Marxist, XXXVI, 2, April-June 2020
Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB)
Central Committee Resolution
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) discussed the serious situation in the world and the country, in an online (webconference) meeting held on Friday (April 17) and Saturday (April 18). The approved Resolution addresses the worsening of the economic crisis with the spread of Covid-19, highlighting that Bolsonaro’s government is acting to create an even more chaotic scenario.
The Resolution affirms, after verifying the tensions and instability in the world with the coronavirus pandemic, that the logic of the capitalist system strips bare [ou evinces] two antagonistic camps: one defends life and the other bankers and large monopolies. In the first, the World Health Organization (WHO) and countries like China, Russia and Cuba deserve a positive mention. In the second, the negative highlight is the United States’ Donald Trump administration.
Regarding Brazil, the document establishes that the impacts of budget cuts on the Unified Health System (SUS) and Bolsonaro’s irresponsible behaviour already have a high cost demonstrated in death tolls. And it promotes as a path a broad national front of salvation against Bolsonaro, the messenger of death.
Read the full text:
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Join broad forces in defence of life and democracy to save Brazil
Bolsonaro is a messenger of death
The Covid-19 pandemic increases tensions and instability in the world. The world economy, which was already decelerating, with the pandemic, goes from semi-stagnation to a deep recession immediately, according to forecasts by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The crisis is so severe that even ultra-liberal governments, although, as always, pouring trillions of dollars of the nation-states in the financial system, are now forced to rescue people and the real economy, albeit to a limited extent. It fully reveals the damaging effects of financial and neoliberal globalization and the frailty of countries in caring for their populations. Even in so-called developed countries, the state’s social protection structures are weakened. This reality highlights the importance of nation states, in their multiple dimensions, especially in the economic and social sphere.
The logic of the capitalist system strips bare two antagonistic camps: one defends life and the other, bankers and large monopolies. Countries at the centre of the capitalist system, such as the United States, Italy and Spain, showed vulnerabilities: they underestimated the pandemic and the medical-hospital logistics do not support the demand.
Solidarity and international cooperation have been scarce and fragile. The World Health Organization (WHO), which has played a proactive role in the general coordination of the fight against the pandemic, deserves a positive mention. Likewise, the solidarity actions developed by China, Russia and Cuba stand out. Socialist China, the first victim of Covid-19, stood up, supported on people’s mobilization, science and large investments, giving courageous and effective response to the pandemic and is making an invaluable contribution to humanity.
The United States, the main imperialist power, with the reactionary Donald Trump as president, underestimated the pandemic, which is penalizing the US people with thousands of deaths. Economic measures favour bailouts for financial institutions. The United States, in addition to not showing solidarity with any country, attacks the WHO and arbitrarily confiscates cargoes of hospital supplies. They conduct military manoeuvres against Venezuela and a fake news campaign against China. Those most affected by the pandemic are workers, especially the poorest, black and Latin-American.
Brazil is hit hard by the pandemic. The impacts of budget cuts on the Unified Health System (SUS) and Bolsonaro’s reckless behaviour have high costs, in number of victims. On the front, exposed to extreme viral loads, health professionals carry out, under precarious conditions, with remarkable dedication, their ethical-professional duty. However, until today, since the creation of SUS, a career that contemplates the constitutional duty of professionals who, in practice, guarantee the right to health, has not been organized. The President carries out a sustained campaign against social isolation and exposes the population to contagion with the new coronavirus. He fired the Minister of Health, amid the pandemic, to pursue this criminal action even more aggressively. He appointed a new minister, linked to the private sector, who said he was ‘completely aligned’ with his boss. The President sabotages, however he can, the sanitary measures announced by the governors and mayors, and does not release, or delays, the resources approved by the National Congress. He promotes chaos in the crisis’ management, an attitude rejected in Brazil and criticized abroad.
In this irresponsible trajectory, Bolsonaro confronts the National Congress, the Justice System, federal state governors and the Brazilian medical and scientific authorities. He loses authority and legitimacy and is increasingly isolated. The President acts as a messenger of death during an unprecedented health crisis. Therefore, he reveals that he cannot continue to lead the country. It is necessary to continue the political struggle in several dimensions to unmask Bolsonaro.
Federal government measures supposedly taken to protect jobs and businesses, lag far behind the needs and are slowly put in practice. In addition, the government proposes a new labour rights cut with Provisional Measure no. 905. It intended to impose an aid of only BRL 200 for autonomous, unemployed and underemployed workers. The opposition, together with broad forces of Congress, managed to raise it to BRL 600 or 1,200 (in case of women heads of family). Bolsonaro delayed payment for as long as possible and is now trying to present himself as the sole author of the aid; this achievement belongs to the people and the democratic forces, which must continue to demand the immediate payment of the benefit. The government also delays aid to micro, small and medium-sized businesses, while privileging banks.
The truth is that Bolsonaro’s government had already showed to be a failure as a result of its ultra-liberal and neocolonial agenda, and the actions now announced are very limited in view of the crisis’ great extent. This pushes the country into a very serious recession. Bolsonaro prioritizes the political dispute, presenting himself as an advocate of employment and of businesses, and attacks governors, sectors of Congress, and the Federal Supreme Court (STF) who, according to him, would only be concerned about the pandemic; which is a big lie. The democratic wing understands that the national state must, at the same time, promote life, protect jobs and business, and help states and municipalities, not the financial sector. It is necessary to unmask this false contrast between life and the economy, Bolsonaro’s criminal demagoguery.
