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The real reason Dilma Rousseff's enemies want her impeached

David Miranda[URL="http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/21/dilma-rousseff-enemies-impeached-brazil#img-1"]

[/URL] Dilma Rousseff: a target of the rich and powerful. Photograph: Fernando Bizerra Jr/EPAThursday 21 April 2016 20.37 BSTLast modified on Friday 13 May 201613.31 BST

The story of Brazil's political crisis, and the rapidly changing global perception of it, begins with its national media. The country's dominant broadcast and print outlets are owned by a tiny handful of Brazil's richest families, and are steadfastly conservative. For decades, those media outlets have been used to agitate for the Brazilian rich, ensuring that severe wealth inequality (and the political inequality that results) remains firmly in place.
Indeed, most of today's largest media outlets that appear respectable to outsiders supported the 1964 military coup that ushered in two decades of rightwing dictatorship and further enriched the nation's oligarchs. This key historical event still casts a shadow over the country's identity and politics. Those corporations led by the multiple media arms of the Globo organisation heralded that coup as a noble blow against a corrupt, democratically elected liberal government. Sound familiar?

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff faces impeachment video explainerFor more than a year, those same media outlets have peddled a self-serving narrative: an angry citizenry, driven by fury over government corruption, rising against and demanding the overthrow of Brazil's first female president, Dilma Rousseff, and her Workers' party (PT). The world saw endless images of huge crowds of protesters in the streets, always an inspiring sight.
But what most outside Brazil did not see was that the country's plutocratic media had spent months inciting those protests (while pretending merely to "cover" them). The protesters were not remotely representative of Brazil's population. They were, instead, disproportionately white and wealthy: the very same people who have opposed the PT and its anti-poverty programmes for two decades.
Slowly, the outside world has begun to see past the pleasing, two-dimensional caricature manufactured by its domestic press, and to recognise who will be empowered once Rousseff is removed. It has now become clear that corruption is not the cause of the effort to oust Brazil's twice-elected president; rather, corruption is merely the pretext.
Rousseff's moderately leftwing party first gained the presidency in 2002, when her predecessor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, won a resounding victory. Due largely to his popularity and charisma, and bolstered by Brazil's booming economic growth under his presidency, the PT has won four straight presidential elections including Rousseff's 2010 election victory and then, just 18 months ago, her re-election with 54 million votes.

Women carrying flowers take part in a flowers for democracy' demonstration against the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff. Photograph: Eraldo Peres/APThe country's elite class and their media organs have failed, over and over, in their efforts to defeat the party at the ballot box. But plutocrats are not known for gently accepting defeat, nor for playing by the rules. What they have been unable to achieve democratically, they are now attempting to achieve anti-democratically: by having a bizarre mix of politicians evangelical extremists, far-right supporters of a return to military rule, non-ideological backroom operatives simply remove her from office.
Indeed, those leading the campaign for her impeachment and who are in line to take over most notably the house speaker Eduardo Cunha are far more implicated in scandals of personal corruption than she is. Cunha was caught last year with millions of dollars in bribes in secret Swiss bank accounts, after having falsely denied to Congress that he had any foreign bank accounts. Cunha also appears in the Panama Papers, working to stash his ill-gotten millions offshore to avoid detection and tax liability.
A razão real que os inimigos de Dilma Rousseff querem seu impeachment | David Miranda
It is impossible to convincingly march behind a banner of "anti-corruption" and "democracy" when simultaneously working to install the country's most corruption-tainted and widely disliked political figures. Words cannot describe the surreality of watching the vote to send Rousseff's impeachment to the Senate, during which one glaringly corrupt member of Congress after the next stood to address Cunha, proclaiming with a straight face that they were voting to remove Rousseff due to their anger over corruption.
As the Guardian reported: "Yes, voted Paulo Maluf, who is on Interpol's red list for conspiracy. Yes, voted Nilton Capixaba, who is accused of money laundering. For the love of God, yes!' declared Silas Camara, who is under investigation for forging documents and misappropriating public funds."
But these politicians have overplayed their hand. Not even Brazil's Masters of the Universe can convince the world that Rousseff's impeachment is really about combating corruption their scheme would empower politicians whose own scandals would be career-ending in any healthy democracy.

