João Pedro Stédile, member of La Vía Campesina (LVC), which groups together dozens of organizations around the world, said that, if this war against Dilma is repealed, the next week the “third Government of Lula” will begin to take form.
“After Sunday, Brazil will be a different country, but until Sunday is over, we can’t know what it will be like”, says Stédile, who is also a member of the national board of direction of the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST), an organization that yesterday convened a day of protests in which thousands of militants took to the streets in several states of Brazil. They did this to express their rejection to the “institutional coup attempt”: the vote that will be held on Sunday in an extraordinary session of the House of Representatives to decide whether they give way to the impeachment against Dilma.
João Pedro Stédile is an economist and member of La Vía Campesina (LVC), which groups together dozens of organizations around the world. In an interview with Argentine journal Pagina/12 says that, if this war against Dilma is repealed, the next week the “third Government of Lula” will begin to take form.
– Why would it be the third government of Lula?
– Dilma’s government as we currently know it, that is, the one between 2014 and 2015, is a government that was heavily eroded by the permanent hostility of the Congress. One of the government s that may emerge after Sunday (if the coup is stopped) could be one that has Lula as its coordinator. A government that emerges from the new alliance with society, therefore, in the popular movement we call it Government Lula III. If the coup is stopped, there will be a cabinet with a new political economy to overcome the crisis and prevent greater suffering among the working classes. Therefore it’s very important to demonstrate this Sunday, because it’s part of a greater and longer fight, the fight for hegemony. This is not a match, it’s a tournament: we’ll have to struggle for a long time, probably until the 2018 elections, or after that. Now we’re going to lose some matches, others we will win. We’ve had other historic crisis in the decades of 1930, 1960 and 1980, and in those historic moments it took us 10 years to find a way out.
– What if the impeachment wins and [pro-impeachment] Vice President Temer is inaugurated as President?
– A government of Michel Temer and his party, the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, represents the agenda of the elites. What is at stake is the return to neoliberalism. They need to overthrow Dilma to make this neoliberal restoration: that is the key element of this class struggle that has intensified. The vote on the impeachment is essential because it evidences the interests of the dominant classes and their decision to dump on the working classes the negative consequences of the world economic crisis. This Sunday we play a decisive march, this is like the final match of the World Cup.
– How would you describe Michel Temer?
– Temer is like our Mauricio Macri. Temer is a lumpenbourgeois, who is so vain that he wants to be President before his career as a politician comes to an end —which is close. But beyond him as a person, let’s focus on the fact that, politically, he represents the portions of the bourgeoisie that are subordinated to the interests of the US, the banks and multinational corporations that seek to recover their level of profit at the expense of attacking the rights and the level of life of the workers. A hypothetical government of Temer would be unsustainable, chaos would erupt in the country because workers are going to react, that’s why I think that no matter what is being said, Temer won’t be a solution for the economic and political crisis that we are going through.
– A key actor of the opposition is the chief of Deputies Eduardo Cunha, of the same party as Temer, who is a rising star despite his penal record, and the coordinator of the impeachment. How would you describe Cunha?
– He’s another lumpenbourgeois, like Temer. Cunha is someone who lives comfortably off public resources. He’s processed for corruption by the Federal Court and I hope that court has the courage to accelerate the process against him for having broken the law. Why does he have so much power in Congress? His strength is due to having created, years ago, a scheme of corruption thru agreements with companies that financed his electoral campaigns. Cunha is the coordinator of that apparatus where there are many deputies, and those deputies give him power.
– The middle classes [who, in general, are in favor of the impeachment], have as their main slogan the fight against corruption and revere judge Sergio Moro, who is in charge of the Petrolão case. Is this the main problem of Brazil?
Brazil is going through an economic, political, social and environmental crisis, and in this context, corruption is part of the historical modus operandi of a bourgeoisie that is always taking hold of public resources to benefit their companies or people. The judicial cause known as “Petrolão”, directed by judge Sergio Moro is useless, because attacking some members of the chain of corruption doesn’t solve the problem. What we need to do in order to fight corruption is to make a political reform, through a Constituent Assembly, but in order to make that assembly we need the people to exert a lot of pressure, from the streets; it’s a process that can take a lot of time, maybe years. The most important problem of the Brazilian society is that we’re still one of the most unjust and unequal societies in the world.
– Barack Obama avoided backing Rousseff, a gesture that some interpreted as a veiled way of manifesting support towards Temer. What do you think?
– A hypothetical government of Temer would be completely in line with the US agenda. As I said before, Temer is our Macri, but he wasn’t democratically elected. But, returning to the US, I think that the most serious issue is that they’re applying a policy aimed at having their companies control our economy. The modus operandi of the US is to become allied with Brazilian parliamentarians to achieve that domination. That’s what happened with the oil company Chevron, which is lobbying through Senator José Serra, of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, to promote the modification of the oil law to privatize the resources located in ultra deep water, in the Pre-Salt area. And, added to those privatizing maneuvers, there are other widespread ideological articulations that link the historic project of the bourgeoisie, the North American interests and the media that defend privatizations —which are in fact the ideological party of capital.
– And what are the international implications of this crisis?
In the last years, there were three big projects in Latin America. The neoliberal model we just discussed, the neo-developmentalist model, which was an attempt at class reconciliation —between the part of the bourgeoisie that depended on the internal market, and the workers— but this model eroded because peripheral capitalist countries entered a crisis, making that conciliation impossible. And finally, we had the model led by late President Hugo Chavez, who proposed an anti-neoliberal and anti-imperialist model, but that model also entered a crisis.
Therefore, we have three models in crisis, and that’s why it’s so important to create consciousness among the people. There must be a reorganization to create a great mass movement that’s able to propose new alternatives.