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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Brasil. La communiste Manuela D’Avila à la conquête du Jaburu

by Cathy Dos Santos

Brésil. The communist Manuela D’Avila Advances Toward the Conquest of Jaburu

Translated Friday 5 October 2018, by Henry Crapo

Published in l’Humanité on Wednesday, 3 October, 2018

The MP for Rio Grande do Sul, barely 37 years old, is candidate for the Brazilian vice-presidency alongside Fernando Haddad, the former Minister of Education under President Lula da Silva. The former president is prohibited from standing for election on October 7 and 28.

With fresh enthusiasm, Manuela D’Avila scours Brazil. From conference rooms to favelas and street meetings, the candidate for vice-presidency with Fernando Haddad of the Workers’ Party (PT) spares no effort to challenge and to convince. It has been almost a year since the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) invested in her the right to represent their party in the presidential elections of 7 and 28 October. At that time, she was already fighting against the political-judicial cabal that arbitrarily threw into prison Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, then chosen by the PT to run for the election. Allies from different parties.

The candidate already has behind her seven elections and 14 years of mandate as federal deputy and parliamentarian of the State of Rio Grande do Sul.

Photo: Mauro Pimente/AFP

When Lula was imprisoned on April 7, "Manu" was at his side, because "an election without Lula is a fraud". We know since then what happened: the judiciary, senior army officials, the oligarchy did everything in their power to prevent the founder of the PT from running, because all opinion polls gave him a wide victory. "Lula’s freedom is one of the prospects for building a sovereign, developed and just Brazil for the people," says Manuela D’Avila, just 37 years old. Lula says of her: "Look how these young people who are in politics are a source of pride and a bring a prospect of hope. »

The young MP defends women’s rights to control their bodies

The PT, the PCdoB and other groups are now part of the coalition "For a Brazil that is once again happy" in the face of the danger of the extreme right embodied by the misogynist, homophobe and racist Jair Bolsonaro. At the exact opposite of "Manu", who is a woman, a feminist, a mother and an elected official. She was in the front row of the demonstration on Saturday in São Paulo against the candidate of the Liberal Social Party, the favourite according to polls. Faced with the traditionalist and anti-democratic obscurantism embodied by Jair Bolsonaro, the communist defends women’s right to control their bodies, and equal pay. She has always handled responsibility and motherhood, which has earned her the mockery of the right-wing, which criticized her for daring to breastfeed her daughter Laura, during a parliamentary session. "It’s always like that, if I didn’t breastfeed, they would have cried out for the rights of the child. Since I did breastfeed, they complain that I expose myself. The truth is, they can’t stand it when women occupy spaces of power," she replied. And as a member of the Committee on Human Rights and Minorities, she has promoted the creation of daycare places for young mothers, so that they can continue their studies.

The best-elected parliamentarian in her state

Manuela D’Avila films herself on her smartphone to address her supporters. She likes to appear in educational campaign clips. It is also a way for her to respond to her critics, who see her youth as a handicap. With seriousness but a little mischievousness, she reminds us that she has seven elections and fourteen years of service as a federal member of Parliament and as a member of Parliament for the State of Rio Grande do Sul. She who dreamed of being a teacher before embarking on a career as a journalist. An activist in the student movement in 1999, she then joined the Union of Socialist Youth before joining the PCdoB two years later. Despite more than honourable scores in the elections she is contesting - she will be the best elected in her state in 2010 - Manuela D’Avila did not think she would position herself for Brazil’s highest offices.

Her ambition is not to take pride of place in Jaburu, the residence of the vice-presidency, but to defeat "this government of betrayal of the people", she criticizes, speaking of Michel Temer, the de facto president, and his executive resulting from the parliamentary coup d’état that overthrew Dilma Rousseff, in 2016. She told her fellow citizens that if they were elected, she and Fernando Haddad would bury Article 95 of the Constitution, which was drafted by the putschists and sets a limit on public spending for a period of 20 years.

With verve and ardour, she likes to remind her running mate that it is not without pleasure that she will personally relocate Michel Temer, who has settled in Jaburu, if by any chance their presidential ticket wins [1].

[1Translated with the aid of the free version of DeepL Translator

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