The fightback
User avatar
Posts: 3905
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:44 pm
Location: Turtle island

Re: Brazil

Post by blindpig » Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:03 pm

Lula: We knew that Blair knew there were no Iraqi WMDs

Former Brazilian President Lula da Silva revealed in an exclusive interview with Brasil Wire and the Michael Brooks Show that Brazil already knew that then UK Prime Minister Tony Blair was lying about Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction in the build up to the Iraq war.

Lula says that they knew that Blair knew Saddam Hussein did not possess such weapons, through Brazilian diplomat and director general of the OPCW, José Bustani, as the UK Prime Minister used the phantom weapons to make a worldwide case for an invasion of the middle eastern country. The invasion is now regarded as a catastrophic decision, which cost a million lives and is blamed for triggering a spiral of violence and suffering which continues to this day. Iraq this month demanded the exit of all US forces from the country.

“I had a good and respectful relationship with Tony Blair. And I had a good relationship with Gordon Brown. Those were the two (UK) governments with which I had contact. Unfortunately the role of Tony Blair in deciding to enter the war in Iraq was regrettable. He knows it was regrettable. He suffers aggression today on the streets of London because of the war in Iraq.” remarked Lula, as he recalled his relations with the British Government during his 2003-2011 presidential terms

“And he knew there were no chemical weapons in Iraq.” Lula stated.

“Do you know why we also knew about this? It was Ambassador Bustani. He was the the secretary who dealt with chemical weapons. And he exausted himself saying, “they don’t have them”. Because he said they didn’t have them, the Americans demanded that (Lula’s predecessor) Fernando Henrique Cardoso remove Bustani, and he was removed.” Lula explained.

Bustani was then director general of OPCW – the organisation for the prohibition of chemical weapons – an international body which is now again mired in controversy, following the release of leaked documents which cast doubt upon the reported chemical weapon attack in Douma, Syria in April 2018. The attack was used as justification for airstrikes on the country by the UK, France and the United States.

In March 2002, George W. Bush administration hawk John Bolton, then under secretary of state for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, travelled to Europe and arrived at the OPCW headquarters in the Hague to warn its recently re-elected director general. Bustani recounted to Mehdi Hasan for the Intercept:

“Cheney wants you out,” Bolton said, “You have 24 hours to leave the organization, and if you don’t comply with this decision by Washington, we have ways to retaliate against you.”

Bolton concluded his ultimatum with a brazen threat: “We know where your kids live. You have two sons in New York.”

Following his dismissal from, José Bustani would later be nominated for a Nobel Peace prize for his achievements at the OPCW.

Lula lamented that they replaced Bustani with someone who towed the US/UK line on Iraq’s possession of WMDs: “And they appointed someone from Japan who said they had them. How long has it been since they invaded Iraq? Where are the chemical weapons?”

While he was nearing his second term as President in 2009, Lula had told the FT: “On 10th December 2002, before the inauguration, I went to the White House to talk with President Bush. Bush was talking about the Iraq war, the future Iraq war, in a very obsessive way, and saying it was fighting terrorism…he spoke very frankly. After 40 minutes of this I told President Bush, President Bush, Iraq is 14,000 kilometres away from my country. I have nothing against Iraq, but I have another war to wage in Brazil. That is the war to end hunger in my country. This is my priority.”

Part two of the interview will be released this week. Part one can be read here. ... raqi-wmds/
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

User avatar
Posts: 3905
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:44 pm
Location: Turtle island

Re: Brazil

Post by blindpig » Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:37 pm

An interview with Lula. Part Two

I really want to polarize. I want to hold deep ideological debates. I want the people to know that there is no teaching anywhere that says a person has to go three days without food. – Lula

In January, 2020, Brasil Wire editors Daniel Hunt and Brian Mier, in partnership with Michael Brooks, host of the Michael Brooks Show, interviewed former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the Workers Party (PT) headquarters in São Paulo. The interview was the culmination of a 6 month process which started with the filing of a request in the Curitiba Court system to interview him while he was still a political prisoner due to a kangaroo court procedure which leaked social media messages exposed by Glenn Greenwald now show was designed to catapult neofascist Jair Bolsonaro to the presidency. While preparing for the interview we made the decision not to cross-examine him about his imprisonment as most interviewers have done recently. Instead, we decided to focus on questions related to the legacy of a historically important union leader and President, US imperialism and how to defeat the resurgence of fascism on the World stage. The following edited transcript represents Part 2 of the interview. (Part 1 can be read here). The video was filmed by Edge of Democracy cinematographer Ricardo Stukert and TeleSur producer Nacho Lemus and can be viewed on the Michael Brooks Show Youtube channel, here.

Michael Brooks: President Lula I want to ask you, as a former labor union organizer and friend of labor, about what we call the Gig or the Uber economy. A big problem in the United States and I think also in Brazil, is that these silicon valley companies design business models so that they can say, for example, that Uber drivers are not a real workers, they are freelancers and aren’t actually an employee of the company, which they say is a platform and not a corporation with common workers. The workers are isolated. People in the Uber example are each in their own cars, they don’t meet each other and they don’t have opportunities to organize. The companies cut down all the wages by design. They can lose money for a long time. They get the venture capital and then they redesign the marketplace to muscle out labor power. What is the strategy for labor to respond to this Gig economy in Brazil, the United States and internationally?

