Democracy lost in Brazil
By Steven Cohen
As expected, the Brazilian Senate voted early Thursday to suspend President Dilma Rousseff and put on her on trial for impeachment. The leader of this months-long campaign in the lower house, Eduardo Cunha, was himself ordered to step down last week and will face charges of spiriting away as much as $40 million in bribes. The leader of impeachment in the Senate, Renan Calheiros, is under investigation as part of a sprawling political kickback scandal, as are many who voted in favor of impeachment in both chambers. Impeachment’s most vocal spokesman, Congressman Jair Bolsonaro, dedicated his vote to Brazil’s military dictatorship and the colonel responsible for torturing Rousseff, a former Marxist guerrilla, in the 1970s. Business interests backing the campaign include a host accused of modern-day slavery. The interim president, Michel Temer, heads a right-wing party that has lost four straight national elections to Rousseff’s Workers Party. He was recently convicted of campaign finance corruption and barred from running for office.
Rousseff’s Impeachment Could Lead to New Elections in Brazil
After a heated debate Brazilian senators decided to temporarily suspend President Dilma Rousseff from office and voted to put her on trial for violating budget laws. Radio Sputnik discussed the political upheaval in Brazil with Doctor Pedro Dos Santos, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Luther College, specializing in Brazilian politics.
With Rousseff ousted, vice president assembles right-wing government in Brazil
By Bill Van Auken
Michel Temer, the vice president and political ally of ousted Workers Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores—PT) President Dilma Rousseff, formally took control of Planalto, the presidential offices in Brasilia, Thursday, declaring that his would be a government of “national salvation,” and assembling a cabinet of right-wing politicians and capitalist economists from the banking and financial sector.
Dilma Rousseff is on trial – and so is Brazil’s faltering democracy
By Carolina Matos
The impeachment of Dilma Rousseff is a sad day for democracy and can be seen as a tragedy for Brazil’s struggling path towards further democratisation. But it also signals a new beginning, a possibility for the renewal of hope. Brazil, like other Latin American countries such as Argentina and Chile, still has a long way to go before it can become an advanced stable democracy, where pluralism and diversity in the media and in the political public sphere is encouraged and celebrated, and not undermined. A place where the intellectual zeitgeist is one of equal opportunities, social inclusion and fair play.
Impeachment of Dilma Rousseff – the Brazilian ruling class on the warpath
By Fred Weston
The Brazilian Senate has just voted by a majority of 55 votes to 22 to impeach the President Dilma Rousseff. Michel Temer, the Vice-President, and member of the bourgeois PMDB, is now making preparations to form a new right-wing government. This marks the end of a long period of relative political stability in Brazil. The economy is in its worst recession since the 1930s. It is in this context that we can understand the recent dramatic shifts and turns in the political situation.
By: Eric Nepomuceno / Source www.jornada.unam.mx / The Dawn News / May 12, 2016.
The Senate admitted the beginning of the impeachment trial against President Dilma Rousseff, with 55 votes in favor and 22 against. Beginning today, Dilma Rousseff will leave her seat for 180 days. Temer will be inaugurated as President of Brazil without people’s support. A recent poll found out that only 2 percent of Brazilians would vote for Michel Temer for President.
The voting began yesterday (Wednesday 11) and ended today, in the early hours of the morning, after 20 hours of debate.
“The impeachment against President Dilma Rousseff is unthinkable and would create an institutional crisis. It has no political nor juridical basis”. These words were pronounced less than a year ago by the man who now leads the impeachment process and the institutional coup against Dilma Rousseff: Michel Temer, a man that is under investigation for being a part of an illegal operation that sold ethanol in the black market, accused of leading corruption in the Santos City harbor and was sentenced for irregularities in the expenditures of electoral campaigns. He’s the new interim President of Brazil, until the trial against Dilma Rousseff is over.
Yesterday night, while the Senate consummated the coup, thousands of people gathered throughout Brazil to protest. An inferior number gathered to applaud the destitution of the President. In Brasilia, the police brutally repressed a demonstration of women that expressed their support to the first female President of Brazil. This might be a taste of what will come with Temer in the government.
Temer has no doubt that Rousseff won’t return to her seat and he’s confident that he will govern the country until December 31, 2018. Although there isn’t enough evidence to find Rousseff guilty of “crimes of responsibility” —the alleged reason is that she had broken a fiscal norm, as every Brazilian President did before her—, the process of impeachment has moved forward regardless up to this point. That’s why Temer spent the last few weeks outlining his government plan, and has also concerned himself with gathering enough support from the Congress, especially in the convoluted Deputy Chamber.
A few days ago, Temer’s plans suffered a hard blow with the suspension of his main ally, Eduardo Cunha, who despite several accusations against him, presided the Chamber of Deputies. Cunha, one of the most corrupt among the many corrupt deputies, was a key element of Temer’s government, as he was to gather the support of the deputies in exchange for seats and money allocations.
Temer raises to government hand in hand with those that had been defeated in the last four presidential elections: the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), of former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who made his greatest effort to promote the institutional coup. And also the far right, incarnated by the Democrat Party (DEM).
The new government will include some questionable names. The most important seat, the Ministry of Finance, will be occupied by Henrique Meirelles, a neoliberal. Temer also tried to name a preacher, who is also an ardent creationist and detractor of the theories of Charles Darwin, as the head of the Science and Technology Ministry.
He will rule in the shadow of Aécio Neves, who in 2014, 4 days after his defeat, ask the Justice to revoke Dilma’s mandate. Now, Neves has achieved that, but through the Congress.
Today, Dilma will return to the Palace of Planalto for a press round at 10 a.m.. It will be her last act as President, a mandate that she earned with 54 and a half million votes and that was ended by senators.
People take to the streets to protest the institutional coup
By: Rafael Tatemoto / Brasil de Fato / The Dawn News / May 12, 2016
The organizations of the People Without Fear Front promote an act against Michel Temer. Under the slogan “Temer: Never! We’ll resist on the streets for our rights”, they will convene, at 17:00 hours in the São Paulo Museum of Art in the Paulista Av., an epicenter of the city.
Guilherme Boulos, member of the national coordination of the Movement of Homeless Workers (MTST) and member of the national Front, affirms that movements will stand in “a permanent state of mobilization”.
People’s Youth Uprising, jointly with other entities that form the Popular Brazil Front, are organizing protests under the slogan “Cunha to jail and out with Temer” outside the offices of the PMDB. Demonstrations will be held in 16 states of Brazil, including the Federal District. Their goal is to denounce the institutional coup and demand prison for Cunha for his proved acts of corruption.
During the voting in the Senate, Parliamentarians that voted against the impeachment promised a “strong opposition” to Temer’s government. “I have no doubts that this will go down in history as a Parliamentary coup against democracy in Brazil. They had to do a coup because their program would never win an election. We won’t recognize Temer as President”, said Lindbergh Farias (PT-RJ).
The Left: Business Accommodation and Social Debacle