Brazil Coup: The First of Many Blows Against the People

Published on teleSUR, by João Feres Júnior, May 13, 2016.

Dilma is gone and it is very unlikely that she will ever return to power. The question that everybody is asking now is: what is going to happen to Brazil in the near future?  

Understanding the impeachment case against Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff is much easier if you have already watched the documentary series “Making a murderer.” The analogy is very direct. Like Steven Avery, Dilma is being accused of a crime and despite the fact that there is no sound evidence that she has committed it, the jury was bound to convict her. Thus, the whole debate about whether the impeachment is legal or not misses the point that in the Brazilian legal system, as well as in the American and others, someone can indeed be unjustly convicted of a crime even if legal procedure is duly followed.

The analogy stops here, though. Differently from Avery’s trial, Dilma’s jurors, the federal deputies and senators who voted for the impeachment case to proceed, resulting in her suspension from office, do not seem to care about her being guilty or not. In fact, many of them preferred to “dedicate” their vote to their family, community of origin, or God instead of referring to the subject matter of the impeachment case: wrongful fiscal management. Others cited the Car Wash corruption scandal involving the state-run oil company Petrobras as a reason for the impeachment, even though the impeachment case presented before Congress is not related to it. The fact that 303 out of 513 representatives in Brazil’s chamber of deputies are being currently investigated for corruption and that 49 of the 81 senators are in a similar situation gives this concerted action against Rousseff, who herself has never been charged with corruption, overtones of hypocrisy and surrealism.

In a word, Rousseff was the victim of a political coup disguised as a legal trial. And the plot paid out. Following constitutionally-defined impeachment procedures, she stepped out after today’s vote in the Senate and was replaced by Vice President Michel Temer for a period of up to 180 days or until the trial in the senate takes its course, which is likely to be rather soon. If she is finally convicted, an almost certain outcome, Temer will remain in office. In fact, he has already announced his 23-ministry cabinet, which displays a markedly conservative profile … //

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