Political Prisoners of the Empire  MIAMI 5     


O U R  A M E R I C A

Havana. October 24, 2014

The moment of truth
has arrived

Contrary to expectations set out a few weeks ago, the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, maintains her lead on the Brazilian political scene with just a few hours left to determine the future of the nation, with voters poised to choose between Rousseff and the candidate of the right-wing Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB) this Sunday, October 26.

In the first round, Dilma left Marina Silva of the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) lagging behind in third place, and came out eight points ahead of Neves, in an election which saw over 80% of voters participate.

Thus, with Dilma at the forefront of the political landscape of Brazil, the usual two-rounds of voting will be repeated, which during the past twelve years have favored the Workers’ Party (PT). Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva won twice in the first round (2002 and 2006), but both times his win was confirmed with a second ballot. Dilma added two more victories to win her first term and a seventh success in the first round of the recent election. Should she win on Sunday, it would be the eighth consecutive victory for the party.

Aécio Neves can not, however, be underestimated, given the neoliberal right’s enormous media apparatus, pulling out all the stops to support the candidate, despite the charges of corruption which have been levied against him.

In the first round the polls were wrong, favoring Marina Silva. The difference between Dilma and Neves was about 8%, some eight million votes, while Marina failed to surpass 21% of the vote.

Although Congress is sharply divided, so far the PT has gained enough votes to change the social landscape of Brazil and improve living conditions for those with lower incomes.

The terms of the showdown between the PT and PSDB are favorable to Dilma. Aécio Neves’ surprising defeat in the province of Minas Gerais, where he was governor, clearly losing out to the PT candidate in the first round, also goes against him.

According to political scientist Emir Sader, the real opposition party in Brazil is the right-wing media, which backed a strong Marina in the first round and then allied itself to the PSDB as part of its strategy of "everyone against Dilma."  This sector is overwhelmingly neoliberal in its content and promotes a distancing from Mercosur, BRICS, UNASUR, CELAC and Latin American integration.

Dilma defends herself very well. The Workers’ Party government’s greatest accomplishment has been ensuring that some 36 million Brazilians have been lifted out of extreme poverty, since Lula came to power in 2003, including 22 million during Dilma Rousseff’s term in office. Added to this is the reduction in unemployment, which has remained at only five or six percent in this, the largest country in South America.

If we consider that the PSB, which ran Marina Silva as their candidate, is not a traditional right-wing party, it can be assumed that a good portion of those votes will not go to Aécio Neves.

Professor and analyst Emir Sader believes that, in the second round, the PT’s program must continue to prioritize social issues, South-South solidarity and a greater role for the state, which has been expanded by Dilma through the anti-poverty programs initiated by Lula.

The second round is scheduled for this Sunday, October 28. Regardless of the fickleness of the polls on voting intention, the ballot boxes will provide the final verdict.


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