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Coup in Brazil: the International Connection

by Pedro Marin | OutrasPalavras

Auditoriums filled to the last seat, sound trucks, offices. Organizations such as the Millenium Institute, Free Brazil Movement (MLB), the Liberal Institute, the Ludwig Von Mises Institute – Brazil – and Students for Liberty Brazil as if by magic emerged in Brazil’s political scenario, publishing books and organizing demonstrations with huge structures, as well as giving training and lectures – a process that found a fertile breeding ground in the country, due to the global crisis and the Lava Jato operation.
But despite the attempts by its founders and by part of the media to paint the projects they promote as something “for Brazil”, originated by the Brazilian people and “spontaneous”, all these organizations are funded and trained from abroad, as Marina Amaral reported in an article for Agência Publica, showing how a network of NGOs promote leadership training and fund “intellectuals” in order to build consensus as well as movements to put the streets on fire.  Among such organizations present in Latin America is the Atlas Network.
Founded in 1981 with the goal of “promoting free market economic policies around the World”, Atlas is a think-tank that openly funds right-wing activities in more than 90 countries.  With an annual budget of U$ 11,5 Million, it acts by funding and shaping neoliberal figures.  As U.S. legislation prohibits such organizations from funding political agitation around the world, each movement is supported by “formation institutes”, which  are free to receive funds.  That’s the relationship between the education center Students for Liberty (EPL) with the professional activism of the Free Brazil Movement, for instance. EPL’s budget this year amounted to R$ 300,000 (about $ 85,000). “In the first year we have about R$ 8,000, in the second year we had about R$ 20,000, and in 2014 and 2015 it grew a lot. We receive money from foreign organizations as well, such as Atlas. Atlas, with Students for Liberty, are our main donors. In Brazil, the main organizations are Friderich Naumann, a German organization, which aren’t allowed to donate money, but they pay for our expenses”, said Juliano Torres, executive directors of the Brazilian branch of Students For Liberty.
In Ukraine – where there was a coup d’etat against elected President Viktor Yanukovich in 2014 – Atlas funded the Bendukidze Free Market Center and the Center for Social and Economic Research. The first one has members such as the former President of Georgia and current governor of Odessa, Mikheil Saakashvili, and Deputy head of the (post coup) presidential Administration of Ukraine, Alexander Danyluk. The former is also funded by Open Society Foundation, of known speculator and color revolutions’ man, George Soros, and has among their partners government agencies from Ukraine, Canada, England, as well as USAID (U.S.A) and the World Bank.
In 2014, Atlas Network gave about $ 4,5 million to various organizations around the World. In Latin America alone they gave $ 984,000 to organizations that follow the teachings of Milton Friedman, Hayek and Mises, and target the progressive governments of the region. That’s the case of Cedice Libertad, in Venezuela, and of organizations such as the U.S based Human Rights Foundation, created by Venezuelan Thor Halvorssen, Leopoldo López’ cousin and son of an ambassador of Andrés Pérez’ government, which target non-aligned governments of Venezuela, Cuba and Russia, and which became known in 2015 for creating an online campaign to push propaganda into North Korea’s territory.
But Atlas itself is also funded by various corporations and foundations. Companies such as Google, Exxon Mobil and organizations such as DonorsTrust [1], State Policy Network – created by businessman and Ronald Reagan’s adviser Tom Roe – and Charles G. Koch Foundation, linked to the known Koch Industries, are only some of the names that helped Atlas to donate more than U.S.$ 4 million around the world.
A Color Revolution in Brazil?
This, of course, is reason enough to set off the alarms: right-wing’s popularity grows in a country with 31 years of democratic tradition, of social abyss, led by a party widely supported for 12 years who held partnerships with popular governments of the region. Even the streets, historically monopolized by the left, were taken.
To this are added other very strange coincidences: Judge Sérgio Moro, who very recently was the man behind the sparks that set the country on fire, took part in 2007 in a course for potential leaders sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. It’s also a noteworthy fact that during the process of the Lava Jato operation, only Brazilian companies were affected, even though various foreign companies were mentioned by Federal Police’s informers.
Well, a day after Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment was approved in the Lower House, the opposition member Senator Aloysio Nunes made a trip to the global power headquarters: Washington. There, as revealed by Mark Weisbrot in an article for the Huffington Post, he met with the former U.S ambassador to Brazil and current “number three” in the Department of State,  Thomas Shannon: Shannon’s willingness to meet with Nunes just days after the impeachment vote sends a powerful signal that Washington is on board with the opposition in this venture.  How do we know this?  Very simply, Shannon did not have to have this meeting.  If he wanted to show that Washington was neutral in this fierce and deeply polarizing political conflict, he would not have had a meeting with high-profile protagonists on either side, especially at this particular moment.
Finally, for the suspicious anxiety and shock of the distracted, it is important to note the relationships that Mr. Michel Temer held with his partners in the North.  On June 19, 2006, for instance, Temer – who at the time was President of his party, PMDB – held a meeting with the consul-general of the U.S in Brazil, in São Paulo, and answered questions about the elections, the candidates and his party.  Says the consul to Washington, in a message leaked [2] by the Wikileaks in 2011: “Turning to his own party’s fortunes, Temer confirmed reports that the PMDB will not run its own candidate for President, and will not enter into a formal alliance with either the PSDB or the PT. […] The PMDB remains split almost evenly  between the pro- and anti-Lula groups.  The former seeks alliances  with the PT and hopes for several Ministries in Lula’s second  administration.  Temer, who is anti-Lula, was highly critical of the pro-Lula faction and commented wryly over some of the party’s internal contradictions and divisions.”
For the Brazilian political scientist and historian Moniz Bandeira, the alarms rang long ago. “These demonstrations that started last year and before the World Cup were not spontaneous. These were prepared beforehand, with trained elements, trained agitators”, he explains.  In his book “A Segunda Guerra Fria” (The Second Cold War) he describes in detail the role of some NGOs and think-thanks in the so called color revolutions.  “What is necessary in Brazil is that the government does what Putin did: to force all NGOs to register, register the money they receive, where they receive it from and how they use it.”
Moniz points out the American interest in maintaining the prevalence of the dollar as the global currency.   According to him, threatened by BRICS – and the nonexistence of regional powers in the continent — “That’s what the U.S don’t want: Brazil having nuclear submarines, they don’t want a regional power in South America – not to mention one that is linked to China and Russia.  And there’s a detail unknown for the Brazilian people: there’s a struggle around the international reserve currency.  The fact that the U.S has the right to print as much dollars as they want and the fact that the dollar is the international currency: that’s where the U.S hegemony lies.  And what China and Putin want to put an end to is just that — that’s the reason behind the BRICS.”
End Notes
[1] Organization that allows anonymous donations for the “cause of liberty”, created by Donors Capital Fund, singled out in the Fear, Inc report as one of the top ten organizations which contribute the most to the anti-Muslim sentiment in the US.
[2] Two days after this article was originally published, Wikileaks called Temer an US informant. That’s exactly the point the author wanted to make.

Pedro Marin was the founder and editor of independent journal Revista Opera. Has been covering Ukraine’s war and Latin America, as well as social movements in Brazil. Has articles published on media such as Russia Insider, New Cold War, Truthout and Off-Guardian, and currently writes for Global Independent Analytics.


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Nov 5, 2016 2:28 PM

A good example of dishonest opinion. No word about the PT (Workers party) assault to the public money and institutions. We have now more than 13 millions of unemployers thanks to the destruction of the brazilian economy by the left. Throw this article in the garbage.