Lula: I have tried to learn about this issue with Brazilian union leaders because it is one of my concerns as a former union leader. I don’t know if you know this, but since the fall of Lehman Brothers, 125 countries around the world have enacted labor law reforms to remove rights from the workers, not to improve labor rights. In other words it’s almost like we are going back to the days of slavery. You work without knowing if you will have a job the next day, you work without the guarantee of accident insurance, you work without knowing if you will ever be able to retire and you work with your own assets which you can lose if you get into a car accident.

There are a lot of qualified people, even engineers, people who worked in national Congress and other government workers who were laid off and don’t have jobs and are now working for Uber. It’s kind of like a lifeboat. When a ship is sinking you get into one of those little boats and you think you are saved but you are not safe there like you would be if you were in a big ship. The financial system and the Brazilian media and elites sell the idea that Brazil is evolving because it is removing labor rights from the workers and because it’s making it harder for workers to get retirement pensions. I don’t know if you saw this in the Brazilian media, but there is a line of nearly 2 million Brazilians waiting to retire and the President said that he will hire 4000 army reservists to solve the problem of the retirement system back up. When I was President, starting in 2007 and afterwards during Dilma Rousseff’s government, it took 30 minutes for a worker to officially retire. Half an hour. The workers didn’t have to chase after their pension benefits because the pension administration would chase after the workers. The pension department would contact the worker and ask, “have you completed your time of service? You have the right to retire. Go into the pension office.” It was us who communicated this. We had cases of workers who retired in 5 minutes. All you have to do is look at the newspaper headlines from that time and you will confirm this miracle. This was all dismantled in Brazil. So I think that now people are being polite, saying, “the person who works in the Uber is a micro-entrepreneur.” I said in an interview the other day that when I was 20 I worked as as a lathe operator and at that time we didn’t have the word “micro-entrepreneur”, we didn’t call it “entreprenuerialism”. I wanted to open a bar. I thought the best thing in the world would be to not have a boss. I wanted to be my own boss. Today it’s called “entreprenuerialism.” Now a citizen works in an Uber and doesn’t have any security whatsoever, he doesn’t have retirement benefits and doesn’t know how much money he is going to make that month. I know people who can’t make their car payments and sell their cars and start renting. They pay R$1600/month rental fees and sometimes they only make R$1600/month. People do it because they don’t have anything else to do, they don’t have any other job because there aren’t any opportunities. So they deliver pizza by bicycle now in the rain. Last week it was pouring rain in São Paulo and I saw a poor guy delivering a pizza on his bicycle because he had no other way to survive. There are no jobs. We should say ‘thank God’ that people accept to do this instead of becoming muggers. It’s better to work like that than to buy a revolver and stick up the first person who walks by your house. So what do we need to do? We need to recuperate working people’s rights. People died during historic strikes for women to get the right to an 8 hour work day in Chicago. There were deaths in the United States, in Brazil, in Sweden. There were workers who died fighting for the right to a 48 hour work week and to get the right to retire. All of this is being thrown out now in benefit of the employers. Most employers nowadays are representatives of the financial system. It is the financialization of the economy. You don’t know who the owner of a business is anymore. Now it’s all corporations. It’s all a group of investment funds and the people make money by speculating instead of producing, by selling paper. In Singapore a group of people created a fund to protect Uber workers. And when they organized – I think it was 6000 workers who organized this fund – they approached Uber to negotiate for the workers’ rights. Obviously workers are going to have to find a way to organize because if they don’t the situation will get really bad. I think that its only a question of time. The union movement is going to have to figure out a way to organize these workers who are working in such a precarious manner, without any rights, without any guarantees because they have to support their families and they have to pay their light and water bills at the end of the month. It’s a tough life but I am sure that we will find a solution. And this is why I say that PT should keep fighting. Any time that the PT has any doubts about what it should do it should remember why it was created. If anyone has any doubt about what side the PT is on and what fights the PT has to fight, they should just remember why the PT was created.

When François Hollande was elected President of France he came to Rio+20 in Brazil. I welcomed him here and we started talking and at one point I said, “let me give you a piece of advice. You know why you won the elections. Take the program you used to win the elections, put it on your bedpost and every morning when you wake up, before you wash your face, read the speeches you made to win the elections so that you don’t forget.” I went to visit Obama during the beginning of his mandate and I said, “Obama, you are one of the only Presidents in the World who won’t have problems governing. “He said, “why?” And I said, “All you have to do is show the courage of the black people who voted for you to govern the country. It takes courage to do things differently from the way they are normally done. That is how you can govern the country and things will work out because when you win an election the first thing that happens is that the elites and big business – even if they never liked you – will be the first people to support you. It’s hard. People you’ve never met are going to knock on your door every day. And the poor people who voted for you won’t be able to see you anymore.”

So, my dear, there are a lot of things that we have to learn how to do. I’d go to an event and I like to hug and kiss people on the cheek and the security wouldn’t let me. I had to go around in an armored car. I told my advisors, “it’s funny. When we are running for office, we drive in a convertible waving at everyone but after we win they don’t let you wave at the people anymore.” When a VIP goes to visit the President there is no security. But when poor people come, there’s security. It’s incredible. So it is a learning experience. This is why I wanted to come back in 2018. This is why I wanted be President again because there are a lot of things that I learned how to do after I left the government. It’s possible to do a lot more – a lot more. You don’t have to radicalize things, just obey the Constitution. Follow the constitution, follow the UN Declaration of Human Rights, and follow the Bible. It’s all there. People have to have houses, schools, jobs, salaries and food. Everything is written there. There is no law that says that people have to go without food. Meanwhile, there are big Silicon Valley companies which coordinate the internet. We thought that the means of communication could be much more democratic. Today there are a half dozen companies which coordinate everything. They even falsify elections. If people don’t take care, they will be transformed into algorithms. They will know what you think, what you do and what you like to eat. They will start to interfere and they will start to tell lies. This is what happened in the US elections, in the Brazilian elections and the Hungarian elections.

