The real reason Dilma Rousseff’s enemies want her impeached – By David Miranda

The real reason Dilma Rousseff’s enemies want her impeached

Dilma Rousseff

Dilma Rousseff

Corruption is just the pretext for a wealthy elite who failed to defeat Brazil’s president at the ballot box

The story of Brazil’s political crisis, and the rapidly changing global perception of it, begins with its national media. The country’s dominant broadcast and print outlets are owned by a tiny handful of Brazil’s richest families, and are steadfastly conservative. For decades, those media outlets have been used to agitate for the Brazilian rich, ensuring that severe wealth inequality (and the political inequality that results) remains firmly in place.

Indeed, most of today’s largest media outlets – that appear respectable to outsiders – supported the 1964 military coup that ushered in two decades of rightwing dictatorship and further enriched the nation’s oligarchs. This key historical event still casts a shadow over the country’s identity and politics. Those corporations – led by the multiple media arms of the Globo organisation –heralded that coup as a noble blow against a corrupt, democratically elected liberal government. Sound familiar? 

For more than a year, those same media outlets have peddled a self-serving narrative: an angry citizenry, driven by fury over government corruption, rising against and demanding the overthrow of Brazil’s first female president, Dilma Rousseff, and her Workers’ party (PT). The world saw endless images of huge crowds of protesters in the streets, always an inspiring sight.   [Read more]

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  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 04/27/2016 at 11:36 am

    Thanks for sharing, Cyril. My heart bleeds for the poor and working class peoples of Brazil.

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 04/27/2016 at 11:38 am

    Reblogged this on Three Worlds One Vision and commented:
    “Ultimately, Brazil’s elite political and media classes are toying with the mechanics of democracy. That’s a dangerous, unpredictable game to play anywhere, but particularly so in a very young democracy with a recent history of political instability and tyranny, and where millions are furious over their economic deprivation.”
    ~ I’m pleased to see that the foreign press has awakened to the “legalized coup” (my description) underway in Brazil.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 04/27/2016 at 3:25 pm

    But what most outside Brazil did not see was that the country’s plutocratic media had spent months inciting those protests [while pretending merely to “cover” them]. The protesters were not remotely representative of Brazil’s population. They were, instead, disproportionately white and wealthy: the very same people who have opposed the PT [Workers’ Party] and its anti-poverty programmes for two decades.

    The country’s elite class and their media organs have failed, over and over, in their efforts to defeat the party at the ballot box. But plutocrats are not known for gently accepting defeat, or for playing by the rules. What they have been unable to achieve democratically, they are now attempting to achieve anti-democratically:

    – By having a bizarre mix of politicians – evangelical extremists, far-right supporters of a return to military rule, non-ideological backroom operatives – simply remove her from office.

    A New York Times article last week reported that “60% of the 594 members of Brazil’s Congress” – the ones voting to impeach Rousseff – “face serious charges like bribery, electoral fraud, illegal deforestation, kidnapping and homicide”. By contrast, said the article, Rousseff “is something of a rarity among Brazil’s major political figures: she has not been accused of stealing for herself”.

    And there is more, writes David Miranda:
    Most volatile of all, many – including the prosecutors and investigators who have led the corruption probe – fear that the real plan behind Rousseff’s impeachment is to put an end to the ongoing investigation, thus protecting corruption, not punishing it.

    There is a real risk that once she is impeached, Brazil’s media will no longer be so focused on corruption, public interest will dissipate, and the newly empowered faction in Brasilia will be able to exploit its congressional majorities to cripple that investigation and protect themselves.

    The media decides what we think about and talk about every day…..!!

  • Clyde Duncan  On 05/09/2016 at 2:57 pm

    Vote to impeach Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff halted over ‘irregularities’
    by Dom Phillips, and Nick Miroff -The Washington Post

    RIO DE JANEIRO—The impeachment process against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was abruptly halted Monday [09 May 2016] after the leader of Brazil’s lower house agreed to annul last month’s vote by lawmakers to put her on trial.

    The surprise announcement came just two days ahead of an impeachment vote in Brazil’s senate that was likely to suspend Rousseff from office.

    Congressman Waldir Maranhao, the interim speaker of Brazil’s chamber of deputies, said in a statement Monday that he decided to accept a request by Attorney General Jose Cardozo to annul the April 17 vote to put Rousseff on trial, citing procedural irregularities. Maranhao said lawmakers should not have announced their votes in advance, and should not have been told how to vote by party leaders.

    “For these reasons I annulled the session … and decided that a new session should take place,” Maranhao said, adding that he’d asked the president of Brazil’s senate to return the impeachment measure to the lower house for a new vote. He did not set a date, but said the vote would take place within five legislative sessions.

    Maranhao’s move seemed to whipsaw the entire country, including Rousseff.
    In a speech Monday, she too seemed confused about the meaning of the decision. “I don’t know the consequences,” she said to a cheering crowd of supporters. “We have to find out what’s happening.”

    Maranhao became acting speaker of the house last week after Eduardo Cunha, the elected speaker, was suspended by Brazil’s Supreme Court. Cunha is accused of corruption by the same court.

    About 70 per cent of Brazilian deputies voted last month against Rousseff, so dozens of lawmakers would have to change their minds about her impeachment in order for a future vote to break out in her favour. That seems unlikely, so Maranhao’s decision may only end up stalling Rousseff’s impeachment, and would do little to bring stability to her government.

