Print this article   Email this to a friend

Press Release

Socialist International honours the memory of Leonel Brizola

22 June 2004

During the night of Monday 21 June 2004, our dear friend and comrade, Leonel Brizola, passed away at the age of 82 following a cardiac arrest in Rio de Janeiro’s Sao Lucas Hospital where he had been taken for treatment of a serious cold.

An Honorary President of the Socialist International at the time of his death, having been elected to that post by the SI Congress held in Sao Paulo last October, Leonel Brizola firmly believed in the Socialist International and its ideals, and for eighteen years consistently played an active and committed role in the organisation, having also served as a Vice-President for fourteen of those years. We feel deep sorrow at his loss and are enormously proud to honour his memory.

Brizola was a prominent and popular figure in Brazilian politics over the last fifty years, most notably during his two stints as Governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro from 1982 to 86 and from 1990 to 94, where he was proud to count among his achievements the building of more than 200 educational centres for children. Passionately committed to helping the poor and the workers, he remained faithful to his left-wing ideals throughout his career, opposing the influence of neo-liberal policies.

Brizola began his political career in Rio Grande do Sul in 1947 with his election to the State Assembly for the Brazilian Workers’ Party (PTB) and subsequently, in 1954, was elected Deputy and in 1958 State Governor. During that time he also served as Mayor of Porto Alegre, the State’s capital, elected in 1955.

Following the military coup in 1962 Leonel Brizola spent the next fifteen years in exile where he founded a new party, the Democratic Labour Party, PDT, which he led until his death. The PDT joined the Socialist International at the Lima Congress of 1986 with consultative status, becoming a full member of the organisation at the Stockholm Congress of 1989, at which time he was elected a Vice-President of the SI.

In 1989 Brizola also ran for President of Brazil, narrowly missing a place in the run-off. In 1998 he ran as the Vice-Presidential candidate on Lula’s ticket for the Presidency which they lost. For the 2002 elections he formed part of the Frente Trabalhista, a labour coalition of the PDT, PPS and PTB for the first round of the vote, and in the second backed Lula, later becoming critical of the government’s policies.

Leonel Brizola’s commitment to the Socialist International was unwavering and as a member of the SI Presidium, he was a familiar face in any part of the world the SI happened to meet in, always lending his voice to the proceedings of our International. The Socialist International is deeply grateful and will keep his memory alive.

Socialist International

Report to the XXV SI Congress


Press coverage


SI in the News








in MemOriaM


Etienne Tshisekedi
1932 - 2017



Mário Soares
1924 - 2017

Member parties in government

List of SI member parties in government 


in memoriam

Charif Fayyad
Former Secretary General of the PSP, Lebanon
1937 - 2016


in MeMoriAM


Shimon Peres

1923 - 2016

Finances of the InternationAl

Budget and accounts

Member Party Congresses


Michael Rocard

1930 - 2016

in memorIam



in memORIAM


Mohamed Abdelaziz 
1947 - 2016

in memoRiam




2 April 2017

The Gambia
6 April 2017

9 April 2017

23 April 2017

11 June 2017


World Refugee Day


Report of the Secretary General

Resolutions and Decisions of the XXIV Congress



In support of democracy in Uganda

22 FEBRUARY 2016

In recent years the people of Africa have continued advancing and moving forward democratic governance in an important number of countries of the region. Today, more and more people in that continent enjoy freedoms and rights, a precondition for progress, development and peace. Members of the Socialist International in a good number of countries in Africa have been protagonists and actors of an era of change that has been bringing new opportunities and a new face to the political life of the continent. Nevertheless, authoritarianism, oppression and other evils of the past still linger in the political life of some of the countries in the region...


SI condemns terrorist attack in Ouagadougou

16 JANUARY 2016

The Socialist International vigorously condemns the terrorist attack carried out last night in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, which has left 28 people dead from many different countries, responsibility for which has been claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victims. 126 hostages were rescued by security forces following an operation to reclaim the hotel where the attack happened, during which a number of terrorists were killed. The Socialist International expresses its wholehearted solidarity with newly elected President Roch Marc Kaboré who assumed office at the end of December...


SI solidarity with Mali and President Keita following terrorist attack in Bamako

20 NOVEMBER 2015

The Socialist International is deeply saddened by the barbarous terrorist attack in Bamako early this morning, which has resulted in the death of numerous civilians in a hotel in the capital. Our heartfelt thoughts and condolences are with all those who are suffering and grieving as a result of this cowardly act of terror against innocent people with no chance to defend themselves. This attack is also an attack against democracy and against the efforts of the government and people of Mali to move the country forward. President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is a leader that has made us all proud in our International, for his statesmanship, courage and commitment to securing a way forward for peace, democracy and economic progress for all the peoples of Mali...


Socialist International congratulates San Suu Kyi and NLD on historic election results

13 NOVEMBER 2015

The Socialist International warmly congratulates Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy, NLD, on their historic victory following general elections held in Myanmar on 8 November. The results of these elections, in which close to 30 million people were eligible to vote, already show that with 80% of the contested seats now declared, the NLD have more than the two thirds needed to choose the President and put an end to more than 50 years of military rule. These elections, despite the role and influence of the military, has been seen as the first openly contested poll in Myanmar in twenty five years, when the NLD won by a large majority in national elections in 1990 but Aung San Suu Kyi was prevented from taking office by the military and spent several long periods under house arrest, which only ended in 2010....


Socialist International condemns terrorist attacks in Paris

14 NOVEMBER 2015

The Socialist International is deeply shocked and saddened by the horrific multiple terrorist attacks carried out last night in Paris by ISIS, which have left 129 dead and many injured. We send our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims, our sympathy to all those who endured this heinous crime, and our solidarity with the entire French nation as it comes to terms with these events. The Socialist International underscores its firm support for and solidarity with President Hollande and his government as he firmly and decisively acts to confront this concerted scourge of terror that has hit France, and takes the necessary measures to protect its citizens...