Eduardo Cunha was caught last year with millions of dollars in bribes in secret Swiss bank accounts. Photograph: Andressa Anholete/AFP/Getty ImagesA New York Times article last week reported that "60% of the 594 members of Brazil's Congress" the ones voting to impeach Rousseff "face serious charges like bribery, electoral fraud, illegal deforestation, kidnapping and homicide". By contrast, said the article, Rousseff "is something of a rarity among Brazil's major political figures: she has not been accused of stealing for herself".
Last Sunday's televised, raucous spectacle in the lower house received global attention because of some repellent (though revealing) remarks made by impeachment advocates. One of them, prominent rightwing congressman Jair Bolsonaro widely expected to run for president and who a recent poll shows is the leading candidate among Brazil's richest said he was casting his vote in honour of a human-rights-abusing colonel in Brazil's military dictatorship who was personally responsible for Rousseff's torture. His son, Eduardo, proudly cast his vote in honour of "the military men of '64" the ones who led the coup.
Globo's duty to report on the Brazilian crisis | Letter from João Roberto Marinho, editorial board chairman, Globo Group
Until now, Brazilians have had their attention exclusively directed towards Rousseff, who is deeply unpopular due to the country's severe recession. Nobody knows how Brazilians, especially the poor and working classes, will react when they see their newly installed president: the pro-business, corruption-tainted nonentity of a vice-president who, polls show, most Brazilians want impeached.

Most volatile of all, many including the prosecutors and investigators who have led the corruption probe fear that the real plan behind Rousseff's impeachment is to put an end to the ongoing investigation, thus protecting corruption, not punishing it. There is a real risk that once she is impeached, Brazil's media will no longer be so focused on corruption, public interest will dissipate, and the newly empowered faction in Brasilia will be able to exploit its congressional majorities to cripple that investigation and protect themselves.
Ultimately, Brazil's elite political and media classes are toying with the mechanics of democracy. That's a dangerous, unpredictable game to play anywhere, but particularly so in a very young democracy with a recent history of political instability and tyranny, and where millions are furious over their economic deprivation.



Brazil's acting president used to be US intel informant - WikiLeaks

Published time: 13 May, 2016 14:43Edited time: 13 May, 2016 17:50
http://on.rt.com/7clx


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Brazil's interim President Michel Temer. © Ueslei Marcelino / Reuters


Brazil's new interim president, Michel Temer, was an embassy informant for US intelligence, WikiLeaks has revealed.
According to the whistleblowing website, Temer communicated with the US embassy in Brazil via telegram, and such content would be classified as "sensitive" and "for official use only."
READ MORE: Coup & farce': Brazil's Rousseff vows to fight impeachment with all legal means
Two cables were released, dated January 11, 2006 and June 21, 2006.
One shows a document sent from Sao Paolo, Brazil, to - among other recipients - the US Southern Command in Miami. In it, Temer discusses the political situation in Brazil during the presidency of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Brasil's new president #Temer was an embassy informant for US intelligence, military https://t.co/3l2eUdiqvypic.twitter.com/IUuUgHYd1e
WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) May 13, 2016
Regarding the 2006 elections, when Lula was re-elected, Temer shared scenarios in which his party (PMDB) would win the elections.
He declined to predict the race, however, but said there would be a run-off and that "anything could happen."
Temer said the PMDB would elect between 10 and 15 governors that year, and that the party would have the most representatives in the Senate and thus the House of Representatives. This would mean that the elected president would have to report to PMDB rule.
"Whoever wins the presidential election will have to come to us to do anything," Temer reportedly said.
Temer has replaced Dilma Rousseff, who was suspended from office earlier this week, after the Senate approved impeachment against her.
Rousseff was suspended from her post for at least 180 days after senators voted 55 to 22 to punish her for manipulating budget data, ahead of her re-election in 2014.
The left-wing politician claimed that Brazil was in a strong economic position, but since she convincingly won the vote, the economy has unraveled, putting Brazil in the worst recession for decades.




http://on.rt.com/7clx
It's pretty evident to me that this impeachment-cum-coup is a US directed effort aimed at unshackling Brazil from BRICS, which if left to itself would slowly become a serious competitor to the US dollar with the launch of a BRICS currency that was founded to break the monopoly of the US financial system.

