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Defend Brazil, Dilma!

by Andre Vltchek

Enough weeping!  Latin America has wept incessantly, continuously, for years, decades and centuries. Its people robbed of everything since the days of Columbus, since Potosi. Tens of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions have been slaughtered here, in the last five centuries; first by the conquerors, then by their descendants and serfs, and finally by the Empire of Lies as well as the treasonous local ‘elites’.

Enough weeping! It is time to use force.

Whenever people stood up, whenever true Latin American heroes liberated their lands, by reason or by force, the bloodbath was administered almost immediately, from across the seas, or from the North. Tanks rolled through the avenues and squares, and combat airplanes and helicopters sprayed bombs and bullets all over Presidential palaces, as well as the countryside. People were hunted down like animals, dragged to stadiums and factories, to underground cellars, and there they were violated, tortured and slaughtered.

That’s their democracy!  Thank you, but no more of that.

Why did all those horrors take place? Because there was always a clear consensus among the rulers in Washington, in most of the European capitals, and the reigning classes in all Latin American countries: Latinos are here to serve the West, to be governed from the North. If some Latin country opted to act ‘irresponsibly’ (to paraphrase Henry Kissinger), it had to be reminded where it belongs: it had to be smashed to pieces, bathed in blood and thoroughly humiliated.

Such treatment was administered on countless occasions, and it happened virtually everywhere – from the Dominican Republic to Chile, and from Brazil to Nicaragua.

***

During the last twenty years things changed.

Venezuela stood up. It roared, clenched its fists and won, sending tremors of hope to all corners of the World. It could be done; it really could be done after all, carajo! Bolivian people shouted in a clear, indignant and beautiful voice: this is our land and these are our indigenous colors; this is our air and our water! Then they fought, and some died but the nation won. Ecuador rose from its knees, changing the lives of millions of historically oppressed people. Argentina refused to pay unjust debts, and instead attempted to build a just and socialist society. Chile, step by step, was shedding its horrid legacy of the Pinochet era, throwing many of those responsible for its macabre rape into prisons.

In so many different ways (from the quiet and slow Uruguayan way, to the militant revolutionary way chosen by Venezuela), a once broken continent with the greatest disparities on Earth was gradually resurrected. What a beautiful mosaic! All of a sudden, it broke its shackles, and then threw them into the smelters, casting new iron and steel, so the plows and powerful foundations for new hospitals and schools could be erected.

***

And who could forget Brazil!

Dilma Rousseff, whatever your foes are saying, whatever the Empire is uttering in its toxic and cynical voice, the Workers Part (PT) changed absolutely everything!

Just a few months ago, last year (2015), I travelled throughout your vast and beautiful land: from the capital city Brasilia to the depth of the tropical forest near Manaus. From the ancient port city of Belem, to Recife, Fortaleza and Salvador Bahia; I spent days listening to the people in Sao Paulo, and then in the countryside.

I knew the Brazil of twenty and thirty years ago, but this was an absolutely new land!

I sat with teachers at so-called floating schools, in Amazonia. They spoke about the progress and hope that had arrived to the most remote indigenous communities. I spoke to fishermen, single mothers, even smugglers. I talked to children. Had life improved since Lula took power? Yes, of course! Who could doubt it?

I went to the slums of Salvador Bahia. Like in Venezuela, in all the poor neighborhoods there was great progress, all sorts of programs designed to eliminate poverty and inequality, great optimism and activism.

The infrastructure was improving with lighting speed, from public transportation to airports. In many cities, art had become totally free. In Manaus I attended a brilliant modern ballet performance, depicting the struggle to save Amazonia’s environment. Even that stunning Opera House where Caruso used to sing in the distant days of the rubber boom was not charging any entrance fee. And in Belem I sat through yet another free performance, this time of Verdi’s opera, in a fabulously restored municipal theatre.

Once dangerous and hopeless, Belem was transformed into a city of grand public spaces, promenades and endless cultural venues.

In Salvador Bahia, near the famous lift, I stumbled into yet another cultural center, which was being taken over by vocal protesters, demanding improvement of medical care in Brazil.

I asked: “hasn’t free medical care in Brazil improved, during the last years?”

“It has,” I was told by organizers. ‘But we want it to be much better!’

The huge hall where protesters had gathered was absolutely public. Nobody had to pay rent to use it. Practically, it was almost as if the government of Dilma was actually paying for demonstrators to come and protest against her policies.

That’s our democracy!

***

The better things got, the more violent the outbursts of the ‘opposition’ – of the ‘elites’ became. Hundreds of NGO’s, some sponsored ‘from abroad’, have been leading their well-organized campaigns of disinformation and agitation, aimed at discrediting the government and destabilizing the country.

Previously, I have witnessed the same actions in Ecuador, Venezuela, Argentina and elsewhere.

Almost all mass media outlets were still in the hands of the right-wing conglomerates.

