On the Brazilian situation

February 2005

Wednesday 9 March 2005

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RESOLUTION of THE International Committee (IC) of the Fourth International ON THE BRAZILIAN SITUATION (27th February 2005)

1) The experience of two years of the Lula government clearly demonstrates this government’s orientation and the policies it is carrying out. This is a coalition government with representatives of capital, dependent on the parliamentary right. It is a government implementing neoliberal economic and financial policies and thus incapable of responding to the essential problems of poverty and social exclusion in Brazil and confrontation with imperialism. These two years also show that the internal dynamic of its policies cannot be changed.

2) The government’s principal economic and social measures fit within the framework set by the financial markets and international institutions as well as their Brazilian finance capital allies: increasing the budget surplus so as to repay the public debt and raising interest rates, limiting social programmes, unattained agrarian reform targets, refusing to raise the minimum wage to a decent level, undermining public employees’ pensions, a counter-reform of the universities paving the way for privatization, a counter-reform of trade-union organization that strengthens the trade-union bureaucracy and opens up prospects of restricting workers’ rights, and the prospect of a counter-reform of rights at work.

3) In these conditions, policies meeting the demands and requirements of the popular classes - wage increases, creation of millions of jobs, defence of public services, sweeping agrarian reform, a budgetary and fiscal policy in the service of social priorities rather than the financial markets - are being put forward in opposition to the Lula government’s policies.

4) The government’s general orientation turns left-wing ministers into mere insurance policies or hostages for overall policies that are not their own. These two years of experience show clearly that building an anti-neoliberal, anti-capitalist socio-political workers’ bloc is in contradiction to support for and participation in the current government.

5) Since the formation of the Lula government, there have been reservations, doubts or disagreements in the International on the subject of DS’s participation in the government and the modalities of this participation (role in the social movements). Nevertheless, once DS had taken its decision, taking account the arguments put forward by the majority of Brazilian comrades, the International decided at the beginning of this process not to vote on any resolution, and to accompany this experience. At the last IC (February 2004) we opened a process of discussion (by means of an International Discussion Bulletin) on the Brazilian political situation. The International has thus avoided posing the issue of participation in the Lula government in dogmatic terms, without taking account of the country’s characteristics, the PT’s history and its links to social and trade union movements. After the experience of these two past years, and taking note of what has been laid out in points 1 through 4, there can no longer be any doubt that occupying positions in the Lula government, whether at the ministerial level or in other posts involving political responsibilities, is in contradiction with the construction of an alternative in Brazil consistent with our programmatic positions.

6) The current reorganizations under way indicate that a complex period has opened up of political recomposition of the Brazilian left. This process can continue for a more or less prolonged period, up until the moment when a mass socialist political alternative can consolidate itself. Looking beyond the specific tempo and forms of recomposition in each sector, it is of decisive importance today to work towards a convergence of all anti-capitalist elements.

7) The IC notes the discussions and divergences within DS on strategy, and the participation of one of its currents in the formation of the PSOL. In a situation characterized by this division and the risk of further fragmentation, the IC decides to maintain relations with all the components of the FI in Brazil - with all components remaining members of the International with full rights - with the objective of fostering dialogue, relations and unity in action by all these components in the perspective of creating a political alternative to the Lula government.