One of the principal articles of the Wolfowitz Doctrine was to ensure that no competitor nation/s arise to challenge US dominance.

Imperial Designs? Current US Ambassador to Brazil Served in Paraguay Prior to 2012 Coup




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    U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Liliana Ayalde waves at the Brasilia International airport, upon her arrival, Sept. 16, 2013. | Photo: Agencia Brasil




Published 14 May 2016

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The U.S. ambassador to Brazil previously served in Paraguay in the lead up to the 2012 coup against Lugo, who was ousted in a manner similar to Rousseff.
The possible role of the United States government in the ouster of the democratically elected President Dilma Rousseff is being scrutinized after it emerged that Liliana Ayalde, the present U.S. ambassador to Brazil, previously served as ambassador to Paraguay in the lead up to the 2012 coup against President Fernando Lugo.
In a case very similar to the current political crisis unfolding in Brazil, Lugo was ousted by the country's Congress in June 2012 in what was widely labeled a parliamentary coup.
RELATED:
Dilma Rousseff Calls for Mobilizations to Overturn Coup
The left-leaning Lugo took office in August 2008 and his election marked the end of 61 years of rule by the Colorado Party.
His political opponents, like Rousseff's, began conspiring against him almost immediately and Lugo faced threats of impeachment barely a year into his term.
In a 2009 diplomatic cable released by whistleblower website WikiLeaks, then U.S. ambassador to Paraguay, Liliana Ayalde warned a colleague that rumors of an impeachment were growing.
"We have been careful to express public support for Paraguay's democratic institutions not for Lugo personally and to make sure Lugo understands the benefits of a close relationship with the United States," wrote Ayalde in a Dec. 7, 2009 cable.
RELATED:
WikiLeaks Reveal Brazil's New Coup President Is 'US Informant'
Carlos Eduardo Martins, a sociology professor at the University of Sao Paulo, told teleSUR that Ayalde, now U.S. ambassador to Brazil, is using similar language to defend the parliamentary coup against Rousseff.
"That ambassador acted with great force during the coup that happened in Paraguay and she is in Brazil, using the same discourse, arguing that there is a situation that will be resolved by Brazilian institutions," Martins said.
Meanwhile, Argentine political analyst Atilo Boron called Ayalde an "expert in promoting 'soft coups.'"
U.S. Department of State spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau also used similar phrasing when referring to the parliamentary coup in Brazil.
"We are confident Brazil will work through its political challenges democratically in accordance with its constitutional principles," Trudeau told the press gallery on Thursday.
RELATED:
Parliamentary Coups: the New Strategy of Latin America's Right
Ayalde left her position as ambassador to Paraguay in August 2011, and went on to serve as senior assistant administrator for the Latin American and Caribbean Bureau for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) before being promoted to deputy assistant secretary for the Western Hemisphere for the U.S. Department of State.
Ayalde became ambassador to Brazil in 2013. She arrived to that post shortly after it was revealed that the U.S. government was spying on Brazil, going so far as to intercept personal communications of Rousseff.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/05/br...04543.html

Quote:An important minister in Brazil's interim government has stepped aside over a leaked recording in which he appears to discuss using Dilma Rousseff's impeachment to derail a corruption investigation.
Romero Juca, planning minister, said on Monday he would step aside from the next day. Although he did not resign, he was not expected to return, the Globo news site reported quoting sources close to Michel Temer, the acting president.
The scandal threatens Temer only 11 days after taking power from Rousseff, whom the Senate suspended as president on May 12 at the start of an impeachment trial on charges of breaking government accounting rules.
Juca, who is Temer's right-hand man, had been due to help lead the team asking Congress to approve urgent measures aimed at pulling Brazil out of recession.
He said that he would return to his seat in the Senate instead.
The Folha newspaper released what it said were recordings of conversations in March between Juca and Sergio Machado, a former oil executive.

