Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, (Lula) the candidate of the Partido dos Trabalhadores (Labour) for the forthcoming Presidential election in October, is leading the opinion polls with some 40% of the vote, against the 20% obtained by the government’s candidate, Jose Serra, of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB), of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Foreign investors and the Brazilian entrepreneurial class start to react.
The Brazilian economy starts to show knee-jerk reactions to the latest risk factor issued by the IMF, which forced the Real (Brazil’s currency) into a spiral of devaluation and the stock exchange to fall. All because foreign investors, linked strongly to Brazil’s ruling political class (the five percent who own ninety-five per cent of the country’s wealth and resources), have decided that Lula is bad news…for reasons which this group have invented for external use.
The fact of the matter is, and it is crucial that the international community realise this, that Lula is an intelligent, balanced, educated and pragmatic political man, who knows the limitations of his sphere of influence and who understands that to be President of Brazil means accepting responsibility. Claims by opposition parties that the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) and Lula say one thing today and will do another tomorrow are totally unfounded and unsubstantiated.
The PT, and Lula, have pledged, in public, to maintain the current rigid economic policy which is seeing Brazil pay and reduce its foreign debt. Claims that Lula and his party want to suspend the debt repayments are slanderously wrong. The current fiscal and financial policy will be followed by a President Lula.
PT sources, questioned by Pravda.Ru, state categorically that the PT and an eventual presidency of Lula will keep public spending under control and will not embark on a policy of populist spending campaigns and that both the presidential candidate and his party are responsible, have responsible and qualified persons in the team and intend to present a positive image, and work done, both to Brazil and to the world.
To address are the country’s enormous social and political problems. Education, health, crime, access to a career path and hope for the future are daily worries of the majority of Brazil’s 180,000,000 population which have not, certainly, been addressed by a successive wave of right-wing governments.
However, the PT does not adhere to the IMF claim that Brazil is a serious risk. This is pure speculation, speculation fuelled by Washington and the IMF because they sense that Lula could this time scent victory and years of political and personal favours are being called in. The PT has stated time and again that its fiscal and financial policy will be in line with the pragmatic stance of the current administration and that the PT and Lula will respect foreign debt repayment schemes. Nobody in the PT, and Lula never, claimed to the contrary.
In the words of Lula, in the last internal party congress, “We are going to avoid a situation whereby the foreign debt increases, destroying the confidence in the capacity of the government to honour its promises”.
Lula has proved that he has abandoned the stance of a radical union leader of his youth and has blossomed into a mature, intelligent man who feels he has a lot to give to his people and who asks for one term as President to prove that he and his party can do what no other government has done before, namely give an opportunity to Brazil’s youth to break out of poverty and hopelessness and to affirm themselves as the promise of tomorrow, a phrase which Jorge Amado used to describe his country.
Lula has signed a political agreement with the Conservative Liberal Front Party, whose candidate Jose Alencar will be Lula’s Vice-President, bringing with him a notion of trust and confidence among Brazil’s entrepreneurial class, which he represents.
The foreign investors and Brazil’s economic powers, however, have other ideas, namely to perpetuate the spiral of incompetence and scandalous negligence in a climate of political inadequacy which is responsible for Brazil’s ills today.
Marcia MIRANDA PRAVDA.Ru BRAZIL