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Leonel Brizola

Leonel Brizola
55th Governor of Rio de Janeiro
In office
March 15, 1991 – April 1, 1994
Vice Governor Nilo Batista
Preceded by Moreira Franco
Succeeded by Nilo Batista
53rd Governor of Rio de Janeiro
In office
March 15, 1983 – March 15, 1987
Vice Governor Darcy Ribeiro
Preceded by Chagas Freitas
Succeeded by Moreira Franco
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
In office
May 14, 1963 – April 9, 1964
Constituency Guanabara
23rd Governor of Rio Grande do Sul
In office
March 29, 1959 – March 25, 1963
Preceded by Ildo Meneghetti
Succeeded by Ildo Meneghetti
23rd Mayor of Porto Alegre
In office
January 1, 1956 – December 29, 1958
Preceded by Martin Aranha
Succeeded by Tristão Sucupira Viana
Personal details
Born Leonel de Moura Brizola
January 22, 1922
Carazinho, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Died June 21, 2004(2004-06-21) (aged 82)
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Political party Democratic Labour Party
Other political
Brazilian Labour Party
Spouse(s) Neusa Goulart Brizola
Relations João Goulart (brother-in-law)
Children Neusinha, José Vicente, and João Otávio
Profession Civil engineer

Leonel de Moura Brizola (January 22, 1922 – June 21, 2004) was a Democratic Labour Party) practiced a kind of social democratic left-wing politics.[1]


  • Early life and rise to prominence (1922–1964) 1
    • Radical leadership and friction with Goulart (1963–1964) 1.1
  • Exile and return (1964–1979) 2
    • US Rescue from Uruguay, exile in the USA and Europe (1977–1979) 2.1
  • Late Brizolismo (1979–1989) 3
  • Political decline and death (1989–2004) 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life and rise to prominence (1922–1964)

Brizola was the son of a small farmer who was killed when fighting as a volunteer in the 1923 local civil war for the rebel leader Assis Brasil against Rio Grande's dictator,

  • Socialist International honours the memory of Leonel Brizola
  • Leonel Brizola and Jimmy Carter visiting a slum in Rio, 1984

