Ten facts that Brazil and the world should know

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By: Igor Fuser / Source: Resumen Latinoamericano and Alai AM Latina / March 28, 2016

We must warn all Brazilian men and women, we must report in a very clear and objective manner, so that every corner of the country hears that:

1. The request for dismissal of President Dilma Rousseff has nothing to do with the operation Lava Jato, nor with any other initiative against corruption. Dilma is not accused of stealing a single penny. The pretext used by the opposition politicians to try to overthrow her government is the so-called “fiscal makeup”, which is a routine procedure of public budget management at all levels of government —federal, state and municipal— and was adopted in the mandates of Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Lula Da Silva without any problem. She simply put money from the Brazilian bank Caixa Economica Federal into social programs, in order to close the accounts and, the following year, she returned the money to the Caixa. She did not get any personal benefit from it and not even her worst enemies can accuse her of corruption for that.

2. This is precisely the reason why the request for her impeachment constitutes a blow, as the President can only be removed if she is found to have committed a crime —and this crime did not occur, in fact, so far, Dilma’s name hasn’t been included in any of the corruption investigations: there’s not even the slightest suspicion against her.

3. Contrary to President Dilma, the politicians who are calling for her dismissal have dirt on their hands. Eduardo Cunha (PMDB) who, as chairman of the Deputy Chamber, is responsible for the dismissal process, has received more than 52 million reais only from corruption in Petrobras, plus he owns millionaire deposits in secret accounts in Switzerland and other tax havens. The Deputies’ commission that will analyze the request for dismissal has 65 members, 37 of which (more than half!) are in the spotlight of Justice, investigated for corruption. If they manage to depose the President, they expect to receive, in exchange, impunity for the frauds they have committed.

4. The leader of the campaign for the impeachment is the PSDB, the opposition party that was defeated in the presidential elections of 2014. Its candidate, Aecio Neves, is trying to achieve, through his political connections, an outcome that he was not able to achieve on the ballot, disrespecting the vote of the 54,499,901 Brazilians who voted for Dilma (3.4% more voters than those obtained by Neves in the second round).

5. If the blow is consummated, the new coupist President, Aecio Neves, will implement all of the elitist and authoritarian policies that he was promoting before the elections. The potential coupist President will surely change the labor laws to the detriment of employees; annul policy of reviews of the minimum wage; he will implement the outsourcing of work force without restrictions; he will hand in all oil reserves in the Pre-Salt to transnational corporations (as advocated by Senator José Serra); he will privatize the Banco do Brasil and the Caixa Economica Federal; he will introduce paid education in federal universities, as a first step towards privatization; he will repress social movements and freedom of expression on the Internet; he will expel Cubans who work in the program “More Doctors”; he will give a green light to the agribusinesses to acquire indigenous lands; and he will end with the independent foreign policy of the current government, debasing Brazil to being a servant to the US servant again . So, what’s at stake in the battle for this impeachment is much more than President Dilma’s mandate or Lula’s political future.

6. It’s a delusion to assume that the economy will improve after a potential change in the presidency of the Republic. All the factors that have led the country to the current crisis will continue existing, with many aggravating factors. Political instability will be the rule. Leaders of the current putsch campaign will fight each other for power like piranhas around a piece of meat. And Dilma will be replaced by a weak character, Michel Temer, who is more interested in securing his future (probably through a chair in the Federal Supreme Court) and protecting himself from the corruption accusations rather than governing effectively. Inflation will continue increasing as well as unemployment.

7. Politically, Brazil has plunged into a chaotic period with a strong instability. The overthrowing of an elected President, legitimized by the people’s vote, would mean that the country would have an illegitimate President, who is rejected by a great portion of the society, as head of the Executive,  for the first time since the end of the military regime.

8. Conflict will also permeate into social life. Fascist tendencies, currently focused on the coup, will feel liberated to implement their violent impulses, which they have symbolically expressed by hanging dolls that wore attires with the MST or the PT logos. They have also expressed them more directly in invasions and attacks on unions and political parties, or in savage attacks on people whose only crime is wearing a red shirt. The current leader of the extreme right, Deputy Jair Bolsonaro, has openly defended, in one of the demonstrations in favor of impeachment, the idea that each rancher should carry a rifle to kill MST militants.

9. Unions and social movements will not stand idly by the cruelty of the right-wing sectors and leaders, nor by the attacks of employers associations against social rights conquered over the last two decades. They will resist by all means, through strikes, occupations of lands, roadblocks, taking over buildings, and more. Brazil will become again a torn country because of the irresponsibility and unreasonable greed of half a dozen politicians who are incapable of reaching power by popular vote. That’s what awaits for us if the coup against President Dilma is consummated.

10. But this won’t happen. Mobilizations of citizens in defense of legality and democracy are growing, with the adhesion of more and more people and movements, regardless their political affiliation, religious beliefs and whether or not they support the official policies. Our view on the PT or on Dilma’s government is no longer the priority. What is at stake is democracy, respect for electoral results and for the constitutional provision that prohibits the application of impeachment without the existence of a crime to justify this extreme measure. More and more Brazilians are realizing this and taking to the streets against putschists.

It’s essential for all of us to participate, in every corner of Brazil. We all need to take to the streets in defense of legality, of the Constitution and of social rights. All together! Fascism shall not pass! There won’t be a coup!

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