by Scott Creighton
The white upper middle class of Brazil are taking it to the streets after being prompted to do so by every corporatist media organization in the country. It’s time to take a stand against the “corruption” of President Dilma Rousseff and have her (and more importantly, her political party the Workers’ Party (PT) ) impeached. So said Brazil’s lower house of congress last night when they voted to begin impeachment proceedings against the standing president of the country. It should be noted, the member of the lower house who led that proceeding is a political opponent of the president and is himself facing serious corruption charges.
The mostly white petite bourgeoisie protesters screamed in glee. I’ll bet there was good sex in the pale Brazilian suburbs last night.
The rest of the country… not so much.
Yes folks, this is a coup. It’s a color revolution/regime change operation every bit as much as the one taking place in Syria or the one that took place in Libya. The only difference is, they are using the impeachment process to remove the troubling leader as opposed to “humanitarian” bombing campaigns or “moderate” terrorist mercenaries.
“This is a coup, a traumatic injury to Brazil’s presidential system,” said Pedro Arruda, a political analyst at the Pontifical Catholic University in São Paulo. “This is just pretext to take down a president who was elected by 54 million people. She doesn’t have foreign bank accounts, and she hasn’t been accused of corruption, unlike those who are trying to impeach her.” New York Times
When you get past the far right wing hype being spewed by many of the corporatist MSM outlets about this event, what you find is a rather remarkable justification for the impeachment. It’s essentially a budgetary slight of hand, not a fraud or swindle committed by the president that is at the root of it.
“… charges that the president illegally used money from state-owned banks to conceal a yawning budget deficit in an effort to bolster her re-election prospects…
… Although legal experts and political analysts are divided, many have expressed concern over the basis of the impeachment drive. They note that the budgetary sleight of hand that Ms. Rousseff is accused of employing to address the deficit has been used by many elected officials, though not on so large a scale.” New York Times
By contrast, look at the corruption of Hillary Clinton… and we are about to elect her, not impeach her. And look at the corruption of Dick Cheney and the illegal wars of aggression so he could personally benefit via Halliburton no-bid contracts in Afghanistan and Iraq (to say nothing of the stealing of Iraqi oil reserves). And they are trying to impeach their president because she essentially shifted some state money from their central bank to cover deficits?
“To meet the new regulations, the Brazilian government (at all levels) borrows its own money (from a public bank or fund) to cover deficitary budget items for that year. Then, when the government money for the next fiscal year is cashed in, the government pays itself back and returns the borrowed money. This can also happen over a larger time span, as is the case now, when the deficit spans two or three years.
It’s a mundane accounting trick but it’s not a minor issue. The law is meant to provide economic stability and to help control inflation. When we consider that Brazil’s current development model is largely based on public expenditure (infrastructure, procurements, etc) and indebtedness, this predicted risk can become an important “instability” index for the economy as a whole.
This practice, and Dilma’s responsibility for what has been done at federal level, is the legal basis for the impeachment request.” Jacobin Mag
This law was put in place back in 2000 in order to ensure future governments had to abide by austerity measures, cutting programs to help Brazil’s poor and working classes, whenever possible. The threat of course is if they don’t live up to the austerity budgets put in place by the neoliberals in their congress, they could face trouble with the next election, or impeachment if they fudge the numbers like Dilma and PT did.
That’s why this is a distinctly class-based impeachment.
Dilma isn’t accused of stealing money or lining her own pockets (like so many of those leading the charge to remove her from office are). Instead, she is accused of a greater crime: not bleeding the poor and working classed enough to satiate the ruling classes of Brazil.
This is also about regaining control of Brazil’s political system. Taking it back from the popular political party of former 2-term president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Lula, as he is called, was and is, extremely popular among the masses of Brazil. That’s because he was one of them and he became president back in 2002.
Dilma was his hand-picked successor. She won the presidential election back in 2010 without any previous political experience at all. She won because Lula wanted her to win and that was all the masses needed to vote for her back then.
She won her second election in 2014 and is currently midway through her second term.
Some suggest the wealthy oligarchs of Brazil fear another run by Lula in 2018.
You have to remember, back in ’64 I think, the CIA and the wealthy power elites ran a coup in Brazil which ousted the left-leaning elected government and installed a brutal dictatorship, a fascist brutal dictatorship, modeled on the same kind of dictatorships we always install in South American countries.
