The following is an unofficial translation of a note from the National Commission of the League of Poor Peasants on the Coronavirus pandemic, originally published April 8, 2020
The Coronavirus pandemic that has spread around the world, with more than one million infected, principally threatening the lives of the poorest populations, fully demonstrates that the unburied corpse of imperialism, the highest and last phase of capitalism, has no place in humanity. Enough! The trumpets of great storms and social, political and ideological transformations have sounded!
Absolutely none of the mantras used in the past 50 years to try to falsify the brutal exploitation of the vast majority of human beings by a handful of billionaires, owners of weapons, money, land and the media, has been able to prevent a simple mutation of a virus already known to cause so much damage, death, misery, hunger, repression, and a state of war.
“Globalization”, “neoliberalism” vs. social-democracy (including all the opportunistic left-wing voters), liberal democracy vs. religious fanaticism and terrorism, ultraliberalism accompanied by fascism and the reaction of the state, nothing, nothing worked. And all the arrogant, loudmouth, fascist intellectuals and the “market,” heralds of this rotten system, overnight turned from powerful tigers into kittens, unable to explain how this world, so developed where they were the greatest, fell to its knees in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Hospitals, respirators, and medicines are lacking in so-called rich, imperialist countries; and also, on a scale millions of times higher in the colonies and semi-colonies, the so-called poor countries. People die, bodies falling out of military trucks, loved ones and relatives cannot say goodbye.
And behold, in complete uproar and disarray the world leaders of this rotten imperialism that survives manu militari* mainly by preying on the great majority of the peoples of the oppressed and exploited countries (in exchange for the leftovers of the huge profits that lackeys hoard for their local ruling classes), announce the release of trillions of dollars and euros to mitigate the devastating economic consequences of this pandemic.
Where was that money that’s now appeared? And the crisis that “forced” the European and North American governments to successively cut a series of social rights (labor, health, education, social security) in the last 30 years, conquered by the population of these countries mainly after the defeat of Nazi-fascism in the second World War?
The naked truth is this: the Coronavirus pandemic opened the general crisis of capitalism (the crisis of relative overproduction – more goods than people are in a position to buy), exposed the cruelty of this system that advertises everything, but where more than 90% of the world population has nothing and survives in worse conditions than when humanity had less-developed scientific knowledge. Social inequality is astronomical, 1% of the population (the richest) owns 67% of all the world’s wealth. If it weren’t for the pandemic, this crisis would break out in one way or another, sooner than later.
The Coronavirus pandemic in Brazil
It was the rich who brought the Coronavirus to Brazil. Traders or tourists traveling abroad. And the responsibility for the pandemic here rests entirely with the military government, in fact, with the generals of the high command of the reactionary armed forces and the fascist Bolsonaro who continues to insist that “social isolation” is an exaggeration, that everyone will die one day and other nonsense.
Everyone remembers the drama that was removing isolated Brazilians in China, which they did only after the protests spread on the internet. And after that, ANVISA [Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency – Ed.], commanded by a neo-Nazi admiral who to this day defends that the earth is flat, did not take any steps to conduct tests at airports and ports (where foreigners from Europe and the USA enter Brazil). And the greatest of crimes: they did not suspend the carnival. The vast majority of Brazilians were infected during this period.
In Brazil, everything is lacking. Protective masks, alcohol gels, hospitals, ICUs, breathing apparatuses, public transport, housing, employment, basic sanitation, drinking water, and the lack of Coronavirus tests leads anyone minimally informed to assume that the number of infected Brazilians is infinitely greater than that information from the press monopoly and the government. Not to mention that already known diseases, which have a cure, prevention, and in colonial and semi-colonial countries like Brazil kill more than the Coronavirus, such as the dengue and H1N1 epidemics, malaria and tuberculosis, persisting year after year, especially among the poor people in late summer and early autumn (the rich are also affected by these syndromes, but with access to health and vaccines, the number of deaths is much lower), are not counted as deaths that could and should be avoided.
