[Marxism] Leftists against Lula: Counterpunch

dwalters at marxists.org dwalters at marxists.org
Thu Sep 28 09:08:45 MDT 2006

Heloísa Helena's Brazilian Surprise
A Left Challenge to Lula

When Lula won the presidential elections in late 2002, Brazil's workers and poor
looked forward to a new era. After a history of extreme social inequality,
reinforced by long periods of military dictatorship in the 20th century, Brazil
had elected as president a former metalworker and union leader raised in
poverty, who became a leader on the left.

But even during the campaign, Lula signaled his direction by choosing as his
vice president José Alencar, a textile industry CEO from the right-wing Liberal

Once in office, Lula's performance pleased Wall Street, Washington and Brazil's
world-class agribusiness interests. As Latin America expert and author James
Petras noted, Lula's early "achievements" included slashing pensions for
public-sector workers by 30 percent, cutting spending for health and education
by 5 percent, and pushing through legislation making it easier to fire workers.


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