Cross-posted from the KeyWiki blog
Dilma Rousseff, a former guerrilla fighter has just been elected as Brazil’s first woman president. She replaces former president and colleague, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. A member of Lula’s Workers’ Party and candidate of the coalition “To Keep Brazil Moving Forward,” Rousseff breezed into power with 56 percent of the vote to 44 percent for Jose Serra of the centrist Social Democratic Party of Brazil, and the candidate of a right-center coalition.
Dilma Rousseff is the daughter of an exiled Bulgarian Communist Party activist and a wealthy Brazillian ranching family, Rousseff joined Marxist anti-government guerillas in the 1960s in armed struggle against the then military government.
Taught Marxism in high school, Rousseff joined several revolutionary groups as a young woman, including Command of National Liberation (COLINA).
In early 1969, the police invaded the group’s house and the militants responded by using a machine gun, which killed two policemen and wounded another.
Dilma went underground, later participating in the formation of the Revolutionary Armed Vanguard Palmares. After that group split , Dilma was sent to Sao Paolo , where she was charged with guarding the groups weapons-which she hid under bed.
In 1970, Rousseff, was arrested, jailed and allegedly tortured by police.
Released in 1972, Rousseff moved into mainstream politics, serving as municipal treasury secretary in Porto Alegre in 1985. Later, she twice headed the Ministry of Energy for the Rio Grande do Sul state government. In 2000, she left the Democratic Labor Party, which she had co-founded, for the Workers Party, serving as Minister of Mines and Energy in Lula’s first term. Rousseff became Lula’s Chief of Staff two year’s later in a government reshuffle triggered by a corruption scandal.
In March, the Communist Party of Brazil endorsed Dilma Rousseff’s candidacy. The Communist Party has been allied to the Workers’ Party since 1989, and has held posts in the “Lula” Government since 2003.
In July 2010, Serra’s vice presidential running mate, Indio da Costa, stated, that Lula’s and Rousseff’s Workers’ Party (PT) was “linked to the FARC”, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Unsurprisingly, the party responded by initiating legal action against their opponents.
In March 2010, leading Communist Party USA member Emile Schepers, writing in the Peoples World, observed that “the the Rousseff victory in powerful and wealthy Brazil will be very welcome to the Latin American left and working class.” He also stated that Rousseff’s victory will continue the policies of the wildly popular former President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, “including the push for the horizontal integration of Latin American economies to make them less dependent on their relationships with the United States.”
In July this year Schepers wrote again on the upcoming Brazil election. Speaking of foreign policy, he stated “at stake is whether Brazil will continue on a progressive and independent course, or whether it will be brought back in line with U.S. desires.” and later on, “Brazil also annoyed the United States by joining with Turkey in trying to come up with a peaceful solution to the issue of Iran’s nuclear policy.”
“In foreign policy, Brazil, under the leadership of Lula… has played a bold role that has been applauded by left-wing governments such as those of Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador.”
The election of Rousseff has served to strengthen the “Lula”/Cuban instigated “Red Tide” that has swept most of Latin America.
U.S. patriots would do well to keep an eye on their southern neighbor, and ensure that their own U.S. legislators do not cave in to whatever socialist foreign policy agendas Dilma Rousseff and her new government may propose.