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Issue #1731      May 18, 2016

Brazil

Calls for mobilisations against coup

Ousted Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has called on Brazilians to defend their country’s democracy and mobilise against the coup that saw her suspended from office.

Ousted Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

“I call for the people to remain mobilised, together, in peace … It is a fight we are going to win, it depends on all of us, let’s show the world the millions of people who defend democracy in our country,” said Rousseff in her first comments from the presidential palace since the country’s Senate voted to proceed with impeachment proceedings.

Rousseff, who as a young activist was arrested and tortured for her efforts to organise against the military dictatorship that previously ruled Brazil, said she “never thought I would have to fight against another coup in our country.”

The ousted president walked out of the presidential palace to a crowd of thousands of anti-coup and pro-democracy demonstrators.

“I am ready to resist through all legal means,” Rousseff told the crowd who answered with chants pledging to resist as well. “Over the course of my life, like all women, I confronted many challenges, now what hurts most is this situation that I’m living now, the pain of injustice,” said Rousseff.

She thanked all those who had been marching to denounce the coup in the lead up to the Senate’s vote, which has replaced her with the vice-president.

“I am certain that together we are going to remain united, mobilised, and in peace,” concluded Rousseff.

The ousted president dissolved her government after the Senate voted to proceed with an impeachment trial, requiring her to relinquish power for a period of 180 days, teleSUR’s correspondent in Brazil Andre Vieira reported.

Rousseff condemned the actions of the Congress, which she called a “coup” against her government. She also said she would “fight with every legal instrument at my disposal to ensure I complete my mandate on December 31, 2018.”

Her vice president, Michel Temer, became the interim president once he received notification from the Senate that the impeachment trial would proceed. Social movement leaders have pledged to remain in a state of permanent mobilisation, according to Guilherme Boulos, national coordinator of the Homeless Workers Movement.

Widespread protests are expected calling for the arrest of Eduardo Cunha, the former speaker of the lower house of Congress who spearheaded the impeachment process against the president, and for the ouster of the government of Michel Temer, which assumed power after Rousseff’s ouster.

“There are two main ideas: first, to denounce the institutional coup … and demand the departure of Temer: he was elected to be vice president, not president. Second, ask for the arrest of Eduardo Cunha, whose corruption is proven,” said Laryssa Sampaio from the Popular Youth Uprising, which is organising protests.

Russia

“For Russia, Brazil is an important foreign partner in Latin America and the world,” said foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova. The Russian Foreign Ministry spoke out against the efforts to oust Rousseff, pinning the move on “foreign interference”.

Russia and Brazil have an important relationship and are members of the influential BRICS group.

In 2015 a document reported in various Russian news agencies addressed the possibility of US intelligence agency involvement in the parliamentary coup against President Rousseff. “It is quite possible that the CIA is involved in the plan to stage riots in Brazil nationwide,” the Russian news outlets said in a 2015 report.

One article in Pravda explains that over the past few years, the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have become a significant geopolitical threat to the interests of the United States.

The report added that one of Washington’s biggest worries is Rousseff’s support for creating a new world reserve currency, as well as the threat to the US dollar posed by the BRICS.

“The reasons, for which Washington wants to get rid of Dilma Rousseff, are easy to understand,” Sputnik wrote. “She signed the agreement about the establishment of the (BRICS) New Development Bank with the initial registered capital worth US$100 billion reserve fund, as well as additional US$100 billion.”

The US government was also concerned by the construction of a 5,600 kilometre-long fibre-optic telecommunications system across the Atlantic to Europe initiated by Rousseff in October 2014. The new communication system would guarantee protection against foreign espionage, and would undermine the US-backed communications monopolies.

Telebras president told the local media that the project would be developed and implemented without the participation of any US company.

Rousseff has also angered Washington by blocking the return to Brazil of major US oil and mining companies, looking to China for investment instead. The United States has been looking to shore up its stakes in natural resources in Latin America, as indicated by the WikiLeaks revelation that Hillary Clinton pressured Mexico to privatise its oil industry when she was US Secretary of State.

Sputnik noted that the May 2013 visit by US Vice President Joe Biden to Brazil to try to persuade Rousseff to allow US companies to access oil fields – a proposal denied by the Brazilian president. In the period after Biden’s visit, protests erupted across the South American country and her rating dropped from 70 percent to 30 percent.

“During this period, the Americans were consistently destroying Rousseff’s regime through other protests. They included large-scale protests against excessive costs on the World Cup and insufficient funding of social welfare programs and health care,” Sputnik noted.

Also immediately after Biden’s visit, reports attempted to link Rousseff in the so-called “Car Wash” scandal involving the state-run oil company, Petrobras.

“All of a sudden, the Brazilians forgot that the Workers’ Party had taken around 30 percent of the population out of poverty with the help of public support programs. Hunger and illiteracy became history. Was it because of short memory? No, as the CIA knows very well how to brainwash people through subordinate media,” Sputnik stated.

In an interview with teleSUR however, Rousseff denied US involvement in her country’s political crisis. “The US has stayed away from the Brazilian process,” maintained the Brazilian leader, despite reports that opposition figures recently met in Washington.

Recently, Venezuelan journalist Jose Vicente Rangel alleged US intelligence agencies had sent about 500 agents to Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and Cuba, with the sole purpose to destabilising their governments.

teleSur

Next article – In no position to lecture about corruption

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