Join the People’s Weekly World/Nuestro Mundo for a celebration of the Workers’ Party election victory, with Luis Fernandes, director of the Rio de Janeiro State Government Foundation for the Endowment of Scientific and Technological (FAPERJ), who will be touring in cities from Boston to Los Angeles, December 9-15.
He will speak about the historic victory of the Workers’ Party candidate, Luis Inacio “Lula” da Silva, the former machinist and trade union leader, in Brazil’s presidential elections last month. Fernandes, who is helping with the transition to the new government in his capacity as head of FAPERJ. will provide an “insider’s” story of this unique election struggle.
Lula’s election has been characterized as a “victory of hope over fear” by many in Brazil, and signals a significant change in direction for the largest country in Latin America. The Workers’ Party organized a broad alliance, ranging from the Communist Party of Brazil to relatively conservative forces in the society. Lula’s campaign to represent “all of Brazil” reached many receptive ears after years of failed neo-liberal (privatization, deregulation, cuts in services, etc.) government policies. Brazil has one of the biggest gaps between extreme wealth and abject poverty and is the tenth largest economy in the world.
The struggle for an independent development policy has been going on for some time in Brazil, and has attracted a wide range of forces, from trade unionists and advocates for the poor, to environmentalists who want to protect the country’s unique natural resources from corporate plunder, to a health care movement that last year forced the government to adopt a defiant policy towards the transnational pharmaceutical companies and produce AIDS drugs at cost.
Fernandes, with many years of membership in the Communist Party of Brazil, including as a student leader under the military dictatorship, will provide an exciting up-to-date account of the next challenges facing the people of Brazil and its new government.
His speaking tour is a benefit for the World/Mundo fund drive. Time is short. If you live in these cities get the word out, post the announcement on listservs, set up a phone tree and watch for the locations on our web page www.pww.org and in next week’s paper for Providence 12/9, Boston 12/10, Chicago 12/11, Oakland 12/13, Los Angeles 12/14, New York City 12/15. Call (212) 989-4994 for more information.