Money was shamelessly spread all around, buying votes. As a result, corrupt and right wing lawmakers continued to literally inundate the Congress.

At some point, the huge paradox became insufferable: something had to give way, to collapse:

On one hand, (and despite the recent economic decline), Brazil has been growing and improving for most of its people.

Thanks to Dilma and her PT, tens of millions are now living better, longer lives and enjoying much better education. When asked direct questions, people were readily confirming this.

On the other hand, a great number of Brazilian citizens have been claiming that ‘the government and Dilma have to go’.

There is no logic uniting these two beliefs. Except… Except that those constant negative campaigns, the Machiavellian manipulations and shameless anti-Left propaganda has finally managed to produce a decisive impact on the Brazilian psyche!

People have been manipulated into an extremely bizarre, irrational way of thinking: “We are doing better, but we don’t like those forces that have been improving our lives.”

One day, riding the brilliant Sao Paulo metro with my good Cuban friend, I uttered: “This is much better than the public transit systems in Paris or London.”

“Really?” he asked, sarcastically. “But people here think that it is absolute shit! They are being fed with constant criticism. Whatever this government does, it is always described as wrong!”

Let’s not forget where all this comes from. The propaganda is manufactured abroad, and only then modified and calibrated in Sao Paulo and elsewhere, for local consumption. All this is extremely professional, potent and destructive stuff, and it is dispersed all over Latin America. The goal is simple: to stop Latin American revolutions! To uphold the status quo.

***

Now the Congress has opened doors for impeachment of the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff.

If this drama is allowed to go on, it may be the beginning of the end of the cautious Brazilian revolution, and of the rule of the people (the corrupt lawmakers who are trying to overthrow her government don’t really represent much more than their financial and selfish political ambitions).

Even some of the Western press couldn’t hold it back any longer. The British Daily Mail wrote on 18th April 2016, right after the vote:

The decision delivered a major blow to a long-embattled leader who repeatedly argued that the push against her was a ‘coup’.

While Rousseff herself has not been personally charged with corruption, many of the lawmakers who decided her fate on Sunday have been.

Congresso em Foco, a prominent watchdog group in Brasilia, said more than 300 of the legislators who voted – well over half the chamber – are under investigation for corruption, fraud or electoral crimes.

As they cast their vote, some lawmakers said the next politician to be impeached should be the man leading the proceedings, Speaker Eduardo Cunha. He is charged with corruption and money laundering in the kickback scandal involving Petrobras, and he also faces an ethics inquiry over undeclared Swiss bank accounts.

God have pity on this nation,’ Cunha said as he cast his vote in favor of impeaching Rousseff.

What did Dilma really do wrong, apart from defending the interests of the poor Brazilians (although that is already an arch crime in the eyes of ‘elites’ and the Empire!)?

‘Official’ accusations are: Rousseff was using ‘accounting tricks’ in managing the federal budget to maintain spending and shore up support. She did not steal anything, never traded cash for favors. Nobody accuses her of corruption.

Even if ‘accounting tricks’ really took place, this is hardly a crime. Some would say, every Brazilian president has done it at one point or another. Almost all Western politicians do it, constantly.

Right before this essay went to print, The International Daily Telegraph printed: “Nato target met by ‘creative accounting.  Ministers have only met the Nato target on defence spending by “modifying” accounting practices, MP’s said…”  No calls for impeachments in the West!

Even the New York Times could not remain silent.   On 19 April 2016 it lashed at Brazilian lawmakers in the article written by Celso Rocha de Barros:

In the hourselong televised session on Sunday, members of Congress explained their decisions as they voted for impeachment: “They voted “for peace in Jerusalem”, for the truckers”, for the Free Masons in Brazil” and “because of Communism that threatens this country”. Very few members of `Congress based their votes on the charges that have actually been brought against the president: that she violated regulations regarding public finances… real reason the president is being impeached is that Brazilian political system is in ruins. Her impeachment will provide a convenient distraction while other politicians try to get their house in order.”

Yes, God have pity on Brazil if Mr. Cunha, or the corrupt Vice-President Michel Temer and his cohorts grab power! Or more precisely, God have pity on the fooled majority of Brazilian people! Who is really Mr. Cunha? He is a Christian fundamentalist, a jihadist with deep roots in the darkest dictatorial past of Latin America.  The Guardian described him on 21 April 2016 thus:

Lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha, an evangelical conservative and conspiratorial mastermind, started and steered the drive to remove the country’s first female leader from power as a means of reducing the risks to himself from investigations by a congressional ethics committee and prosecutors for alleged perjury, money laundering and receipt of at least $5m in bribes.”

***

The Brazilian people elected Ms. Rousseff democratically. They voted for her so she could defend them, to improve their lives.

She should now think about her voters, only about them!

