Brazil: The re-election of Dilma Rousseff
Odiario.info is maintained by Portuguese Marxists. They published the following commentary on Oct. 27, after the second and final round of the Brazilian presidential elections.
Dilma Rousseff will take presidential office on Jan. 1, 2015, to govern Brazil for another four years.
This election was the closest contested ever in Brazil. Rousseff got 54.5 million votes (51.64 percent) and Aécio Neves got 51.0 million (48.36 percent).
The president won in the states of the North and Northeast, benefiting there from her welfare assistance policies, as well as in Rio de Janeiro and in Minas Gerais.
Neves, a neoliberal masquerading as a social democrat, won in the South and Southeast, including in São Paulo, where the motor of the Brazilian economy is located. He could count on the support of the USA, the banks, foreign capital, big business and the majority of the middle class.
The electoral campaign was characterized by a low level of political debate, marked by an exchange of insults between the candidates. The participation of Lula da Silva in support of President Rousseff attracted attention by its populist tone and the grossness of his speeches.
In her victory speech, Rousseff asked Brazilians to unite, promised deep reforms or “changes.” She took on commitments that, just as in her first term, she won’t keep. Her party, the Workers Party (PT), got fewer votes than it had in the 2010 election in 15 states; it only elected five governors in all 27 states of Brazil.
Rousseff will confront a Congress more hostile to her than the last one, which will oblige her to make large concessions to the parties that oppose her.
In the opinion of the majority of observers, the future government will carry out policies more conservative than that of her first term.
The Agrarian Reform will make no progress, and the repression striking the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) in the different states will grow, with the tacit acceptance of the federal government.
A shift toward the right in foreign policy can be foreseen. Rousseff will do everything possible to improve Brazil’s relations with the United States and other imperialist powers, distancing herself from Cuba and from the progressive governments in Bolivarian Venezuela and Bolivia. The revision of Brazil’s international policies will also impact on the participation of Brazil in the BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] alliance and in the organizations promoting Latin American integration, such as ALBA [Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America], UNASUL [Union of South American Nations] and CELAC [Community of Latin American and Caribbean States].
Yesterday’s appeal for unity among the Brazilian people, as purely rhetorical as it was, will not be forgotten.
Brazil is entering into economic recession. Its GNP is falling, social inequalities are growing, and inflation is taking off. Government scandals, above all the one involving Petrobras [state-run oil giant], are arousing popular anger. Corruption in the state apparatus is spreading. The country is trapped in a quagmire.
Everything indicates that the demonstrations of popular discontent that reached a high point last June and July will grow even larger next year.
Translation by WW managing editor John Catalinotto.