The Workers’ Party of Ireland stands in solidarity with democratic, progressive and revolutionary forces and workers’ organisations in Brazil protesting against the order for the arrest of former President Luís Inácio Lula da Silva and in defence of their rights against the onslaught unleashed by imperialism and the Brazilian capitalist class.
The seriousness of the situation and the real threat to democratic rights in Brazil is underlined both by the unconstitutional and unlawful process behind the arrest and the threats of intervention from senior figures in the Brazilian military establishment. Hours before a judgement by Brazil’s court system found Lula guilty, the head of Brazil’s Army Reserve published the opinion that, should Lula be found innocent, the military would be obliged to intervene to ensure he did not become President.
The developments in Brazil are the logical next step in the US-backed struggle to reassert control in Latin America. The early 2000’s saw the emergence of democratic governments in places such as Honduras, Brazil, Venezuela and El Salvador, who sought to assert economic sovereignty and varying levels of democratic control over landed and industrial elites. But even the mildest assertions of autonomy have brought backlash, beginning with the overthrow, overseen by Hilary Clinton, of Manuel Zelaya in Honduras, through to the continued efforts to destabilise governments in Venezuela, and 2016’s ‘constitutional coup’ via impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff in 2016.
These events proves without a doubt that even the mildest attempts by nations to operate outside the United States’ sphere of influence will be met by ferocious opposition from Washington. The Party further recognises the sacrifice and long struggle of the Brazilian people in the historic battles against the dictatorship, the fight for democratic and workers’ rights and the continuing struggle for socialism. We condemn the arrest of Lula and the threats of military intervention and salute the Brazilian people in their mobilisation and resistance to this latest provocation against the Brazilian working class.