Latin American leaders and international progressives show solidarity with President Lula after far-right attack on democratic institutions in Brazil


“Fascists will always seek to take by force what they failed to achieve at the ballot box. Our solidarity with the Brazilian people and with President Lula.”

Luis Arce, President of Bolivia

By Logan Williams

On Sunday 8th January, an attack was carried out on the Brazilian Congress, Supreme Court, and Presidential Palace by far-right supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who refuse to accept his recent election defeat. This attack was a clear attempt to emulate the January 6th attack in Washington in order to undermine the newly elected Brazilian Workers Party (PT) Government led by Lula da Silva.

This violent action reflects a continuation of the disturbing rise of political violence towards Lula’s supporters and PT officials in the run up to the Presidential election which would see the tragic murder of PT official Marcelo Arruda by a far-right Bolsonaro supporter.

The failed coup attempt led by Bolsonaro supporters has rightly been condemned across the international progressive movement – the British Labour movement, pink tide leaders across the Latin America and the international trade union movement have shown solidarity with President Lula’s newly elected government.

Richard Burgon, the Secretary of the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs and Chair of the Brazil Solidarity Initiative, offered his “Solidarity with President Lula, the Brazilian Workers’ Party and all Brazilian democrats against attempts by the far-right to overturn the democratic process in Brazil.

“The international community must cooperate to ensure Jair Bolsonaro and his allies are held to account.”

These offers of solidarity from Britain were further supported by former leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, who stated: “this insurrection is an assault on democracy & the Brazilian masses Solidarity with Lula & all those who want to live in a free, fair and peaceful society.”

Cuba’s President; Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, condemned the “violent and undemocratic acts occurring in Brazil” and expresses solidarity with President Lula and his government.

Lula’s government was further supported by the presidency of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States who expressed “its support for the Lula Government, elected by the people of Brazil, and rejects violent actions against Brazilian democratic institutions.”

Further to these offers of support, the newly elected President of Colombia; Gustavo Petro argued that the coup attempt was driven by fascist ideals and that the political “Right have not been able to maintain the pact of non-violence. It is urgent time for the OAS meeting if it wants to continue to live as an institution and apply the democratic charter.”

Lula’s government also received support from the Executive Secretariat of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America “to the president Lula, in the face of the acts of violence perpetrated by Neo-fascist groups that intend to carry out a coup d’état against democracy in Brazil and ignore the will of its people.”

This offer of support was further supported by the President of Venezuela; Nicolas Maduro, who argued “We categorically reject the violence generated by Bolsonaro’s neo-fascist groups that have assaulted the democratic institutions of Brazil.”

Luis Arce; President of Boliva, stated “fascists will always seek to take by force what they failed to achieve at the ballot box. Our solidarity with the Brazilian people and with President Lula.”

Finally, the President of Nicaragua; Daniel Ortega, offered the Nicaraguan’s people “embrace to the Brazilian People, to Lula, President, in solidarity and invariable commitment to the indispensable defense of the just struggles and new realities of Brazil (..)  we are sure that fascism, terrorism, the coup will not be permitted!”

It is vital that all internationalists and progressives show solidarity with all Brazilians standing in defence of democracy and join the call for justice and vigilance against further far-right attacks. Lula’s administration must be allowed to govern without fear of violence, any further attacks on democracy must be challenged and condemned internationally. We must build and support the Brazil Solidarity Initiative by becoming individual members and affiliating our union branches and CLPs.

  • Logan Williams is an activist for the National Education Union and for the Brazil Solidarity Initiative.
  • You can sign a public statement giving your solidarity and support to President Lula in the face of anti-democratic violence and intimidation from the far-right – add your name here.
  • You can follow and support the Brazil Solidarity Initiative on Facebook, Instagram and twitter.
Featured image: Lula makes a speech at the plenary of the Chamber of Deputies during a solemn session of the National Congress destined to swear in the President and Vice President of the Republic. Photo credit: Roque de Sá/Agência Senado under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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