Brazil

Unholy Alliance

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Raúl Zibechi spoke to Brazilian socialist Luciana Genro about Lula‘s government.

Luciana Genro was elected to the Brazilian Congress as a representative of the PT - the Workers Party - the organisation to which Lula, the country‘s president, belongs. She, together with three other deputies and one senator, are currently under threat of expulsion for voting against Lula‘s new pension law.

How would you assess the Lula government?

Brazilian Wave

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Review of 'Reclaim The State', Hilary Wainwright, Verso £15 and 'Radicals in Power', Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Zed Books £14.95

The leaders of the anti-capitalist movement seem to have fallen in love with Brazil. For years it was impossible to find a single news item about the country from one month to the next. Now every debate about the future of the movement, and the kind of world we want to build, seems to refer to Porto Alegre. Partly that is because the first three World Social Forums were held there. More importantly, though, it is because Porto Alegre has operated for more than ten years a 'participatory budget'.

Land and Freedom

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Review of 'Cutting the Wire', Sue Branford and Jan Rocha, Latin America Bureau £14.99

The opening demonstration of this year's World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, was dominated by the red flags and banners of the Landless Workers' Movement--the MST. Not all of its one million members were there; not even the 100,000-plus who attend their schools and further education classes. But what they brought to the meetings and the debates was the experience of an extraordinary and in many ways successful movement that in just over 15 years has mobilised and led thousands of land occupations, protests and marches.

Brazil Election: Life Before Debt

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Some 115 million Brazilians go to the polls on 6 October to elect a new president, and various federal and state deputies. The frontrunner for president is the Workers Party (PT) candidate, Lula, with 40 percent support in the polls.

All four candidates call themselves 'social democrats'. However, the 1 million member PT is the only political force closely linked to the unions and popular movements. For this reason Wall Street and the IMF have expressed strong reservations about a PT victory. Despite Lula's agreement with recent IMF dictates to increase debt payments, the international financial community fears he will increase spending, potentially threatening the stranglehold the IMF has on Brazil.

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