Taking power by storm in Brazil
By: Atilio Borón. This article was first published on The Dawn News.
A gang of bandits has taken the Presidency of Brazil by storm. Three main actors make up this gang: First, a majority of Parliamentarians (of whom two thirds are accused of corruption), most of whom earned their seat thanks to an absurd electoral law that allows a candidate with only a few hundred votes to obtain a seat due to the obscure mathematics of the “electoral ratio”. These eminent nobodies were able to destitute provisionally a President who earned her seat with 54 million votes.
Secondly, a judicial power that is equally accused of collusion with the generalized corruption of the political system and repudiated by many segments of the population of the country. But the power of the state is hermetically sealed to any kind of democratic comptrolling, profoundly oligarchic in its cosmovision and viscerally opposed to any sort of political alternative that proposes to build a country that is more fair and egalitarian. On top of that, like legislators, the judges and prosecutors have been trained for almost two decades by their North American peers in training courses that are supposedly technical but always have a political undertone with a clear ideology.
The third protagonist of this giant fraud to the sovereignty of the people are mass media, whose coupist affiliation and profoundly reactionary ethos are widely known, because they have always been active detractors of any type of social change, despite Brazil being one of the most unequal countries in the world.
By separating Dilma Rousseff from her functions (for a maximum of 180 days, during which the Senate must vote if the accusation against her stands or not —the decision would be ratified with the positive vote of two thirds of the Chamber), the Presidential seat will be occupied by an obscure and mediocre politician; a former ally of the PT who became an obvious conspirer, and finally, a traitor: Michel Temer. Sadly, everything indicates that in a little while, the Senate will turn the temporary suspension into a definitive destitution, because in the vote that confirmed the impeachment against Dilma, the conspirators obtained 55 votes, one more than needed to destitute her.
The plot of the Brazilian right had Washington’s support —imagine how the White House would have reacted if something similar had happened to themselves!—. Barack Obama sent Liliana Ayalde as ambassador in Brazil, an expert in promoting “soft coups”. Before being transferred to Brasilia, she was ambassador in Paraguay, just as Fernando Lugo was “institutionally” deposed. But the empire is not omnipotent, and to make the reactionary conspiracy in Brazil viable, it needed the complicity of several countries in the region, such as the Argentine government, which labeled the coup as nothing more but a “routine parliamentary exercise”. In sum, what happened in Brazil is a very serious attack destined not only to remove Dilma but her entire party, the PT, which they couldn’t defeat in the elections, and pave the way to also judicially condemn Lula da Silva, so as to prevent him from running in the next presidential elections. In other words, the message that the coupists sent to the Brazilian people was: “Don’t ever vote for the PT or anything like it again, because you may win in the polls, but we will win in the Congress, the Legislature and the Media, and that counts more than your millions of votes”.
It’s a sad setback for Latin America as a whole, which adds to the defeat suffered in Argentina and forces us to think what happened, or ask ourselves, following the great advice of Simón Rodríguez, where we went wrong and what didn’t we invent, or what we invented wrongly. In these dark times —of open war against the government in Venezuela, insidious press campaigns against Evo Morales and Rafael Correa, political setback in Argentina, conspiracy in Brazil— the worst thing we could do is refuse to make a profound self-criticism to avoid making the same mistakes.
In the case of Brazil, one of the most serious ones, was the PT’s tendency to slow down the mobilizations and de-organize the popular movement that had begun in the first stage of Lula’s administration, and that, years after, would leave Dilma unprotected against the attacks of the right. And, connected with this, another mistake was believing that Brazil could be changed from Ministerial offices only, and without the active, conscious and organized backing of the people. The coups attempted in Venezuela (2002), Bolivia (2008) and Ecuador (2010) were only repelled because those countries hadn’t fell for the institutionalist illusion, like Brazil did. The third mistake was discouraging internal debate and criticism within the party and the government, and instead promoting a blind following of slogans that obstructed the identification of mistakes and therefore prevented the possibility of making them right before the damage was irreparable, as it is now. Machiavelli said that one of the worst enemies of the stability of mandataries was the nefarious role of their advisers, always ready to praise them, and therefore completely unable to warn about dangers. Let’s hope that the traumatic events that happened in Brazil at least serve us to learn these lessons.