In this context, opposition to the government is widening. Different political currents question the very continuity of the presidential mandate. They preach the need for a balanced leader to unite people and respect institutions. However, the President still has the support of large economic groups, sectors in the military and of more conservative social segments.
Bolsonaro is committed to chaos, radicalization and confrontation, sowing disorder, a scenario that he considers favourable to the authoritarian escalation that aims for a break with the democratic regime. The attempt, repelled by the democratic forces, to postpone the municipal elections until 2022 fits in this context, as well as his threat of vetoing the bill approved by the Chamber of Deputies [House of Representatives] to help the states and municipalities, since without the Union’s help the federal units would be pushed into bankruptcy and disorder.
The Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB), in solidarity with the people, is fully committed to this great national struggle so that the country can face and overcome this multiple crisis in the health, social, economic and political sectors. To this end, it launched a National Emergency Plan detailing its proposals and identifying the sources for its financing.
PCdoB reaffirms, first of all, its commitment to the defence of the people’s life and health. It struggles in defence of employment, wages, and the worker’s and people’s income, which is essential for promoting life. It strives to guarantee aid to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and to defend the national economy.
To achieve this objective, the Party relies on its active representation in the Chamber of Deputies, under the leadership of Deputy Perpétua Almeida, on Governor Flávio Dino (Maranhão federal state) and on the governors’ joint action. It also has the support of its cadres and militants, the people’s mobilization, the action with the trade union centrals, the student, community and social movements.
In this context, the Party mobilizes society for preventive measures, for the continuation of social isolation; it firmly combats Bolsonaro’s irresponsible and criminal attitudes; undertakes the defence of life, democracy and the Federal Constitution; fights for the national state to make the necessary resources available for all of the country’s needs while facing and overcoming the crisis and the pandemic. The Party sets the following guidelines in the current conjuncture.
a) Persist in articulating a broad front for national salvation, in defence of life, democracy, employment and of Brazil. A front capable of preventing Bolsonaro from promoting chaos and of creating the conditions for the country to free itself from the crisis and overcome the pandemic. For this purpose, the Party must intensify its dialogue with broad forces of society, parties, entities, personalities and leaders. In this front of national salvation, the National Congress, the governors, the STF, the entities and institutions of civil society, such as CNBB, Arns Commission, OAB-Federal, SPBC, ABC, ABI, today combined in the Pact for Life and for Brazil, are protagonists. Parties and parliamentarians from a wide political spectrum, personalities from the fields of culture and science, trade union centres, UNE, UBES, Conam, UBM, CMB and a list of social movements and fronts in this sector must participate.
b) Fight, having life as a priority, for more resources and to strengthen the public, comprehensive and universal SUS, which is seriously weakened by the ultra-liberal policies of Paulo Guedes (minister of economy) and Bolsonaro, and for the end of Constitutional Amendment No. 95. Strengthen the SUS’s sector of Primary Care, especially the Family Health Strategy, which can fulfil a decisive task in the fight against the pandemic. Guarantee universal internet access for health and economic actions to combat Covid-19. Establish, in conjunction with the private sector, the use, control and management by the public authorities of all the existing hospital capacity in the country, especially hospital beds and ICUs of private hospitals and health plans, for the universal treatment of severe cases of Covid-19. Import, license (break patents), and reconvert sectors of the national industry to produce materials, medicines, and strategic hospital equipment to save lives and protect health professionals. To combat the pandemic based on scientific knowledge, it is imperative to support the guidelines of the WHO and of the vast majority of the country’s health authorities for continued social isolation, mass testing, and in taking protective measures for essential work, especially health workers.
c) Fight in defence of employment, workers’ rights, against the decrease of wages; strive to increase the income of the population in need; ensure the basic needs of the population, exempting them from paying for essential public services; fight for public policies in defence of women’s rights. At this point, in particular, fight domestic violence, in defence of employment and income, with priority for women that are mothers and heads of families.
d) Protect the national economy, especially micro, small and medium-sized businesses, which account for more than half of the jobs with a formal contract in the private sector, and medium-sized businesses, with exemption and parcelling of taxes, in addition to subsidized credit lines, with a guarantee from the National Treasury, for working capital, payroll and job maintenance, and incentives for the national production of health supplies.
e) Defend the emergency platform for students and youth, guaranteeing lunch assistance for primary and secondary education students in the public school system; suspend student finance charges (FIES) and tuition fees for low-income students; maintain scholarships for graduate programmes and interns.
f) Support governors and mayors: suspend the payment of the debt to the Union, public banks and international bodies; authorize investment loans; guarantee the levels of transfer of participation funds, in addition to extra fees to face the pandemic and its social impacts, besides expanding health spending and compensating for the drop in tax revenues.
g) Intensify actions on all fronts of Party actions with the banners already indicated; create and support solidarity movements, especially with the poor parts of the population, and also those who defend health professionals; strengthen the battle of ideas, on social networks and other possible activities on the Internet. This way, the Party and its militants can maintain and expand their activity, playing the role that the moment demands. Participate and encourage creative initiatives that are multiplying, such as the pots protests, which echo ‘Get out, Bolsonaro!’ through the country’s windows.
With these guidelines, PCdoB reiterates the conviction that with the unity of broad social and political forces, the country will overcome the pandemic, defeat Bolsonaro and open new and promising prospects for our people.
Enough of Bolsonaro! Get out! Messenger of death
For a broad National Salvation Front!
Brasilia, April 18, 2020
Central Committee of the
Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB)