solidarity with Brazil


Jan Slakov

Dear RN list,     Feb. 3

Four days have gone by since I sent you Michel Chossudovsky's article on
Brazil's IMF-sponsored economic disaster.

Right afterwards, our friend and CDR (Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance)
correspondent, César Roberto Magellan sent that posting to several lists. He
prefaced it with a call for Brazilians to extend the strategy of the MST
(Movimento Sem Terra, the landless peasants movement) to all of Brazil. It
was a call to revolution, to people to refuse to pay the debts Brazil is now
saddled with and to prevent the privatization of any more of Brazil's

I then sent César Roberto's preface to several people because, if Brazilians
are really to stand up to those who have stolen what is rightfully theirs,
we must be there in solidarity with them. I wanted to ask people how we
might do this.

I think the answer to the question lies within each one of us, choosing to
do what we can, where we can.

As a starting point, please take the time to follow what is happening in
Brazil and to correct errors that will inevitably be broadcast by the mass
media about the situation there.

Below is a message César Roberto send us which can help us understand. 

As is so often the case with messages from César Roberto, there is this
delightful humour right in the midst of grim truth. See below.

all the best, Jan

Date: Tue, 2 Feb 1999 13:33:15 -0200
To: •••@••.•••
From: •••@••.••• (R. Magellan)
Subject: (ing) BRAZIL: SOROS RULES

This Tuesday morning Armínio Fraga Neto, the Soros man in Brazil, overplaced 
Francisco Lopes as the new president of the BCB  -- the Brazilian Central 
Bank. The nomination of a Soros agent for the second financial federal 
function in importance is going to backfire against president Fernando 
Henrique Cardoso.  It will be another nail in his political coffin, since 
indignation has been the most common first reaction at the left and, to a 
lesser extent, at the right too. According to the well informed JB radio, of 
Rio de Janeiro, Soros's  first words of "surprise" recommend Brazil to prove 
now to be a trustworthy   __partner__  of the international financial   
__community__.   Bad joke!

Finance Minister Pedro Malan, the closest ally of US banks in Brazil, has 
menaced to resign if he could not be allowed to fire Lopes. President FH 
Cardoso, that is pathetically being weakened each passing day, accepted the 
former's  ultimatum.  
Lopes had just overplaced about two weeks ago Gustavo Franco as president of 
the BCB.  Lopes was the mind behind the recent devaluation of the real, 
though Franco, an ultraorthodox neoliberal, sternly opposed it.  

Once in office, Lopes soon entered into a public collision course with the 
Argentinian president Carlos Menem as this latter required financial 
compensations from Brazil over the real devaluation affair and strongly 
advised the Cardoso team on the needing of a semiconfiscation of debts 
through dollarization and on the adoption of the currency board system  (the 
so called Bonex plan as applied in Argentina).  Menem even suggested that 
the whole Latin America substitutes the US dollar for its national 
currencies as soon as possible.  To this last remark Lopes wittily answered 
in an interview:  why Menem doesn't propose outrightly that we all adopt the 
Constitution of Puerto Rico?

So, the dismissal of Francisco Lopes was another victory of neoliberal 
colonialism over the Brazilian people.  Oh, needless to say that Menem often 
thinks that he is the Viceroy of Latin America too...

In solidarity,  
Roberto Magellan
Paix entre nous, guerre aux tyrans  (....)
Ouvriers, paysans, nous sommes
Le grand PARTI DES TRAVAILLEURS.  (L' Internationale)