Brian Mier: When TeleSur’s Nacho Lemus interviewed you recently you said that you believe that foreign powers were involved in the June 2013 protests in Brazil. Immediately afterwards you were attacked by Brazilians from the vanguard left who accused you of reducing what had happened to a mere intervention by the CIA. I know that the PT historically takes a Gramscian view of the integral state – it is not just the government, it’s things like the corporations too. Could you explain exactly what you meant when you said there was external interference in 2013?

Lula: This question is important because it enables me to clearly explain what I said during the other interview. I did not say that the CIA started the movement. The movement started in the protests by people who were fighting for the right to collective transportation in several Brazilian state capitals and this was a legitimate social movement. But after it started, after the black blocs appeared and started breaking a few things, the movement was taken over. It wasn’t the transportation movement that put 1 million people from the middle class onto the streets protesting against the government, against the World Cup and against just about everything that was happening in Brazil. Globo TV had never interrupted it’s telenovelas before to broadcast a protest against busfare hikes or any workers protest – never. Suddenly TV Globo, SBT, Bandeirantes and Record were all inviting people to the streets at 7 AM, Noon, 3PM. They were inviting people as if they were advertising a party. The protest marches were broadcast on live TV, which is something that had never happened before in the history of Brazil. So if it is true that it started here in São Paulo as a movement to fight for a 20 cent bus fare reduction, this struggle was taken over and held up by other interests. Today things are clearer to me then they were back then but I don’t think we will find out exactly who was behind all of it very quickly.

I remember the Arab Spring. I remember the downfall of Mubarak. Mubarak really had to go down. He was a dictator who was in power for so many years. But then the people elected Morsi. And how long did it take to take out Morsi? And who is there now? If it is true that the people were fighting for democracy, what are they doing now with 3 generals running Egypt, with no more protests and no more marches? The same thing happened in Turkey. Erdogan called us up in 2013 and said “this isn’t a movement trying to improve a public square – they want to overthrow the government. So be careful in Brazil.”

Therefore, I have plenty of reasons to be suspicious about what happened here in Brazil, first of all because no labor unions were protesting against the government. We didn’t know what this movement was. It appeared to be against nearly everything and favorable to one segment of society. It seemed like it was anti-PT, anti Dilma, anti-World Cup and anti-Olympics, so I wrote an article for the New York Times in which I said “the people who have gotten used to eating sirloin want filet mignon”. This is what I thought at the time, but today I think there was a lot more to it than this. It was not just economic, it was political. So I have a lot of mistrust about what happened here, what happened recently in Ecuador, what happened in Argentina and what happened in Bolivia. What was the logic behind what they did to me in Operation Lava Jato? Any lawyer who looks at case can see the lies that are being told and the con they are pulling on me. This lawfare attack, which was uncovered by my lawyers, is one of the most commentated subject in legal circles around the World today. It is a more modern and efficient way to destroy a democracy and end the popular representation of the vote. This is what they did here. This is what they did in Bolivia and they tried to do it with Rafael Correa in Ecuador. So I have a deep mistrust about this legalization of world politics.

I think we have to take into consideration that an honest and serious person won’t lie and spread fake news. He won’t lie on WhatsApp. But a person who has no worth, dignity or morality lives on lies. I saw a news story that Trump tells 12 lies per day. I’m not sure if it was 12, but I saw it in a newspaper somewhere. How can a President lie 12 times per day? Look at Bolsonaro’s tweets and the number of lies he tells. When a person becomes President of the Republic they have to be responsible. It’s not a small job, it’s a very big job. And we have to remember the respectability that people have to have with the institution. I am deeply worried about a certain type of movement that has started in Italy and other countries. Democracy has to be strengthened. The political parties have to exist. Whoever thinks there is an easy solution for humanity outside of politics should understand that what comes after politics will always be worse. This is why I defend politics and political parties. If a politician is no good, exchange him. Substitute him. What you can’t do is believe that there is a national savior from the business world who is going to save everyone. Only democracy and the exercise of democracy in its plenitude will solve the problem of the conflicts around the World and reduce the demand for war. Do you think it makes sense for Trump to order the assassination of an Iranian General in Iraq? What is the logic behind that? The World needs peace. The World needs hope. The World needs people that wake up every morning thinking its going to be a good day. Who would gain from a war with Iran right now? Who gained from the war in Iraq? I saw Trump complain the other day that Iran has won over Iraq now, that the majority of them are Shia and now they like Iran. But it was the US that started the war. I met with Bush around the time when the US started the war, in 2003. Later I met with Clinton in Davos and he said, “Bush is going to do some research. If he sees it will help him in the elections he’s going to attack Iraq.” And he did it, in exchange for what? Did it improve the lives of the people of Iraq? Did it improve democracy in Iraq? Nothing improved. It’s worse now. Nowadays you have a nomadic society traveling around the World made up of people who have been hired to assassinate, to hold coups and to make wars. I think that the government leaders who like democracy are going to have to work very hard to reestablish democratic values. Because without democracy we won’t go anywhere. This is why I hope that during the next US elections the people can elect someone who is committed to democracy, peace and development – someone who is committed to harmony among the people and not someone who likes war.

