Riani, Clodsmith (1920–)

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Riani, Clodsmith (1920–)

Clodsmith Riani (b. 15 October 1920), Brazilian trade unionist and president of the National Confederation of Workers in Industry (CNTI) and of the Commando Geral dos Trabalhadores (CGT). Born in Minas Gerais, Riani went to work as an apprentice electrician in 1936 for a utility company in Juiz de Fora, where he emerged in 1949 as a key labor leader. He forged close ties with João "Jango" Goulart, the national leader of the Brazilian Labor Party (PTB), and was elected PTB state deputy several times between 1954 and 1964. Joining the CNTI, Riani led the opposition to its conservative president whom he defeated in an upset election in 1961. Elected vice president of the CGT in 1962 and president in 1963, Riani played a central role in the tumultuous struggles prior to the military coup of 31 March 1964. With the CGT dissolved and the CNTI taken over by the government, he was arrested and sentenced to a total of nineteen years in prison, of which he served six. After his release, he returned to his original job in Juiz de Fora, finished secondary school, and went on to earn a law degree. In 1982, Riani was elected state deputy of the Party of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (PMDB), thus continuing the fight, in Riani's words, for "democratic, progressive, and nationalist ideals."

See alsoBrazil, Organizations: General Labor Command (CGT); Brazil, Political Parties: Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB); Communism; Labor Movements.


Israel Beloch and Alzira Alves De Abreu, Dicionário históricobiográfico brasileiro 1930–1983, vol. 4 (1984); on labor in Juiz de Fora, see Maria Andrea Loyola, Os Sindicatos e o PTB: Estudo de um caso em Minas Gerais (1980); Riani was interviewed extensively by Lucília De Almeida Neves Delgado in O Comando Geral dos Trabalhadores no Brasil 1961–1964 (1981) and PTB: Do Getulismo ao Reformismo (1945–1964) (1989).

Additional Bibliography

Paula, Hilda Rezende and Nilo de Araújo Campos. Clodesmidt Riani: Trajetória. Juiz de Fora, Rio de Janeiro: FUNALFA Edições, 2005.

                                      John D. French