For the good and for the bad, as something that was being delayed and arrived at a good time, the foreign policy and the ideological thematic connected to concrete politics have become driving ideas being debated during the period preceding the electoral campaign in Brazil. In the first case, and in a very positive manner, it takes place under the impact of the nationalization of the hydrocarbons industry by the popular government of Evo Morales.
The exploitation of such episode by the conservative media and by the reactionary forces of Brazilian society, which intoxicated the public opinion with aggressive and chauvinistic appeals, revealed how right is the Leninist thesis according to which nationalism under the bourgeois hegemony, when successful, turns into imperialism. It also showed the deadlocks of a political conception and conduct according to which the possibilities of Brazil being inserted in the world with success is bonded to servitude to the great powers and disdain towards poor countries. When former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso stated in Mexico that neoliberal globalization was the new Renaissance, he enthroned the foreign policy of subordination of the country, which became one of the distinctive aspects of PSDB’s political action.
President Lula’s position was fair, recognizing the Bolivians’ sovereign right over their wealth and confirming the strategic position for the integration of South America. It was maybe the peak of his administration, when he demonstrated in a clearer manner his progressive and supportive character and the alignment with the forces that fight for peace in the world, sovereignty of the peoples and for a new international political and economical order.
The debate on the foreign policy is favorable to the advanced forces of the political front and of the social movement that are already incorporated in President Lula’s campaign for reelection. It is a propitious ground to affirm positions that are programmatic, strategic and related to principles, with technical acuity, realism, feasibility and broadness. That debate allows the agglutination of forces, the political education of militant forces and will be essential to gather the solidarity of anti-imperialist forces in the international field. As for the political and diplomatic action, the continuation and strengthening of the foreign policy makes it possible to advance in building a favorable environment to the confrontation of internal questions, to the accomplishment of important social and economic reforms and finally to a conduct by the government that is bolder and better tuned to the Brazilian people desire for change. It is a battlefield where the sides in dispute become clearer and in which we can isolate the dominant classes and the parties that represent them as auxiliary forces of belligerent imperialism, which are yielding and in favor to an unfair world order. Besides all that, it was in the foreign policy that president Lula harvested the greatest accomplishments during his contradictory first mandate.
In the second case, however, as long as the ideological issues being debated are concerned, we have a negative result. In a display of ideological and political disorientation that is part of an electoral strategy that is once more based on moderation as expressed by the motto "peace-and-love Lula", the foreign media broadcast opinions on the anachronistic character of the anti-imperialist struggle and social revolution. It is understandable that President Lula’s image as a statesman is preserved, as much as it is right not to indulge in provocations. But Lula is also a popular leader, an outstanding figure in the Brazilian social movement, a respected leader in left-wing circles throughout the world, the head of PT, a party that counts with important anti-imperialist and socialist sectors among its many internal trends, a candidate of a coalition that has as one of its leading actors PCdoB, a Marxist-Leninist communist party with the strategy of achieving socialism by means of a democratic, social and anti-imperialist struggle. The multiplication and build-up of what is best in Lula’s militant forces will result not in pragmatism, but in programmatic clarity and trust in the future. Arguments that spread confusion, divide forces and demobilize, despite the will and intention of those who bring them forth, are utterly useless. And, worst of all, they show negative signs that point to a false path to be followed.
In the world we live in there will be no redesign in the economic and commercial map – as the president has stated in one of the jost outstanding moments of his administration – there will be no world peace, it will not be possible to attain sovereign and integrated development for Brazil and its neighbors without an anti-imperialist perspective. It is obvious that, considering the correlation of forces in which the campaign will take place, the anti-imperialist forces must be aware and understand that one cannot demand an anti-imperialist rhetoric in the electoral platform, since rhetoric is not what we are short of. But it is also true that communist, socialist and anti-imperialist militant forces will not be mobilized in the campaign in case the noble ideals for which they fight are belittled.
The ongoing political dispute in Brazil does not take place apart from the great political conflicts in the world. The anti-imperialist struggle is the great trend of our time, especially in Latin America. The Bolivarian Revolution that is being brought forth under the leadership of Chavez in Venezuela, the continental integration under progressive causes and the appearance of other popular forces reaching power in several countries are a clear sign of that. The overall meaning of a victory by the progressive forces in Brazil, with the reelection of President Lula, will represent the objective reinforcement of the anti-imperialist struggle in Latin America. And it will represent even more in subjective terms when the leading forces in campaign and, first of all, their leader, understand that. I hope they will understand – so that the Brazilian people’s deep longing for social and national liberation may be fulfilled.
*José Reinaldo Carvalho, journalist. Communications Director of Cebrapaz and member of the Political Commission of PCdoB’s CC.