Jair Bolsonaro, elected President of Brazil, is a racist, misogynist, homophobic admirer of Brazil’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship. The coming months will tell whether the masses will mount a crucial resistance.
Racist and homophobic politicians have moved from the fringes to contend for state power in Brazil. Fabricio Alvarado in Costa Rica and Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil represent a further step down an anti-human path.
Since a neoliberal legislative coup by the Brazilian Congress removed President Rousseff of the Workers’ Party from office, there has been a campaign to reverse many of the social gains implemented during the administrations of Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva and Rousseff.
The essay takes a critical look at the “Latin American Pink Tide” (a decade of progressive governments in South America), its limits and contradictions, and poses the question: Is there a way forward that does not substitute statism for the action and thought of the masses?
The impeachment of Brazil’s President Rousseff by right-wing forces in Congress betrays longstanding divisions in Brazil along lines of race and class, but was made possible because Rousseff’s Workers Party tried to demobilize the social forces that had brought it to power, leaving street agitation to Right-wing militants.
Brazil is in a meltdown. President Dilma Rousseff has been impeached and will possibly face trial in May. The upheaval has less to do with stamping out corruption than with an effort to shift power by lawmakers with questionable records themselves.
What began as local protests against an increase in public transportation costs has grown into massive protests in dozens of Brazilian cities with hundreds of thousands in the streets of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the largest demonstrations since protests against military rule in the 1980s.