Washington Tries to Break BRICS – Rape of Brazil Begins

by F. William Engdahl, from New Eastern Outlook

Washington’s regime change machinery has for the time being succeeded in removing an important link in the alliance of large emerging nations by railroading through a Senate impeachment of the duly elected President, Dilma Rousseff. On August 31 her Vice President Michel Temer was sworn in as President. In his first speech as president, the cynical Temer called for a government of “national salvation,” asking for the trust of the Brazilian people. He indicated plans to reform, and has also signaled his intention to overhaul the pension system and labor laws, and cut public spending, all themes beloved of Wall Street banks, of the International Monetary Fund and their Washington Consensus. Now after less than three weeks at the job, Temer has unveiled plans for wholesale privatization of Brazil’s crown jewels, starting with oil. The planned Wall Street rape of Brazil is about to begin.
It’s important to keep in mind that elected President Rousseff was not convicted or even formally charged with any concrete act of corruption, even though the pro-oligarchy mainstream Brazil media, led by O’Globo Group of the billionaire Roberto Irineu Marinho, ran a media defamation campaign creating the basis to railroad Rousseff into formal impeachment before the Senate. The shift took place after the opposition PMDB party of Temer on March 29 broke their coalition with Rousseff’s Workers’ Party, as accusations of Petrobras-linked corruption were made against Rousseff and former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
On August 31, 61 Senators voted to remove her while 20 voted against removal. The formal charge was “manipulation of the state budget” before the 2014 elections to hide the size of the deficit. She vehemently denies the charge. Indeed, the Senate issued its own expert report that concluded there was “no indication of direct or indirect action by Dilma” in any illegal budgetary maneuvers. According to the Associated Press: “

Independent auditors hired by Brazil’s Senate said in a report released Monday that suspended President Dilma Rousseff didn’t engage in the creative accounting she was charged with at her impeachment trial.”

Under an honest system that would have ended the impeachment then and there. Not in Brazil.
In effect, she was impeached for the dramatic decline in the Brazilian economy, a decline deliberately pushed along as US credit rating agencies downgraded Brazilian debt, and international and mainstream Brazilian media kept the Petrobras corruption allegations in the spotlight. Importantly, the Senate did not ban her from office for 8 years as Washington had hoped, and she has promised an electoral return. The Washington-steered Temer has until end of 2018 to deliver Brazil to Temer’s foreign masters before his term legally ends.
Notably, Temer himself was accused of corruption in the Petrobras state oil company investigations. He reportedly asked the then-head of the transportation unit of Petróleo Brasileiro SA in 2012 to arrange illegal campaign contributions to Temer’s party which was running a Washington-backed campaign to oust Rousseff’s Workers’ Party. Then this June, only days into his serving as acting president, two of Temer’s own chosen ministers, including the Minister of Transparency, were forced to resign in response to allegations that they sought to subvert the probe into massive graft at Petrobras.
One of the two, Temer’s extremely close ally Romero Jucá, was caught on tape plotting Dilma’s impeachment as a way to shut down the ongoing Petrobras corruption investigation, as well as indicating that Brazil’s military, the media, and the courts were all participants in the impeachment plotting.
In brief, the removal of Dilma Rousseff and her Workers’ Party after 13 years in Brazil’s leadership was a new form of Color Revolution from Washington, one we might call a judicial coup by corrupt judges and congressmen. Of the 594 members of the Congress, as the Toronto Globe and Mail reported, “318 are under investigation or face charges” while their target, President Rousseff, “herself faces no allegation of financial impropriety.”
The day after the first Lower House impeachment vote in April, a leading member of Temer’s PSDP party, Senator Aloysio Nunes, went to Washington, in a mission organized by former Bill Clinton Secretary of State Madeline Albright’s lobbying firm, Albright Stonebridge Group. Nunes, as president of the Brazilian Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, has repeatedly advocated that Brazil once again move closer to an alliance with the US and UK.
Madeline Albright, a Director of the leading US think-tank, Council on Foreign Relations, is also chair of the prime US Government “Color Revolution” NGO, the National Democratic Institute (NDI). Nothing fishy here, or? Nunes reportedly went to Washington to rally backing for Temer and the unfolding judicial coup against Rousseff.
A key player from the side of Washington, Rousseff’s de facto political executioner, was, once again, Vice President Joe Biden, the “Dick Cheney” dirty operator-in-chief in the Obama Administration.