External links

Preceded by
Martin Aranha
Mayor of Porto Alegre
Succeeded by
Tristão Sucupira Viana
Preceded by
Ildo Meneghetti
Governor of Rio Grande do Sul
Succeeded by
Ildo Meneghetti
Preceded by
Chagas Freitas
Governor of Rio de Janeiro
Succeeded by
Moreira Franco
Preceded by
Moreira Franco
Governor of Rio de Janeiro
Succeeded by
Nilo Batista
  1. ^ "ITAPOAN FM FAZ DOBRADINHA COM RÁDIO METRÓPOLE NO CORONELISMO RADIOFÔNICO DE SALVADOR". Archived from the original on October 27, 2009. , (Portuguese)
  2. ^ F.C. Leite Filho, El caudillo Leonel Brizola: um perfil biográfico. São Paulo: Aquariana, 2008, ISBN 978-85-7217-112-0 , pages 233/234; others, however, contend that Brizola's father was simply a common thief murdered for running away with someone else's livestock: Cf. R. S. Rose, The Unpast: Elite Violence And Social Control In Brazil, 1954–2000. Ohio University Press, 2005, pages 54/55
  3. ^ PDT homepage
  4. ^ Cf. Carlos E. Cortés, Gaúcho politics in Brazil: the politics of Rio Grande do Sul, 1930–1964. Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, 1974, page 162
  5. ^ Cf. Arthur José Poerner, Brizola quem é? Rio de Janeiro, 1989: Editora Terceiro Mundo, page16
  6. ^ Biorn Maybury-Lewis, The Politics of the Possible: The Brazilian Rural Workers' Trade Union Movement, 1964–1985. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994, ISBN 1-56639-167-9 , page 126
  7. ^ Cf. John W. F. Dulles, Castello Branco: the making of a Brazilian president. College Station, Texas A&M University Press, 1978, page 250. What created the crisis around Goulart was the fact that the Brazilian 1946 Constitution allowed for the (direct) election of a President and Vice-President from different tickets; therefore the leftist Goulart was Vice-President to the maverick rightist Quadros.
  8. ^ Cf. Angelina Cheibub Figueiredo, Democracia ou Reformas?. Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra, 1993, page 43
  9. ^ cf. Betariz T. Daudt Fischer, "Arquivos Pessoais: Incógnitas e Possibilidades na Construção de uma Biografia", IN Elizeu Clementino de Souza, ed. Tempos, Narrativas E Ficções: a Invenção de Si. Porto Alegre, EDIPUCRS, 2006, ISBN 85-7430-591-X, page 277, footnote. Available at [16]
  10. ^ Samir Perrone de Miranda, "Projeto de Desenvolvimento e Encampações no discurso do governo Leonel Brizola: Rio Grande do Sul, 1959-1963". UFRGS, Master dissertation in Political Science, 2006, available at [17]. Retrieved June 26, 2014
  11. ^ Ruth Leacock, Requiem for revolution: the United States and Brazil, 1961–1969. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1990, page 85. ISBN 978-0-87338-402-5 . Available at [18]. Page 89
  12. ^ Noel Maurer, The Empire Trap: The Rise and Fall of U.S. Intervention to Protect American Property Overseas, 1893-2013. Princeton University Press, 2013, ISBN 978-0-691-15582-1 ,page 329
  13. ^ Jeffrey Taffet, Foreign Aid as Foreign Policy: The Alliance for Progress in Latin America. New York, Routledge, 2007, ISBN 0-415-97770-3, Chapter 5
  14. ^ Leacock, 85 ; CIA released document,13th. July 1962, available at [19]
  15. ^ Arthur Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy and His Times, Volume 1. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1978 , page 579
  16. ^ Noel Maurer, The Empire Trap,329/330
  17. ^ Be it said, however, that Nasser was known at the time by his lack of scruples ("A reactionary to the marrow, who used his privileged condition ... to work for the worst causes" – João Aveline, Macaco preso para interrogatório: retrato de uma época, Porto Alegre, AGE, 1999, page 131, available at [20]) and had been heaping vitriol on Brizola, by calling him, among other things, a "halfwit" (boçal) who " had learnt to read in the Southern wind at the university of horse thieves": Cf. Luís Maklouf,Cobras criadas: David Nasser e O Cruzeiro , São Paulo: Editora SENAC, ISBN 85-7359-212-5, page 424
  18. ^ Mauro Osório, Rio nacional Rio local: mitos e visões da crise carioca e fluminense. Rio de Janeiro: SENAC, 2005, page 97
  19. ^ R.S. Rose, The Unpast, 55
  20. ^ Leite Filho & Neiva Moreira, El Caudillo Leonel Brizola, 251. Leuzzi was a Congressman for the PTN (National Labor Party), an smaller sister party to the PTB
  21. ^ Cf. Thomas Skidmore, Brazil: de Getúlio a Castelo, Portuguese translation of Politics in Brazil 1930–1964. Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra, 1982, pages 340/341. Leacock, Requiem for Revolution, 151, however, adds that the "elevensome" actually existed mostly in Brizola's imagination, that they represented "political theater more than anything else"
  22. ^ Apud Gabriel da Fonseca Onofre, "San Tiago Dantas e a Frente Progressista (1963–1964)". XIV Encontro Regional da ANPUH-Rio, 2010, ISBN 978-85-609790-8-0
  23. ^ John W. F. Dulles, Unrest in Brazil: Political-Military Crises 1955-1964. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2014 , ISBN 978-0-292-77170-3 , Book VI, 2
  24. ^ Bruce L.R. Smith, Lincoln Gordon: Architect of Cold War Foreign Policy. University Press of Kentucky, 2015, ISBN 978-0-8131-5655-2 , pages 252/253
  25. ^ Skidmore, Brasil de Gatulio a Castelo, 304
