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April 8, 1966

Meeting with the Delegation of the Communist Party of Brazil

This document was made possible with support from The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

[handwritten notation: 16/Pol/66]

[handwritten notation at the bottom: 237/XX II – 1359]

Meeting with the delegation of the Communist Party of Brazil

The meeting took place on April 8 of this year in the Congress Palace. Participants: Polish side – com[rades] Z. Kliszko, E. Gierek, and E. Pszczółkowski; Brazilian side – com[rades] J. Dias (chairman of delegation), D. Capistrano, F Saad, and A. Ziler.

Com[rade] Kliszko: Our representative in the editorial office of Problemy pokoju I socjalizmu (Problems of Peace and Socialism) com[rade] Zieleniec informed us that the delegation of the CP of Brazil[1] expressed the wish to meet with us. We are very satisfied. I believe that the Brazilian comrades will first inform us of the situation in their country, because we are poorly acquainted with this issue. Later, should the comrades have any specific business that they would like to put forward, we will be happy to hear them out.

Com[rade] Dias: ever since we arrived, we wanted to pass greetings from our C[entral] C[ommittee] and from com[rade] L. Prestes to the PUWP[2] Central Committee, as well our thanks to the Polish comrades for their gestures of solidarity with us.

CD: We would be happy to inform the Polish comrades about the situation in the country and in the party. We would, nevertheless, wish to know what kind of problems are of interest to the comrades and what sort of time frame can we offer.

CK: in the first place, party matters themselves. We have received information that there are two parties in Brazil. We would like to know who they represent. How is com[rade] L. Prestes’s health? What kind of forms of activity do the Brazilian comrades apply in the new situation?

CD: Brazil is under a military dictatorship, which tries to hide its true character under the semblance of constitutionalism. However, the legislature and the judiciary are totally subordinated to the executive branch. In Brazil there are no political guarantees whatsoever.

Our party describes the current regime as a dictatorship: antinational, anti-people, anti-worker.

It is an antinational regime, because its policies are contrary to the interest of the nation as a whole.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the current Brazilian government declared that everything that is concordant with US interests is also concordant with the interests of Brazil. Even if there were, previously, attempts to carry out independent policy, it is now totally subordinated to US policy.

The policy of the current Brazilian government is founded on the idea that there are no geographical or political borders; there are only ideological borders. That is how they try to justify interference in other countries’ affairs.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, the socialist countries are more interested in maintaining contacts with Brazil than Brazil itself.

We call the Brazilian regime anti-people because the Brazilian people has been deprived of political rights. The nation has to shoulder all that the ruling circles in Brazil call the country’s development. The government’s policies lead to pay freeze and price hikes. The law that restricted rent increase was repealed. The situation of minor bourgeoisie has also deteriorated substantially as a result of raised taxes.

As regards the working class, the government is engaged in an offensive against its rights. The policies implemented are those of pay freeze, interference in the internal affairs of trade unions. All kinds of efforts are being made to change the labor laws. At present, the way things appear is that not only real wages are on the decline but also nominal ones.

The ongoing changes in the country lead to changes within the regime. The hypertrophy of the executive organs of power is increasing. Courts martial have been introduced to deal with political cases, at the moment, 10,000 people are under investigation. Sentences for political views can be as high as 20–30 years. Virtually the entire party staff is being investigated. Each party leader has had at least 4–5 court cases, with 763 commissions for political cases set up all over the country.

In sum, one could say that our country is ruled by an authoritarian regime; a substantial part of its actions has a fascist character. They [the people] do not say that the entire regime is fascist, but that some of its measures are of a fascist character.

The regime’s power base is shrinking. The government is losing popular support, because its policies have led to higher prices, taxes, and lower wages. Even those forces that initially supported the coup, are now breaking off with the ruling circles (among them Lacerda, Ademarado, Spinuta, and many others).

Currently, solution of the basic problems shifted from the civilian to the military sphere.

This is the general situation that the communists assess as very grave.

The communists believe that in the future they will be faced with a long and bitter struggle. The party proposed setting up a united front of all the anti-dictatorship forces. The aim would be overthrowing the dictatorship, winning political rights and formation of a democratic government. This movement, however, should not pursue vengeance.

Everyone who is against the dictatorship is an ally of the Brazilian communists.

Our party has rebuilt its entire organizational structure. We have managed to organized illegal press. We publish the central organ of our party, which is distributed all over the country. Apart from that , we have a legal periodical, published as an organ of the Front. Our goal is to carry out both the legal and the illegal forms of combat.

