The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is working closely with Brazilian Trotskyists from the Party of Socialism and Liberty (PSOL) to coordinate attacks against U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
The U.S.–Brazil revolutionary alliance is conducted through revolutionaries in both countries aligned to an international Trotskyist revolutionary coordinating body—the Brussels-based United Secretariat for the Fourth International.
One of the key point men in the alliance is Pedro Fuentes, an Argentine-born revolutionary now living in the United States. Fuentes, along with São Paulo-based “militant and leader of the Socialist Left Movement” Bruno Magalhães (also known as Bruno Silviano), represented PSOL at the August DSA convention in Atlanta. During his speech, Magalhães declared, “We in Brazil are really, really excited with the Democratic Socialist movement here in the U.S.”
Also associated with PSOL are journalist Glenn Greenwald’s partner David Miranda, who is a federal congressman for Rio de Janeiro, and former PSOL member Adélio Bispo de Oliveira, who stabbed Bolsonaro in the stomach during a 2018 rally, almost killing him.
Pedro Fuentes is the “nom de guerre” of Argentine Trotskyist revolutionary Alberto Pujals. Born circa 1943, Fuentes “began his activism [in Argentina] as a teenager, when he and his brother joined a high-school student movement to reform the schools called Movimiento de Acción Reformista. In the 1960s, he joined Palabro Obrera, led by the Argentine Trotskyist revolutionary Nahuel Moreno,” according to a DSA Facebook event post. In 1971, Pedro’s older brother, Luis Pujals, a leader of the Proletarian Revolutionary Army, died in the “dirty war” against Argentina’s anti-communist government.
Fuentes was forced to flee Argentina, traveling across Latin America and Europe, where he continued working with Trotskyist groups in several countries.
Fuentes eventually settled in Brazil and, in 2000, began organizing with Movimento Esquerda Socialista (MES), a Trotskyist tendency inside the ruling leftist Workers’ Party. In 2003, the Workers’ Party split over pension reform issues, and several Trotskyist factions, including MES, subsequently founded PSOL—now Brazil’s fifth-largest political party.
Fuentes served for many years as PSOL’s secretary of international relations and still works to build ties between PSOL and other leftist parties. Though living in the United States, Fuentes still serves as a leader of the PSOL’s MES faction.
Fourth International and Mass Party of the Left
In the early 1990s, the Fourth International used its national affiliates in an attempt to rebuild the world revolutionary movement after the so-called “collapse of communism.” These efforts were modeled on the very successful Brazilian Workers’ Party—an amalgamation of leftist Christians, Greens, black radicals, ex pro-Soviet communists, former Maoists, and Fourth International Trotskyists.
In my home country of New Zealand, this concept materialized in the New Labour Party/Alliance Party, which ruled for a time in coalition with the “old” Labour Party. The Australian counterpart, Socialist Alliance, achieved little success, but in Germany, the former East German communists joined up with several Trotskyist factions to form the Party of Democratic Socialism (now Die Linke), Germany’s third-largest party on the left. Similar coalitions were formed with varying degrees of success in El Salvador, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the Philippines, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and some Scandinavian countries.
Many of these groups also maintained close ties to old-line communists, including the Maoist-leaning Belgian Workers’ Party, the pro-Soviet South African Communist Party, and of course everyone’s friend on the left, the Cuban Communist Party.
In the United States, Trotskyists from a small “socialist feminist” group called “Solidarity” joined with former pro-Soviet communists, DSA activists, Maoists from the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, and ex-Maoists from the Frontline Political Organization, to form the Committees of Correspondence (CoC) in Chicago in July 1994.
According to the September/October 1994 issue of Chicago DSA’s New Ground publication, “Over 500 delegates and observers … attended the founding convention of the Committees of Correspondence (CoC) held here in Chicago in July.”
New Ground reported that the speakers included Charles Nqukula, general secretary of the South African Communist Party; Dulce Maria Pereira, a senatorial candidate of the Workers’ Party of Brazil; Angela Davis of CoC; Andre Brie of the Party of Democratic Socialism of Germany; and a representative of the Cuban government.
CoC was supposed to lay the foundation for a new mass party of socialism—one that could eventually replace the Democratic Party. However, rampant sectarianism and lack of visionary leadership eventually turned the project to dust. Today, the organization still exists as the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, but it’s down to fewer than 200 mainly elderly members nationwide—many of whom hold dual membership in the DSA or the Communist Party USA.
While the Fourth International’s dream of an international alliance of new mass parties of the left lived on in Brazil and Europe, it was dead in the United States—until Bernie Sanders came along.
