Questions following coup in Brazil [Part II: And connection]

by Farooque Chowdhury

Frontier | 20 July, 2016

Political analyst Luis Nassiff points out, the Wall Street-coup connection is more than apparent: “[T]he interests of finance capital, i.e., Wall Street, is closely aligned with those of the ‘richest man in Brazil,’ Jorge Paulo Lemann, multibillionaire Suisse-Brazilian and owner of Heinz Ketchup (jointly with Tereza Heinz Kerry, wife of the US secretary of state John Kerry) […] [or] Burger King, which is the majority stockholder of the companies Anheuser-Busch and Budweiser, and enjoy close relations with Warren Buffet. […] [at the center is the battle is the TPP and TTIP which] are viewed as supranational business infrastructure, which essentially subordinates the signatory nations to the command of large companies and finance capital […] Everything indicates that after Macri [recently elected neoliberal president of Argentina], and if the coup is successful in Brazil, the treaties will be quickly approved. It should be even less a surprise that other groups active in the anti-government protests, are likewise financed by Wall Street, such as the infamous Koch Brothers. Charles and David Koch, are the financial backers of the Movimento Brasil Livre (Free Brazil Movement) and the Estudantes pela Liberdade (Students for Freedom), and several of the coup leaders were trained through the Atlas Economic Research Foundation.” (Cited in Mello and Muniz, op. cit.)

Temer secretly met officials in the Washington DC in 2006 and 2007. (WikiLeaks released two cables dated January 11, 2006, and June 21, 2006) The leader briefed US diplomats on the political process in Brazil and his party’s aspirations to gain power at the time of 2006 elections. Temer, WikiLeaks has revealed, was an embassy informant for US intelligence. WikiLeaks reveals: Temer the “democracy”-crusader communicated with the US embassy in Brazil, and the “democracy”-content in the mails was classified as “sensitive” and “for official use only”.

Part of government, military, Supreme Court and oil executives, according to transcripts published by Folha de Sao Paulo,Brazil’s largest newspaper, joined hands to oust Dilma. The conspirators entered into a “national pact”, as one of the conspirators termed their conspiracy. The transcripts of the 75-minute phone conversation in March, weeks before the country’s lower house voted to impeach Dilma, were between a senator and a former oil executive. Both of them were investigated for Petrobras corruption. They planned to replace Dilma with Temer. According to the transcripts, one of the conspirators said the military is supporting the plot: “I am talking to the generals, the military commanders. They are fine with this, they said they will guarantee it.” The same plotter added the he spoke with and secured the involvement of many Supreme Court judges. The conversation was between Juca, a key player in the conspiratorial drama, and former transperto president Machado, another of the key players. “I think we need to articulate a political action,” Juca said. He added, a possible government with Temer as president should include a national pact.

Senator Aloysio Nunes, an impeachment proponent, met officials and lobbyists close to Hillary Clinton in Washington DC in the days following his vote to impeach Dilma, said another report. The persons Nunes met included members of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee; lobbying firm Albright Stonebridge Group chaired by former secretary of state Madeleine Albright; and Thomas Shannon, a former US ambassador to Brazil. Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said Shannon“has been involved in helping other coups in the region”including in Honduras in 2009 and in Paraguay in 2012. (RT, “‘Made in USA’: 3 key signs that point to Washington’s hand in Brazil’s ‘coup’”, May 18, 2016) The Paraguay-2012-coup toppled the country’s president Fernando Armindo Lugo Mendez through a so-called impeachment similar to that of Dilma’s. A TeleSUR report said: The possible role of the US in the ouster of Dilma is being scrutinized after it emerged that the present US ambassador to Brazil Liliana Ayalde previously served as ambassador to Paraguay in the lead up to the 2012 coup against Lugo. (“Imperial Designs? Current US Ambassador to Brazil Served in Paraguay Prior to 2012 Coup”, May 14, 2016) The report cited Carlos Eduardo Martins, a sociology professor at the University of Sao Paulo: “That ambassador [Liliana Ayalde]acted with great force during the coup that happened in Paraguay and she is in Brazil, using the same discourse, arguing that there is a situation that will be resolved by Brazilian institutions.” Argentine political analyst Atilo Boron called Ayalde an “expert in promoting ‘soft coups’”. Ayalde was appointed as ambassador to Brazil in 2013. She joined the post shortly after it was revealed that the US was spying on Brazil including intercepting personal communications of Dilma. [ibid.]