Biden’s fateful Brazil trip

In May, 2013, US Vice President Joe Biden made a fateful visit to Brazil to meet with President Rousseff. In January 2011 Rousseff had succeeded her Workers’ Party mentor, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, or Lula, who constitutionally was limited to two consecutive terms. Biden went to Brazil to discuss oil with the new President. Relations between Lula and Washington had chilled as Lula backed Iran against US sanctions and came economically closer to China.
In late 2007 Petrobras had discovered what was estimated to be a mammoth new basin of high-quality oil on the Brazilian Continental Shelf offshore in the Santos Basin. In total the Brazil Continental Shelf could contain over 100 billion barrels of oil, transforming the country into a major world oil and gas power, something Exxon and Chevron, the US oil giants wanted to control.
In 2009, according to leaked US diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks, the US Consulate in Rio wrote that Exxon and Chevron were trying in vain to alter a law advanced by Rousseff’s mentor and predecessor in her Brazilian Workers’ Party , President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva. That 2009 law made the state-owned Petrobras chief operator of all offshore oil blocs. Washington and the US oil giants were not at all pleased at losing control over potentially the largest new world oil discovery in decades.
Lula had not only pushed ExxonMobil and Chevron out of the controlling position in favor of the state-owned Petrobras, but he also opened Brazilian oil exploration to the Chinese, since 2009 a core member of the BRICS developing nations with Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa.
In December, 2010 in one of his last acts as President, Lula oversaw signing of a deal between the Brazilian-Spanish energy company Repsol and China’s state-owned Sinopec. Sinopec formed a joint venture, Repsol Sinopec Brasil, investing more than $7.1 billion towards Repsol Brazil. Already in 2005 Lula had approved formation of Sinopec International Petroleum Service of Brazil Ltd as part of a new strategic alliance between China and Brazil.
In 2012 in a joint exploration drilling, Repsol Sinopec Brasil, Norway’s Statoil and Petrobras made a major new discovery in Pão de Açúcar, the third in block BM-C-33, which includes the Seat and Gávea, the latter one of the world’s 10 largest discoveries in 2011. USA and British oil majors were nowhere to be seen.
Biden’s task was to sound out Lula’s successor, Rousseff, about reversing that exclusion of US major oil companies in favor of the Chinese. Biden also met with leading energy companies in Brazil including Petrobras.
While little was publicly said, Rousseff refused to reverse the 2009 oil law in a way that would be suitable to Biden, Washington and US oil majors. Days after Biden’s visit came the Snowden NSA revelations that the US had also spied on Rousseff and top officials of Petrobras. She was livid and denounced the Obama Administration that September before the UN General Assembly for violating international law. She cancelled a planned Washington visit in protest. After that, US-Brazil relations took a dive.
After his May 2013 talks with Rousseff, Biden clearly gave her the kiss of death.
Before Biden’s May 2013 visit Dilma Rousseff had 70% of popularity rating. Less than two weeks after Biden left Brazil, nationwide protests by a very well-organized group called Movimento Passe Livre, over a nominal 10 cent bus fare increase, brought the country virtually to a halt and turned very violent. The protests bore the hallmark of typical “Color Revolution” or Twitter social media destabilizations that seem to follow Biden wherever he makes a presence. Within weeks Rousseff’s popularity plummeted to 30%.
Washington had clearly sent a signal that Rousseff had to change course or face serious problems. The Washington regime change machine, including its entire array of financial warfare operations ranging from a leaked PwC audit of Petrobras to Wall Street credit rating agency Standard & Poors’ downgrade of Brazil public debt to junk in September 2015, went into full action to remove Rousseff, a key backer of the BRICS New Development Bank and of an independent national development strategy for Brazil.

