General takes over Incra’s presidency: demagogy and repression are expected

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The retired general, Jesus Corrêa, was announced as the new president of the Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform (Incra), on February 9th. The nomination by the fascist shift manager, Jair Bolsonaro, maintains the logic to handover to the aligned generals to the High Command the strategic positions in the government.

Agência Brasil
General Jesus Corrêa, a mando do Alto Comando, tentará isolar camponeses de suas organizações classistas (foto: Agência Brasil)

The retired general used to be the commander of the Military Command for the Northeast and director of the effective control and transactions of the Army. Today he takes over the presidency of the institute that is submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture, a traditional political stronghold of the landownersip.

The government of the fascist Bolsonaro has already caused revolt among the poor peasantry when, at the beginning of the year, ordered the stoppage of all processes for the agrarian reform that had been forwarded.

The indication of the Army general, Jesus Corrêa, has also been an expression of the counter-revolutionary military coup launched by the reactionary High Command of the Armed Forces, trying to avoid the inevitable people’s rebellion against the increase of the exploitation and oppression. Through it, the High Command will guarantee the application of counter-revolutionary policies concerning the agrarian question, serving the interests of the landlords but also trying to demobilize and empty the combative peasant movement through demagogic campaigns.

What the general intends to do

Different from the other ministeries headed by the civil far-right obscurantists, the ministeries and positions dealing with strategic questions have been placed under the responsiliblity of the generals. The agrarian questions, being the most important of the country and the ones the people’s masses show more discontentment with and are mobilized for ( struggling for the land and against the landownership), are not different.

General Jesus Corrêa, after his indication, has posed with the veneer of “moderation” and “respect to legality” on a media interview. The government objective is to empty the peasant movement in general, especially the combative one to repress it later.

“What is presented so far is a general guideline of the relationships to be established in the organism in which the dialogue with those entities that maintain existence with the judicial identity will be kept. Any possibility of interlocution will be imperative so that such identity will not be outside of the law”, said the general.

Referring to the land struggling, the general said that “illegal acts will be considered as illegal acts” And referring to the relationship with the MST (Movement for the Landless Workers) and some other ones, he affirmed: “If in the future the movement A, B or C have legal conditions and can sit down so that we can talk, they must have a legal responsibility and be within the law, there will not be any impediment, one can talk”.

At the same time, the general has stated that “the agrarian reform will continue”, referring to that mimicry of reform that settled, in 2017, the unbelievable and low number of 1.2 thousand peasant families in a country that has approximately 40 million landless poor peasants or peasants with a little land who need land. But now it will be in “direct contact” with the peasant families. Nevertheless, nothing was said on the illegal occupation of public lands done by the transnational enterprises and the country’s monopolies.

Jesus Corrêa makes clear the objective to isolate the struggle for the land, even those led by opportunism, from their peasant basis that he denominates “direct negotiations, with no intermediaries”.

Which ‘agrarian reform’?

The ‘agrarian reform’ to which the general refers to is a necessity of the landownership. On the one hand, it is of interest for that class that there will be, for two reasons, a certain level of redistribution of unproductive land for the small producers.

The first reason by which the landownership and the military government, supported by the High Command, intend to accomplish demagogic campaigns for the ‘agrarian reform’ since it is their aim to demobilize the peasants and draw them out of the combative organizations that fight for land. We have reported that the High Command of the Armed Forces have identified that the masses, mostly the peasant ones, want the land and are ready for waging a hard struggle for it. Consequently and to prevent the peasants’ general upheaval, the High Command has fixed a policy to hold a deceitful campaign of ‘agrarian reform’ which will not envisage the great peasant masses and will have as an objective to disorganize them.

The second interest of the reaction is due to an economic need of the landownership. The hard work and the misery of the peasantry with little land in Brasil are the blood of which the vampires of the landownership have been nourishing themselves. It is of high advantage for the landlords that there will be peasant communities which are disorganized and with little land near the landownership since it represents cheap labour force that will depend on them economically.

With a little land and with no credit access with subsidised interest ( as the ones provided to the landlords), the peasants are obliged to lease lands in the neighbouring latifundium, becoming a victim of the charge of half or one-third of the crop production ( semifeudal relations). Along the time and with the debts, the landlords either expel or buy these peasants’ lands that are sold at extremely low prices.

The existence of this poor peasantry with a little land ( the so-called family farming) is, apart from this, very beneficial to the capitalist landownership. They buy the isolated crops of the peasant communities by very low prices, through middlemen, which are delivered to the bagging and distributor companies and some other bureucratic capitalist enterprises that sell whosale, earning the profits from the exploitation of the peasants.

The maintenance of a peasantry with small productives properties, living on the limit of misery and debt, is necessary for keeping at low price the food for the city dwellers ( since the “family agriculture’ produces at low cost thanks to the lack of machines and at the cost of the misery) and, as a consequence, decreasing as well the minimum wage of the Brazilian workers. The landownership, on the other hand, produces raw-materials for the foreigners, does not nurture our country and only stuff the pockets of a few large landlords.

The campaigns for the “agrarian reform” still have the function of capitalizing the landlords of expropriated lands, many times paying in ‘compensations’ higher prices than the market value of the land, therefore being a good bargain for the landlords.

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