  26. ^ In 1963, it fell to Brizola, as leader of the nationalist caucus in the House of Representatives, to present a bill with a comprehensive project for land reform, which proposed paying indemnities to expropriated landowners by means of government bonds; cf. João Pedro Stédile,Douglas Estevam, eds., A questão agrária no Brasil: Programas de reforma agrária, 1946–2003 . São Paulo: Expressão Popular, 2005, ISBN 85-87394-71-1 , page 81
  27. ^ New York Times, 23rd. May 1963, apud Skidimore, Brasil de Getúlio a Castelo, 304
  28. ^ In the Time Magazine issue of 19th of July 1963, he was called "Latin America's noisiest leftist South of Cuba". Cf. [21]
  29. ^ Dos Passos, Brazil on the move. New York: Knopf Doubleday, 1963, e-ISBN 978-0-307-80054-1
  30. ^ Skidmore Brasil de Getúlio a Castelo, 324
  31. ^ João Roberto Laque, Pedro e os Lobos. Ana Editorial, 2010, pages 83/84
  32. ^ Declassified CIA field report, Nov. 1963, reproduced IN Wolfgang S. Heinz & Hugo Frühling, Determinants of Gross Human Rights Violations by State and State Sponsored Actors in Brazil, Uruguay, Chile and Argentina: 1960 – 1990. The Hague: Kluwer, 1999, ISBN 90-411-1202-2 , page 813
  33. ^ Jan Knippers Black, United States Penetration of Brazil. The University of Pennsylvania Press, 1977, ISBN 0-7190-0699-6 ,page 26.
  34. ^ Rose, "The Unpast, 55
  35. ^ Demian Melo, A Miséria da Historiografia. B.A. Monograph, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, originally published as a paper in Outubro, n.14, p. 111–130, 2006, available at [22]. Retrieved 26 May 2013
  36. ^ Lincoln Gordon, Brazil's second chance: en route toward the first world, Brookings Institution Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8157-0032-6, page 69
  37. ^ Jeffrey Taffet, Foreign Aid as Foreign Policy: The Alliance for Progress in Latin America. London: Routledge, 2012, ISBN 0-415-97770-3 , page 101
  38. ^ José Murilo de Carvalho, Forças armadas e política no Brasil. Rio: Zahar, ISBN 85-7110-856-0 , page 124
  39. ^ Jan Knippers Black, 42
  40. ^ Leite Filho, El caudillo Leonel Brizola, 275
  41. ^ David R. Kohut & Olga Vilella, Historical Dictionary of the 'Dirty Wars' . Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8108-5839-8, page 81
  42. ^ Cf. the rabidly anti-Brizola account offered by the former War Minister of the dictatorship, the diehard general Sylvio Frota: Ideais Traídos, Rio: Jorge Zahar Editor, 2006, ISBN 85-7110-904-4, pages 487/489. Still in the 1990s and 2000s, "to miss the military dictatorship and hate Brizola", stood as cliché for rightist diehard:Luiz Eduardo Soares,André Batista,Rodrigo Pimentel, Elite Squad: A Novel, New York: Weinstein Books, 2008 ISBN 978-1-60286-090-2
  43. ^ Robert Jackson Alexander,Eldon M. Parker, A history of organized labor in Brazil. Westport, CN: Praeger, 2003, ISBN 0-275-97738-2, page141
  44. ^ Denise Rollemberg, O apoio de Cuba à luta armada no Brasil: o treinamento guerrilheiro, Rio de Janeiro: MAUAD, 2001 , ISBN 85-7478-032-4, page 29; and Walter Laqueur, Guerrilla Warfare: A Historical & Critical Study, New Brunswick: Transaction Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-7658-0406-8 , page 329, calls Brizola, alongside with Carlos Marighella and Carlos Lamarca, as" spostati (misfits) by choice".
  45. ^ Catholic Church. Archdiocese of São Paulo (Brazil), ed., Torture in Brazil: A Shocking Report on the Pervasive Use of Torture by Brazilian Military Governments, 1964–1979. University of Texas Press, 1986, page 100
  46. ^ Marcelo Ridenti, 'O fantasma da revolução brasileira São Paulo:UNESP, 1993, ISBN 85-7139-050-9, page 214
  47. ^ Rollemberg, O apoio de Cuba à luta armada no Brasil, 29/31; Rollemberg also speaks of possible support offered Brizola by the People's Republic of China and the Guyanese Prime Minister Cheddi Jagan
  48. ^ Lincoln de Abreu Penna (org.), Manifestos Políticos do Brasil contemporâneo. Rio de Janeiro: E-papers, 20085, ISBN 978-85-7650-183-1, page 288
  49. ^ R.S. Rose, The Unpast, 137
  50. ^ Cf. J. Patrice McSherry, Predatory states: Operation Condor and covert war in Latin America, Rowman & Littlefield, 2005, ISBN 978-0-7425-3687-6, page 164;something for which Brizola held a lifelong gratitude to Carter, cf. George A. López & Michael Stolz, eds. Liberalization and redemocratization in Latin America. Westport, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1987, page 248 . Brizola's personal gratitude to Carter raised a few hackles among his leftist friends: the filmmaker Glauber Rocha complained that Brizola had made friends with "Carter, the Van Johnson of politics" – cf. Darcy Ribeiro,Isa Grinspum Ferraz (ed.),Utopia Brasil, São Paulo, Hedra, 2008, ISBN 978-85-7715-025-0, page 115
  51. ^ McSherry, 164
  52. ^ Jan Knippers Black, Latin America, its problems and its promise: a multidisciplinary introduction. Westview Press, 1995, page 480
  53. ^ George A. Lopez& Michael Stohl, 248
  54. ^ Darcy Ribeiro & Isa Ferraz, 115
  55. ^ Clóvis Brigagão & Trajano Ribeiro, Brizola. São Paulo: Paz e Terra, 2015, ISBN 978-85-7753-333-6, n.p.g.
  56. ^ Folha de S. Paulo, August 22, 2010: "Um gaúcho em NY"
  57. ^ McSherry, Predatory states, 164
  58. ^ James N. Green, We Cannot Remain Silent: Opposition to the Brazilian Military Dictatorship in the United States. Duke University Press, 2010, page 344
  59. ^ Oswaldo Munteal Filho, As Reformas de Base na Era Jango. Post-Doctorate report, Fundação Getúlio Vargas/EBAPE, Rio de Janeiro, 2008, page 200, available at [23] . Retrieved November 24, 2013