Daniel Hunt: My own country, the United Kingdom, is usually considered a puppet of the United States but it has its own foreign policy in Latin America which has hardened during the last 10 years of conservative rule. What were your experiences with UK governments and what is your view of UK/Brazil relations now?

Lula: I’m going to tell you something new. When I was a union leader here in the city of São Bernardo do Campo during the 80s, I went to participate in a strike in England, when the miners went on strike for 11 months and Margaret Thatcher defeated them. I spent two days there giving speeches and marching with the miners.

Brazil’s relationship with the UK is very respectful. There was a time in Brazil when the figure of the Queen was something seen as beyond the normal comprehension of humans. I don’t know if you know this but here in Brazil they will still do things like broadcast a royal baptism on TV. England has the only Queen that still maintains the power of the crown.

I had a good and respectful relationship with Tony Blair and I had a good relationship with Gordon Brown. Those were the two governments with which I had contact. Tony Blair’s role in the decision to join the war in Iraq was unfortunate. He knows this. He is regularly accosted on the streets of London because of the war in Iraq. He knew there were no chemical weapons in Iraq. Do you know why we also knew about this? Because the Secretary who took care of the UN’s department of nuclear weapons was Brazilian. It was Ambassador Bustani. He was the Secretary who dealt with chemical weapons. And he wore himself out saying, “they don’t have them”. The Americans ordered Fernando Henrique Cardoso to remove Bustani because of this. So they appointed someone from Japan who said they did have them. How long has it been since they invaded Iraq? Where are the chemical weapons? The only chemical weapons they had there were Saddam Hussein himself, who lied to his people the whole time and Bush, who lied to the World the whole time.

I have to say I’m a little proud that Tony Blair and Gordon Brown helped me during the beginning of my government. They were very friendly. I think it was because I am a former factory worker. When Gordon Brown was in charge of the British economy he helped a lot. He spoke well of Brazil in the foreign newspapers and this helped us a lot. I had a very good relationship with them. It was stronger with Gordon Brown, who I thought was more serious and more committed. But from the commercial standpoint it wasn’t a big deal. I think trade with the UK reached $8 billion. It is very small because Brazil is not taken very seriously in those parts of the World. Brazil does not have international political power so is not taken into account much. It was taken into account a bit more during our period, maybe because I was the first metalworker to become President. But the truth is that Evo Morales and I were always odd men out. Imagine Evo, an Indian coca farmer, as President of Bolivia. I met Gonzalo, the Bolivian President. who I believe resigned in 2003, and he didn’t even speak Spanish. He wanted to explain something to me in English because he had problems speaking Spanish and he was President of Bolivia. Evo Morales was a real President. He implemented social inclusion policies, reduced inflation, generated jobs and increased Bolivia’s foreign reserves, which are now larger than the value of the GDP. Now the elites have deposed him.

In short, I have good memories of Great Britain and I am thankful for all of the solidarity that the Labour Party give me when I was in prison recently. I am going to send a letter thanking Jeremy Corbyn for all of the work he did in solidarity against my unjust imprisonment. I hope that Brazil understands that Britain is politically important and that it maintains healthy relations with it so that it always leaves a door open for Brazil and other countries.

Michael Brooks: President Lula, you recently quoted Mia Couto, who said that when the people are afraid they elect monsters to protect them. I want to know two things about this. First, I know we need an intellectual program but are there spiritual or emotional qualities that a leader needs to help take the fear out of people and give them some sense of hope? And, if I may, is Bernie Sanders that kind of leader?

Lula: I have not had the pleasure of ever meeting Sanders. I know about him from the press and through people who have met him and I know about him from the things he’s said in solidarity with me. He spoke with a comrade from PT, Fernando Haddad, and my impression of him is as high as can be. The impression I have from his last campaign is that, although he was unable to win the democratic primary, he had a very exciting campaign for the youth with a good discourse which, by US standards, was very leftist. For 20 years, whenever I visited the US I tried to see if I could find leftist in an American bar and I never met one. So when someone like Sanders comes up it’s extraordinary news. It is hopefull to know that you have someone in the Senate of a certain age – I think he is as old as me – who is strong willed. I think this is important because a country that has an economy the size of the US could really improve the quality of life for its people if it stopped worrying so much about wars and spending so much money on the armed forces and espionage. It could use some of this money to improve the quality of life of the poor people in the US who also don’t live well, who have health problems. I dream that if Sanders can win these elections we can dream, even though we know that an American President has an entire, powerful war machine behind him which can complicate democratic actions. I think that you can only govern well if you have made up your mind about what you want to govern for, who you want to govern for and what side you are on. There are sides we have to take during our time on planet Earth. The fact is that the rich do not need the State but they gain power from it. They often perform the role of the State itself. I have always said that if anyone wants to learn how to govern they should look at how mothers raise their children. If a mother has 10 children she will love them all equally but if there is one who is debilitated and weaker, that is the one who will get the second piece of meat. That is the one who will get a second bottle. That is the one who she will put on her lap to help fall asleep. This is the role of the State. This is governing for the people who need the State. Who needs the State? It is the working poor and people who want jobs. I am very sad now because I was proud when our social inclusion policies caused Brazil to exit the World Hunger Map. I am very proud that the UN had recognized that Brazil no longer needed to be on the map. Today Brazil has returned to the Hunger Map. There is a neighborhood in Pernambuco called Brasilia Teimosa where we got rid of the wooden stilt shacks and paved a nice road and the beach became beautiful. Stilt shacks have started popping up there again. And the number of people who sleep on the streets in this country has…. I never used see children begging on the streets of Brazil anymore. Now the children are back on the streets begging and living under the bridges. This doesn’t make sense in a rich country like Brazil. People say I am a radical. I am not a radical. I learned how to be more human in jail. I reflect more. I look at my 70 years of life and realize that I have to fight more and I have to argue more. You cannot accept the idea that the Brazilian elites don’t accept the economic growth of the poor. They don’t accept that the poor can have the right to healthcare, education, water, school- everything that can feed them. They don’t accept that the poor have these things. So I am not radical. I have a lot more political consciousness now. And for this reason I want to fight a lot more. “Oh, but Lula wants to come back,” they say. “Lula got out of jail angry and now he wants to polarize things.” I really want to polarize. I want to hold deep ideological debates. I want the people to know that there is no teaching anywhere that says a person has to go three days without food. There is no teaching that says that a person is supposed to wake up in the morning and not have a cup of milk or a piece of bread to give to their child. In a rich country like this one? So this is why it looks like I am more angry. It looks like I am a radical but I am not. I am a man who likes to talk and likes to negotiate. I learned how to do politics by negotiating. But I don’t want to be fooled again and I want to help the Brazilian people raise their heads up. A guy who is working for Uber has to know that he deserves something better than Uber. A man who is delivering Pizza by bicycle has to know that he deserves something better. Citizens who are sleeping on the sidewalk have to know that they don’t have to sleep on the sidewalk – the State has a responsibility to them. If not, what is the State for?

