10 April 2015
Dear LAB Supporter and Friend,
BRAZIL – CRISIS OF THE LEFT
The recent massive anti-Dilma demonstrations that have swept Brazil are no temporary hiccough for the Workers’ Party in Brazil. They represent a huge setback for the left and are indicative of the extent to which the right is gaining the upper hand in the country. Although it is still unlikely that President Dilma Rousseff will be impeached for her involvement in the Lava–Jato corruption scandal, her government has been backed into a corner and is virtually paralysed.
Two leading Brazilian analysts from very different sectors of the Brazilian left are both pessimistic:
Bernardo Kucinski, who helped to set up the PT and worked as a presidential aide during Lula’s first administration, says that today Brazil is witnessing “the melancholic end of the Lula PT cycle”. Scarcely hiding his personal anguish, he concludes: “The left has died in the most shameful way possible, buried by accusations of cynicism, venality and corruption. The PT is certainly finished.” (Read more).
Alfredo Saad-Filho, Professor of Political Economy at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, has long been a left-wing critic of the Workers’ Party. After examining the present wave of protests, he concludes that “readers should not underestimate this crisis and its devastating implications for the Brazilian left”. He goes on: “Brazil is entering a long period of instability. The emergence of a new political hegemony may take several years – and it is unlikely to be led by the left.” (Read more).
Argentina: Shafik Meghji interviews Amy Draper, the director of a new play on the “dirty war” now showing in London. (Read more)
Brazil land blog: the latest posting features an interview with João Pedro Stédile, a leader of the MST, Brazil’s Landless Movement. (Read more)
Bolivia: Nick Caistor is fascinated by the extraordinary new buildings, designed by indigenous architect Freddy Mamani Silveste, that are springing up in El Alto. (Read more).
El Salvador: Julian Filochowski looks back at the life of Archbishop Oscar Romero, killed at the altar in 1980, and says that the decision of Pope Francis to declare him a martyr is a great victory. On 23 May 2015, when Romero is beatified, “we will see a wave of great joy extending far beyond the confines of El Salvador”. (Read more).
Book launch: On 21 April 2015 LAB and Global Justice Now will jointly host a panel discussion to launch the UK edition of a new book, “Until the Rulers Obey: the growing strength of Latin America’s social movements”. One of the authors, Clifton Ross, will speak at the event. (Read more).
With best wishes,
The LAB team