    “Brazil is in political intensive care, at the peak of an ethical and institutional crisis,” said Claudio Lamachia, president of the Brazilian Bar Association.
    “The Brazilian Bar Association is very worried about the decision taken by the interim speaker of the house,” he said. “This sort of action appeases the momentary interests of some political groups, but ignores the legitimate decisions already taken.”

    **”Legitimate decision” my ass – This is an attempted coup!-clyde

  • Clyde Duncan  On 05/20/2016 at 11:28 pm

    Rousseff’s Ouster Weakens BRICS by M.K. Bhadrakumar – Indian Punchline

    The fact of the matter is that the removal of Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff from the office of president and her impending impeachment trial does not add up. Crime and punishment must have some co-relation.

    Curiously, Rousseff is not charged with corruption.

    Rousseff herself likened her ouster to a coup d’état. Indeed, the political circumstances are extraordinary. The charge against Rousseff is fiscal wrongdoing – using state money under one budgetary head to cover extra expenditure under another head. She says she diverted the funds for undertaking social programs.

    Fiscal jugglery is not unusual for elected governments and it is a common practice in Brazil. No president ever paid this high a price. Curiously, Rousseff is not charged with corruption.

    True, Rousseff’s popularity is low, but Vice-President Michel Temer who now replaces her as interim president until 2018 is no better. Only 2% of Brazilians say they will vote for Temer in a presidential election. His legitimacy is questionable. True, Brazil’s economy is in deep recession. But that can be attributed to the slump in commodity prices and the slowdown in the world economy.

    That brings us to the famous question by Vladimir Lenin, Who stands to gain?

    China’s official news agency Xinhua has quoted a Harvard-educated academic and author based in Havana, Cuba, who surmises that the events in Brazil form part of a ‘regime change’ agenda launched by Washington in 2013 to regain influence in Latin America by replacing the progressive left-leaning governments and undermining the regional integration blocs in the continent. (Xinhua)

    On the other hand, Latin America’s democratic transformation is a historical process that cannot easily be undone. Besides, social movements and left-wing politics have become an enduring feature of the continent’s political landscape and it is futile to overlook their legitimate role. Again, Rousseff didn’t pose any ‘strategic challenge’ to USA imperialism.

    She (and her predecessor Lula), in fact, bore an uncanny resemblance to the UPA government in India (2004-2014) under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

    All three pursued neo-liberal policies interspersed with doses of welfare programs, and studiously avoided any confrontational posturing vis-à-vis the USA, while at the same time also steering largely independent foreign policies as emerging powers in the multipolar world setting.

    Of course, all three led incredibly corrupt regimes and fostered crony capitalism (which ensues from neo-liberalism). What Rousseff and Manmohan Singh lacked was Lula’s charisma and his innate genius (having been a trade union leader) to connect with the masses. Of course, Manmohan Singh was bookish and pedantic, while both Lula and Rousseff had impressive revolutionary pedigree.

    Lula and Rousseff epitomise the paradox of Latin America’s Left. There are really two ‘Lefts’ in that region – a hardcore, reformist and internationalist Left which sprang out of the Communist International and the Bolshevik Revolution; and a second Left stream born out of the great tradition of Latin American populism, which is nationalist and is more interested in policy as the means to attain and conserve power rather than in power as a tool for making policy.

    Brazil falls in the second category. In the domestic arena, Lula and Rousseff emphasised social policy – education, anti-poverty programs, healthcare, housing – but within the orthodox market framework. Neither subscribed to old-school anti-Americanism; both took care not to take differences with Washington to the brink. Rousseff’s only run-in was over the Snowden disclosure that the USA eavesdropped on her, but she soon reconciled. As for Lula, he warmly welcomed President George W. Bush at his home, while demonstrators burned the visiting dignitary’s effigy just across the street.

    Yet, there is something to be said in favour of the Xinhua commentary.

    Rousseff’s ouster does smack of an undemocratic conspiracy. And the USA has a long history of hatching such conspiracies.

    Never mind that Rousseff was not a pain in the neck for President Barack Obama. That was also the case with Georgia’s Eduard Shevardnadze and yet Washington staged a colour revolution in 2004 to have good old ‘Shevvy’ replaced – because, it wanted an absolutely reliable ‘anti-Russian’ leader in Tbilisi who would take the country right out of Moscow’s orbit forever. Enter Mikheil Saakashvili, who successfully accomplished that mission. Georgia today is America’s poodle. (Reuters)

    Secondly, Brazil is a major partner for China in Latin America and that partnership worries Washington, since Brazil also happens to be Latin America’s superpower – not only the biggest country with over 200 million inhabitants but also the world’s seventh biggest economy.

    Thirdly, Brazil is BRICS country. For obvious reasons, BRICS has been an eyesore for Washington. And, lately BRICS began evolving into a global organization. Of course, BRICS represents a ‘growth model’. In geopolitical terms, BRICS presents a dynamic platform for Russia and China to resist US hegemony and to propagate the democratization of the international system. (See the opinion piece by Shyam Saran BRICS – The End of Western Dominance of the Global Financial and Economic Order.)

    Now, any architecture becomes unstable if one of its four main pillars becomes shaky and undependable. Of course, what Brazil’s interim president Temer brings to the table at the BRICS summit in Goa in October 2016 will be keenly watched, given the WikiLeaks disclosure that he used to be an informant of the American embassy in Brasilia. (Read the stunning report here.)

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