15 May saw a tsunami of demonstrators come out against education cuts and counter-reforms to pensions in Brazil. More than 1.5 million hit the streets of over 200 cities across the country during the national education strike against the latest measures of the Bolsonaro government, which include a 30 percent cut to university budgets. Despite its bravado, the government is weak and divided. The slogan “Fora Bolsonaro” (Bolsonaro Out) resonated widely. Certainly, Brazil is not in the throes of fascism. Far from it. It is now time to prepare a general strike to bring this government down.

The Rio de Janeiro Homicide Police and the Special Action Group to Combat Organized Crime have arrested retired military police sergeant Ronnie Lessa, and expelled military police officer Elcio Vieira de Queiroz for involvement in the murder of PSOL councillor Marielle Franco and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, in March 2018.

The last six months have seen a qualitative turning point in the political situation in Brazil, with the election of Jair Bolsonaro as the 38th President of the country in October 2018. This is a fundamental shift in the bourgeois-democratic regime established by the 1988 Constitution after the fall of the military dictatorship, together with the social pact that it was based on.

The following is a statement by Esquerda Marxista (Marxist Left): the Brazilian section of the IMT, after the victory of far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro in the Brazilian elections. The comrades explain the tasks ahead for the Brazilian left, who must immediately begin building a resistance against the reactionary and repressive policies of a Bolsonaro government.

Bolsonaro won the second round of the Brazilian presidential election with 55 percent of the vote, defeating Haddad – the Workers’ Party (PT) candidate – who received 45 percent. Any hopes of a last-minute rally were dashed. This result is a setback for the working class and the poor. We need to understand what it means, what led to this situation and what strategy the workers’ movement should follow, faced with this reactionary government.