Rebirth of the DSA
From the start, PSOL and the broader Trotskyist movement welcomed the Sanders socialist movement that took the U.S. left by storm in 2015 and 2016. The DSA went to nearly 30,000 members from 6,500 in two years, and is now approaching 60,000. This was very inspiring to many Trotskyist revolutionaries, including Pedro Fuentes.
Writing on the Spanish language website Aporrea in August 2015, Fuentes and his PSOL comrade Tiago Madeira urged Trotskyists to get behind the Sanders movement:
“In our opinion, we must support Sanders. For us, the debate in the US, with its specific characteristics, is similar to what we face in the rest of the world. Will Trotskyists, without losing sight of our strategy, intervene in events and real political movements—however contradictory they are—to contend for influence. … We are talking about building new organizations, new parties—and respecting their leaders, even if we disagree with them.”
And support Sanders they did. Solidarity, the U.S. affiliate of the Fourth International, joined the DSA en masse to help lead the Sanders movement.
Fuentes has worked closely with DSA members in the United States and attended several DSA events. As mentioned, he was a PSOL delegate to both the 2017 and 2019 DSA national conventions.
Fuentes and PSOL comrade Mariana Riscali wrote of their experience attending DSA’s breakout 2017 national convention in Chicago on the socialist website Left on the Move. The PSOL delegates were very welcome and were given equal standing to large Marxist parties from Europe.
“PSOL was known by a large share of delegates. … We are proud to say it was MES, a slate from PSOL, that has made the greatest effort to establish this contact so that we are proud of our country being recognized by the DSA at the same level as the Momentum from England, Mélenchon’s Party [France], Podemos [Spain] and Bloco de Esquerda [Portugal],” Fuentes and Riscali wrote.
The PSOL delegates look to the DSA as a breakthrough in world socialism—the start of a new international hybrid left that might build a mass revolutionary movement where older formations such as the CoC and the Brazilian Workers’ Party have failed.
“Surely, this privileged relationship with DSA will allow PSOL to look from a more internationalist point of view [at] the international situation and the emergence of new political processes independent from the old social democracy or false Latin American progressivism as PT [Workers’ Party]. DSA is the best expression of the ‘new cycle.’”
In November 2018, Fuentes attended a DSA meeting in New York, where he was photographed with two admiring members of the DSA International Committee, Carrington Morris and Ella Mahony.
In June 2017, Mahony represented the DSA at the PSOL organized “International Encampment of Youth in Struggle” in Rio de Janeiro. The event was both a congress for PSOL’s youth wing and “a convocation of international solidarity.”
Solidarity and the DSA International Commission
In 2018, the DSA revived its decades-old International Committee. After splitting with the “moderate” Socialist International in 2017, the DSA began looking for revolutionary friends overseas. The International Committee became the DSA’s diplomatic wing, charged with cementing ties to foreign socialist and communist movements.
Grosser is a longtime supporter of El Salvadorean revolutionary movements, whose personal goal is to “build the internationalism necessary to bring down the US Empire.”
La Botz is a seasoned revolutionary with direct ties to the Fourth International and to several Latin American revolutionary movements, including PSOL.
La Botz was meeting with PSOL activists in Brazil as far back as 2014, and also met with PSOL activists in New York in November 2016.
In April and May 2016, La Botz toured several countries in Europe and Brazil speaking about Bernie Sanders and the U.S. elections. All of his talks in Brazil were sponsored by either PSOL, or by Insurgencia, another Fourth International affiliated group also active in PSOL.
In a May 2016 article on the DSA website, La Botz explained how Fourth International Trotskyists were working with mainstream communists and other Marxists to create broad-based political parties that could compete electorally in Europe, Brazil, the UK, and the United States:
“In France, Spain, and Brazil, there have been and continue to be attempts to found new broad left, radical socialist parties as an alternative to the Social Democrats. In France we have seen both the New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA) and the Front de Gauche, in Spain Podemos, and in Brazil, PSOL. These efforts can be compared to those in the English-speaking nations where Jeremy Corbyn in the British Labor Party and Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party clearly represent a similar popular reaction among youth and sections of the labor movement to the conservative policies of Labor and the Democrats.”
La Botz emphasized that the Fourth International had moved on from its notoriously violent and sectarian past to a strategy of bringing about socialist revolution through the electoral process. Forming broad-based electoral alliances with communists and socialists was to be the new path to the revolution:
“The New Anti-Capitalist Party came out of a merger of former members of the French Trotskyist Revolutionary Communist League (LCR) with environmentalists and other social activists. Anticapitalistas was formed by people out of the Spanish Revolutionary Communist League (LCR), also Trotskyist. Ensemble in France, which participates in the Front de Gauche, has members who come from the Socialist and Communist Party, as well as from NPA and the Trotskyist left. Similarly, solidaritéS Suisse [Switzerland], though it has Trotskyist roots, has also incorporated those from other traditions.