Our work is in the underground and not for pleasure. That is why we want to utilize all the possible legal forms of activity. We want to prepare the party to lead the popular masses. We are convinced that only broad support of the masses of people could guarantee success.

We are against coups, putsches, and hurry – generally speaking. Bu we do not care about far-left phraseology. We do, however, have some problems with the right, with those that are conformists with respect to the dictatorship.

Our party is a monolith the Central Committee has already convened twice. There are some differences [of opinion], but we do guarantee the right to hold different views. We oppose persecution for different views. We demand one thing – strict execution of resolutions adopted by the majority. We rigidly apply the principle of democratic centralism.

Com[rade] Kliszko: As far as the organizational plane is concerned, how are the principles of democratic socialism violated? What is the scale of this phenomenon?

Com[rade] Dias: no member of the party leadership can be accused of failure to execute the majority resolutions. Unfortunately, we have little time and cannot give the comrades mor detailed information. However, I would like to emphasize that there are no two communist parties in Brazil. Elements expelled from the party in 1960 have turned into a kind of prop for the Chinese comrades.

Com[rade] Kliszko: What kind of influence do they have?

Com[rade] Dias: They have not formed organizational structure and have no influence on the masses, they could hold their congress in a bus.

Com[rade] Kliszko: We say that one couch would be big enough for them.

Com[rade] Dias: the Communist Party of Brazil is getting ready for its Congress.

l. Prestes is feeling well and would prefer to stay in the home country. The conditions of illegal life are naturally very harsh. Nevertheless, the CC [Central Committee] decided that no party leader leave the country. Anyone who does, requires the consent of the Central Committee.

Despite all kinds of difficulties and mistakes, we are proud to communicate to [our] comrades that the only organized opposition force in Brazil is the Communist Party. Should the comrades wish to obtain more information, please tell us when and we will provide it.

Com[rade] Kliszko: unfortunately, tomorrow we are going home. We had been informed about the coup in Brazil by our correspondent E. Osmańczyk, who had to leave your country. Now he is in Mexico.

I don’t remember the name of the comrade from your party leadership, member of the Bureau, who visited Warsaw in 1963. We spoke for 3–4 hours.

Com[rade] Dias: I was that man.

Com[rade] Kliszko: You look different now. I wouldn’t be able to recognize you at all.

Com[rade] Dias: it is the policemen’s fall. I really looked good then.

Com[rade] Kliszko: We have a good recollection of com[rade] Prestes’s stay, who had a long conversation with com[rde] Gomułka. Since then, our direct contacts broke off. But the party leadership and our entire party have a lot of sympathy and admiration for the Communist Party of Brazil. The older generation of Polish communists know what it means to fight illegally, [in the underground].

Com[rade] Dias: In 1935, the Brazilian rection was much more violent. But, , at that time, the communists received 10 yuears, while no it is as much as 30 years.

I would like to ask how com[rade] Chabasiński is doing.

Com[rade] Kliszko: he works for the Ministry of foreign Affairs, and is the ambassador of the Communist Party of Brazil.

Com[rade] Dias: He is our friend. He knows the situation in Brazil quite well. Please pass our greetings to him.

Com[rade] Kliszko: When are you, comrades, returning home? Via Prague?

Com[rade] Dias: We are leaving the Soviet Union on April 18–19. We will reach Prague at the end of this month. In the meantime, we will visit the GDR at the invitation of the German comrades.

Com[rade] Kliszko: So perhaps you would drop by on the way?

Com[rade] Dias: that would de[end on the comrades.

Com[rade] Kliszko: Please, feel invited.

Com[rade] Dias: We agreed to stay in Berlin until April 21.

Com[rade] Kliszko: Perhaps you could come and visit us for 2–3 days. We could talk in greater detail.

Com[rade] Dias: Perfect. In our hearts we have plenty of room for the Polish comrades. I personally would have another chance to visit your country.

Com[rade] Kliszko: we warmly invite. We will discuss the details through our ambassador in Berlin, to friendship! To victory!


[1] Probably the Communist Party of Brazil. – trans.

[2] Polish United Workers’ Party – trans.

Delegations of the PUWP and the BCP discuss politics in Brazil and the organization of the Brazilian Communist Party.

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File on relations with Brazilian communist party, PUWP records, AAN, Warsaw. Contributed by James G. Hershberg and translated by Jerzy Giebułtowski.


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