Selling the Crown Jewels

The man who has now manipulated himself into the Presidency, the corrupt Michel Temer, worked as an informer for Washington the entire time. In documents released by Wikileaks, it was revealed that Temer was an informant to US intelligence since at least 2006, via telegrams to the US embassy in Brazil classified by the Embassy as “sensitive” and “for official use only.”
Washington’s man in Brazil, Temer, has lost no time appeasing his patrons in Wall Street. Even as acting President this May, Temer named Henrique Meirelles as Minister of Finance and Social Security. Meirelles, a Harvard-educated former President of the Brazilian central bank, was President of BankBoston in the USA until 1999, and was with that bank in 1985 when it was found guilty of failing to report $1.2 billion in illegal cash transfers with Swiss banks. Meirelles is now overseeing the planned selloff of Brazil’s “crown jewels” to international investors, a move that is intended to gravely undercut the power of the state in the economy. Another of Temer’s key economic advisers is Paulo Leme, former IMF economist and now Goldman Sachs Managing Director of Emerging Markets Research. Wall Street is in the middle of the Temer-led economic rape of Brazil.
On September 13, Temer’s government unveiled a massive privatization program with the cynically misleading comment:

It is clear the public sector cannot move forward alone on these projects. We are counting on the private sector.”

He omitted to say the private sector he meant were his patrons.
Temer unveiled plans that would complete the country’s largest privatization in decades. Conveniently, the process us to be completed by end of 2018, just before Temer’s term must end. The influential US-Brazil Business Council detailed the privatization list on its website. The US-Brazil Business Council was founded forty years ago by Citigroup, Monsanto, Coca-Cola, Dow Chemicals and other US multinationals.
Tenders for the first round of concessions will be issued before the end of this year. They will include privatization of four airports and two port terminals, all auctioned in the first quarter of 2017. Other concessions include five highways, one rail line, bidding on small oil blocks and a later round for large, mainly offshore, oil development blocks. As well the government will sell selected assets currently controlled by its Minerals Research Department plus six electric power distributors and three water treatment facilities.
The heart of his planned privatization are, not surprisingly, Joe Biden’s coveted state oil and gas companies along with chunks of the state Eletrobrás power company. Temer plans to get as much as $24 billion from the selloff. Fully $11 billion of the total are to come from sale of key oil and gas state holdings. Of course, when state assets such as huge oil and gas resources are sold off to foreign interests in what will clearly be a distress sale, it is a one-off deal. State oil and gas or electric power projects generate a continuing revenue stream many times any one-off privatization gains. Brazil’s economy is the ultimate loser in such privatization. Wall Street banks and multinationals are of course, as planned, the winner.
On September 19-21, according to the US-Brazil Business Council website, the Brazilian government’s key ministers for infrastructure including Minister Moreira Franco; Minister Fernando Bezerra Coelho Filho, Minister of Mines and Energy; and Minister Mauricio Quintella Lessa, Minister of Transport, Ports and Civil Aviation, will be in New York City to meet with Wall Street “infrastructure investors.”
This is Washington’s way, the way of the Wall Street Gods of Money, as I title one of my books. First, destroy any national leadership intent on genuine national development such as Dilma Rousseff. Replace them with a vassal regime willing to do anything for money, including selling the crown jewels of their own nation as people like Anatoli Chubais did in Russia in the 1990’s under Boris Yeltsin’s “shock therapy.” As reward for his behavior, Chubais today sits on the advisory board of JP MorganChase. What will Temer and associates get for their efforts remains to be seen. Washington for now has broken one of the BRICS that ultimately threaten her global hegemony. It is not likely to bring any lasting success if recent history is any guide.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”


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Sep 27, 2016 2:11 PM

Reblogged this on maatheru.

Sep 27, 2016 5:19 AM

What has happened in Brazil so recently happened last November in Argentina. As a non-BRIC it hasn’t made the news much but is just as bad and perhaps even more tragic in light of the 20 year valiant effort to free itself of manipulated debt bondage and protect its people.