'National pact'

The recordings were allegedly made secretly by Machado who, like Juca, is the target of an investigation into massive embezzlement centred on state oil company Petrobras.
In the conversations, Juca is heard calling for a "national pact" that he appears to suggest would stop the investigation, known as Operation Car Wash, in which dozens of top-ranking politicians from a variety of parties, as well as business executives, have been charged or already convicted for involvement in the Petrobras scheme.
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In comments immediately taken up by Rousseff and her supporters as evidence for her claim that the impeachment process is a coup in disguise, Juca said: "We need to change the government to stop this bleeding.
"I am talking to the generals, the military commanders. They are fine with this, they said they will guarantee it."
He also said that he has been clearing his plans with justices on the Supreme Court, which oversees impeachment proceedings.
Of course this was a 'silent coup' by the Right, the Corporatists, the Oligarchs, the USA et al. and to stop the corruption charges against THOSE who made the coup - not against the current Workers Party and President. So, not surprised...but a little surprised this came out so quickly and so irrefutably....could well reverse the fate of the impeachment case and re-instate things to the way they were. Hurray....a little glimmer of hope.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We begin today's show with the political crisis engulfing Brazil. On Tuesday, the country's interim president, Michel Temer, unveiled a raft of economic austerity measures and introduced a far-reaching constitutional amendment limiting the growth of public spending to the equivalent of the previous year's inflation. Temer reportedly is now focused on overhauling Brazil's pension system, but two of the country's largest unions have refused to participate in talks, saying they don't recognize the interim government. Temer has also called for the immediate abolition of funds created to channel oil revenues into education initiatives. On Tuesday, he addressed a meeting of the Brazilian congressional party leaders.
INTERIM PRESIDENT MICHEL TEMER: [translated] Public spending is on an unsustainable path. We can delight ourselves in one or the other conquests, but further down the line we will have condemned the Brazilian people to extraordinary difficulties.
AMY GOODMAN: Meanwhile, a key figure in Brazil's interim government has resigned after explosive new transcripts revealed how he plotted to oust President Dilma Rousseff in order to end a corruption investigation that was targeting him. The transcripts, published by Brazil's largest newspaper, Folha de São Paulo, document a conversation in March, just weeks before Brazil's lower house voted in favor of impeaching President Rousseff. Romero Jucá, who was then a senator but became a planning minister after Rousseff's ouster, was speaking with a former oil executive, Sérgio Machado. Both men have been targets of the so-called Car Wash investigation over money laundering and corruption at the state-controlled oil firm Petrobras.
In the conversation, the men agree that ousting President Rousseff would be the only way to end the corruption probe against them. In the transcript, Jucá says, "We have to change the government so the bleeding is stopped." Machado then reportedly said, "The easiest solution is to put Michel in"a reference to Vice President Michel Temer, who took power once Rousseff was suspended. Writing for The Intercept, journalist journalist Glenn Greenwald said, quote, "The transcripts provide proof for virtually every suspicion and accusation impeachment opponents have long expressed about those plotting to remove Dilma from office." On Monday, Romero Jucá said his comments were taken out of context, but announced he would temporarily step down as the planning minister.
Well, for more, we're going to Berkeley, California, where we're joined by Maria Luisa Mendonça. She is the director of Brazil's Network for Social Justice and Human Rights. She is also a professor in the International Relations Department at the University of Rio de Janeiro. Her recent piece for The Progressive is called "Brazil's Parliamentary Vote is a Coup."
Maria Luisa Mendonça, welcome to Democracy Now!
MARIA LUISA MENDONÇA: Thanks very much.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you explain what's happening and the significance of these audiotapes?
