Netflix’s new documentary, “The Edge of Democracy”, attempts to paint a rosy picture of Brazil and its flirtation with Marxism during the early 2000s, writes our Political Correspondent Byron Sanford
Petra Costa directed the film and is known for her steadfast support of the far-left Workers’ Party.
An observer unfamiliar with Brazilian political history would be under the impression that Brazil was in desperate need of socialism when Lula was elected president in 2002. In actuality, Brazil’s economic miracle came in the 1960-80s, under an anti-communist military government.
Costa’s portrayal of President Lula as a hero of the working class, who led strikes against a tyrannical regime is rather astounding. Lula is in prison for twelve years for bribery.
“The Edge of Democracy” and its glorification of former President Dilma Rousseff, elected in 2010, was rather nauseating. It is mentioned that Rousseff was imprisoned and endured “twenty-two days of torture” at the hands of the military government which ruled from 1964-85. A military government which led the fight against communism, Russian interference, and the Castros. Rousseff was a member of a terrorist cell when she was apprehended.
This film fails to ever mention that Lula and Rousseff are members of a Latin America political organisation comprised of communist parties. The Workers’ Party is a fully fledged member of the Foro de São Paulo (The Sãu Paulo Forum), which was founded by communist and democratic socialist parties in 1990 at the behest of Lula.
Some of the members of the Foro de São Paulo include the Communist Party of Argentina, the Communist Party of Chile, the Communist Party of Cuba, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, and the Workers’ Party in Brazil.
The Communist Party of Cuba governs the impoverished Caribbean island, while the United Socialist Party rules Venezuela.
These are parties which glorify Mao Zedong, who was responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of his own people. They venerate Salvador Allende, who had landowners butchered throughout Chile.
It is not a surprise that the armed forces stepped forward in 1964 and took control of Brazil. One simply needs to look at the carnage and destruction caused by communists throughout Latin America during the Cold War. Military intervention was necessary, contrary to the opinion of the director, Ms Costa.
During the film, Costa accused President Rousseff of failing to be sufficiently left-wing after Rousseff’s re-election in 2014. Costa said that Rousseff reneged on her campaign promises by implementing austerity. The austerity measures were necessary due to the financial calamity Brazil endured.
President Rousseff, who was impeached for thievery, was a threat to the country. Military intervention was a certainty if she was not deposed. The film interviewed an array of Brazilians on the streets during public demonstrations. These Brazilians praised the military dictatorship of the past and asked, “Where are the generals?” Millions of protesters yearned for the generals to bring down Rousseff’s government.
The business interests that ensured the impeachment of Rousseff backed Captain Jair Bolsonaro in the second round of the presidential election of 2018. Costa portrayed Bolsonaro as a neo-fascist dictator. A president who adores right-wing strongmen, and has no regard for the political process.
While Costa is accurate to highlight Bolsonaro’s nationalist viewpoints, she is misguided to view Bolsonaro as a threat to democracy. Costa said that “This is a story of democracy itself crumbling.” President Bolsonaro was democratically elected with fifty-eight million votes. How is this democracy crumbling? It is not.
Throughout the film, Costa mentions that her parents supported groups which were designated as terrorist organisations by the Brazilian military government. When her father travelled to the States for two years, he stumbled upon a bookshop in New York City, where he found books written by Fromm and Marx. Books which shaped his political views, and made him a revolutionary.
While it is unsurprising that Netflix has a documentary film which glorifies socialism in Brazil, it is rather amusing that its director has come to the conclusion that Brazil is embarking upon another dictatorship. Such foolishness is a contributing factor as to why Bolsonaro was elected president in the first place.
If Costa is concerned about anti-democratic forces, then she should look across the border to Venezuela. There she shall find an ally of the Workers’ Party in the terrorist loving Nicolas Maduro. President Maduro, who uses armed gangs to murder starving protesters. Better yet, she would look at Cuba, where tens of thousands of Cubans had land expropriated by the government.
Overall, this film is atrocious drivel and is nothing more than far-left propaganda presented by a Marxist. While Costa is capable of grasping the attention of the viewer, she is incapable of deluding anyone sensible of her neo-communist views.
Though she should be applauded for her captivating newsreel footage, and high profile interviews. It shall surely brainwash plenty of ignorant viewers.
First published in the Politicalite.
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