[News] Dilma Out: Brazilian Plutocracy Sets 54 Million Votes on Fire

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri May 13 12:36:53 EDT 2016


http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/13/dilma-out-brazilian-plutocracy-sets-54mn-votes-on-fire/ 



  Dilma Out: Brazilian Plutocracy Sets 54 Million Votes on Fire

by Pepe Escobar <http://www.counterpunch.org/author/pepe-escobar/> - May 
13, 2016

Never in modern political history has it been so easy to “abolish the 
people” and simply erase 54 million votes cast in a free and fair 
presidential election.

Forget about hanging chads, as in Florida 2000. This is a day that will 
live in infamy all across the Global South – when what was one of its 
most dynamic democracies veered into a plutocratic regime, under a 
flimsy parliamentary/judicial veneer, with legal and constitutional 
guarantees now at the mercy of lowly comprador elites.

After the proverbial marathon, the Brazilian Senate voted 55-22 to put 
President Dilma Rousseff on trial for /“crimes of responsibility”/ – 
related to alleged window dressing of the government’s budget.

This is the culmination of a drawn-out process that started even before 
Rousseff won re-election in late 2014 with over 54 million votes. I have 
described the bunch of perpetrators of what Brazilian creativity has 
termed 
<http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/04/30/brazils-i-golpeachment-i-the-1-solution.html> 
‘golpeachment’ (a mix of coup – /“golpe”/ in Portuguese – and 
impeachment) as Hybrid War hyenas 
<https://www.rt.com/op-edge/340207-rousseff-brazil-impeachment-regime/>.

Sophisticated golpeachment – supported by what amounts to an Electoral 
Inquisition College – has propelled Hybrid War to whole new levels.

Hybrid War as applied to Brazil exhibited classic elements of a color 
revolution. Of course there was no need for no-fly zones or humanitarian 
imperialism to “/protect human rights/” – not to mention provoking a 
civil war. But considering the high resistance level of the victim 
state, where civil society is very dynamic, Hybrid War designers in this 
case bet on a mix of capitulation – and betrayal – of local elites, 
mixed with /“peaceful protests”/ and a relentless mainstream media 
campaign. Call it /‘Civil War Light.’/

That carried with it a fabulous cost-benefit ratio. Now the (immensely 
corrupt) Brazilian political system and the current 
executive/legislative/judiciary/mainstream media alignment can be used 
by the usual suspects for their geopolitical agenda.

Welcome to regime change light – politics, in a nutshell – as war by 
other means on the BRICS. A new software, a new operating system. 
Carrying a pathetic corollary; if the US is the Empire of Chaos, Brazil 
has now gloriously reached the status of Sub-Empire of Scoundrels.

*Scoundrels galore
*
Rousseff may be accused of serious economic mismanagement, and of being 
incapable of political articulation among the shark pool that is 
(immensely corrupt) Brazilian politics. But she is not corrupt. She made 
a serious mistake in fighting inflation, allowing interest rates to rise 
to an unsustainable level; so demand in Brazil dramatically dropped, and 
recession became the norm. She is the (convenient) scapegoat for 
Brazil’s recession.

She certainly may be blamed for not having a Plan B to fight the global 
recession. Brazil essentially works on two pillars; commodity exports 
and local companies relying on the teats of the state. Infrastructure in 
general is dismal – adding to what is described 
<http://riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/rio-business/brazilian-companies-need-15-times-more-to-pay-taxes-with-bureaucracy/> 
as the “Brazilian cost” of doing business. With the commodity slump, 
state funds dwindled and everything was paralyzed – credit, investment, 
consumption.

The pretext 
<http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/5-Bizarre-Reasons-Brazil-Lawmakers-Want-to-Impeach-Dilma-20160418-0022.html> 
for Rousseff’s impeachment – allegedly transferring loans from public 
banks to the Treasury in order to disguise the size of Brazil’s fiscal 
deficit – is flimsy at best. Every administration in the West does it – 
and that includes Clinton’s, Bush’s and Obama’s.