MARIA LUISA MENDONÇA: Yes. They actually see and prove very clearly something we have been saying from the beginning, that this is a coup, because there is no reason, no legal basis, for the impeachment of President Dilma, that the main reason to do this was to actually stop investigations of corruption. And it was clear from the beginning, because the interim president, Michel Temer, appointed seven ministers that are now facing charges of corruption. And also one of the first things he did was to eliminate the Controladoria-Geral da União, which is a state agency that controls contracts between the government and private businesses. So it was clear that it was a way to stop investigations of corruption. And then, the second main reason was to implement austerity measures in the right-wing agenda that has been rejected by Brazilian society since 2002. So, the right-wing forces have not been able to win elections. The only way for them to take power was by orchestrating the coup.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And could you talk, as well, about his elimination of all these other ministers that deal with social issues within thewithin the government?
MARIA LUISA MENDONÇA: Yes, exactly. Just a few hours after taking power, he eliminated the Ministries of Women, of Agricultural Development, of Human Rights and Racial Equality, of Culture, of Communications. So, it was a huge structural change, with very serious consequences. And for instance, the Ministry of Culture is an institution that promotes Brazilian culture all over the world. So you cannot justify that by any argument, even economics. It doesn't make any sense. Since then, there have been huge demonstrations. Just over the weekend, this past weekend, several office buildings have been occupied by artists. At least in 20 states, the offices of the Ministry of Culture are now occupied. And we have seen huge concerts with demonstrations against Michel Temer. And even in stadiums, in soccer stadiums, we are seeing demonstrations all over the country. So it's very clear that this agenda will be rejected.
Also, for instance, in the case of the Ministry of Women, there now is a secretary. It lost its status as a ministry. Michel Temer invited five women, academics and artists, that rejected the invitation. So I think it's actually interesting to see that no woman wants to be part of the new government, which is a positive sign considering what this government looks like. And just yesterday, finally, he found someone for that position, and it's a former congresswoman who is herself being accused of corruption.
In the case of the communications, the public communications system is actually very concerning. Just a few hours after taking power, Temer fired the head of the public broadcasting system in Brazil and replaced him with an executive from TV Globo, the very powerful network that is calling for demonstrations against the government for over a year right now. So, that is a huge change. Imagine if suddenly the head of NPR was replaced by a Fox News executive. That's a comparison that we can make. So he eliminated several very important public institutions.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And you mentioned Globo. What has been the role of the mass media, of the commercial media, as all these events have been unfolding?
MARIA LUISA MENDONÇA: Yeah, that is a key role. What weI have been saying thatimagine if here in the U.S. all TV stations were like Fox News, and they all started to call for demonstrations against the government and were broadcasting those demonstrations live all day long, and at the same time the large demonstrations in support of the government, in support for democracy in Brazil, were mainly ignored. So, I think it's very important for people to understand that this was createdthis idea of that the main problem in Brazil was corruption was pretty much created by corporate media, and now it's very clear that, with the recent release of this transcript, that the main goal was to actually stop the investigations of corruption and to implement an agenda, a neoliberal agenda, that not only cut important social programs, but changes legislation, as you were mentioning in the beginning of the show.
For instance, in the case of the spending, governmental spending, for education, right after the end of the military dictatorship in Brazil, the new constitution determined that in local and state administrations, 25 percent of the budget is the minimum that has to be applied, invested on education, and the same as the federalin the federal level. That is, a minimum of 18 percent. And Michel Temer now is proposing to change legislation so the state is not obligated to spend a minimum on education, which will have a huge impact. This is not going to improve the economy. This will create more economic inequality and more instability.
AMY GOODMAN: Last week, The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald spoke to former President Dilma Rousseff. She expressed some concerns about the situation unfolding in Brazil.
