Brazil and Argentina: Why so Much Hatred for Lula and Cristina?

By Emir Sader

Photo: Bill Hackwell


The bourgeoisie has no heroes, according to Brecht. They have no intention of generating those heroes. They make the official history with their leaders, who have reached governments without arriving as heroes of the country.

Even worse, the bourgeoisie has to oppose heroes who confront them. To these they dedicate hatred, without having either their heroes or projects and values that can win broad popular support.

In Latin America the bourgeoisie has the difficult task of confronting popular leadership that comes from broad roots. Perón and Getulio Vargas were a couple of them, whose ghosts continue to keep the Latin American bourgeoisie awake at night.

In common, they have not only the love of the people, but also the long list of defeats they have imposed on the bourgeoisie over time. And that by itself incurs upon them the hatred of the bourgeoisie.

Cristina Kirchner and Lula de la Silva are the object, at the same time, of the love of their peoples and the hatred of the bourgeoisies of their countries.

Cristina directly assumes the continuity of Perón. The fact of being a woman makes her, at the same time, the continuity of the image of Evita, which multiplies the hatred of the bourgeoisie.

It is a hatred directed at the Argentine people, to their rights, to their ways of existence, to their organizations, to their values, to their culture, to their very existence. As they considered themselves owners of the country before the people emerged on the political scene, they feel that their world is invaded by foreign, non-white people, who were previously content to be subordinate people, without rights, while the country revolved around them.

They feel that the country, of which they have always considered themselves owners, is being taken away from them.

The hatred of Lula, in turn, is a hatred against the Brazilian people, of the Northeasterners, who suddenly emerge in political life, claim to be the majority, elect their leaders, and impose their rights. People who are no longer resigned to simply working for the white elite, rendering services to them, without claiming anything. People who, all of a sudden, have elected a Northeasterner, an immigrant, who has even lost a finger working on a machine, as president of Brazil. And as the best president Brazil has ever had.

The bourgeoisie then, through the right wing that represents it politically, tries to impose hatred as the central form of relationship with the dominated, the workers. While the relationship that the people have with Lula and Cristina is a relationship of love and respect.

One way of trying to disqualify the popular governments is to label them as “populist”. Without defining precisely what they are. In economic terms, they would be governments that try to have income distribution policies, opposing prioritizing the balance of public accounts.

All false. Those who have unleashed uncontrolled inflation have been right-wing governments -Mauricio Macri, Bolsonaro-, while the governments that have recovered the economies of those countries have been branded as populist: Néstor, Cristina Kirchner, Lula.

In political terms, populism would mean breaking with the policies of subordination to the interests of the United States. Prioritizing exchanges with Latin American countries and the South of the world in general.

Populist would be Lula’s international leadership, regional integration policies, exchanges with Chile, the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China. South  Africa).

In short, the hatred of popular leaders like Lula and Cristina, who represent popular interests, national interests, is a class hatred.


Source: Pagina 12, translation by  Resumen Latinoamericano into English

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