They ruled for over 20 years and democracy only really came back to the nation in ’85 or so.
And that dictatorship started in a very similar manner to what is happening right now in Brazil.
Understandably, the older generations in the country have those days clearly in mind. The poorer of them dread the possibility of going back to those days. The more affluent… well…
Voting in Brazil is currently mandatory. That means no matter what, the poor working class will always have an advantage when it comes to selecting their leaders. This explains the success of the PT party over the past 4 presidential elections and it certainly bodes an ill wind for the petite bourgeoisie when it comes to selecting the next.
But the fascist reactionary opposition always find other undemocratic ways to gain power. After all, there are the words of their hero to consider:
“I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.” Henry Kissinger
The vice president of the country, Michel Temer , the man who will take over when and if Dilma is impeached, is in fact a member of the fascist reactionary opposition party. And he also endorsed the impeachment last week.
“Over the few last days the tension has escalated. Dilma has even made a public speech referring to the vice president and the president of the house of deputies as the author and vice-author of the coup — which is by now 100 percent clear.
Vice President Temer “accidentally” leaked on Monday a voice message via WhatsApp, “rehearsing” his speech as if the impeachment was already decided. In fact it was leaked intentionally, as a message signaling what he is offering for those who will vote for the impeachment and support him.
Since then the vice president’s official house has been the epicenter of a pilgrimage. He is reportedly naming people he wants to appoint as ministers and talking about the need to implement a “shock program” to send a very clear message to the market in his first ten days in power. This includes, of course, a huge reform to the public pension scheme, among other things.” Jacobin Mag
If and when this impeachment takes place, you can expect a purge of the PT party throughout the government on similar trumped up charges of malfeasance.
Then you can expect a revision of the law mandating everyone votes along with certain “voter ID” laws and other right-wing party tricks designed to make sure only, shall we say, “lighter” colored voters need apply for those voter IDs.
Dilma, for her part, has been trying to appease the oligarchs of Brazil. She enacted various austerity measures in the wake of the Goldman Sachs global financial meltdown, much to the chagrin of Lula and his masses of supporters.
Even still, she garnered some 50+ million votes back in 2014 in spite of that.
Understandably, the “Billionaire’s Bitch”, Glen Greenwald, is trying to play up to both sides on this one. He rightly points out the hypocrisy of those bringing this impeachment proceeding against Dilma while facing corruption charges themselves (which will certainly be squashed when PT and Dilma are out of power) and he rightly points out this is a politically driven impeachment without giving us any real insight into the class-based structure of it all.
And he also rightly points out that it’s being driven by the corporate media and their oligarch owners who clearly seek to live and profit in a more neoliberal Brazil.
[Kind of makes Erdogan’s decision to impose restrictions on those 3 Gulenist publications a little more understandable, doesn’t it? It’s not the “end of democracy” but rather an attempt to defend it from globalist publications looking to ferment an atmosphere of regime change, don’t ya know. Same thing the Mockingbirds did in Brazil. Only Dilma sat back and let them do it.]
All of this is commendable on Glen’s part and would serve him well in his attempt to portray himself as some kind of liberal journalist crusader were it not for the glaring omissions in his lengthy work.
You see, Glen has made a fortune selling all those fake “Edward Snowden” leaks to his oligarch billionaire employer (who happens to have supported the color revolution in Ukraine, by the way)
So Glen is a member of that “mostly white petite bourgeoisie” class I am talking about who either openly or secretly support this slow-motion color revolution coup.
He tips his hand when he fails to explain exactly why Dilma is being impeached. Information like that will clearly let his audience know just how political and class-based the impeachment is. And then he goes further by implying Dilma and her entire party, the party of the masses and the people, are corrupt.
“None of this is a defense of PT. Both because of genuine widespread corruption in that party and national economic woes, Dilma and PT are intensely unpopular among all classes and groups, even including the party’s working-class base…
There is no question that PT is rife with corruption. There are serious questions surrounding Lula that deserve an impartial and fair investigation. And impeachment is a legitimate process in a democracy provided that the targeted official is actually guilty of serious crimes” Glen Greenwald
Greenwald even goes so far as to implicate Lula in the corruption which is an old charge involving the state-owned oil company Petrobras.