What the ‘opposition’ wants to achieve is clear. It is the same everywhere: in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador. Right-wingers have already succeeded in Argentina, where they are right now busy dismantling the welfare state.

They have to be stopped.

The government reasoned with them, for months and years. They opted for this coup.

Now force has to be used.

As ugly as it may look, not acting would be much more damaging and dangerous.

One lawmaker, a far-Right representative from Rio de Janeiro, openly declared that he is “dedicating his vote to the colonel responsible for torturing Ms. Rousseff” under Brazil’s dictatorship. People like him cannot govern the country. Not again!

The nation and will of the people are not some punching bags. And freedom of speech does not mean that a bunch of treasonous media outlets and politicians should be allowed to spread lies and hate, while ruining the country.

Brazil is too big. It cannot be allowed to fall. The entire Latin America relies on it, one way or another.

Send tanks to the streets; park them in front of the Congress, Dilma! Restore order and restore democracy.

Remember: Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador, and the rest of the world, are watching.

More than 500 years, Comrade Dilma: more than 500 years of torment, looting and enslavement of Latin American people, by foreign invaders and local ‘elites. Tell your enemies, tell our enemies: “never again!

Do it by force, because the time for reason has just expired!

Do not surrender!

And LONG LIVE BRAZIL, DAMN IT!

 


This article was originally published in Counterpunch on April 22, 2016.

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books are: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and “Fighting Against Western Imperialism.Discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western TerrorismPoint of No Return is his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania – a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

 

 

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9 Comments

  1. “send in tanks” – the problem with this solution is that the army leadership is on the side of the coup-makers. I remember a news story from last year, where the head of the Brazilian army indicated that the military might have to intervene in politics if the present government didn’t improve. In fact, the military probably is “plan B” if the legal coup fails.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John says

    I lived in Rio de Janeiro in the mid-1970s and then – as now – the split in society revolved around racial lines.
    Most of the opposition to the current government comes from middle-class white-skinned Brasileros.
    They presumably are the usual CIA paid-for “pots and pans” brigades.
    Maybe the Cubans could send some military assistance?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah yes, another one of those right-wing conspiracies against Socialism. I actually have a friend from the socialist utopia of Venezuela; last time we spoke he told me shampoo costs up to £70 a bottle, and he cues up to 4 hours for a weeks groceries. I couldn’t believe it until I found videos on YouTube of people doing the same. I don’t know which Venezuela you talk about in this article

    Some of what you say in this article is true, just a shame you couldn’t take the political blinkers off and view it for what it is: US / corporate imperialism, not necessarily right wing, just unrestrained greed in alliance with unchecked military power. Any of the scenes you described from the history of Latin America were also played out in eastern Europe by the Socialist USSR, or in East Asia by Communist China.

    Human nature is the problem I’m afraid, and there’s no political solution to that, not on the left or the right or even in the centre ground.

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      • I hate when the “human nature” excuse surfaces. Human nature is expansive and plastic. Such apologetics have allowed the ascendancy and primacy of capitalism. Look at the social organization of pre-agricultural, pre-accumulative societies and you will find that we are capable of much better.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Jen says

      You could do some extra reading about the current impeachment process against Dilma Rousseff, and in particular about the people driving this impeachment process: among others, politicians such as Eduardo Cunha, the speaker of the lower house in Brazil’s Congress, a pious conservative evangelist Christian no less, who is leading the drive and who himself is under investigation for corruption including bribery and money laundering, and the current vice-president Michel Temer who is also accused of corrupt activities while working at the state oil company Petrobras. Meanwhile Rousseff herself has not been charged with any actual crime other than not dealing with the corruption at Petrobras during her time there as president before 2010, as if all previous presidents at Petrobras managed to have clean slates at the end of their time there.

      There has to be a reason for the leadership crisis occurring now, just before the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August, and not before 2016 or after. Perhaps the likes of Cunha and his allies believe that if they can force Rousseff’s impeachment and resignation now, they will be in a position to get immunity from prosecution on charges over past activities that are now being uncovered by the Operation Car Wash investigation into corruption at Petrobras. Perhaps their moves are being supported by the US government intent on squeezing out all left-wing governments in Latin America.

      It is simply not enough to say human nature is the problem and that there is no political solution, and by consequence just walk away and do nothing. It’s far better to have some understanding of the problem, even if you are in no position to be able to do anything for Brazil; at least you can see what Brazil could have done in the past to ward off the crisis (eg kick out all NGOs that fail to declare all their sources of foreign funding, same as what Russia has done, same as what Israel has done, and thus cut off the money flowing to the people pushing for impeachment) and perhaps what Brazil needs to do now and maybe in the future.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Reblogged this on Eurasia News Online and commented:

    This article was originally published in Counterpunch on April 22, 2016.

    Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books are: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and “Fighting Against Western Imperialism”.Discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western Terrorism. Point of No Return is his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania – a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

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