  60. ^ James N. Green, We Cannot Remain Silent, 345
  61. ^ Ana Lucia Araujo, Public Memory of Slavery. Amherst, NY: 2010, Cambria Press, ISBN 978-1-60497-714-1 , page 220
  62. ^ Alessandro Batistella, "O trabalhismo Getulista-reformista do antigo PTB e o 'novo trabalhismo' do PDT: continuidades e descontinuidades". Aedos, no 12 vol. 5 – Jan/Jul 2013. Available at [24]. Retrieved 24 June 2015
  63. ^ João Trajano Sento-Sé. Brizolismo. Rio de Janeiro: Espaço e Tempo/Editora FGV, 1999, ISBN 85-225-0286-2, 53
  64. ^ Sento Sé, Brizolismo, 89/96
  65. ^ Riordan Roett, Brazil: politics in a patrimonial society . Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999, ISBN 0-275-95900-7, page 50, available at [25]
  66. ^ Sento Sé, Brizolismo, Chapter III
  67. ^ Alba Zaluar,Marcos Alvito, eds., 1 século de favela. Rio de Janeiro: FGV, 1988, ISBN 85-225-0253-6, page 41
  68. ^ Sento Sé, Brizolismo, 163
  69. ^ "As much as the narodnicks turned towards the peasants, brizolistas turned themselves towards shantytown dwellers and outcasts of all hues" -Sento Sé, Brizolismo, 194
  70. ^ Sento Sé, Brizolismo, 193
  71. ^ Henry Avery Dietz,Gil Shidlo, eds. , Urban Elections in Democratic Latin America. Wilmington, DE, Rowman & Littlefield, 1998, ISBN 0-8420-2627-4 , page 284
  72. ^ "If, on one side, bureaucratic logic imposes ... a routinization of charisma, as posed by Max Weber, on the other side Brizola's movement achieved, in Rio de Janeiro, a kind of enchantment of bureaucracy, even in its routine working" – Sento Sé, Brizolismo, 197
  73. ^ Kurt von Mettenheim, The Brazilian Voter: Mass Politics in Democratic Transition, 1974–1986. University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995, page 122
  74. ^ Ana Lucia Araujo, Public Memory of Slavery: Victims and Perpetrators in the South Atlantic. Amhrest, NY, Cambria Press, 2010, ISBN 978-1-60497-714-1, page 221
  75. ^ Rebecca Lynn Reichmann, ed., Race in Contemporary Brazil: From Indifference to Inequality. Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999, ISBN 0-271-01905-0 , page 15
  76. ^ Sento Sé, Brizolismo, 224/227
  77. ^ Maria Alves,Philip Evanson, Living in the Crossfire: Favela Residents, Drug Dealers, and Police Violence in Rio de Janeiro. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2011, ISBN 978-1-4399-0003-1, page 221
  78. ^ "Há 30 anos, 'JB' revelou escândalo do Proconsult e derrubou fraude na eleição". Jornal do Brasil, online edition, 27 November 2012 , [26]. Retrieved September 27, 2013
  79. ^ Leite Filho, El Caudillo Leonel Brizola, 496/497
  80. ^ Jornal Nacional – A Notícia Faz História (Rede Globo festschrift). Rio: Jorge zahar Editor, 2004, page 111
  81. ^ Francisco Machado Carrion Jr., Brizola: Momentos de Decisão". Porto Alegre: L&PM, 1989, page 55
  82. ^ Cf. Aduato Lúcio Cardoso, "O Programa Favela-Bairro - Uma Avaliação", paper, available at [27]
  83. ^ cf. Wolfgang S. Heinz & Hugo Frühling, 202, footnote; Paul Chevigny,Bell Gale Chevigny,Russell Karp, Police abuse in Brazil: summary executions and torture in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Americas Watch Committee, 1987, page 17
  84. ^ Cf. Robert Gay, Popular organization and democracy in Rio de Janeiro: a tale of two favelas. Philadelphia : Temple University Press, 1994, pages 29/31, available at [28]
  85. ^ Alfred P. Montero, Shifting States in Global Markets. Pittsburgh: U. Of Penn. Press, 2010, ISBN 0-271-02189-6 , page 152; Manfred Wöhlke, Brasilien 1983: Ambivalenzen seiner politischen und wirtschaftlichen Orientierung. Baden-Baden, Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 1983, page 17
  86. ^ Donald V. Coes, Macroeconomic Crises, Policies, and Growth in Brazil, 1964–90. World Bank Publications, 1995, ISBN 0-8213-2299-0, page 56
  87. ^ James F. Petras,Morris H. Morley, US Hegemony Under Siege: Class, Politics, and Development in Latin America. London: Verso, 1990, ISBN 0-86091-280-9 , page 10
  88. ^ Jacky Picard, ed. Le Brésil de Lula: Les défis d'un socialisme démocratique à la périphérie du capitalisme. Paris: Khartala, 2003, page 81
  89. ^ Mettenheim, The Brazilian Voter, 122
  90. ^ André Singer, Esquerda e direita no eleitorado brasileiro: a identificação ideológica nas disputas presidenciais de 1989 e 1994. São Paulo: EDUSP, 2002, ISBN 85-314-0524-6, page 61
  91. ^ Brazilian Finace Ministry electronic news clipping
  92. ^ Wendy Hunter, The Transformation of the Workers' Party in Brazil, 1989–2009. Cambridge University Press, 2010, ISBN 978-0-521-51455-2 , page 111
  93. ^ Sento Sé, Brizolismo, 232
  94. ^ Sento Sé, Brizolismo, 263/264
  95. ^ Sento Sé, Brizolismo, 294
  96. ^ Sento-Sé, Brizolismo, 346
  97. ^ Larry Diamond,Marc F. Plattner,Philip J. Costopoulos, eds.,Debates on Democratization, The Johns Hopkins University Press / National Endowment for Democracy, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8018-9776-4 , page 49, note 6
  98. ^ Svenja Schell, Die Geschichte der brasilianischen Arbeiterpartei 'Partido dos Trabalhadores' ". GRIN Verlag, ISBN 978-3-640-61812-5, page 20
  99. ^ "Brazilian Leader's Tippling Becomes National Concern". New York Times, May 09 2004, [29]. Retrieved June 01 2013
  100. ^ Leite Filho, El Caudillo Leonel Brizola, 517
  101. ^ The Guardian obituary, 23 June 2004, [30]. Retrieved June 01 2013


