The Internationalisation of the Brazilian Election

The instability in Venezuela is being used by the right wing in Brazil in a scare campaign against Lula (Partido dos Trabalhadores, Labour), who continues to lead in the poll by 26 points over Serra (PSBD; Social Democrats).

The right wing in Brazil launches into a discourse of panic, painting dark images of an “axis of evil” between Castro in Cuba, Chavez in Venezuela and Lula in Brazil, however ridiculous the notion is, due to the fundamental differences between the people, the countries and the political issues at stake.

Another argument used by the opposition to Lula is that the social chaos in the Venezuela of Chavez will be repeated in Brazil if Lula comes to power, another absurdity because the political lines followed by each one are different and Lula’s base of support is very broad-based, including the underclass of Brazil’s 60 million living below the poverty line but also important political figures such as ex-Presidents Itamar Franco an Jose Sarney, along with the Centre-Right PFL (Liberal Party) and important figures from the Senatorial class, such as AC Magalhaes. It is not Lula the man that people are voting for on 27th October, it is Lula the team and Lula the programme.

On the other hand, there are those who defend that a victory by Lula in Brazil will help to stabilise the region, due to Brazil’s geographical, political and economic dimensions, while at the same time providing an impetus for the Latin American political formations which fight for social progress and against repressive oligarchies.

Clodosbaldo Russian, the President of the Venezuela Accounts Court, stated in an interview quoted by Portuguese news agency LUSA, that “The certain victory of Lula in the Brazilian presidential elections, which at the time of the coup d’etat on 11th April was only a distant hope, favours the progressive movements in Latin America”.

He added that the political crisis in Venezuela will end when Lula comes to power, although he rejected the idea of a communist axis Brazil-Venezuela-Cuba: “The people of Latin America know that Cuba, Venezuela and Brazil are very different realities. In Venezuela this line of reasoning (the communist threat) was very much in vogue in the 1960s but today people know that this is not true”.

The Brazilian right has descended into the quagmire of fantasy n its quest to blacken the image of Lula, since it has run out of decent and sensible political options. The lamentable state of Brazil’s social and economic tissue is witness to this.


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