Opinion: Backfire in Brazil

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Opinion: Backfire in Brazil

Written by Vinicius (Master in Economics, International Trade and Finance) exclusively for SouthFront

The latest events in Brazil have proved surprising as the largest corruption scandal in the country´s history continues to unfold and now threatens the continuation of the president´s current term.

Abundant evidence has been presented against many leaders of the Worker´s Party – PT, including the former president Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, known in Brazil as Lula. A long list of charges comprising the utilization of public positions to gain benefits and money laundering have this week prompted a local judge, Sergio Moro, to determine the forceful conduction of the former president to testify.

This event opened the Pandora´s box, as the militants of the Worker´s Party perceived that as a direct attack on their main leader. Movements were organized both by supporters of PT and the ones that oppose it.

Nevertheless, the situation got more complicated as it became clear that there was a real risk that justice would determine the ex-president´s preemptive arrest. The solution found by Dilma Roussef, the current president, also from PT, was to name the ex-president chief of staff, as this would entitle Lula to judgment by the Supreme Court, where most ministers (Supreme Court judges) were chosen by either Lula or Dilma.

This strategy greatly backfired. The very unsatisfied population of the country took to the streets and protests even turned violent in Brazil. Also, the judiciary branch felt offended by Lula´s defiant comments which were made public in phone taps released by judge Moro, who is becoming a national hero in the eyes of the population.

The country´s largest media outlets are clearly promoting the dissatisfaction as they do not refrain from making public all available information about the authority´s misconduct. PT leaders therefore claim that the media is engaged in a coup attempt and that all this dissatisfaction is managed from abroad; by the USA.

As much as it is clear that America throughout history has been involved in many “color revolutions”, it is also true that PT managed to break up the Brazilian society with the demonization of the business class, the middle class, career professionals, whites, males, heterosexuals, and Christians. Never has the country seen such hatred and division in its society and, unequivocally, this provides fertile ground for protests, especially when it becomes clear how deeply in illegal actions the PT administration is involved.

Moreover, incompetence of the self-proclaimed left leaning government of Dilma Roussef, that, contradictorily, maintains a very friendly environment for foreign capital and market speculators, with the world´s highest interest rate, has caused a steep rise in unemployment and the greatest recession in the country´s recent history.

For Brazilians it is shocking to learn that the options presented by the great political forces of the country are a neoliberal government concerned only with austerity and, in the other end, a corrupt leftist government that stalled production and development and installed a de facto opinion dictatorship, electing as national enemies the working people, traditional families, whites, and religious institutions. Not surprisingly, new political forces are appearing. One of them is Bolsonaro, an ex-military, with a Strong nationalistic rhetoric who fought both the neoliberals and the leftists in the last 20 years.

As the country waits for the fate of Lula, Dilma´s term is also endangered, as public pressure forced the country´s congress to start the impeachment process. It is very difficult to predict what will happen, however, if PT escapes prosecution or Dilma is maintained in power, there may be a break in the country´s institutions and even an action of force either by the population or the military. I have never seen anything like this in the last 40 years.

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