Translated and edited for readibility by Brian Mier ... -part-two/
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

User avatar
Posts: 3905
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:44 pm
Location: Turtle island

Re: Brazil

Post by blindpig » Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:34 pm

Brazil: Carnival Opens Mocking Bolosarno, The Clown President'

“Carnival has always been a political act. In the First Republic, the black population used Carnival to assert their autonomy. Today is a great space for political and social criticism. At Carnival, humor and sarcasm work as a weapon of political transgression," Eric Brasil, author of the book "The Court at the Party: Black Experiences in Rio de Janeiro Carnivals," told The Intercept Brazil.

And the politicization of the popular party is precisely what has been evident since the beginning of 2020 Carnival in dozens of cities in Brazil, a country where President Jair Bolsonaro seems to be the main promoter of hate speech against ethnic, sexual, and social diversity.

On Saturday, Tom Maior samba school toured the Sao Paulo's sambodromo dancing with the frenzy of rhythms of African origin. From time to time, however, the "sambistas" interrupted their dance to express their message.

"We need to fight for equality" was the phrase the dancers shouted as they raised their fists to remember the "Black Power" gesture.

Actress Alessandra Negrini wore Indigenous symbols to recall the rights of the Amazonian peoples, which the Brazilian far-right intends to suppress.
Photo:Twitter/ @arturrodrigues

Aerial view of "Sambodromo da Marques de Sapucai", the traditional avenue where the Rio de Janeiro Carnival takes place.

The X-9 Paulistana samba school paid tribute to women and Black peoples in Sao Paulo on Feb. 22.

The Socialist and LGTB activist Marielle Franco, killed by paramilitaries in Rio de Janeiro, was remembered by Tom Maior samba school
Photo:Twitter/ @clguima1

With the motto of "Revolution of Laughter", Sao Paulo's Dragoes da Real samba school parade to demonstrate "the power of joy."
Photo:Twitter/ @somosaopaulinos

At the Sao Paulo's sambodrome, dances were accompanied by a parody about how the police exert violence against the black population
Photo:EFE ... -0002.html

Can you imagine this being done in the USA? Without massive police intervention?
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

User avatar
Posts: 3905
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:44 pm
Location: Turtle island

Re: Brazil

Post by blindpig » Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:35 pm

Brazil Request Impeachment For Jair Bolsonaro

The right-wing extremist, president of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro. | Photo: EFE

Published 9 March 2020

Bolsonaro's attitude is unconstitutional and violates the free exercise of the Legislative and Judicial Power.

On March 16, Brazilian deputies will call for the removal of ultra-right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro due to his attempts to provoke an institutional crisis and incite his supporters to close down Congress.

"Bolsonaro intends to lead Brazil into chaos," said congressman Alexandre Frota, referring to messages sent by the president to a large number of people, urging them to join a demonstration in support of the initiative to close down Congress and the Supreme Court.

"The political atmosphere in Brazil is preparing to push for the removal of Bolsonaro. We have legal grounds for it," the congressman from the Brazilian Social Democracy Party Frota warned.

To prepare for the impeachment, the congressman has gathered a team of four lawyers. The first step will be to present the lawsuit at the Chamber of Deputies, on March 16.

"Federal Deputy Alexandre Frota (PSDB-SP) will request the impeachment of Jair Bolsonaro for a liability crime, according to information in the column of Guilherme Amado, from Época magazine. He would have made the request to lawyers after a complaint."

"Bolsonaro's attitude is unconstitutional and violates the free exercise of the Legislative and Judicial Power. That is why, in the lawsuit, we denounce him for crimes for which the President of the Republic is responsible." Frota claimed.

This Saturday Bolsonaro again called on his followers to take to the streets this March 15, this time to support him, "reflecting once again the recklessness of his actions. The congressman meant.