Dilma, in the above mentioned interview, described the impeachment process: “The very same president of the Chamber of Deputies that launched the process is accused of having accounts abroad, corruption and money-laundering. […T]he vice-president […] needed an alliance with the president of the Chamber of Deputies who held part of the Congress under his control, and that president initiated the impeachment process. […] That was pure blackmail. Even the initiator of the impeachment process himself told the press on an impulse that he considered the actions of the president of the Chamber of Deputies to be ‘obvious blackmail’. […] Yet, there were forces in Brazil which supported the move – the old Brazilian oligarchy”.

The people protesting the soft coup accuse the dominant media, owned by the country’s richest families, of fuelling the political crisis.Globo media group with Globo TV watched by nearly half of Brazilians daily, and many newspapers, magazines, websites gave voice exclusively to the impeachment proponents. Anti-Dilma protests were widely covered daily on the national news in Brazil, but, Dilma supporters’ rallies virtually got no TV-time.  The Globo group, according to Lucy Pagoda-Quesada, “plays compliance, […] hide what is going on and not call things by their name.” (RT, “Globo behind coup? Brazil president’s supporters blame impeachment on media”, May 17, 2016)

Thus, all are present in the Brazil-coup-scene: intelligence agent, major parts of state hand-in-hand, media owned by the rich, diplomats with overthrow-government-experience, conspiracy and blackmailing. It’s a nice bourgeois political play starred by players with characteristically bourgeois-conscience! So, Temer, the puppet-president said in his inaugural speech: “My first word to the Brazilian people is the word ‘faith’”. The plot-leader said: “Faith in the [country’s] social and political institutions.” Because, the plotter omitted, these very institutions facilitated the coup, and these very institutions are now facilitating to push out the “dirty” commoners from public sphere the commoners have gained, and these institutions ensure conspirators’ victory for now.

Having all players in the plot, an environment – favorable conditions – was created. Dilma in the above mentioned interview said: “How have they created a propitious environment for a coup? The environment is of impasse, of instability. They created this impasse”. Right-wing forces, Dilma said, fully control the centrist party. She identifies the situation as “oligopoly situation where the media outlets are financially controlled by a few Brazilian families and have become a destabilizing factor in the democratic process in Brazil.”

Interests of the oligarchy stand opposed to commoners’ interests although the commoners are not expropriating the oligarchy’s properties. The commoners are just trying to widen their access to essential rights for survival in a reformative manner. But the acts of the oligarchy are working as hindrance to its capacity to co-opt. The oligarchy’s response to the changes – PT’s steps – is anti-co-option as the wealthy group is trying to defend/secure its interest by snatching back the commoners’ welfare gains, although the gains are neither radical – expropriation of all bourgeois properties and change production relation – nor even deeper reform process.

The illegal job – impeachment – is being carried out, according to Dilma, “to control the state bypassing the new election”, and it is being done by, Dilma said, “the politicians that lost the 2014 election”.

Facts opposite to corruption-facts exist also. While the mainstream media and politicians discuss the Operation Lava Jato they rarely mention the following facts:
(1) The scheme to divert funds was organized during the government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso.
(2) A majority of the politicians identified as corrupt are not from the PT, but are mostly from other political parties including the head of the impeachment-plot, Cunha.
(3) There is no indication that Dilma had any involvement in any corruption scheme.

These narrate the fact: The representatives of the wealthy are workings to undermine people’s sphere with sham-arguments and lies, and the mainstream media claiming to be respectable and credible is part of this business with lies.

There’s a striking fact in the opposite reality: Politicians and CEO’s involved in corruption schemes have never been as severely punished as they have been under the presidency of Dilma. The fight against corruption in public administration was taken seriously since the election of Lula, Dilma’s predecessor. (Mello and Muniz, op. cit.) The protests the plotters organized made further exposure of their motive, preference and orientation.

Farooque Chowdhury, a Dhaka-based freelancer, has authored/edited only three books in English: Micro Credit, Myth Manufactured(ed.), The Age of Crisis, and What Next? The Great Financial Crisis (ed.), and doesn’t operate any blog like “Farooque Chowdhury’s Blog”.



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