3 October 2018
Noam Chomsky and several other intellectuals signed a manifesto in defense of Brazilian democracy and warning of the possible victory of a “fascist, racist, misogynist, homophobic candidate who calls for violence and armed repression,” in a clear reference to leading candidate Jair Bolsonaro.
The manifesto argues that the attack on Brazil’s democracy began with the parliamentary coup against democratically-elected Dilma Rousseff, of the Workers’ Party, and then reinforced with the disqualification of leading presidential candidate for the October elections, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
“These are steps in a plan to prevent the Workers’ Party, to that which they belong, from implementing a model of redistribution of wealth, reduction of social, racial, and gender inequalities that in these 16 years has been a successful alternative to the neoliberalism of global crisis,” the manifesto reads.
On Oct. 7 Brazilians will head to the polls to elect a new president. Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right lawmaker is currently leading the polls although support for Workers’ Party candidate Fernando Haddad is increasing. According to the latest Intellectuals, Haddad grew three points in relation to the last poll and currently has the support of 25 percent of the electorate while Bolsonaro remains at 28.2 percent.
The people of Brazil will also elect 27 governors, 54 senators, and 513 representatives for the Chamber of Deputies.
Those who signed the manifesto, including Amnesty International’s former Secretary General Pierre Sane also warned the international community that international financial capital and mainstream media of “using judicial power…to eliminate through unjust prison sentences the politicians who are seen as obstacles in the agenda set by the markets.”
Signatories are also concerned about the fact that Brazil did not heed the calls by the United Nations Human Rights Council to guarantee Lula’s political rights.
“Our concern is deep for the consequences that facilitating the victory of the fascist candidate in Brazil can have in the country and at an international level, where leaders of the most belligerent ultra-right rise and even govern with votes motivated by the 2008 crisis and the murderous austerity of which neoliberalism is responsible,” the manifesto concludes.