legitimize their new repressive regime, which imposes the program of the coup by getting rid of historic rights and the winning the renewal of full control of the country by imperialism. Today there is almost a broad political consensus from the party of the “Democrats”, the main party of the military dictatorship from 1964 to 1985, including Lula and sectors of the PT, to the pseudo-Trotskyist PSTU (LIT), who are all advocate early elections. This is a “democratic” trap that at this moment only legitimize the coup.

 We must win the battle in the streets to defeat the manoeuvres from the top

 Without understanding the international and basis of this coup attack, the PT keeps on digging his own grave, betting on conciliating the bourgeoisie.

Although it has become bourgeoisified in recent decades, the PT was reminded that it is a bastard party born of the bourgeois parties in Brazil. Rousseff was a guerrilla fighter who took up arms against the military dictatorship. And Lula, although he originated from the proletariat, only advanced socially because he achieved state office. The rules governing the relations between the countries in peacetime are different from the rules of war. Under the command of imperialism, the PT was isolated within the bourgeoisie.

All attempts of PT to prevent the coup through the bourgeois methods of class collaboration failed. The PT project is lost because the rules which worked during “Pax Americana” and allowed the social pact to operate during a decade of the federal governments of the PT do not work anymore in the current cold war.

The PT relies more in the palatial negotiations between the bourgeois and not on the strength of the working population, whom the PT is afraid awaken to struggle and which it can no longer control. Thus they abuse their own social base and believe they can keep doing this without being punished by history. However despite all theirs betrayals, mistakes and capitulations, the struggle against the coup becomes more powerful every day. This bourgeois cowardice of the PT seems to be leading us, the worker, to an increasingly expensive tragedy. There is no shortcut to the class struggle. At this moment either we crush the putschists or we will be crushed. This is not to make a choice between street fighting and “institutional struggle”. The parliamentary or judicial struggle is where imperialism and the bourgeoisie enjoy a huge advantage. Without giving ground to the enemy in any arena, we put all our best efforts into wining a real fight on the ground where the masses can participate fully with their fighting methods, protecting our occupations, offices and members against right-wing attacks, sweeping the fascists off the streets, organizing strikes in every workplace against phishers and any attack against our achievements and rights. Thus, the victory in the “enemy camp” will be a by-product in the victory of the masses in the streets. If the enemy does not capitulate in the institutional field, as it has done several times in history, its resolutions will not avail to the mobilised people organised to enforce their historical interests. No government will be sustained, no law will be implemented against this power.

The PT’s Dilma and Lula: From euphoria to despair, not able or willing to mobilises their social base in the working class they rely on parliamentary manoeuvres and conciliating the coupists; a recipe for defeat.

No trust in the PT! Build the general strike supported by popular workplace committees including education and housing!

In their fight against the coup, the most organized section of the working class come to the fore in the greatest saga of struggle against the rightists of all the history of Brazil. Sectors of the vanguard of the class that were quite during the last few decades have now begun to move powerfully in 2015 and 2016. This is very important and needs to be harnessed by the revolutionaries, despite the fact that the PT and the CUT have rehashed the old Brazilian Popular Front, established in 1989 and abandoned the class struggle in favour of this broad bourgeois fronts with businesses, industrialists and parties that have been the backbone of the bourgeois governing elite since the military dictatorship. Forges such as the PMDB, who aim to use the mass movement as their bargaining tool to pressurise the coup bourgeoisie to a negotiated solution within the frameworks of the three powers of the capitalist state. However, this limited policy is not enough to stop the march of reaction.

Nor will general strike bravado without the actual construction of the general strike offer any real resistance to the head of the imperialist offensive. It is necessary to organize the working class, the youth and all the masses at each workplace, students and neighbourhood to face up to the coup creating popular committees units of the anti-imperialist united front, against the coup and against the fascists.

These extraordinary bodies of mass organization will build the confidence of the masses in the new political directions which will be able to take the fight against right-wing attacks and the new government coup to a truly political general strike. These committees, on the outskirts, trade unions, schools and universities must get rid of the bureaucratic protection and pro-government of the BPF leaders addicts and be based on the broadest workers’ democracy. Only thus can they function as instruments of struggle to protect us against the attacks which threaten our to social programs historical rights.