PRESIDENT DILMA ROUSSEFF: [translated] Why wouldn't I say that it's the end of democracy? Because today, institutions can be disrupted, but they're stronger than you think. I'm apprehensive now, because what happens under an illegitimate government? An illegitimate government tries to dress itself in the veil of pseudo-order. It bans protests and freedom of expression, and, above all, shows an enormous willingness to cut social programs.
AMY GOODMAN: So that is, well, the president, the democratically elected president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, who has just been ousted, replaced by the vice president, Michel Temer. Maria Luisa Mendonça, go more into who Romero Jucá is, who was then a senator but became a planning minister after Rousseff's ouster, the one on these tapes is speaking to the former oil executive, Sérgio Machado, and they're talking about ending the corruption investigations against them.
MARIA LUISA MENDONÇA: Yes, he has been a key player in this conspiracy against President Dilma Rousseff, and that's very clear now by the transcripts. And he's a very powerful member of PMDB, which is the political party of Michel Temer. And he's been in politics forever, and he's been charged of corruption. And in his history, we had also very horrible stories. In the '80s, he was the head of FUNAI, which is the infrastructure in Brazil that is the foundation for indigenous people in Brazil. And at that time, he allowed mining companies to enter the Yanomami indigenous communities in the Amazon, and that created huge disasters for those communities. Hundreds of indigenous people were killed in conflicts and also because of diseases from mining exploitation in their territories. So he has a history of, you know, corruption and being a very conservative politician.
But the joke now in Brazil was that he was the planning minister, right? And it's clear right now that there was a plot tothat the impeachment is actually a plot, as a coup. That's why we have to call this a coup. And I think a key point that I would like to emphasize is that there is no reason for the impeachment. We cannot say that President Dilma can be impeached just because her popularity may be low at some point in her term or because there is an economic crisis in Brazil. We are not a parliamentary system. We are a presidential system. So, no matter if you like President Dilma or not, if you criticize the government or not, we cannot justify the impeachment. Would be almost like, you know, can you arrest someone in Brazil? Yes. But if the person did not commit any crime, then this is fascism. You cannot impeach the president just because you don't like her personality.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And let me ask you in terms of the strategy of the Workers' Party at this point, with these extraordinary developments, what is Dilma Rousseff planning to do now as she's facing this impeachment? And what about the role of the former president, Lula da Silva?
MARIA LUISA MENDONÇA: Well, the main strategy now is to oppose this government, this interim government, to say that this is not a legitimate government. And the Workers' Party congressmembers have been saying that very clearly, the senators, the congressmembers in the lower house. Andbut what we have been seeing in the last few days is huge demonstrations against the government. I think this iswill increase. The opposition from society, from Brazilian society, will increase, from the part of the academic community, artists, and then the people in general. We have been seeing very large demonstrations against Michel Temer, including a demonstration by his house. The movement of homeless people in the state of São Paulo just had a large demonstration in front of Michel Temer's house. And he has been called a golpista. So, we have been seeing those types of things, including the new foreign minister, José Serra, who was just in Argentina and was received with protests in Argentina, as well. So I think the international community will need to pay attention, and we will need solidarity from U.S. organizations to call on the Obama administration to support President Dilma Rousseff and the process that elected and re-elected her just over a year ago.
AMY GOODMAN: Very quicklywe have 30 secondswhat has been the Obama administration's response to what so many are calling a coup in Brazil?
MARIA LUISA MENDONÇA: At the beginning, it was not issuing any very strong statements. But recently, it's basically confirming that it would support Presidentthe interim president, Michel Temer, which is not a very good sign. We hope that the Obama administration doesn't do the same thing as we saw in Honduras. So we hope that they don't make the same mistake, because this will be a very dangerous precedent that can bring instability to the whole region.
Carsten Wiethoff Wrote:http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/05/br...04543.html