The Operation Car Wash 
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Car_Wash> investigation, 
dragging on for two years now, was supposed to uncover corruption in the 
Brazilian political system – as in the collusion of oil giant Petrobras 
executives, Brazilian construction companies, and political campaign 
financing. Car Wash has nothing to do with the golpeachment drive. Yet 
these have been two parallel highways converging to one destination: the 
criminalization of the Workers’ Party, and the definitive – if possible 
– political assassination of Rousseff and her mentor, former President Lula.

When golpeachment reached the lower house of Congress – an appalling 
spectacle – Rousseff was eviscerated by Hybrid War hyenas of the BBC 
variety; /“BBC,”/ in English, stands for /“bullet,”//“bible”/ and 
/“cattle,”/ where /“bullet”/ refers to the weapons and private security 
industry, /“bible”/ to pastors and evangelical fanatics, and /“cattle”/ 
to the powerful agribusiness lobby.

The /“BBC”/ hyenas are members of almost all Brazilian political 
parties, paperboys for major corporations, and – last but not least – 
corruption stalwarts. They all benefited from millionaire political 
campaigning. The whole Car Wash investigation ultimately revolves around 
campaign financing, which in Brazil, unlike the US with its legalized 
lobbies, is a Tarantino-worthy Wild West.

The Brazilian Senate is not exactly an /“upper”/ – as in more polished – 
house. Eighty percent of members are white men – in a country where 
miscegenation rules. A staggering 58 percent is under criminal 
investigation – linked to Car Wash. Sixty percent hail from political 
dynasties. And 13 percent – as alternates – were not elected at all. 
Among those favoring impeachment, 30 out of 49 are in trouble with the 
law. Charges include mostly money laundering, financial crimes and 
outright corruption. Renan Calheiros, the president of the Senate – who 
oversaw today’s impeachment vote – is the target of no fewer than nine 
<http://www.brasilpost.com.br/2016/05/02/renan-impeachment-lava-jato_n_9774686.html> separate 
money laundering/corruption Car Wash lines of investigation, plus 
another two criminal probes.

*Meet the three Banana Republic amigos*

Rousseff is now suspended for a maximum 180 days while a Senate 
committee decides whether to impeach her for good. Enter 
President-in-Waiting Michel Temer – a dodgy, shady operator – who has 
been branded a /“usurper”/ by Rousseff. And usurper this provincial 
Brutus certainly is – according to his own words. On March 30 last year, 
he was tweeting that,/“Impeachment is unthinkable, it would create an 
institutional crisis. There is no judicial or political basis for it.”/

His administration is born with the original sin of being illegal and 
massively unpopular; his approval rating floats between an epic 1 
percent and 2 percent. He was already fined last week for violating 
campaign finance limits. And, predictably, he’s drowning in a corruption 
swamp – named in two Car Wash plea bargains and accused of being part of 
an illegal scheme of ethanol buying; he may become ineligible for the 
next eight years. Almost 60 percent of Brazilians also want him 
impeached 
<http://brasileiros.com.br/2016/04/datafolha-manifestantes-pelo-impeachment-tambem-querem-saida-de-temer/> – 
on the same charges leveled against Rousseff.

Brutus 1 (Temer) would not bask in the glow of his 15 minutes of fame 
without the shenanigans of Brutus 2 (Brazil’s number one crook, former 
speaker of the lower house Eduardo Cunha, facing charges of bribery and 
perjury, holder of illegal Swiss accounts, and now finally sidelined by 
the Supreme Court). It was Brutus 2 who fast-tracked impeachment as pure 
vengeance; the Workers’ Party did not cover his back as he was facing a 
tsunami of corruption charges. Brutus 2 used all his vast powers – he 
runs a campaign financing scam inside Congress – to obstruct the Car 
Wash investigation. His replacement, the interim speaker, is also under 
investigation for bribery.