Faced with a crisis of such magnitude, the great bourgeoisie, the big landowners and imperialism accelerated their war plans against the people in Brazil, trying to save the system, the big companies, the exporting landowners, the banks. All measures taken so far lead that way.
As much as it is certain at the moment that all people may stay at home, avoiding the risk of contagion, this necessary measure would have to be accompanied by the guarantee, by the State that extorts the people with taxes, of a salary for workers with a formal contract, income guarantee for the millions of informal workers (over 40% of Brazilians today, without any rights, working as slaves, selling lunch to buy dinner), food distribution and tests for everyone, in the order of priorities: health, essential activities that cannot stop, tests in the workplace and for the millions of slum dwellers and urban concentrations in large cities, distribution of cleaning products, masks and alcohol gel for all the people, transportation at alternate times ensuring the conditions of distance between people on public transport …
What is the meaning of social isolation in Brazil? Prevent the masses from holding their rights, taking tests, having medical care, hiding the immensity of exploitation and the lack of minimum conditions for survival, with Coronavirus or without Coronavirus. As much as they want to appear as defenders of the people’s health, the press monopoly, with Globo at the head, the murderer and terrorist Witzel in Rio de Janeiro and the executioner of Paraisópolis Dória in São Paulo (as the team of public managers with a mandate thanks to the electoral farce), those who defended the spending freeze on health and education, pension reform, knowing that millions would die for these measures, without morals pose as “humanists” concerned with the health of the people. They are responsible for the deaths of the pandemic and not just that, nothing they do now will erase it.
On the other hand, the fascist, liar and demagogue Bolsonaro does not want to save anyone’s job. He wants to save his salary as president. When he copies the “vertical isolation” thesis of his foreign right-wing masters of Trump “et caterva”, he is willing to buy time to avoid spending the trillions that Brazil has saved to pay interest to the bank that financed him.
The “debate” between vertical or horizontal confinement is false. It is a lie that we have to choose between dying from diseases caused or aggravated by the virus or starving to death!
Bolsonaro does not defend truck drivers, barbecue vendors, small traders. When he says that the economy cannot stop, let those who have to die, die, what he intends to do is take advantage of the pandemic to do what he has not yet achieved with pension reform, but only for the sake of time: kill the elderly to relieve the finances of a failed and putrefying state. If he had conditions, this bad and fascist character would organize commands of his “militias” to immediately murder those who could contract the virus and have to be hospitalized, something like the purification of race carried out by Hitler, and any similarity is not a mere coincidence.
To date, the government has not released any money to the people, and the bulk of its promised programs will further indebt workers (it is advancing FGTS [Severance Indemnity Fund – Ed.]and unemployment insurance, rights already acquired, workers’ money). And the famous R$600.00 for the informal, besides being ridiculous, is a way of making sacrament that people manage to survive on less than the already miserable minimum wage established, of around R$1,050.00.
As for the high command of the reactionary armed forces, Americanophiles and anti-communists to the root, who is in fact governing Brazil, they light a candle for Bolsonaro, who needs to repress the people without getting dirty when the looting begins (their words), and another for the big bourgeoisie and landowners, which although they prefer not to need their pigs repressive services to continue to reign, do not shy away from resorting to arms when their privileges, luxuries and unbridled usury are threatened, so the arms corporation, its high-ranking officers are royally paid and revered.
Bolsonaro’s declaration of war against poor, indigenous and Quilombola peasants at the beginning of his government, denounced by the League of Poor Peasants, in the face of the crisis amounts to a war against all the Brazilian people.
The basis of all the people’s hardships: imperialism, the big landowners and bureaucratic capitalism
But you need to get to the root of the problem. Crises offer this opportunity.