Quote:An important minister in Brazil's interim government has stepped aside over a leaked recording in which he appears to discuss using Dilma Rousseff's impeachment to derail a corruption investigation.
Romero Juca, planning minister, said on Monday he would step aside from the next day. Although he did not resign, he was not expected to return, the Globo news site reported quoting sources close to Michel Temer, the acting president.
The scandal threatens Temer only 11 days after taking power from Rousseff, whom the Senate suspended as president on May 12 at the start of an impeachment trial on charges of breaking government accounting rules.
Juca, who is Temer's right-hand man, had been due to help lead the team asking Congress to approve urgent measures aimed at pulling Brazil out of recession.
He said that he would return to his seat in the Senate instead.
The Folha newspaper released what it said were recordings of conversations in March between Juca and Sergio Machado, a former oil executive.
'National pact'

The recordings were allegedly made secretly by Machado who, like Juca, is the target of an investigation into massive embezzlement centred on state oil company Petrobras.
In the conversations, Juca is heard calling for a "national pact" that he appears to suggest would stop the investigation, known as Operation Car Wash, in which dozens of top-ranking politicians from a variety of parties, as well as business executives, have been charged or already convicted for involvement in the Petrobras scheme.
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In comments immediately taken up by Rousseff and her supporters as evidence for her claim that the impeachment process is a coup in disguise, Juca said: "We need to change the government to stop this bleeding.
"I am talking to the generals, the military commanders. They are fine with this, they said they will guarantee it."
He also said that he has been clearing his plans with justices on the Supreme Court, which oversees impeachment proceedings.

How peculiar that he chose not to resign. You'd only "step aside" but not resign as a temporary measure surely? Also the fact that he had been speaking to the generals and military who said they would guarantee the coup suggests that it's a done deal now.



[INDENT=6](Para ler a versão desse artigo em Português, clique aqui.)
BRAZIL TODAY AWOKE to stunning news of secret, genuinely shocking conversations involving a key minister in Brazil's newly installed government, which shine a bright light on the actual motives and participants driving the impeachment of the country's democratically elected president, Dilma Rousseff. The transcripts were published by the country's largest newspaper, Folha de São Paulo, and reveal secret conversations that took place in March, just weeks before the impeachment vote in the lower house was held. They show explicit plotting between the new planning minister (then-senator), Romero Jucá, and former oil executive Sergio Machado both of whom are formal targets of the "Car Wash" corruption investigation as they agree that removing Dilma is the only means for ending the corruption investigation. The conversations also include discussions of the important role played in Dilma's removal by the most powerful national institutions, including most importantly Brazil's military leaders.
The transcripts are filled with profoundly incriminating statements about the real goals of impeachment and who was behind it. The crux of this plot is what Jucá calls "a national pact" involving all of Brazil's most powerful institutions to leave Michel Temer in place as president (notwithstanding his multiple corruption scandals) and to kill the corruption investigation once Dilma is removed. In the words of Folha, Jucá made clear that impeachment will "end the pressure from the media and other sectors to continue the Car Wash investigation." Jucá is the leader of Temer's PMDB party and one of the "interim president's" three closest confidants.
It is unclear who is responsible for recording and leaking the 75-minute conversation, but Folha reports that the files are currently in the hand of the prosecutor general. The next few hours and days will likely see new revelations that will shed additional light on the implications and meaning of these transcripts.
The transcripts contain two extraordinary revelations that should lead all media outlets to seriously consider whether they should call what took place in Brazil a "coup": a term Dilma and her supporters have used for months. When discussing the plot to remove Dilma as a means of ending the Car Wash investigation, Jucá said the Brazilian military is supporting the plot: "I am talking to the generals, the military commanders. They are fine with this, they said they will guarantee it." He also said the military is "monitoring the Landless Workers Movement" (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra, or MST), the social movement of rural workers that supports PT's efforts of land reform and inequality reduction and has led the protests against impeachment.
The second blockbuster revelation perhaps even more significant is Jucá's statement that he spoke with and secured the involvement of numerous justices on Brazil's Supreme Court, the institution that impeachment defenders have repeatedly pointed to as vesting the process with legitimacy in order to deny that Dilma's removal is a coup. Jucá claimed that "there are only a small number" of Court justices to whom he had not obtained access (the only justice he said he ultimately could not get to is Teori Zavascki, who was appointed by Dilma and who notably Jucá viewed as incorruptible in obtaining his help to kill the investigation (a central irony of impeachment is that Dilma has protected the Car Wash investigation from interference by those who want to impeach her)). The transcripts also show him saying that "the press wants to take her [Dilma] out," so "this shit will never stop" meaning the corruption investigations until she's gone.
The transcripts provide proof for virtually every suspicion and accusation impeachment opponents have long expressed about those plotting to remove Dilma from office. For months, supporters of Brazil's democracy have made two arguments about the attempt to remove the country's democratically elected president: (1) the core purpose of Dilma's impeachment is not to stop corruption or punish lawbreaking, but rather the exact opposite: to protect the actual thieves by empowering them with Dilma's exit, thus enabling them to kill the Car Wash investigation; and (2) the impeachment advocates (led by the country's oligarchical media) have zero interest in clean government, but only in seizing power that they could never obtain democratically, in order to impose a right-wing, oligarch-serving agenda that the Brazilian population would never accept.
[Image: AP_91639785995-300x200.jpg]Photo: Andre Dusek/AP

