Defending Democracy in Brazil: The Rise of the Far-Right
November 9, 2018
On Oct. 28, 2018, the far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro was elected as Brazil's next president. Bolsonaro is a retired military officer who pines for the days of Brazil's military dictatorship and openly advocates torture and murder of political opponents.
Please join us for a discussion on this topic with veteran socialist organizer and founding member of PSOL in Brazil, Pedro Fuentes. We'll talk about the factors leading to Bolsonaro's rise, the threat his movement poses, and how socialists can fight back. We'll also discuss the connection between Bolsonaro and the resurgence of the far-right in the US and elsewhere.
About Pedro Fuentes
Pedro Fuentes was born in Pergamino, Argentina, and began his activism there as a teenager, when he and his brother joined a high-school student movement to reform the schools called Movimiento de Accion Reformista. Later, in the 1960s, he joined Palabro Obrera, led by the Argentine Trotskyist Nahuel Moreno, and organized in the factories in his city. In 1971, his older brother, Luis Enrique Pujals, was one of the first to be "disappeared" by Argentina's dictatorship for his activity in the Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores (PRT). Soon after, Pedro was forced to flee Argentina and lived in exile for the duration of the dictatorship and beyond, traveling across Latin America and Europe and embedding himself in socialist movements wherever he went.
Eventually he moved to Brazil and in 2000 began organizing with Movimento Esquerda Socialista (MES), then a tendency in the Workers Party (PT). In 2003, the PT introduced anti-worker pension reforms supported by Brazil's right wing parties. A number of dissenting PT deputies, including MES leader Luciana Genro, voted against the reforms and were subsequently expelled from the PT. Pedro joined these expelled leaders in founding PSOL as a left alternative to the PT. For many years he served as PSOL's secretary of international relations, though he has recently stepped back.
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