Black First Land First (BLF) wishes Brazil’s Workers’ Party (PT) of the imprisoned people’s president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, well in the forthcoming general elections starting on 7 October 2018. Under the leadership of Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, Brazil had come under intense assault from United States (US) led imperialism, specifically for its pro-poor and pro-BRICS policies. This has resulted in the Rousseff being unconstitutionally removed via a coup and replaced by the imperialist puppet Michel Temer, and Lula being imprisoned to prevent him from speaking to the media as well as contesting the presidential elections.
We note that the PT’s presidential candidate, Fernando Haddad, comes up against Jair Bolsonaro. In this respect, unlike Haddad as well as Lula and Rousseff, Bolsonaro is openly anti-women, homophobic, racist, and has made little secret of his pro-western and pro-capitalist position.
At this juncture the Brazilian people owe it to themselves to reflect on the gains of the PT governments of Lula and Rousseff before they vote to either return the PT to power or maintain the imperialist puppet government of the US.
While Lula was still a trade union leader in the steel industry in 2003 he waged a struggle against Brazil’s unjust system in particular against hunger. He led a campaign known as “Bolsa Familia” (family allowance). This served as the basis for the development and implementation of policies by the successive PT governments towards direct social benefits for the people. Hence fifty million Brazilians were taken out of poverty.
The ‘Bolsa Familia’ is a revolutionary project that serves to supplement income through monthly stipends to women to address gender inequality and women’s financial dependency on their partners. The program was successful due to the fact that the country’s income utilized for social policies was increased. The current President Temer reversed this increase via a constitutional amendment that limits spending on social programs.
Under the “Mais Medicos” (more doctors) program, initiated by Rousseff’s government, about 20,000 medical professionals rendered health care to about 63 million Brazilian people. Women received increased access to health in 2011 andaim 2014. To this end via the ‘Rede Cegonha’ (Stork Network), access to health care for pregnant women as well as for newly born children and their mothers was increased.
‘Minha Casa Minha Vida’ (MCMV) meaning, ‘My House, My Life’ was a program that was initiated in 2009 under Lula. It brought housing to millions. Under Rousseff the program was subsequently developed to give autonomy to women who to this end were favored as the title deed owners of the houses they received.
In the period between 2005 to 2013 and during Lula’s term in office, Haddad served as Minister of Education. In that time the ‘Fund for Maintenance and Development of Basic Education and Valuation of Education Professionals (Fundeb)’ and the ‘Programa Universidade Para Todos (University for All Program)’ were created to build more schools and campuses, and to get more children and adults educated. The high numbers of people that studied in higher education institutions in Brazil during Lula’s tenure was unprecedented.
The fact that at least 70% of the food in Brazil is being produced within the country in family farms is all thanks to the PT governments. Furthermore, legislating a minimum wage and hiking the employment rate to an unprecedented high are other hallmarks of the the PT governments and contrary to imperialist propaganda these gains were achieved without undermining the economy. To this end Brazil took 6th place in the world’s economies in terms of importance in 2011. Moreover it ranked 7th in the world in terms of its GDP when measured in terms of the ‘Purchase Power Parity’. Also from 2005 to 2012 due to its social policies Brazil’s economy grew by 30% and on an average of 2.6% per annum.
It is therefore not surprising that the PT governments have been consistently attacked by the enemy in cahoots with its neoliberal agents to further their regime change agenda. The enemy knows that the PT is favored by the millions of people who benefited from the social programs implemented by the PT governments and unless the PT is undermined, the people will return it to power.
BLF calls on the Brazilian people to never forget the benefits you received under the PT governments of Rousseff and Lula. We say #VotePT, #VoteHaddad, #FightImperialism and #TakeBackTheEconomy.
Issued by the National Coordinating Committee of Black First Land First (BLF NCC)
6 October 2018
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