The first two weeks of Temer's newly installed government provided abundant evidence for both of these claims. He appointed multiple ministers directly implicated in corruption scandals. A key ally in the lower house who will lead his government's coalition there André Moura is one of the most corrupt politicians in the country, the target of multiple, active criminal probes not only for corruption but also attempted homicide. Temer himself is deeply enmeshed in corruption (he faces an eight-year ban on running for any office) and is rushing to implement a series of radical right-wing changes that Brazilians would never democratically allow, including measures, as The Guardian detailed, "to soften the definition of slavery, roll back the demarcation of indigenous land, trim housebuilding programs and sell off state assets in airports, utilities and the post office."But, unlike the events of the last two weeks, these transcripts are not merely clues or signs. They are proof: proof that the prime forces behind the removal of the president understood that taking her out was the only way to save themselves and shield their own extreme corruption from accountability; proof that Brazil's military, its dominant media outlets, and its Supreme Court were colluding in secret to ensure the removal of the democratically elected president; proof that the perpetrators of impeachment viewed Dilma's continued presence in Brasilia as the guarantor that the Car Wash investigations would continue; proof that this had nothing to do with preserving Brazilian democracy and everything to do with destroying it.
For his part, Jucá admits that these transcripts are authentic but insists it was all just a misunderstanding with his comments taken out of context,calling it "banal." "That conversation is not about a pact for Car Wash. It's about the economy, to extricate Brazil from the crisis," he claimed in an interview this morning with UOL political blogger Fernando Rodrigues. That explanation is entirely implausible given what he actually said, as well as the explicitly conspiratorial nature of the conversations, in which Jucá insists on a series of one-on-one encounters, rather than meeting in a group, all to avoid provoking suspicions. Political leaders are already calling for his resignation from the government.
Ever since Temer's installation as president, Brazil has seen intense, and growing, protests against him. Brazilian media outlets which have been desperately trying to glorify him have suspiciously refrained from publishing polling data for many weeks, but the last polls show him with only 2 percent support and 60 percent wanting him impeached. The only recent published polling data showed that 66 percent of Brazilians believe legislators voted for impeachment only out of self-interest a belief these transcripts validate while only 23 percent believe they did so for the good of the country. Last night in São Paulo, police were forced to barricade the street where Temer's house is located due to thousands of protesters heading there; they eventually used fire hoses and tear gas. An announcement to close the Ministry of Culture led to artists and others occupying offices around the country in protest, which forced Temer to reverse the decision.
Until now, The Intercept, like most international media outlets, has refrained from using the word "coup" even as it (along with most outlets) has been deeply critical of Dilma's removal as anti-democratic. These transcripts compel a re-examination of that editorial decision, particularly if no evidence emerges calling into question either the most reasonable meaning of Jucá's statements or his level of knowledge. This newly revealed plotting is exactly what a coup looks, sounds, and smells like: securing the cooperation of the military and most powerful institutions to remove a democratically elected leader for self-interested, corrupt, and lawless motives, in order to then impose an oligarch-serving agenda that the population despises.
If Dilma's impeachment remains inevitable, as many believe, these transcripts will make it much more difficult to leave Temer in place. Recent polling data shows that 62 percent of Brazilians want new elections to select their president. That option the democratic one is the one Brazil's elites fear most, because they are petrified (with good reason) that Lula or another candidate they dislike (Marina Silva) will win. But that's the point: If what is being avoided and smashed in Brazil is democracy, then it's time to start using the proper language to describe this. These transcripts make it increasingly difficult for media outlets to avoid doing so.