So meet Temer, Cunha, Calheiros; these three amigos are the true stars 
of the Banana Republic of Scoundrels/Crooks.

As if the Supreme Court would be rascal-free. Judge Gilmar Mendes, for 
instance, is a lowly plutocrat vassal. When an attorney for the 
government entered a motion to suspend impeachment, he quipped, /“Ah, 
they can go to heaven, to the Pope, or to hell.”/ Another pompous judge 
received a request to sideline Cunha as early as December 2015. He only 
examined the request over four months later, when the whole golpeachment 
scam was in its decisive phase. And still he argued, /“there’s no proof 
Cunha contaminated the impeachment process.”/

Finally, complementing the whole scam, we find Brazilian mainstream 
media, with the toxic Globo media empire – which lavishly profited from 
the 1964 military coup – at the forefront.

*All hail the neoliberal restoration*

Wall Street – as well as the City of London – could not hide its 
excitement with golpeachment, believing Brutus 1 Temer will be an 
economic upgrade. Arguably, he might dare to tweak Brazil’s Kafkaesque 
tax code and do something about the enormous hole in the pension system. 
But what that mythical entity – the /“markets”/ – and myriad 
/“investors”/ are salivating about is the prospect of fabulous rates of 
return in a reopened-for-speculation Brazil. The Brutus 1 game will be a 
neoliberal 
<https://theintercept.com/2016/05/11/brazils-democracy-to-suffer-grievous-blow-today-as-unelectable-corrupt-neoliberal-is-installed/> feast, 
actually a restoration, with no popular representation whatsoever.

The golpeachment gang gets really incensed when they are identified as 
coup plotters. Still, they could not give a damn about the OAS, 
Mercosur, Unasur – all of them condemned the coup – not to mention the 
Holy Grail: the BRICS. Under Brutus 1, the Foreign Ministry, to be led 
by a sore loser senator, is bound to sink Brazil’s key role in BRICS 
cooperation, to the benefit of Exceptionalistan.

All one needs to know is that neither Nobel Peace Prize-winner Barack 
/“kill list”/ Obama nor Queen of Chaos Hillary /“We came, we saw, he 
died”/ Clinton condemned the ongoing regime change light/golpeachment. 
That’s predictable, considering Exceptionalistan’sNSA 
<https://theintercept.com/2015/07/04/nsa-top-brazilian-political-and-financial-targets-wikileaks/> spied 
on Petrobras and Dilma Rousseff personally – the genesis of what would 
develop as the Car Wash investigation.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest limited himself to the proverbial 
platitudes: /“challenging moment”/; /“trust in Brazilian democratic 
institutions”/; or even /“mature democracy.”/ Yet he added, 
significantly, that Brazil is /“under scrutiny.”/

Of course, the current stage of a very sophisticated Hybrid War strategy 
has been accomplished. But there are countless cliffhangers ahead. The 
Car Wash investigation – currently in slow motion – will pick up speed 
as a rash of dodgy plea bargains is already in store to create the 
conditions to criminalize for good not only Dilma Rousseff but the key 
piece in the chessboard: Lula.

Game over? Not so fast 
<http://jornalggn.com.br/noticia/o-xadrez-do-presidente-interino>. The 
anti-golpeachment front does have a strategy: to imprint especially in 
/“deep Brazil,”/ the vast masses of the working poor, the notion of 
illegality; to rebuild Rousseff’s image as the victim of a profound 
injustice; to re-energize the progressive political front; to make sure 
the Brutus 1 government will fail; and to create the conditions for the 
man who will come in from the cold to win the 2018 presidential elections.

Brazilian House of Cards? Bets could be made this may even end up as 
Anaconda, with Lula immobilizing the Hybrid War hyenas in a cobra clutch.

/This piece first appeared at RT 
<https://www.rt.com/op-edge/342821-brazil-dilma-rousseff-impeachment/>./

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