Julia Rodrigues
Julia Rodrigues
Sep 26, 2016 10:13 PM

I don’t know what planet you come from but as a Brazilian I found your article totally wrong and completely laughable. Dilma did comit a crime, she covered up the real figures of the economy to try to fix something else without any approval from the Parliament as it is demanded by our laws. Also she was so good that 12 million Brazilian people lost their jobs because of her lack of competence and stupidity in conducting put economy. I suppose that’s must be forgiven of you are a left wing person. Right? How ironic a labor party president; the party of the workers let them down, making them losing their jobs and probably making them return to the poverty which the Worker’s Party announced to the world they have reduced. What a SHAM! Michel Temer is not my cup of tea; however he was chosen by the Workers Party… Read more »

Sep 27, 2016 1:44 AM

Where’s your evidence that Dilma Rousseff committed a crime?
Is quoting or giving budget or economic data that appear to make one’s own position look better and the opposition’s position look worse a crime? Politicians in every country do this sort of thing all the time. Plus the data come from supposedly trustworthy public servants not from politicians themselves.
If Rousseff is a criminal because she kept quiet about something illegal she knew was occurring, she wouldn’t be the only politician in Brazil who should be censured for being silent. Perhaps Temer should tell Brazilians how he and his fellow coup colleagues worked the impeachment process to get rid of Rousseff.
At least William Engdahl used sources like The Intercept, who employ a journalist (Glenn Greenwald) based in Rio de Janeiro and who speaks both English and Portuguese, to write his post. What do you have to say for yourself?

james carless
james carless
Sep 26, 2016 9:16 PM

RT has become essential viewing,not only for it’s alternative reporting,interviews and debates but also for it’s depth and wide ranging coverage of current affairs which puts the BBC and other Western tv news to shame. What really annoys the controllers is the large number of British and American presenters/journalists that work for RT in studios and in the field.How many Russian equivelents do you see on the BBC,ITV,PBS,NBC,CNN ETC ? None. That is why the powers that control the propaganda here,fear it’s influence and try to ban RT from the air. Keep the public zombified with celebrity gossip,football and soap operas,all the while repeating the subliminal messenging “Russia is evil,Putin invaded Crimea,Assad gasses his own people,Lula and Rousseff are corrupt “. No need to think,just accept what Big Brother tells you. If you can get people to believe JFK was shot with a dodgy rifle by Oswald,and 19 incompetent hijackers… Read more »

Sep 26, 2016 8:21 PM

Temer gave the game away in a speech to the Council of the Americas, a US busines organisation whose goal is to support free trade, ‘democracy’ and open markets in the American continent. ‘Democracy’ appears to mean removal of democratically elected leaders and imposing stooges.

The alleged corruption was as valid as the ‘yellow cake’ story useed to topple Saddam Hussein.

Sep 26, 2016 7:42 PM

Reblogged this on Worldtruth and commented:
The US cannot, will not, quit their War OF Terror and promoting unrest and mayhem, by fair means or foul.

Sep 27, 2016 5:03 AM
Reply to  mohandeer

By now it is only foul means and the foulness is now pouring out thick and fast, at an unprecedented rate.
Can anyone name ONE clear positive and or civilized act that has come out of Washington in the last 30 years?

Sep 26, 2016 6:11 PM

*Note to Off Guardian: I’m going to hunt for the author of the photo of Dilma Rousseff used here because I want to use it also. But that info should be displayed with the pic.

Sep 27, 2016 12:30 PM
Reply to  Arrby

@Arrby: Eraldo Peres/Associated Press

Sep 27, 2016 12:50 PM
Reply to  parink

Thank you.

Sep 26, 2016 6:04 PM

Just more American venality and greed at work destroying other nations for US gain! When, if ever, will the Word wake up to such perfidy?

Brian Harry, Australia
Brian Harry, Australia
Sep 26, 2016 10:15 PM
Reply to  archie1954

Whenever there is an uprising in any South American country(and they seem to happen time after time), you can bet your money that the CIA are in there, doing their dirty work, undermining democratically elected governments, and replacing them with another American ‘stooge’. It’s virtually the same technique, every time.

Sep 27, 2016 5:15 AM

Brian, absolutely true of course – but I would also include all of Europe, all of Africa, the Stans, Middle East and come to think of it, most of Asia, in that comment. Not to mention the US global systems such as the UN, EU, GATT, IMF, Swift, the full-spectrum-dominance military bases, the BiS banking system, weather manipulation etc.
Remarkably, it appears that the world would be at a minimum 90% free and at peace and actually prosperous without this barbarian nation. A barbarian nation that also attacks and impoverishes its own people!