“These groups, if they were Trotskyist in origin, have by and large turned away from many of the characteristics once associated with Trotskyist organizations. At one time many of these groups held a dogmatic view of socialist ideology based almost exclusively on a very particular and narrow reading of Marx and Engels, Lenin and Trotsky. …
“They worked to organize ‘vanguard parties’ based on a supposedly ‘democratic centralist’ model and often attempted to take control of and to dictate to labor unions and popular movements. … The Fourth International … has developed a more broad-minded view of revolutionary socialism, and so have most (but not all) of its affiliated organizations.”
Hating on Trump and Bolsonaro
According to an article by DSA comrade Ben Dalton:
“The official topic at the first Brooklyn Jacobin [DSA-aligned magazine] reading group held after the  election was socialist politics in Brazil, but the conversation kept returning to Trump.
“’I think you should be in the first line against Trump,’ said Pedro Fuentes, a visiting speaker and official in Brazil’s Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL). Around the room heads nodded. ‘Anti-Trump. This is the first task you have.’”
If PSOL and the DSA are united in their goal of building mass revolutionary parties in their home countries, they’re even more unified in the hatred of their respective presidents, Trump and his friend Bolsonaro.
In the United States, the DSA’s approximately 60,000 members are active in the anti-Trump movement in all 50 states. DSA comrades and their captive unions, non-profits, student unions, and even churches have organized thousands of anti-Trump rallies and meetings across the country. DSA comrades played a major role in taking back the House of Representatives for the Democrats in 2018.
Currently, the DSA is working with two pro-China organizations—Communist Party USA and Liberation Road (formerly Freedom Road Socialist Organization)—in the Left Inside/Outside Project to flip North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Arizona, and even Texas to the Democratic column in 2020. If they succeed, Trump will be a one-term president, and the United States will almost certainly be lost. All the remaining free countries will then fall like dominoes.
PSOL has played a major role in almost every anti-Bolsonaro rally held before or since Brazil’s 2018 election. Their American DSA allies have tried to poison the waters for Bolsonaro in the United States as well.
At a meeting on May 26, the Collin County DSA (North Texas) Skyped in “three comrades from Brazil who are members of the PSOL … to talk with us about their organizing efforts against the current proto-fascist president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro. Thanks to Mr. Pedro Fuentes of the PSOL, Ms. Alice Domingues, a student organizer, and Mr. Bruno Silviano, an organizer with the teacher’s union.”
“One of the most important things we learned from our comrades in Brazil was that opposition to Bolsonaro is huge in Brazil right now. At the most recent demonstrations against Bolsonaro before our conversation (which happened around the same time as DSA NTX and other area socialists, communists, anarchists, LGBTQ people, labor, and antifascists were protesting against Jair Bolsonaro’s visit to Dallas …)
“We asked our comrades in Brazil what we in the U.S. can do to help — the big ask right now was to boost awareness in the U.S. of the huge protests against Bolsonaro and show our solidarity. …
“Solidarity with the working class and oppressed of Brazil against fascism!”
The Trump–Bolsonaro Alliance Must Continue
Brazil was specifically mentioned in DSA’s Resolution #4, titled “Building the DSA International Committee,” passed during the convention, where the comrades resolved in part to “prioritize establishing relations with socialist and working-class organizations in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canada, Brazil, the Caribbean, and Latin America broadly.” The resolution claimed that “an effective and orderly International Committee is necessary for DSA to transition into an internationalist organization.”
The DSA and their PSOL comrades are fully committed to destroying the Trump–Bolsonaro alliance. From the revolutionary’s point of view, presidents Trump and Bolsonaro are huge impediments to world socialism.
They understand that this auspicious pairing could do more to counter world communism than anything we have seen since the Ronald Reagan–Margaret Thatcher–Pope John Paul partnership of the 1980s.
If Trump can turn around the United States and Bolsonaro can save Brazil, the positive consequences will be felt across the entire Western Hemisphere. And it will not end there.
If Trump and Bolsonaro destroy the Marxist movements in their respective countries, the world communist movement could be set back decades. This would be a fantastic boon for world freedom.
Trump and Bolsonaro should immediately direct their intelligence services to investigate the DSA and PSOL’s transnational interactions and their network of international allies. The DSA–PSOL–Fourth International alliance needs to be countered and dismantled. It poses a more urgent threat to our freedoms than does ISIS or al-Qaeda.
This alliance is nothing short of transnational treason. We need widespread media exposure, international governmental cooperation, and firm legal action to put an end to this threat.
Trevor Loudon is an author, filmmaker, and public speaker from New Zealand. For more than 30 years, he has researched radical left, Marxist, and terrorist movements and their covert influence on mainstream politics.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.