Weekly Editorial – Getting ready for the new struggles

We publish this unofficial translation of the Weekly editorial of A Nova Democracia published here.

The messages and documents found on the telephone of Mauro Cid, Bolsonaro’s former assistant, dragging several high-ranking active-duty officials to the center of the crisis that encouraged each other to institutional rupture, irreducibly point to the correctness of the analysis of this tribune. It is nonsense, today, capable to mask the coups role, its historical design, it remains in force in the visceral anticommunist reactionary corporation Brazilian Armed Forces, its High Command (Alto Comando Forças Armadas – ACFA), which now pretends to be an unblemished democrat to escape demoralization.

But, in fact, the ACFA only denied the villainous captain’s [Translator’s note: reference to Bolsonaro, who was captain] appeals, because it would be disastrous at that moment, in addition to going against the guidelines of his “Uncle Sam” and the nucleus of the establishment. But, in the next act, they used the demonized bolsonarist crowd as cannon fodder, in the turmoil of January 8, to make it clear that the Armed Forces are, in fact, the “Moderating Power”, guardians of the Nation and its governments in turn.

Until now the existence of a virtual group has been discovered in an application in which several senior officers discussed the intervention, as well as the existence of documents with Mauro Cid in which a step-by-step stipulation is made for a military intervention supposedly triggered by Article 142 (one of the documents is called “Armed Forces as a moderating power”). Such soldiers, most of them colonels, all from the Special Forces, occupied several strategic positions in the army, serving in the Cadet Preparatory School, in the Institutional Security Office and in the Special Operations Instruction Center, in addition to commands of key infantry troops, paratroopers, armored vehicles and artillery. The most explicit messages even came from conversations between Mauro Cid and the then Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army, Colonel Jean Lawand, in which he encourages the president to decree military intervention because the HQ of the Army would not take the initiative in a coup, but would be forced to embark on an institutional rupture, since “from Division down” everyone was with Bolsonaro. However, if those attempts fail, there is no longer anyone who can defend him, and it is unlikely that he will remain eligible for the next election.

Well, everyone knows that this coup-mongering gang that rose up from the top ranks in the Army is a product of this ACFA, both in theory and in practice. In theory, since the entire curriculum and training courses of the Armed Forces teach that it is up to them to be guardians of the republic, against internal and external enemies, corresponding to it, in case of chaos and institutional friction, to act as a Moderating Power. This is how all officers think and are taught to think, without exception: from the current commander to the simple aspiring officer. Neither the “1988 Constituent Assembly”, nor the opportunist governments of 2002-2015 or the current one dared and dare to touch this cancer, on the contrary, they gave it free ground to grow within the so-called “democracy”. This is how the Armed Forces explain and justify their 1964 coup d’état, and all previous ones. So said the former Army commander, Eduardo Villas Bôas (who is almost unanimous in this reactionary Army), in an interview with Pedro Bial, in 2017, that in case of institutional chaos “the Armed Forces have a mandate” to intervene. (It is revealing that one of the soldiers who sent the document that stipulated the step by step of the coup to Mauro Cid stated that the text had been produced for the Army Command and General Staff Course!).

The ACFA is also responsible in practice, as it is the same ACFA that has intervened wildly in national political life since 2015. It was the current members of the ACFA who, in 2017, under the orders of Eduardo Villas Bôas, prepared – as an institution – a threat of intervention to the Federal Supreme Court, so that it could change a decision that would set Luiz Inácio, then in prison, free again and on the eve of the 2018 election – all confessed by Villas Bôas himself, in a book published in 2021, entitled “Conversa com o commander”. It was this same ACFA that, in November 2022, treated the demonstrations calling for a coup d’état as “democratic” and that, in those past years, under a strong coup articulation now revealed, met to discuss whether or not the time had come for a military intervention.

Therefore, those most responsible for this coup-mongering and anti-communist rabble having engineered an institutional rupture, are the 4-star generals themselves who stirred up the mob by sheltering them in the barracks, echoing the calls for military intervention and infusing their anti-communist rancid. The divergence between the ACFA majority and the far-right hordes – the reason for all the internal strife – is not due to a coup d’état, but to the modus operandi, whether it should be due to institutional rupture or to the dismemberment of the current constitution, and as to the moment. It is no coincidence that the ACFA, in a note, stated that it will only adopt “administrative measures” against military coup leaders, and even then, only after “having official knowledge of the facts”. For now, everyone continues to work normally, in their respective positions of command.

Now, naturally, ACFA seeks to distance itself from the revealed part of its rottenness, which does not change anything in its corrupt, coupist and genocidal essence. The highest authorities continue to believe and act, to exercise the moderating role, through veiled threats to institutionalism and blackmail to the Nation. However, the situation created requires them to take a step back from their ostensible desires. The counterrevolutionary offensive suffered a demoralization, however, far from having disappeared, in the face of new events, it tends to become more rancorous, as the military crisis will continue to develop by leaps and bounds. The more days pass amid the profound crisis of bureaucratic capitalism and the accelerated decomposition of the political regime, the more the foundations of exploitation and oppression weaken. Every day the danger of a general uprising against the old order is more present, and the first signs of failure of the current government are enough for it to explode – and with it, all the coup rage now incubating. Faced with this danger, despite the high-sounding “legalistic” phrases, the anti-communist generals will come forward to try to crush the popular struggle with iron, fire and blood. While such a situation does not arise, they will continue to conspire to impose – step by step – the absolute centralization of power in the Executive under their tutelage and strong restriction of democratic rights and freedoms. All with the consent and applause of many who, today, are the most “radical” in criticizing the Bolsonarist coup, including the false electoral left that will fight to remain in government.

Faced with the deepening military crisis, the president of the republic, Luiz Inácio, is well aware that the coup-mongering germ is freely found in the ranks of the three forces and their auxiliaries, he knows that the ACFA does not see this as a problem, as long as it does not become insubordination. Luiz Inácio knows that he is not able and cannot exercise control over the top, that it does not respect him; he also knows that, as soon as his popularity begins to fail or faces a deeper political crisis, the ACFA will be the first to encourage and move the pieces towards an impeachment process that will lead Alckmin [Translator’s note: vice-president of the government of Lula, member of the PSB, Socialist Party of Brazil] to the Planalto Palace: a new government in absolute subjection to the directives of the ACFA, which will sustain it. For this reason, Luiz Inácio seeks to satisfy the central interests of the dominant classes so as not to open a bigger crisis and, at the same time, re-edit cosmetic and populist measures so as not to lose too much popularity and not become demoralized in the face of opportunist movements that lend themselves to being toys. The general crisis, however, reduces the government’s margins, with a Congress hostile to it, with a voracious appetite for power and which will cause severe headaches and potentiate the tendency to institutional crises. At some point, the rope of opportunism will snap as a leap in the political and institutional crisis and the ACFA will resume the offensive by imposing its absolute command. This is the scenario and main trend of the current crisis; far from stabilization, strong shocks are foreshadowed.

The people’s forces must seriously prepare to combat the reaction and not let up in their vigilance, even aware of the inevitable capitulation of this government in the face of the ACFA’s counterrevolutionary offensive. It is necessary that all democratic forces raise the popular masses to conquer their immediate interests, pulling them tooth and nail, as the only way to raise them against the destruction of democratic freedoms, and unite this with the political slogan of “Down with the coup and the fascists! Long live the New Democratic Revolution!”

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