Brizola died 21 June 2004 after a heart attack. He planned to run for the Presidency in 2006 and, although ailing,[100] had just received his former confederate Anthony Garotinho and his wife Rosinha Garotinho the day before.[101]

In his final years Brizola took another shift in his jagged relationship with Lula and the Workers' Party, refusing to support them in the first round of the 2002 presidential elections, supporting instead the candidacy of Ciro Gomes for president, while personally entering the race for a seat in the Senate. Gomes finished third, while Lula was elected president and Brizola lost his bid for the Senate, in what was his end even as a regional force. Although Brizola supported Lula in the second round of the 2002 elections, therefore qualifying for jumping into his victorious bandwagon with other preeminent political figures, he came to be regarded as a secondary character in his last two years, a mere veteran of Left Populism.[98] Despite supporting Lula at some periods during his first term, Brizola's last public appearances were wont at criticizing him for what he termed neoliberalist policies and for neglecting traditional left-wing and workers' struggles. Brizola's late takes on Lula also took a more personal character. During May 2004, he was one of the sources for a Larry Rohter story on Lula's supposed alcoholism, where he told the then New York Times correspondent about having advised Lula "to get hold of this thing and control it".[99]

Emptied of national support and forsaken by close associates such as Cesar Maia and Anthony Garotinho, who decided to abandon Brizola's ship for the sake of their personal careers, Brizola nevertheless ran again for president on the PDT's ticket, amid the success of Minister of Finance and presidential candidate Fernando Henrique Cardoso's anti-inflation Plano Real. The 1994 presidential elections were a huge failure for Brizola, who scored fifth place on an election in which Cardoso was elected in the first round by an absolute majority.[95] It was the end of Brizolismo as a national political force, as expressed by the fact that some weeks before actual elections, the kiosk in downtown Rio de Janeiro, around which Brizolandia cronies met, was torn down by City Hall officers, never to be rebuilt.[96] During Cardoso's first term, Brizola remained an acerbic critic of his neoliberal policies of privatization of public companies, going so far as to affirm in 1995 that "if there is no civil reaction to privatization, there will be a military one".[97] When Cardoso ran for reelection four years later, Brizola contented himself with a Vice Presidential candidacy on Lula's ticket, and both lost to Cardoso.

After the 1989 election there were still chances that Brizola could achieve his dream of winning the Presidency if only he could overcome his party's absence of national penetration. Therefore, some of his advisers proposed him a candidacy to the Senate in the ensuing 1990 elections, something that could offer him national highlights. Brizola, however, refused, preferring to present himself as a candidate to the gubernatorial elections in the same year, winning a second term as Governor of Rio de Janeiro by a first-round majority of 60.88% of all valid ballots.[93] The second term of Brizola as Rio's governor was a political failure, whose hallmarks were the various instances of disorganized management caused by Brizola's ultra centralism and distaste for proper bureaucratic procedure, being further marred by the support eventually offered by Brizola to the Collor administration in exchange for funds for public works. That exchange allowed Brizola to be charged with collaborating with the embezzlement schemes that would lead to Collor's 1992 impeachment.[94]

Political decline and death (1989–2004)

Brizola, however, was a staunch supporter of Lula's candidacy in the 1989 run-off elections, something he justified by a humorous declaration before PDT cronies that remains to this day in Brazilian political lore: "I will be candid: a politician from the old school, Senator Pinheiro Machado, once said that politics is the art of swallowing toads (engolir sapo). Wouldn't that be fascinating to force-feed Brazilian élites and having them to swallow the Bearded Toad, Lula?"[91] Brizola's support was crucial in blostering voting for Lula in both Rio de Janeiro & Rio Grande do Sul, where Lula passed from a first round 12.2% in Rio de Janeiro and 6.7% in Rio Grande to a second round 72.9% in Rio and 68.7% in Rio Grande.[92]

[90] Contrariwise, Lula used his stronghold in the most industrialized areas of the Southeast as a springboard,and managed to gather new voters in the Northeast, where Brizola was practically a no show candidate.Eventually, Lula won the right to stand against Collor in the runoff elections, surpassing Brizola by a mere 0.6% of the electorate.[89].São Paulo state was eventually elected in the runoff. Brizola carried the first round elections regionally, winning huge majorities in both his home state of Rio Grande do Sul and in his adopted home state of Rio de Janeiro, but only received 1.4% of the votes from Fernando Collor de Mello [88] From said viewpoint of mass electoral politics, it was during the 1989 presidential election that Brizola's charismatic leadership would expose its shortcomings when he finished the first run third, losing the second position, which would have qualified him for a runoff, by a very narrow margin to [87] Brizola, however, as the Left in general at the time, sought for an accommodation with ruling elites by avoiding to take a firm position on issues such as land reform and nationalization of private banking system, therefore qualifying for taking power through a purely electoral road.[86] Amid the ongoing economic crisis and rampant inflation of 1980s Brazil, there were many conservative observers who took Brizola as chief radical bogey, a throwback to 1960s populism.

Brizola's policies, which included a no small amount of porkbarrel,[84] poor management, personalism, and wild spending of public funds, as well as displaying a tendency at opportunistic, short term solutions,[85] nevertheless procured for him the political clout required for running for president in 1989.

Brizola also adopted a radical new policy for police action in the poor suburbs and Comando Vermelho (Red Command), by means of a conflation between common criminality and leftism. It was alleged that gangs had been born through the association of common convicted prisoners and leftist political prisoners in the 1970s.

