At its national congress in February, the Workers’ Party of Brazil acclaimed Marxist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s endorsement of as the Party’s presidential candidate for elections in October.
In his remarks, “Lula” emphasized Dilma Rousseff’s history of militancy and highlighted her persistence in policy implementation and in “resolving problems of the population.”
Rousseff herself promised to continue the social, economic, environmental, energy, and foreign policies of the “Lula” government. Promising once more to form a coalition government, she called for “appropriate public policies” over total reliance on market forces.
The daughter of an exiled Bulgarian Communist Party activist and a wealthy Brazillian ranching family, Rousseff joined Marxist anti-government guerillas in the 1960s in armed struggle against the then military government.
Taught Marxism in high school, Rousseff joined several revolutionary groups as a young woman, including Command of National Liberation (COLINA).
In early 1969, the police invaded the group’s house and the militants responded by using a machine gun, which killed two policemen and wounded another.
Dilma went underground, later participating in the formation of the Revolutionary Armed Vanguard Palmares. After that group split , Dilma was sent to Sao Paolo , where she was charged with guarding the groups weapons-which she hid under bed.
In 1970, Rousseff, was arrested, jailed and allegedly tortured by police.
Released in 1972, Rousseff moved into mainstream politics, serving as municipal treasury secretary in Porto Alegre in 1985. Later, she twice headed the Ministry of Energy for the Rio Grande do Sul state government. In 2000, she left the Democratic Labor Party, which she had co-founded, for the Workers Party, serving as Minister of Mines and Energy in Lula’s first term. Rousseff became Lula’s Chief of Staff two year’s later in a government reshuffle triggered by a corruption scandal.
In March, the Communist Party of Brazil endorsed Dilma Rousseff’s candidacy.
Allied to the Workers’ Party since 1989, the Party has held government posts since 2003. Its statement affirmed, “There is no middle ground in this political clash. The result will either guarantee the continuity of the political cycle that president Lula started or backpedal with those who ruined Brazil.” At issue, according to the Party document, is national development, increased production, adequate pay for labor, and improved living standards. The Communist Party reiterated its commitment to “unity in the democratic, patriotic and popular fields.” The Party looks forward to Brazil “becoming one of the most progressive, strong and influential nations of the world.”
Brazil is somehow regarded by many US policy makers as a moderating force in the region. This despite President Lula’s Marxist background and long term ties to Cuba and the radical Sao Paolo Forum, the Latin America wide grouping of socialist, communist and revolutionary parties, that has done much to promote the near total conquest of Latin America by the left.
Visiting Brazil recently, Secretary of State Clinton got the smile and three negatives. No, Brazil would not discourage Iran from developing nuclear power, would not help return Honduras to the Organization of the American States, and would not take on supervision over Venezuela.
Chavez and Castro aren’t the only problems America has south of the border.