Brazil

This article was originally published by our Brazilian comrades on 29 May. The situation has developed subsequently, and we will release updates in due course.

The following article was written by a doctor, who works in the city of São Paulo. COVID-19 precipitated and exacerbated the conditions of an ongoing social and economic crisis in Brazil, and internationally. The bourgeoisie is confused and divided in the face of a problem that it cannot bear, but it also cannot solve.

On 13 May, the officially declared total number of deaths resulting from COVID-19 in Brazil reached 13,149, with 749 deaths registered in the previous 24 hours. The political crisis in the country is also escalating, as our Brazilian comrades report.

The political crisis is accelerating. Bolsonaro is isolating himself more and more as his government teeters. The press is adding pressure and calling for investigations. Ex-president Fernando Henrique Cardoso is calling for Bolsonaro’s resignation. Right-wing politicians, who were elected in the wake of Bolsonaro (Doria, Witzel etc.), jumped ship a long time ago, like all good opportunists. Mandetta is gone. Moro is gone. And the question that many ask is: how long can right-hand-man Paulo Guedes last?

A major political crisis has broken out in Brazil. The Minister of Justice Moro resigned yesterday after president Bolsonaro removed the head of the Federal Police (FP) Valeixo, who had been nominated by Moro. The now former minister of justice has accused Bolsonaro of wanting to appoint a new FP head from whom he could get information in relation to cases involving Bolsonaro's sons, including the assassination of PSOL councillor Marielle Franco.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created one disaster after another in Latin America, exposing the naked contempt of the ruling class for the workers of the region. But with the memory of Red October still fresh, this explosive new development is preparing revolutionary upheaval in the near future.

The coronavirus crisis has already begun to cause bottlenecks in cargo transport in Brazil, demonstrating the weaknesses of our system due to the monopoly of the road sector for general cargo transportation. With the aggravation of the Covid-19 pandemic more restrictive measures may be adopted, which will prevent the delivery of cargo of all products that are consumed internally in the country, especially food.

Coronavirus has arrived in the immense favelas of Rio de Janeiro. The number of cases of contaminated slum dwellers is difficult to know, because counting and recording have been done based on the officially recognized neighbourhoods, which do not cover the slums.

The following open letter was issued by workers of the Hotel Transamérica chain in Brazil, who are putting out a series of demands to ensure their safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the end of 2019, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) announced a drop in unemployment from 12.3 percent in 2018 to 11.9 percent in 2019, that is, a 0.4 percent reduction. This change is not only insignificant, it’s also distorted: over the same period the number of discouraged workers, who gave up looking for work, increased by 1.4 percent. Informal workers – those without any kind of contract or self-employed – increased significantly, reaching a record number of 41 percent of workers who have some occupation. In practice, this means that unemployment has not decreased. On the contrary, it has led to discouragement or dragged workers into a precarious work

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