Brizola then proceeded to keep and expanded his nationwide political visibility during his controversial first term as governor of Rio (1983–1987). He developed his early education policies in a grander scale, by means of an ambitious programme of construction of huge fundamental and high school buildings, the so-called CIEPs ("Integrated Centers for Public Education") whose architectural project had been made by Oscar Niemeyer and were supposed to be open on a day long basis, providing food as well as recreational activities to students. During this time he also developed policies for providing public services and recognized housing property for dwellers in shantytowns. In a nutshell, Brizola opposed policies for shantytowns based on forcible resettlement to housing projects, and proposed instead, in the words of his chief adviser Darcy Ribeiro, that "slums are not part of the problem, but part of the solution". Once property rights were acknowledged and basic infrastructure provided, it was up to the shantytown dwellers themselves to find their own solutions as far as house-building was concerned.[82]

In order to have his victory in the 1982 elections acknowledged, Brizola had first to publicly denounce what was described by the paper Jornal do Brasil[78] as an attempt at fraudulent accounting of the ballots by the private contractor Proconsult, a computer engineering firm owned by former military intelligence operatives, contracted by the electoral court in order to supposedly offer speedy electoral statistics. During the early ballot counting process, Proconsult repeatedly supplied media with communiqués offering belated voting statistics from rural areas (where Brizola was at a disadvantage), which were immediately echoed by TV Globo.[79] By denouncing this supposedly fraud at various press conferences interviews and public statements – which included a verbal showdown with Globo CEO Armando Nogueira on live TV[80] – Brizola preempted the scheme of any chance of success, as official ballot numbers eventually came to give him a lead.[81]

At the same time, he centered his personal campaign on burning issues such as education and public security, offering a candidacy that had clear oppositional overtones and proposed to upheld the Vargoist legacy. By developing a nucleus of combative militants around himself, the so-called Brizolândia, Brizola led a campaign that melded violent confrontations and street brawls with a paradoxically festive mood,[76] expressed by the motto Brizola na cabeça (a pun between "Brizola at the head of the ticket" and "High on Brizola", brisola being a contemporary slang for a small parcel of cocaine).[77]

In 1982, Brizola entered the race for governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro in the first free and direct gubernatorial elections in that state since 1965. He ran a ticket of candidates for Congress that tried to compensate for his party's lack of cadres by offering a roster of people with no previous ties to professional politics, such as the Native Brazilian leader Mário Juruna and the singer Agnaldo Timóteo, as well as a sizeable number of Afro-Brazilian activists.[74] Aware that this last foray into race politics contradicted his previous and more conventionally radical policies, Brizola nicknamed his ideology Socialismo Moreno ("Socialism of Color" or "mixed-race socialism").[75]

In short, the late Brizola shunned the class-based, corporatist character of his early populism, and adopted instead a Christian rhetoric of friendship to the "people" in general, more akin to the Russian narodniks[69] than to classical Latin American populism.[70] This brand-new radical populism, notwithstanding its being seen as a threat to more orderly liberal-democratic politics,[71] however, suffered from a fatal flaw: lacking mastery of more impersonal mass politics techniques, it required the charismatic and highly personal leadership of Brizola in order to function effectively. In Brizola's absence, or without the presence, at least, of his persona,[72] the PDT could never become a contender to power, something that hampered its development on the national level.[73]

Brizola quickly restored his position of political prominence in his home state of Rio Grande do Sul, at the same time acquiring political preeminence in the State of Rio de Janeiro, where he was to develop his search for a new basis of political support. Instead of associating with the organized working class, either by means of corporatist trade unionism, or by vying with Lula and the WP for the support of the new trade unionism, Brizola searched for a basis of support among the unorganized urban poor, by means of an ideological tie-in between traditional radical nationalism and a charismatic Brizolista viewpoint, is above all to assume a radical option for the poor and the meek".[68]

Brizola returned to Brazil with the avowed intention of restoring the CNBB. Eventually, he was denied the right to use the historical name of the Brazilian Labour Party, previously conceded to a rival group centered around a military dictatorship-friendly figure, the Congresswoman Ivete Vargas, the grandniece of Getúlio Vargas.[64] Instead, Brizola founded an entirely new party, the Democratic Labour Party (Partido Democrático Trabalhista, PDT).[65] The party joined the Socialist International in 1986, and since then the party symbol has contained a hand with a red flower (symbol of SI).

President Dilma Rousseff, then a founding member of PDT, with Brizola.

Late Brizolismo (1979–1989)

In the late 1970s the Brazilian military dictatorship was in the wane; in 1978, as passports were quietly being given to prominent political exiles, Brizola remained blacklisted, alongside a core group of supposed "radicals" as "public enemy number one", and was refused the right of return.[63] It was only in 1979, after a general amnesty, that his exile came to an end.

Later, Brizola moved from the USA to live in Portugal, where, through Mario Soares, he approached the Socialist International leadership, therefore siding with a Social-Democratic, reformist blueprint for post-dictatorship Brazil.[59] Also, during his American stay, Brizola was contacted by Afro-Brazilian activist Abdias do Nascimento, and became acquainted with identity politics, something that would give a new shape to his post-dictatorship career.[60] In a political manifesto launched in Lisbon – the Charter of Lisbon, which stated his intention of re founding a Labor Party in Brazil, Brizola adhered to race politics by stating that Blacks and Native Brazilians suffered from more unjust and painful forms of exploitation than regular class exploitation, and therefore needed special measures which addressed their particular plights.[61] Other identity groups were also envisaged as recipients of such special attention: Northeastern Brazilians, marginalized children as well as females in general – something that made the intended party to appear as vying for a broad mass instead of a core trade unionist base.[62]

[58] According to recent declassified Brazilian diplomatic documents, on 20 September 1977, Brizola and his wife went to

Brizola's rescue from Uruguay is acknowledged as one of the several successes produced by Carter's Human Rights rhetoric, however short-lived it was.[53] On Brizola's side, it was a hallmark of his political pragmatism, something that was shunned by a leftist intellectual like Glauber Rocha as "a demonstration of cultural colonization".[54] Actually, from his rescue by Carter and henceforth, Brizola would never again oppose American policies towards Brazil directly, contenting himself with denouncing vague "international losses" incurred by Brazil through unfair terms of exchange imposed by multinational corporations.[55]