According to Bolsonaro, his constant calls to the people to take to the streets "are not a movement against Congress or the Judiciary, but in favor of Brazil," he said minutes before leaving for Florida, where he held a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump. ​​​​​​​ ... -0001.html
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

User avatar
Posts: 3905
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:44 pm
Location: Turtle island

Re: Brazil

Post by blindpig » Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:38 pm

Self-Isolating Brazil is bringing down its hated President

“We are watching Bolsonaro’s presidential mandate evaporate in real time.” – Brasil Wire 18/3/2020

The infamous Panelaço, the form of protest where people bang pots and pans from their windows, with their screams and demands echoing from building to building, has returned to Brazil. Watchers of history know that this doesn’t usually end well for the President.

The first wave of protests came on 17th March, unexpected, following a formal request for President Bolsonaro’s impeachment, delivered by Congressman Leandro Grass of the centrist Rede Party.

A day later they resumed in the afternoon during the Bolsonaro government’s press conference on Covid-19. Then at 7:30pm in Rio de Janeiro’s Laranjeiras, a neighbourhood with a strong left-wing subculture, it began to intensify, before at 8:30pm the protest exploded across the country, with the participation of many who are self-isolating at home in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The last time it occurred with any force was during the campaign to impeach Dilma Rousseff.

Leandro Grass’s impeachment request, delivered to President of Congress Rodrigo Maia, described various crimes of responsibilty (high crimes and misdemeanours), of the type which could not be found to impeach Rousseff. Instead, she was impeached controversially for a budgetary infraction involving no personal enrichment, a manoeuvre which was officially legalised days after her removal, and has been used by all Presidents prior and since. It was a punishment looking for a crime.

The charges levelled at Bolsonaro could not be more different – he is accused of attacking Brazil’s Democracy itself:

1 – Public support for the March 15 street protests to shut down Congress and the Supreme Court.
2 – Publicly declaring, without offering any evidence, that the 2018 presidential elections were rigged by “Communists” to prevent him from winning in the first round.
3 – Public personal attacks against journalist Patricia Campos Mello which violate Brazil’s anti-sexism legislation.
4 – Breaking presidential decorum through publishing a pornographic video on his presidential social media accounts during the 2019 Carnaval.
5 – Attempting to create a public holiday commemorating the 1964 US-backed neofascist Military coup.

Given the means by which Bolsonaro was elected – information about which continues to be released – the second point is of particular interest.

There have been ample grounds for an impeachment for some time. And the winds of public opinion now suggest that it would be successful. Yet, that the constitutional process of impeachment was so abused in Dilma Rousseff’s case leaves some uncomfortable with its use, even in this extreme instance, and there is deep distrust of any coalition with those who contributed to Brazil’s current plight. Public figures who were actively involved in the 2016 coup, such as lawyers Miguel Reale Jr and Janaina Paschoal, who drafted and presented the impeachment, are now publicly complaining about Bolsonaro. Reale Jr has suggested that the President requires urgent psychiatric evaluation.

The Panelaço as a form of protest has a long history in Latin America and is associated with the Bourgeoisie and reactionary movements. This time it is different. The country’s wealthiest and traditionally conservative neighbourhoods were again amongst the noisiest and the rightfully maligned Globo news flagship Jornal Nacional covered the protests with a sequence of videos from across the country, in a manner that left little doubt where its own position lay.

But what makes this different to 2015/16 is that Bolsonaro’s extremism, incompetence and irrationality has put the Brazilian left, its traditional mainstream conservatives, and more moderate economic liberals, into an seemingly unreconcilable and temporary coalition. This was the very consensus which powered the impeachment of Fernando Collor ind 1992, and defined, albeit uncomfortably, the two decades of stability between 1994 and 2014 – the Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Lula Presidencies, and Dilma Rousseff’s first mandate.

With Brazil’s post-2016 dismantling, above all people want stability, and desire for percieved “adults in the room” to regain control, is so great so that the likes of Congressional house leader Rodrigo Maia, who hails from the Dictatorship-heir party Democratas, look like allies. In these times, it seems that beggars cannot be choosers.

Since before he was even elected, Bolsonaro carried a threat of an auto-coup to shut down congress and the supreme court, similar to what Peru’s Alberto Fujimori carried out in the 1990s. He called his supporters to the streets on Sunday 15th March to demonstrate for these ends – effectively a return to Dictatorship, then denied doing so, yet posted videos of the protests and even joined them, breaking his own Covid-19 quarantine in the process. The protests were also reminiscent of Fernando Collor’s doomed attempts to save his Presidency when also facing impeachment in 1992.

On March 10 Bolsonaro gave a press conference in which he declared that Coronavirus was fake news, a “media fantasy” and his chronic mishandling of the pandemic is accelerating calls for his removal from office.

Now, the threat of Covid-19 closing Congress is looming, but Maia has insisted that its business will continue remotely if necessary, and remarked that the last closure of Congress resulted in a 21 year Dictatorship. Given his party’s own history, this itself is remarkable. Elsewhere Bolsonaro’s more moderate coalition is collapsing, and he has lost the significant percentage of his voters who did so merely for the false promise of Neoliberal reforms proposed by Finance Minister Paulo Guedes. That mirage is long gone, with the Brazilian currency the Real at an all time low, and GDP growth estimated between 1-2% even before the Coronavirus outbreak. Now it is expected to go into recession, JP Morgan just predicted a 10% drop in Brazil’s GDP for the second quarter, but the public will unlikely accept the pandemic as the sole cause.

