Another Fine Specimen
24 April 2003 



Things fall apart, the center cannot hold

Let no man deceive you with vain words

Brazilian Soviets

By Sandro Guidalli

Translation by Igor Taam


The main program of President Lula da Silva in Brazil, Fome Zero (Famine Zero), superficially proposes to reduce the hunger and the misery of approximately 15 million out of 170 million Brazilians. During his first hundred days in office, President Lula drew the nation into this program. TV stars, non-governmental entities, journalists and entrepreneurs showed interest in collaborating with Lula -- sometimes donating, sometimes offering themselves as volunteers for his propaganda.


Despite the raging controversy over the effectiveness of the distribution of food to the poor, mainly to people who live in the Brazilian Northeast, the intentions of Lula da Silva have been praised. The loudest critics to emerge are those welfare functionaries who are passionate in their urgency. Lula da Silva enjoys the support of the Brazilian media. These have been responsible in good part for his victory in the election.


But the program Fome Zero is much more than an attempt to satiate the hunger of the poorest people. Verily it is what we could call the “sovietization” of Brazil. The PT (Workers Party) is a party that enjoys excellent relations with Fidel Castro and with the various Marxists of Latin America. It is their plan to use the State to override traditional municipal power. Their network of faithful agents include the MST (Landless Workers Movement). This group wants a socialist revolution in Brazil.


The true intentions of the PT, especially with regard to Fome Zero, was recently disclosed to the journalist Nassif Luis, columnist of the Folha de S. Paulo, the biggest periodical of the country. In an interview with the minister of Alimentary Security, Francisco Graziano, Luis learned, among others things, that the cornerstone of Brazilian sovietization will be the creation of a council and an agency executor of social politics “that could be the secretariat of Social Promotion and Agriculture." This structure would effectively replace city halls and concentrate the distribution of foods, coupons, and all the benefits of assistance in the hands of MST functionaries and the Ministry of Education. These agents of the federal government will become the true executors of Brazilian politics.


In Russia the soviets were councils where the commissars of the “workers and peasants” of the USSR held sway. These councils formed the backbone of the party organization of Lenin's government, overlapping every other form of authority in the cities and the country. It now appears that these Brazilian councils described by Graziano are the same thing.


In the Brazilian case, the banner of Fome Zero will be the starting point for everything. “And also it will be the mechanism that affirms a network of state and municipal councils." The minister admitted "that guardianship will guarantee political power to the councils who will then put down the power of the mayors in unincorporated regions."


This network of councils (created by the PT) will level the traditional municipal public power, reducing the mayors to accepting expenditures without the least input. The structure idealized by the PT can also be used to identify enemies. And who are these enemies?


“The (new) coupons will put an end to the Cesta Básica (basic basket) and the carro-pipa (water truck), the two main weapons of business.” (1) Thus, the PT transforms the water supplier of the hinterland into a villain, as if the suppliers of water were creators of misery. Already the basic basket is transformed into a malignant thing because its distribution is not controlled by new structures that seek to dominate the countryside. The PT does not want competitors in the distribution of benefits to the many; therefore its authority is to be jealously guarded. This project will trap the rural population in a system of social assistance that will gradually be extended to the major cities.


The supply of coupons for food will cause disputes. These disputes will be politically manipulated as the population is divided and conquered section by section. The demand for free food will increase and the government will have to extend the program again and again. And that is what the government wants because this will effectively assure the PT's future power. 


(1) Translator's note: The Cesta Basica is a basic food basket that contains food for a family of four people for one month provided by various local organizations. The carro-pipa provides water that previously was obtainable only by long hours of walking.

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