On Tuesday afternoon, Brazil’s fascistic President Jair Bolsonaro made his first statement since his defeat in the presidential election, which was announced on Sunday night.
In his brief speech, Bolsonaro thanked the “58 million Brazilians who voted for me,” while failing to acknowledge the victory of his challenger, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of the Workers Party (PT), who won 60 million votes.
Instead, he praised his fascist supporters who have erected more than 300 blockades on roads across Brazil, rejecting the election’s results and calling for an intervention by the armed forces to prevent Lula from taking office.
Bolsonaro stated that “The current popular movements are the result of indignation and a feeling of injustice of how the electoral process was carried out.”
At the same time, the president sought to dissociate himself from the violent actions he is encouraging, stating that “our methods cannot be those of the left... such as invasion of properties, destruction of patrimony, and curtailment of the right to come and go.” This is yet another of the maneuvers that have mirrored Donald Trump’s conduct during his attempt to overthrow the 2020 US election, which Bolsonaro has adopted as his main political model.
In the 45 hours before his pronouncement, while his supporters were creating havoc throughout the country, Bolsonaro met with his closest political allies, his military ministers, and representatives of the armed forces, including Defense Minister Paulo Sergio Nogueira and Air Force Commander Carlos Baptista Junior.
In these meetings, the fascistic president and his accomplices worked out the dubious content of his first post-election speech, as well as the next steps of their ongoing conspiracy to subvert democracy in Brazil.
As part of this plan, Ciro Nogueira, the president’s chief of staff, was chosen to speak publicly after Bolsonaro about a process of transition to Lula’s new government. The nominee to lead the transition team on behalf of Lula is his vice president, Geraldo Alckmin, whose long-time right-wing political ties will allow a better accommodation of the PT to the reactionary forces brought to state power by Bolsonaro.
However, despite the political accommodations by the PT, the actions of Bolsonaro and his allies over the last three days signal that the next two months leading to the presidential inauguration will be a period of intensifying political crisis.
On Sunday’s election day, the Federal Highway Police (PRF) promoted under Bolsonaro’s command extensive roadblocks to make it difficult for voters to get to the polls, especially in states where Lula had a majority. One of the clear objectives of the operation was to make his competitors feel aggrieved and generate a deadlock over the validity of the elections.
In the following days, the PRF openly allowed Bolsonaro’s pro-coup demonstrators to mount their own roadblocks. Videos recorded in Santa Catarina, a state that is home to important sections of the bourgeoisie aligned to the fascistic president, showed PRF officers virtually integrated into the pro-coup blockades.
In one of the videos, an officer declares, “The only order we have is to be here with you.” In another, speaking into a microphone, a commander declares to the protesters that “at no time… we will arrive to irritate or to confront any of you, who are our bosses.”
In the midst of the growing protests, the representatives of the bourgeois institutions revealed all their political impotence to confront the threats posed by Bolsonaro, by turning to the president himself to curb the crisis provoked by him.
According to Folha de São Paulo, the ministers of the judiciary assessed that “the demonstrations [had] escalated so much that a statement from the president was essential to try to contain the movements of his supporters in the streets.”
In contrast to the complicity of the police and the state with this pro-coup movement, a spontaneous episode revealed that the only social force truly capable of defending democracy is the working class. Faced with the blockade of the Rio-Santos highway, workers from the BrasFELS shipyard in Angra dos Reis got off the bus in which they were returning home from work, confronted Bolsonaro’s fascist supporters and cleared the road.
The mobilization of the working class against the authoritarian threats promoted by Bolsonaro and the military would necessarily bring with it social demands that would drive a powerful movement against capitalism. For this reason, the PT, which represents rotten Brazilian capitalism, is absolutely opposed to directing any appeal to workers.
Condemning calls for a confrontation with Bolsonaro supporters made by the Homeless Workers Movement (MTST), linked to the pseudo-left PSOL (Socialism and Liberty Party) and to the PT itself , the president of the PT, Gleisi Hoffman, declared, “We don’t agree with that because this is a responsibility of the state.”