Old charge or not, once Dilma is routed from office and her reactionary VP takes over and the purge of left-leaning PT members is underway, it’s not hard to imagine the new ruling opposition party will turn their attention to Lula in order to make sure he doesn’t stage a comeback anytime soon.
[Also of note: notice the two things mentioned in these charges – a state owned central-type bank and a state owned oil company. Keep those in mind, you privatization vultures. They are sure to end up on the chopping blocks in Brazil in the near future if everything goes the way of the reactionary fascists.]
It’s understandable that Glen would attempt to position himself this way, kind of in the middle with just enough exposure of the political aspect of this coup and just enough demonization of Dilma and PT in order to survive the purge afterward. If we have learned nothing about the “progressive” Mr. Greenwald, we have learned he is definitely pragmatic in the tradition of Clinton pragmatism.
There is no doubt that this is a coup and that President Dilma Rousseff will certainly face impeachment when the upper house of Brazil votes in the near future. That is pretty much a given at this point.
There is also no doubt that this is a politically motivated color revolution taking place on the streets, backed and cheered by the oligarch-driven corporate media outlets which are busily drumming up anger and dissatisfaction with the current government.
The petite bourgeoisie protesters forced their way into the lower house last night so they could be there, screaming and chanting, as the vote for impeachment took place. They were supported obviously by the opposition party members, opposed by PT members. But they were there, none the less.
The VP is standing ready to impose a shock therapy dose of brutal economic austerity just as soon as he takes power.
The economy in Brazil is in tatters. That much is clear. With so much of the state dependent on the oil revenues, Big Agribusiness is the only profitable industry in the country today. It is also clear that the oligarchs, forecasting this economic downturn in spite of Dilma’s acceptance of austerity measures in the past, may not be investing in domestic markets like they should – knowing that they can add to the financial hardship of the people and then being able to exploit it like they are now. This is the “make the economy scream” tactic we have seen from these power elites so many times in Latin America.
There is much at stake here, far outside the national boundaries of Brazil. They are a leading member of the BRICS nations and currently represent one of the largest economies on the planet.
So neoliberals see this as a once in a generation opportunity to shift the dynamic of the global power structure and not just the typical vulture capitalist feeding frenzy they usually enjoy after a successful color revolution or coup.
There is a lot at stake in Brazil and the people along with PT are poised to take to the streets in the next few weeks to oppose this coup much the same way the people of Venezuela did when we removed Chavez not that long ago.
It’s hard too say where it will end up beyond the impeachment. More than likely the purge of PT and other left-leaning politicians and administrators will be accompanied by something similar regarding leading opposition activists, protesters and journalists.
The coup we backed in Egypt which put al Sisi in power claimed the lives of over 800 protesters in one day. Zip was said about that brutality by our “progressive” leaders here in the states.
In Honduras after Hillary Clinton’s little coup in 2009, the same zip was said by President Peace Prize regarding the “many other acts of repression attendant with the coup perpetrated by Honduran military and police: kidnappings, beatings, disappearances, attacks on demonstrators, shutting down the internet and suppressing the few small critical media outlets that exist in Honduras”
Ironically, the indy film Colonia is finally being released here in the US this weekend. It’s a film about the aftermath of the 1973 coup in Chile and one specific demented human being the CIA and the Pinochet regime tasked with imprisoning, torturing and killing left-wing dissidents in the country.
Unfortunately we often see this kind of ideological cleansing take place in nations where these kinds of coups are set in motion. Especially south of our border. It’s hard not to draw comparisons between what is happening today and what happened in Chile in ’73 or for that matter, what happened in Brazil in ’64.
The coup subjected Brazil to a military regime politically aligned to the interests of the United States government. This regime would last until 1985, when Tancredo Neves was indirectly elected the first civilian President of Brazil since the 1960 elections.
My heart goes out to the people of Brazil. I fear for them and the future of their democracy. I just don’t fear for the neoliberal Greenwald-type white petite bourgeoisie class that is hung over this morning after celebrating a return to fascism last night.
I don’t fear for them at all. I fear them.
“a place where those who hate ignorance may strive to know, where those who perceive truth may strive to make others see.” John Masefield
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Filed under: #BillionairesBitch, Brazilian coup 2016, BRICS, Color revolution Brazil, Dilma Rousseff impeachment, Fascism², Global Free Market Wars, Globalization, Neoliberalizing Brazil, Scott Creighton