In the late 1970s, however, the emergence of a military dictatorship in Uruguay allowed the Brazilian government to pressure the authorities of Uruguay to seize Brizola into the framework of Operation Condor, the cooperation between Latin American dictatorships for hounding leftist opponents. Brizola may have owed his physical survival to the efforts of the Jimmy Carter administration to curb Human Right abuses in Latin America,[50] During 1977, Brizola, feeling himself increasingly thereatened in Uruguay and faced with impending withdrawal of his asylum, sought the American Embassy, where he held lengthy conversations with political counselor John Youle. Youle, over the opposition of Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Terence Todman, granted Brizola a transit visa.[51] It was this grant that allowed Brizola, as in mid-1977 he was deported from Uruguay – for alleged "violations of norms of political asylum" – to travel to – and eventually be given immediate asylum in – the United States.[52]

US Rescue from Uruguay, exile in the USA and Europe (1977–1979)

As a political loner during his early Uruguayan exile, Brizola eventually came to prefer insurrectionist politics rather than reformist, appearing as a kind of belated revolutionary leader.[44] In early 1965, a group of Brizola's sympathizers (mostly Army NCOs) staged a botched attempt at the articulation of a theater for guerrilla warfare in the Eastern Brazilian mountains of Caparaó, which amounted for little more than some underground military training, and was suppressed without a single fire being shot.[45] Another group of Brizolista guerrillas dispersed only after a shoot-out with the army in Southern Brazil.[46] This event raised suspicions about Brizola's mismanaging of funds offered to him by Fidel Castro.[47] Except for this episode, Brizola spent the first ten years of the Brazilian military dictatorship generally on his own in Uruguay, where he managed his wife's landed property and kept aloof of domestic news from various opposition movements in Brazil. Characteristically, he rejected attempts at being recruited into the Frente Ampla (Broad Front), a mid-1960s informal caucus of pre-dictatorship leaders, intent on pressuring for redemocratization, which included Carlos Lacerda and Juscelino Kubitschek,[48] and even broke the few remaining ties with his brother-in-law, and fellow exile, João Goulart over the attempted recruitment.[49]

In April 1964, when a coup d'état overthrew Goulart, Brizola was the only political leader to offer active support for the president, sheltering him in Porto Alegre, capital of Rio Grande do Sul, with the hope that a bid could be made at rousing the local army units towards the restoration of the toppled régime. Brizola engaged himself immediately in various schemes for confronting the military putschists, including a fiery public speech delivered before the Porto Alegre City Hall, exhorting army NCOs to "occupy barracks and arrest the generals"[40][41] something that earned him the lasting hatred of the dictatorship's military top brass.[42] After a month of no success in Rio Grande, Brizola eventually fled in early May 1964 to Uruguay, where Goulart had previously gone into exile, after offering little support to his in-law's attempts at armed resistance.[43]

Exile and return (1964–1979)

Seen with hindsight, many authors contend that Brizola's uncompromising radicalism at the time denied his brother-in-law's government the ability to "compromise and conciliate" so as to foster a feasible reformist agenda.[33] Some even advance the view that Brizola's reasons for this were purely egotistical, that "Leonel Brizola was concerned only with Leonel Brizola".[34] Other authors, however, contend that Brizola only struggled for a reformist agenda centered on concrete issues (land reform, extension of the franchise, foreign capital controls), whose mere acceptance as such was regarded as simply unbearable and indigestible by the existing ruling classes and its international allies, and whose deployment was therefore alien to the contemporary political system, irrespective of its formally democratic character.[35] In a March 1964 State Department telegram sent to the (approvingly) American Embassador in Brazil, US support to the incoming military coup was equated with denying both Goulart & Brizola a position of democratic legitimacy that allowed them to foster their "extremist" blueprints.[36] Even earlier, some American policymakers had already expressed their repugnance at the prospect of supporting Goulart's agenda of reforms – no matter how moderate – as "an attempt to force the US to finance an inimical regime".[37] In such a juncture, it has been argued, Brizola's aggressive stance towards the process of reforming was, at least, more coherent than Goulart's – who supported a reformist agenda but eschewed the necessary use of force to foster it.[38] Be as it is, Goulart's ambivalent stance towards his in-law didn't win him any support, specially from without: US Ambassador Lincoln Gordon, who saw Goulart as an opportunist, but nevertheless regarded him as "mesmerized" by Brizola.[39]

In late 1963, after a conservative plan of economic adjustment (Plano Trienal), devised by the Ministry of Planning Celso Furtado, had failed, Brizola involved himself in a bid for power by means of an attempt to topple Goulart's economically conservative Minister of Finance Carvalho Pinto in order to take the post himself. Brizola wanted to foster his radical agenda, and reportedly said at the time, "if we want to make a revolution, we must have the key to the safe". Brizola's bid for the Ministry eventually failed, the post being given to a nonentity. Nevertheless, this did much to radicalize Brazilian political life at the time,[30] as put by the most politically conservative newspaper O Globo at the time, it was as if "the task of putting down the fire fell to the chief arsonist".[31] Eventually, during late 1963 and early 1964, a crack opened between Brizola and his brother-in-law, with Brizola becoming more and more convinced that Goulart intended to stage a coup backed by the loyalist military top brass, in order to check the ongoing process of political radicalization, and that the only way to preempt Goulart's move was by means of a grassroots revolutionary movement.[32]

