[News] Dilma Out: Brazilian Plutocracy Sets 54 Million Votes on Fire
news at freedomarchives.org
Fri May 13 12:36:53 EDT 2016
Dilma Out: Brazilian Plutocracy Sets 54 Million Votes on Fire
by Pepe Escobar <http://www.counterpunch.org/author/pepe-escobar/> - May
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
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
‘golpeachment’ (a mix of coup – /“golpe”/ in Portuguese – and
impeachment) as Hybrid War hyenas
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.
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
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
as the “Brazilian cost” of doing business. With the commodity slump,
state funds dwindled and everything was paralyzed – credit, investment,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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