NPC Statement on Democracy in Brazil

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) condemns the concerted and sustained attack on Brazilian democracy by the government of Michel Temer and his allies in the Brazilian judiciary, and calls upon the government of Brazil to restore all political, civil and social rights that have been eroded during Temer’s presidency. This includes restoring the political rights of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was jailed earlier this year on unsubstantiated and politically-motivated corruption charges. During Temer’s presidency, basic individual political and civil rights of Brazilians have been curtailed through violations of due process, politically-motivated judicial persecutions, shameless police brutality against anti-government protestors, as well as a spike in extra-judicial police killings (including of prominent human rights activist and Rio city council member Marielle Franco in March of 2018).

Beyond this, Temer’s government has enacted devastating legislation attacking the social rights of ordinary Brazilians, including passing a constitutional amendment capping public spending, and an unprecedented and vicious set of labor reforms that dramatically weaken the rights of Brazilian workers. The government is also working diligently to pass legislation slashing workers’ pensions.

We view the Temer government’s attacks on Brazilian democracy as part of a larger attack by the Latin American right on significant gains made for working and poor Latin Americans across the region by left of center governments during the so-called “Pink Tide” between 2000 and 2014. Given our government’s consistent and ongoing efforts to undermine popular governments and movements representing Latin America’s working class and poor, socialists in the United States have a special obligation to stand in solidarity against this political retrenchment, and for a deepening of the socialist and social-democratic political and social movement power that emerged during the first decade and a half of this century in Latin America.

We call on DSA chapters across the country to seek out Brazil solidarity groups in their cities and towns, and work with them to organize actions in solidarity with the people of Brazil and in condemnation of the Temer government’s attacks on democracy and working-class and poor Brazilians. This is particular important in cities with Brazilian consulates (Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Hartford, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Washington D.C.)  For more information see https://comitelulalivre.org/en/take-action/.