Notwithstanding his allegedly radicalism, Brizola was personally neither an ideologue nor a doctrinnaire.[25] Generally, he stood, on a purely empirical basis, for an extreme Left Nationalism (land reform,[26] extension of the franchise for illiterates and NCOs) and for tight controls over foreign investment, something that earned him the dislike of the American ambassador to Brazil, Lincoln Gordon, who went so far as to compare Brizola's propaganda techniques with those of Joseph Goebbels,[27] a mood mirrored by most of contemporary American media[28] as well as by many contemporary American intellectuals: John dos Passos charged Brizola with trying to "starve" Rio de Janeiro by supposedly retaining rice consignments from Rio Grande do Sul during his governorship.[29]

Brizola's insurrectional posturing and rhetoric seemed to justify the classification developed at the time by Goulart's Foreign Minister and leader of the moderate left, San Tiago Dantas: Brizola was the paragon of a "negative left" which, in its uncompromising, ideological defense of social reform, forsook any compromise with democratic institutions.[22] Dantas' aversion to Brizola was entirely reciprocated: for Brizola, Dantas – together with Goulart's War Minister, General Amaury Kruel, and Commerce Minister Antônio Balbino – formed an "anti-reformist tripod" of "traitors to the national interests".[23] Add to that the fact that Dantas, who negotiated the early 1963 US-Brazil financial agreement, had been received in Washington "more like a head of state than a minister of finance", and expected to be greeted at his homecoming "with appreciation if not fanfare" – a hope Brizola quickly dashed by means of "venomous attacks".[24]

In early 1963, Brizola started a weekly Friday talkshow on the Rio radio broadcast Mayrink Veiga – owned by Congressman from São Paulo State Miguel Leuzzi[20] – which he used as a means to propagate his fiery rhetoric nationwide, and toyed with constituting a grassroots network of political cells composed of small groups of armed men, the so-called "elevensome" (Grupos de Onze, paramilitary parties modeled on a soccer team).[21]

Radical leadership and friction with Goulart (1963–1964)

Through his initiatives, in both domestic and foreign politics, Brizola had become a major player on the national Brazilian plane, eventually developing presidential aspirations of his own, which he could not legally fulfill at the time, as Brazilian law didn't allow close relatives of the acting President to present themselves as candidates for the following term of office. Between 1961 and 1964, Brizola acted as the radical wing of the independent left, where he pressured the office for an agenda of radical social and political reforms in general, as well as for a specific change in the electoral legislation that allowed for his presidential candidacy in 1965. Seen as personally authoritarian and quarrelsome, and not above dealing with his enemies by means of physical aggression, as in a famous case when he hit the rightwing journalist [19]

What offered him international highlights, however, were his nationalist policies: having a blueprint as governor for speedy industrialization of the state, Brizola developed a program for the constitution of a wide basis of state-owned industrial utilities,[10] that led him eventually to the nationalization of American public utilities trusts' assets in Rio Grande, such as ITT and Electric Bond & Share (local branch of American & Foreign Power Company, itself owned by the holding Electric Bond and Share Company ).[11] These nationalizations made their way towards American press headlines when the John F. Kennedy administration was trying to counter what it saw as "Communist infiltration" in Brazil[12] by striking a deal with Goulart – which included hefty US financial aid to the Brazilian federal government.[13] In such a context, Brizola's actions made for a major diplomatic embarrassment, which promptly turned Brizola's State government into one of the intended targets of the Hickenlooper Amendment.[14][15][16] As Goulart eventually caved in to American pressure on the issue, accepting to pay what was seem by many on the Left as excessive compensations to both ITT & Amforp in exchange for finantial aid, Brizola could – and did – present his in-law as a defector from the nationalist cause.

[9] After twelve days of impending civil war, the attempted coup failed, and Goulart was inaugurated as president.[8] Brizola gained nationwide visibility mostly by acting in defense of

As governor of Rio Grande do Sul, Brizola raised himself to preeminence for his social policies, expressed in the speedy building of public schools in poor neighborhoods across the state (brizoletas).[5] He also supported policies directed towards the improvement of the condition of small autonomous farmers and landless rural workers, sponsoring the creation of the corporation MASTER (Rio Grande Landless Rural Workers Movement).[6]

. National Congress of Brazil tradition, especially, in Brizola's case, the practice of a direct personal link between charismatic leader and the broad masses. During the presidency of Goulart (1961–1964) Brizola was an important supporter of his brother-in-law, first as governor and later as a deputy in the populist Both perpetuated Vargas' [4] or PTB). After Vargas's death, he inherited the undisputed regional leadership of his party, while his brother-in-law ruled the PTB national caucus.Partido Trabalhista Brasileiro (Brazilian Labor Party as his best man. Through this marriage, Brizola became not only a wealthy landowner, but also a regional leader of the Getúlio Vargas's sister, and had former President João Goulart Brizola married Neusa Goulart, [3], a trade in which he never worked, as he entered professional politics in his early twenties, having been elected to the Rio Grande State Assembly in and other occasional jobs until completing high school and entering college. He graduated with a degree in shoeshiner, paperboy as a Porto Alegre, known as "The Muleteer of Freedom". He left his mother's house at eleven, working in Leonel Rocha of Leonel, from the rebel warlord alias Brizola was christened Itagiba, but early in life adopted the [2]

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