Brazil. The incumbent President Fernando Henrique Cardoso won the presidential election in the first round on October 4 over the Labor Party Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT’s) candidate Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva, despite budget deficits, growing unemployment, great financial turmoil and capital flight. In September, the stock exchanges in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo had fallen by almost 16% and fears were that Brazil would be included in the global financial crisis affecting Southeast Asia and Russia. But despite this and despite Cardoso’s own party, Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira (PSDB), failed in the congressional elections, as did his alliance partners in the electoral governor elections held simultaneously, his four-party alliance still holds a majority in Congress. But major problems are expected for 1999 with trade deficit and zero growth. In addition, a $ 30 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was approved in October. Brazil’s economic problems are expected to spread to the other countries of the Mercosur Customs Union, mainly Argentina.
According to Countryaah, the capital of Brazil is Brasilia. The landless organization MST (Movimento dos Sem-Terra), which supports land occupations in protest against failed land reforms, stepped up its activities, and in March 10,000 of them occupied the Ministry of Land Reform in Brazil. They also organized sitting strikes in front of supermarkets under the motto “No one should go hungry in Brazil”. The situation for the poor rural population, especially in the northeast, was exacerbated during the year by the effects of the weather phenomenon of El Niño, which caused thousands of people to flee to the cities, where plundering of supermarkets also occurred. The drought also caused extensive, month-long forest fires. in Roraima in the north.
The rapid economic development eventually led to the domestic market becoming too small and inflation rising. Capital inflows became smaller and profits which was brought out of the country was alarmingly high. A severe economic crisis threatened. In 1960, Janio Quadros was elected president. He aimed to strengthen state power and make the country more independent of narrow capital interests. A changed foreign policy – including trade with the socialist countries – should reduce Brazil’s dependence. The fight against corruption, stronger control of foreign companies in Brazil and land reform was high on Quadros’ political agenda, but he resigned from the presidency after only seven months, following an ultimatum from foreign interest groups, Brazil’s right-wing forces and the military: Either retire or collaborate with them.
Vice President João Goulart was considered by the right-wing forces at least as dangerous. The right-wing opposition launched a fierce offensive, but Goulart was nonetheless deployed as president. For the first time he had broad support from poor farmers who had been promised land reform, from the working class, and from the part of the national industrial citizenship that needed strengthened state power to be saved through the economic crisis. He was also supported by the middle class and governor of Río Grande del Sur, Leonel Brizola. It seemed a transition for Goulart to form an alliance against the imperialist forces. The country’s first unified workers’ organization, Commando Geral dos Trabalhadores (CGT) was formed and a peasant organization, Central Camponesa was created.
But a real alliance between national industrial citizenship, farmers and workers was not possible. Farmers and workers did not get what they had been promised, although Goulart tried to institute land reform. Conditions for the middle class and national industrial citizenship did not improve, and at the same time resistance from the foreign companies increased. Most groups were disappointed with Goulart’s policy, and his rule appeared weak and weak. He was heavily criticized – both from the right and the left.
The Brazilian Communist Party (PCB) was formed in 1922, but was banned already that year. The party only became lawful again in 1945. From the beginning, the party was closely linked to the Soviet Union and the international communist movement. The first period of the party’s history was characterized by a clear proletarian profile, and the party was outside the bourgeois revolution in 1930. When Luis Carlos Prestes became party leader in 1934, the Communists participated in an alliance with non-fascist bourgeoisie (Allianca Nacional Libertadora).. After the coup attempt in 1935, a massive anti-communist campaign was launched and the party was greatly weakened. Between 1945 and 1947, the PCB became a mass party, leading a cautious domestic policy in alliance with national citizenship. The peaceful transition to socialism was proclaimed in 1956. Already in the early 1960’s the opposition within the party was strongly marked, and in 1962 a Maoist faction broke out and formed Partido Comunista do Brasil (PCdeB). But the real opposition did not occur until after the coup in 1964. Given the growing divide and opposition within the PCB, the revolutionary left evolved. The criticism was particularly focused on class cooperation, the authoritarian party structure and the peaceful line.
Influenced by the Cuban Revolution, several militant groups were created. Some of these never managed to develop any sound ideological basis. In the eagerness to make up the working-class front, they were quick to take up arms without securing support in the working class. An important group was the Acão Libertadora Nacional (ALN, National Liberation Action) led by Carlos Marighela. After 45 years in the Communist Party, he broke out in 1967. Marighela developed a strategy for urban guerrillas, but emphasized that the small groups in the militant work could never replace the mass work.