Brazil is living an extremely dangerous moment. Under the threat of a public health catastrophe, it faces the possibility of a restoration of its democracy, or further descent into authoritarianism. The scales could not be more delicately balanced. ... president/
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

User avatar
Posts: 3905
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:44 pm
Location: Turtle island

Re: Brazil

Post by blindpig » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:24 am

Worms Feed on Corpses: Bolsonaro’s Demented TV Address

by Marcelo Zero.

Last night the tapeworm who rules Brazil said something unbelievable.

Contradicting science, the WHO and the common sense of Brazil’s governors and all of the serious countries in the world, the talking tapeworm, once again, said that the covid-19 is nothing more than a “little flu”. He said that people should leave their social isolation and that governors should reopen the schools, shopping malls and restaurants. To him, the coronavirus crisis is nothing but hysteria, fed, of course, by the press. The problem in Italy, he said, is that they have a lot of old people and cold winters. We tropical young people, he said, can rest easy.

The muscular, talking tapeworm vainly stated that given his “athletic history”, covid-19 will not bring give him any problems. We do not yet know whether covid-19 agrees.

No, this tapeworm is not crazy. He may have serious cognitive limitations but he is no nutcase. He knows exactly what he is doing. There is a purpose behind his lies.

The tapeworm is simply defending the interests of the parasitic oligarchies that put him in power. He and his glorious team of neoliberal invertebrates are doing what Americans call “bean counting”, an expression that was popularized by the great consumer advocate Ralph Nader when he accused the big auto manufacturers of selling cars that they knew were unsafe.

As Nader revealed, the automobile company accountants would calculate how many people would die each year due to safety flaws in each particular model, and weighed this against how much they would have to pay out in lawsuits to the victims. Then, they compared the total costs of damages with the cost of recalling and correcting the design flaws that would kill consumers. If the cost of recall was considerably higher than the estimated lawsuit costs from damages, the companies made the decision to not alert consumers and let some of them die.

The talking tapeworm is doing the same thing with the Brazilian people, who he clearly despises. Letting them die from covid-19 is cheaper than systematically fighting the epidemic. The beans have been counted.

Fighting the epidemic effectively means increasing public health spending rather than reducing it, as the tapeworm government has been doing since taking office last year. It also requires robust counter-cyclical measures to maintain the income of the population who will have to stay at home, protect the most vulnerable in the informal sector and maintain small businesses.

Minimally responsible governments have been doing just that. Even the United States, land of economic liberalism, has just approved a stimulus package of about $ 2 trillion. They will give a thousand dollars to families so they can stay home during the crisis.

But the Pinochetist tapeworm does not even consider that option. To the contrary, he presented a proposal that instead of feeding any new money into the economy, establishes guidelines for non-payment of wages for suspended workers.

The worms do not want to compromise their orthodox fiscal goals, the eternal austerity and the ultra-neoliberal agenda that has been devastating the country for 4 years. Instead, they want to use the coronavirus disaster to speed it up and deepen it.

Furthermore, taking robust counter-cyclical measures would mean recognizing, definitively, the total failure of the neoliberal strategy to resolve the crisis in Brazil and the incompetence of its amoeba government.

In this sense letting things play out, letting natural selection run its course as happened in the Spanish flu pandemic, is much cheaper according to the perverse logic of bean counting, than being responsible and humane. If a lot of people die, they will be mostly poor and expendable people, easily replaceable. And, if the political cost threatens to get too high, China and the PT can be blamed. Ultimately, one can even use the crisis to implement a totalitarian regime, which is the great dream of these slithering creatures.

The talking tapeworm once declared that the dictatorship’s only mistake was that it should have killed 30,000 people. Who knows if now he might exceed that goal? Who knows is this is the tapeworm’s real goal?

The tapeworm and the parasitic oligarchies that put him in power don’t want to spend money on the poor. They don’t want to save lives. They are not even thinking about saving Brazil. They only think of their short-term, petty interests. After all, worms feed on corpses.

Another parasitic worm metaphor, I like it!


After expelling Cuban Medics, Brazil now requests their help to fight Covid-19

Brazil’s far-right government requested the return of thousands of Cuban doctors to help fight the coronavirus. Months ago, President Jair Bolsonaro smeared the doctors as “terrorists” and expelled them.

By Ben Norton

The coronavirus pandemic has overwhelmed the health infrastructure of countries around the world. Desperate to contain the deadly virus, hard-hit countries, including even rich European nations like Italy and Britain, have reached out for expert medical help from Cuba, China, and Venezuela.

Even Brazil, currently under the control of a far-right administration that has joined the US in demonizing Cuba’s socialist government, has fallen back on the small nation for much-needed medical support — requesting help from the very same Cuban doctors it expelled months ago.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly called for the restoration of the military dictatorship, threatened his political opponents with violence, and backed terrorist attacks on Venezuela.

Bolsonaro has also taken aim at Cuba, praising the far-right military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet for supposedly preventing Chile from becoming like Havana.

Before Bolsonaro was elected president in 2018, 10,000 doctors Cuban doctors were inside Brazil, working in some of the poorest, most remote regions of the country. Their assistance arrived thanks to an agreement between Havana and the country’s left-wing Workers’ Party government, which sought Cuban help to treat those that the Brazilian health system had long failed to reach.

Throughout his presidential campaign, Bolsonaro slammed the Cuban doctors in his country as a nefarious fifth column, denigrated them as “terrorists,” and pledged to expel them.

When he took power following a US-backed soft coup against the Workers’ Party government, Bolsonaro made good on his promise. He kicked out many of the Cuban doctors, leaving impoverished rural regions without medical personnel.

