To confront the Temer Government: struggle, resistance, unity and frank debate on the Left!

The putschists were much mistaken when they thought that they could ‘putsch’ without resistance. A new stage in the class struggle is opening in Brazil. With what characteristics? First of all, and during the years of Lula and Dilma Rousseff [1], the poorest people won basic social rights and jobs. They also won rises in the minimum wage, programmes favourable to agricultural small-holdings, the programme Light For All, as well as access to universities through quota systems for Black and Indian students. The latter won access to technical courses and to the programme Science Without Borders. A Family Grant was established, with assorted rights for school children. Health plans were started, along with the programme More Medics. Labour rights were also won, as for carers and home-helps, within the programme My Home, My Life. The masses have these conquests in mind.

Such is the political legacy of the Lula [2] and Dilma governments. People are aware of this, but with inconsistencies due to Party organisation not having accompanied. A social and labour organisation was not set-up with the force necessary to counter the coup against Dilma [3].

The left in Dilma’s government did not create a media on a national scale. This rendered it unable to counterbalance the private monopolies of the country’s elite. In the whole history of humanity, the media have never been so central. The left thought that the bourgeois media would stay complaisant towards the government; but at their first opportunity, the bourgeois means of communication hurled their pure hatred at Dilma’s progressive plans. Today, the media have more power than the political parties – right or left. The media are basic and integral to the putsch. [See the item: ‘more information‘ at the end of this document].

The centrality of National Sovereignty:

It is not enough to be aware of the need for social inclusion in the field of consumption. What is needed also is to defend a programme of development, with National Sovereignty at its centre.

The left in the Dilma’s government relied on the revenues from oil and industrial agriculture, but it was taken aback when the price of minerals and of petrol collapsed. One should not have accepted an economy with so few internal investments. One should have refused the interest rates with enormous fiscal exonerations (for some) that threatened the country’s budget. Today, 45% of the budget goes to service the public debt.

We have not had the capacity to carry out an audit on the public debt, even though this was stipulated in the 1988 Constitution. We have not had the intelligence to carry out a veritable Land Reform. We have not had the audacity to regulate the media who became the principal agents of the coup.

The putschist government of Temer [4] is going to seek consolidation with a prudent management of its programme. It will refrain from attacking the basic social rights straight away, unlike Macri [5] of Argentina. Macri provoked large mass mobilisations when he unleashed his neo-liberal programme. The Temer government will not risk itself with an immediate withdrawal of the social conquests. Indeed, it just declared a rise for the Bolsa Familia. And it maintains the programme My Home, My Life, at least the part of it that benefits the middle class. It will just stop implementing the full programme.

The Temer government wanted to close the Ministry of Culture, but it had to backtrack. It recently granted another 3 years to the More Medics programme, but this came from the pressure of State Governors who do not fancy a shortage of doctors in the middle of an electoral year. The Temer government keeps control of the Central Bank to facilitate big transfers over to the elites. These transfers will be done via high interest rates, the manipulation of the exchange rates and other financial transactions inaccessible to common sense. They will manipulate the money, speculate on the Pre-Sal oil reserves [6], gnaw away at Petrobras through privatisations – and all this in the name of the need to liberate enterprise, and sanitise it. It all happened before, at the time of the government of Fernando Collor [7].

The putschists are keen to get on with “PEC 241” [8]. The idea here, which is a crime against the fatherland, is to stop the budget from rising for 20 years! This means enormous cuts in Education and Health. They also want the freedom to commercialise the land, the water courses and the strategic minerals.

New documents have come to light that incriminate Temer’s allies – politicians from the PSDB [9] and MPs from the PMDB [10]. Because of this, the putschists now want to stop the further investigations of the Lava-Jato operation [11]. This ‘operation’ had been set up to indict the Workers Party, the PT of Lula and Dilma, as well as to liquidate entrepreneurs working on the PT programme of development for the country. The aim is to dismantle the State-controlled and strategic industrial structure of Petrobras.

Sectors in the Temer government want to respect agreements previously passed, like those with China. They are keen on the money that will flow from there, since corruption lurks behind every investment; corruption being inherent to the capitalist system. Politically, these people want to dismantle the BRICS [12] even if this goes against their interests. They will pursue this line of action because this is what their US-led reactionary allies want. The strategy of the latter for Latin America is to destroy any democratic or popular government that champions the idea of National Sovereignty.

For the re-conquest of a Popular Government:

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the PT, Lula admitted that the Party had become bureaucratised. The PT moved away from the social organisations and settled in Ministerial Cabinets. It became a Party of MPs. It minimised the importance of the role of the militants and the functioning of the Party’s base.