Why are the big Brazilian cities overloaded with people living squeezed, sleeping poorly, eating poorly, spending the night on the street for not having money to pay for transportation? Why so much begging, so much delinquency, so many drugged people living like zombies? Because there are people selling lunch for R$5.00 to earn some change, renting a car to be a UBER driver, riding kilometers on a bicycle to deliver a meal of R$7.00 or R$8.00, so many people selling candy or doing pirouettes at the traffic light? Why are so many people huddled in the favelas and poor neighborhoods, six, seven, ten by shacks of one, two or three rooms? Why do floods choose these people to kill and make homeless? Why when the Coronavirus spreads among the people we are talking about, this government of bourgeois, landowners, generals and agents of imperialism won’t be able to handle it?
Because the big landowners are the basis of imperialism to reproduce this bureaucratic capitalism in Brazil. If it were not for the maintenance, preservation and encouragement of the reproduction of the latifundium, the threat of the Coronavirus would not be so drastic and deadly. If so many people had not been expelled from the countryside, and despite the secular process, it was taken to the extreme during the military dictatorship of ’64 to ’s85. Who are those who die in the floods? The newly arrived peasants in the big cities. What is the biggest asset of the murderous and terrorist multinational Vale, delivered by FHC at a bargain price? Would excellence in the ore extraction process be safe? So why Brumadinho? Vale’s assets are the wealth of the Brazilian subsoil, which is why they steal the land of poor, indigenous, Quilombola and Union farmers!
What would it be like to control Coronavirus in small towns, all producing food, with basic sanitation and hospitals, people getting to know each other, showing solidarity, helping, protecting? Millions of times easier!
Not to mention that, although a natural process, the viral mutation is also a consequence of so many antibiotics, poisons and other aggressive processes used in animals and plants, since the essence of agribusiness is to produce in colonial countries and semi-colonies for the export of primary products and in this case, of minimal production of fruits and other foods for countries, especially the imperialists, so these products have to look good and last a long time until they leave the producer to reach the final consumer. The quality? For a long time, capitalism is just an appearance, a fetish!
Coronavirus pandemic: the way out is in the hands of the poor people!
Only the poor people, the peasants, the workers, the workers of the city, the honest intellectuals, the small traders, the true patriots, take on the the pandemic. Imperialism, the big bourgeoisie and the latifundio have already recognized their failure: as they are unable to move the productive forces, the most they want is to “flatten the curve” of the spread of the disease. The opportunistic electoral left that centers on Bolsonaro as if he were the cause of all ills, glorifies the government of the generals. The pathetic statements by the governor of Maranhão, Flávio Dino of the PCdoB [Brazilian Communist Party, Revisionist – Ed.], make this clear when asking for the replacement of Bolsonaro by general Mourão as a way to ensure the functioning of the corrupted electoral farce. The imperialists are on their knees! In the hegemonic superpower, the USA, the number of daily deaths exceeded those recorded in social-imperialist China. And amazingly, a private treatment costs up to $38,000 in the land of Uncle Sam. It’s over, gentlemen!
The people will take on the pandemic by organizing the Sanitary Committees for the Defense of the People against the Coronavirus Pandemic. By street, by buildings and buildings, by block, by village, in small towns. Electing popular representatives, identifying those infected, helping to acquire food, producing and distributing masks and gloves, supporting the isolation of elderly men and women who have diseases that place them at risk, carrying out training and training our young people so that they can carry out the tasks of health agents. The experience of peasants in the land struggle, the demonstrations organized in columns and distancing from each other, are experiences that will now be very useful for our brothers in the big cities.
Organizing these Committees, this is the task. Give shelter to those who wish to protect themselves in the countryside. We will win this pandemic. The people can. The masses can. This government of the big bourgeoisie and large landowners, servants of imperialism, no!
And in declaring war on the people with the subterfuge of fighting the virus, this government, which had already declared war on the poor peasants, threw millions into the same boat!
The people will take on the Coronavirus pandemic and the government will pay for it!
Long live the Agrarian Revolution!
National Commission of the League of Poor Peasants, April 2020