Despite the FCT warning against the coup since 2013, the PT and Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB), which controls most of the mass organizations, only make meaningless bravado and thus demobilise popular resistance. Thus the offensive of the pro-imperialist right moves on to eliminate one by one the main labour and social achievements of the history of the country’s class struggle. In this offensive by imperialism against the workers, the workers’ leaders capitulate to the coup, disarms popular resistance and calls on the masses to avenge the coup by voting for Lula in early elections in 2017. It is a trap for the proletariat which is conducted by PT.

Once the strike is finished, the coup government will stress the witch hunt against the very same PT, Lula and the whole mass movement for many years, to ward off any possibility of the return of PT and any leftists to government. One of the key measures of this strategy is the forfeiture of political rights of Lula, who may end up stuck down like other PT leaders already are. The PT is now a bourgeois party with mass influence able to defend themselves. It has long ceased to be a useful political tool of struggle for the workers. Now is tactically valid to establish a. anti-imperialist united front against the coup with the PT, the CUT, the MST, etc. But in this alliance the goal of the Trotskyist revolutionaries is to explain patiently to the masses what the outcome of the PT class collaboration policy is and to thus help them to overcome their illusions in Lula’s party. During their own struggle to defend their historical rights against the pro-imperialist right, the exploited and oppressed masses should march for their own political organization independently. They must fight for the construction of the revolutionary workers’ party.


[1] The Party of the Brazilian Democratic Movement, PMDB, is a bourgeois party. It was created in 1965 to be the legal opposition of the bipartisan regime established by the military dictatorship. The Brazilian Social Democracy Party (Portuguese: Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira, PSDB) is a centrist political party in Brazil. The third largest party in the National Congress the PSDB has been the main opposition against the administrations of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff. With the imminent collapse of the military dictatorship in the early 1980s, a group of left-wing intellectuals were mobilized to create a leftist party. Some of them attempted to work with the labour movement, led by Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, but the group split over ideological grounds. The democratic socialists joined the labour movement and founded the Worker’s Party, while the social democrats remained in the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) and would later split to create the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB)

[2] According to Andrew Korybko, international political analyst and journalist, “the hybrid wars occur when the US combine together their Colour Revolution strategies and Unconventional War in order to create a unified toolbox to implement regime change in target states. When an attempt to Colour Revolution failed, as happened in Syria in 2011, the replacement plan is to implement an Unconventional Warfare built directly on the social infrastructure and the previous organizational methods.

4 thoughts on “Brazil: A coup by imperialism against the workers and the tasks of the communists in the new cold war

  1. The last of the direct military intervention of the troops of imperialism that resulted in the overthrow of a ruler was in Libya. Since then, he [Obama] has been acting increasingly via mercenary agents who are increasingly barbaric (the Islamic State) and fascist (Ukraine), etc.

    So is ISIS essentially pro-imperialist or anti-imperialist?


  2. Ian says:

    In my view IS is not an agency of imperialism per se, but a barbaric product of imperialist crimes in Iraq roughly analogous to the Khymer Rouge in Indochina. But is no secret that there are differences on the left, and among ourselves, on this. That is normal over such a complex and problematic question.


  3. In my view IS is not an agency of imperialism per se, but a barbaric product of imperialist crimes in Iraq roughly analogous to the Khymer Rouge in Indochina. But is no secret that there are differences on the left, and among ourselves, on this. That is normal over such a complex and problematic question.

    I agree that IS has proven hard to analyze, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make some definite statements about what it is not. A direct agency of imperialism is one thing it clearly isn’t: it would require some outrageous conspiracy theory to maintain that the U.S. bombs its agents. Calling IS U.S. agents or proxies is an ideological dodge to permit military support to Assad. Or so it looks. [And maybe also a way to avoid giving military support to IS against the U.S., that being the only principled ground on which refusal to give such support could be based.]

    There is surprisingly scant interest on the left in the class nature of IS. Consequently, lack of facts is one reason it’s hard to analyze IS, probably the main reason. What is IS? Did a bunch of fanatic clerics mobilize the lumpen masses to create a semi-modern army? The only lead I’ve found is that the skeleton of IS is the old Baathist military. If this is right, the same military defensist principles should be applied to IS as were properly applied to the Baathist regime itself when attacked by the U.S. (Not applied universally on the “far left,” to be sure.)


    • This analysis would make it a different phenomenon from the Khmer Rouge, which derived from Stalinism and had the support of the People’s Republic of China.


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