The PT distanced itself from its original characteristics of a Workers Party Based on the Trade Unions. Although the class character of the PT had originally come from its Trade Union base, many Party leaders became part of the Executive machinery of State. There, they found comfort in a government which they were a part of, blind to the need to mobilise the various sectors of the working class in defence of their rights. Now, such free access to ministerial cabinets can only return with a Popular Government. A new phase of class struggle is opening in the country. The time for coalitions lasted up to now, but it has stopped. The world as a whole has become much more polarised than before.

The PT has not had the capacity to foresee that the right-wing, the local reactionaries, and the world imperialists were not going to stay arms folded and passive in front of a strengthening Popular and Democratic government.

In government, Lula had introduced important measures to slow down the march of the economic crisis. But the crisis worsened inexorably. When Dilma took over, the media howled like never before to discredit her government. And as soon as their putsch was in place, they minimised the crisis and declared a return to growth. Pure lies, and from the media. Pure parliamentary demagogy! The putsch was condemned all over the world; even Pope Francis denounced this new dictatorship. He cancelled his 2017 projected visit to Brazil.

Popular Unity and programme for social transformations:

Let’s accompany Lula’s call for Popular Unity around a programme of social transformations. One hundred thousand people have just demonstrated in the streets of Sao Paulo behind the ‘Fora Temer’ [13] banner. There are endless protests in the major towns of the country. The right-wing managed to enforce this coup, but its difficulties are going to be enormous when it pretends to govern. All the more so if the left becomes reorganised and centralised, and draws the conclusions from its defeat. The PT must turn back towards its base in the factories, the social movements and the popular movements. It is absolutely necessary to resist the pressure of electoral deadlines.

14 June 2016, FBP demo

It is essential to stimulate the popular media, the community journals, the radios and the TVs. This must be sought with the support of the progressive administrations, institutions and left-wing cooperatives. The basic units of support in the Trade Unions, in the Students and in the countryside must be reinforced. There, it is necessary to discuss thoroughly the situation in the country and in the world. One needs to present specific programmatic proposals to unify the struggles and proceed in the direction of a general strike.

This is needed to stop the State being dismantled; it is needed to set up projects favourable to the workers. One must count on the enormous popular determination, still dispersed in various movements. The 4 Sept 2016 demonstration in Sao Paulo highlighted the enormous participation of the Youth and the Social Movements, all searching for political organs where to find support and concentrate the consciousness. The Frente Popular Brazil [14] and the Front of the Fearless [15] can play an important role in organising and centralising all of them.

Editorial Revolucao Socialista – 11.9.2016

More information on :


[1] Dilma Rousseff: Economist and political leader. Became president of Brazil in 2011. Impeached 10 August 2016, and replaced on 31.8.16.

[2] Luiz Lula: President of Brazil from 2003 to Jan 2011. An ordinary worker, he founded the Workers Party, the PT.

[3] The Coup: Around May 2016, Senator Romero Juca (now in Temer’s government) is said to have spoken of a ‘national pact’ with a former oil executive Sergio Machado, to remove Rousseff from government. Reported by Ted Snider, 1.6.2016 in

[4] Michel Temer: Brazilian lawyer and politician, carried out a parliamentary coup against Dilma Rousseff, and then replaced her as President of Brazil without having been himself elected.

[5] Mauricio Macri: Argentinian businessman with interests in construction, finance and manufacturing. Won the presidential elections in 2015 against Cristina Kirchner.

[6] Pre-Sal Oil Reserves: These are oil reserves in the continental shelf of Argentina under the sea.

[7] Fernando Alfonso Collor de Mello, President of Brazil 1990-1992. Defeated Lula in the election of 1990. His immediate and sweeping programme of privatisations revolted the population.

[8] PEC 241: The Temer government is proposing a Constitutional Amendment called PEC 241, to cut drastically government expenditure. The government needs 2/3 of the Senators’ vote.

[9] PSDB : Social Democratic Party in Brazil, 3rd largest Party in the National Congress.

[10] PMDB: Christian Democratic Party in Brazil.

[11] Lava-Jato : Name of the Federal Police operation  originally aimed at cleaning up corruption (hence car-wash operation) in the State-controlled oil company Petrobras. Accusations were originally levelled at leading PT members like Lula, but the courts have now indicted most of the individuals in the present putschist government – and Temer himself – where they enjoy parliamentary immunity.

[12] BRICS: Acronym for the association of 5 countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

[13] Fora Temer: Temer Out!

[14] Frente Popular Brazil: Coalition between the PT, the Communist Party, the Socialist Party, the Greens and others.

[15] Front of the Fearless: This front includes Homeless and Landless organisations.