Brian Harry, Australia
Brian Harry, Australia
Sep 27, 2016 8:28 AM
Reply to  elenits

Agreed. My country, Australia, obediently takes it’s lead in international affairs from the The USA. We went to war in Vietnam(and Iraq, Syria, etc), to help the USA. Our military help by the way is minimal in the great scheme of things, but it allows the USA to call it’s attacks on other countries as a “Coalition of the willing” or some such nonsense.
Such is the power of American “Patriotism” that young gullible American’s agree to “defend America”, by putting their own bodies on the line in the fight for “Freedom and Democracy”, and lots of them live to regret it.
I hope that the American people are awakening to the propaganda(thanks to the Internet), and the fact that the USA is now fully owned and run by “the Money Men”, and realize they are being exploited for profit, like the countries we are talking about.

Sep 28, 2016 12:10 AM

Yep, our military assistance to the Americans is so minimal that we’re even prepared to take part of the rap for attacking the Syrian Arab Army’s base at Al Tharda airport in Deir ez Zor when told to, even though the four planes (two F-16s, two A-10s) and one combat drone that flew over the airport repeatedly for a solid hour were not RAAF planes. The RAAF does not have any F-16 fighter jets or A-10 ground attack planes.
Unless Australian forces are intermingled with other forces, so that Australian pilots are flying non-Australian planes, how does one explain Australian readiness to admit to participating in a major war crime.
Is this a case of our being told to go jump in the lake and our reaction being an instantaneous and automatic “How deep do you want us to go, boss?”

Sep 26, 2016 5:52 PM

Why, why, why do the leftist leaders in South America not learn anything from coups like this?! You don’t close down the private media, but you get tough with them. You don’t give them the total freedom they have now – because it’s been SHOWN that the private, corporate-own media is genuinely a threat to national security! So you pass a law. Call it The Necessary Fairness In Media law or whatever. And you limit the private television stations and you include a government competitor. I don’t know a whole lot about RT News, but I’m thrilled to see it on my mother’s tv. I didn’t know it was. I thought it was only online. I don’t own one of those ‘weapons’ myself. I was visiting my mother the other day and was trying to tell her something (forget what) that the news reporter on her television set, in the… Read more »

Sep 27, 2016 1:25 AM
Reply to  Arrby

I’m sure that Hugo Chavez in Venezuela actually did something similar to what you suggest during his presidency and Rafael Correa in Ecuador also reformed media and communication legislation to give more access to airwaves to community groups and organisations. If you Google those leaders’ names along with “media” you’ll find plenty of MSM news websites complaining about Chavez and Correa “restricting press freedoms”.
What they and Brazil also should have done is bring in a law similar to the law Russia has that forces NGOs receiving money from overseas to declare their funding sources or open their accounts to public scrutiny. If they refuse, they have to leave the country.

Sep 27, 2016 12:52 PM
Reply to  Jen

I don’t hear much about that sort of thing, or did and forget. I still think more needs to be done. Thanks though.

Brian Harry, Australia
Brian Harry, Australia
Sep 27, 2016 8:35 AM
Reply to  Arrby

I hear what you’re saying Arrby, but you seem to be somewhat naive. The people who run governments aren’t doing it for “Truth and Justice”…..they are doing “what they’re told”………

Sep 27, 2016 1:04 PM

You’ve got the wrong guy. I’m approaching 600 posts on my blog. Read a half dozen and tell me I’m naive. Did or didn’t Rousseff tell Biden to get lost? Otherwise, Of course leaders take their marching orders from rich mafia capitalists and tax evading, law-breaking corporations. Reportedly, Rousseff was not extremely anti-neoliberal capitalism. And that still wasn’t enough for the gangster corporatocracy. They want it all and what that self-modified crowd of mafia capitalists want is not only the means of survival, but, specifically, ‘our’ means of survival, which means mainly money. In a money system, money means life. They want the thrill of being seen as tough guys and gals who are bold and brazen enough to take what they want, including what’s not their’s. The paradigm they embrace is ‘riches for the strongest’, a godless, neoliberal, neoconservative game in which there ‘has to be’ losers. Whereas, What… Read more »