By February 2020, however, the Brazilian government began to reverse course. The Bolsonaro administration had been unable to find doctors who would serve in these remote areas, so it agreed to allow the 1,800 Cuban doctors who remained in the country to return to the communities they had previously served.

And now, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Brasilia’s right-wing occupant has done a complete about-face.

In a press conference on March 15, Brazilian Secretary of Health João Gabbardo beseeched Cuba to send back the doctors who were expelled to prevent the country’s health system from collapsing as it battled a spreading pandemic.

Gabbardo declared that 5,000 of the Cuban doctors re-deployed to Brazil will be assigned to primary care centers across the massive country.

The Bolsonaro administration’s reversal was particularly embarrassing considering that, just last year, the president claimed the Cuban doctors were not real medical experts, but ideological brain-washers training poor Brazilians to become communist guerrillas.

“The PT [Workers’ Party] sent about 10,000 costumed doctors to Brazil here, in poor places, to create guerrilla cells and indoctrinate people. So much so that, when I arrived, they left, because I was going to go after them,” Bolsonaro claimed in a conspiratorial screed in 2019.

The grim reality of the coronavirus crisis has forced even Cuba’s sworn enemies to seek help from its world-renowned medical system.

Brazil has the fifth-largest economy on Earth, as well as the sixth-biggest population, with more than 210 million people. Cuba, meanwhile, is a relatively poor country with just around 11 million people, and is suffering under a suffocating US sanctions regime. But thanks to its socialist system, Havana has highly skilled and ethically committed doctors to spare – even to nations that have assisted the US bid for regime change against it.

The Workers’ Party responded to the news in an official statement: “President Bolsonaro owes apologies to the Brazilian population and to all the Cuban doctors who were practically expelled from Brazil facing attacks, lies, and fake news.”

US government and corporate media smear Cuban doctors, spreading conspiracies
It is not just Brazil’s far-right government that has spread absurd conspiracies about Cuban medical experts.

The US government has for many years targeted Cuba’s international doctors program, spreading lies and falsely likening it to human trafficking.

The George W. Bush administration created a counter-program in 2006 called the Cuban Medical Professional Parole to essentially bribe the Cuban doctors to defect. The Bush-era program offered residence in the United States to thousands of Cuban medical professionals if they agreed to switch sides and help the US embassy in the country where they were serving abroad.

Corporate media outlets have also echoed the US government’s propaganda targeting Cuba’s doctors program.

The New York Times published a dubiously sourced story falsely claiming that the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was using the medical attention provided by Cuban doctors “as a political weapon” to “compel patients to vote for the government.”

The Times’ accusation was based on anonymous opposition supporters and former Cuban doctors who defected to live under the right-wing governments of Brazil, Chile, and Ecuador, which each advance policies aggressively targeting Cuba for regime change.

The Times’ propaganda talking points were dismantled by journalists Lucas Koerner and Ricardo Vaz, who live in Venezuela. Koerner and Vas demonstrated meticulously how the “article [was] riddled with factual inaccuracies, omissions and misrepresentations.”

It is true that Venezuela’s medical system has been devastated by the US government’s sanctions and an exodus of many of its own medical professionals.

Cuba has played an integral role in supporting Venezuela’s battered health system, while Washington’s economic war systematically dismantled it.

This March, Cuba dispatched a team of medical experts to Venezuela to help the country contain the Covid-19 crisis.

Venezuela seeks regional collaboration, is rejected by Colombia
Venezuela, for its part, has also encouraged regional collaboration to try to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

The country’s leftist government even extended an olive branch to the far-right governments in Colombia and Brazil, which have cut ties with it, recognized US-backed coup leader Juan Guaidóas supposed president, and supported violent terror attacks on Venezuelan soil.

Venezuela called for peaceful dialogue with Colombia and Brazil, emphasizing that the countries should work together to try to contain Covid-19.

The hardline Colombian government of President Iván Duque initially announced that it was going to coordinate with Venezuela’s actual, elected government — but soon after, under apparent US government pressure, it partially backtracked.

Colombia later clarified that it would only work through the Pan American Health Organization and that there would be no direct communication with Venezuela.

Ecuador outsources coronavirus tests and rams through neoliberal reforms
While countries around the world are seeking medical help from Cuba to contain the coronavirus, Washington’s allies in Latin America are failing to meet the basic needs of their populations.

The US-backed, right-wing government of Lenín Moreno in Ecuador, which has joined Brazil and Colombia in supporting the Trump administration’s coup efforts against Venezuela and attempting to politically and economically isolate Cuba, decided to outsource coronavirus testing to private for-profit corporations.

Ecuadorian companies are charging $250 to $300 per coronavirus test — in a country where the minimum wage is just $400 per month.

At the same time, the repressive Moreno administration – which violated its own laws in handing over WikiLeaks publisher and Ecuadorian citizen Julian Assange to British authorities – has capitalized on the Covid-19 crisis to push shock doctrine-style neoliberal reforms.

Moreno announced that he would reduce the already low salaries of public sector workers, laying off employees, and slashing the budget of state institutions.

An Ecuadorian teachers organization denounced these neoliberal reforms, declaring in a statement, “Once again, the government of Lenín Moreno is revealing itself to be neoliberal and at the service of the large groups of economic power, and is an enemy and executioner of the poor majority.”

The response of governments in Latin America to the coronavirus pandemic shows a clear trend: The closer a country is to the United States, the worse and more dangerous its conduct has been. Meanwhile, nations targeted by the US for regime change and crippled by its global economic warfare are banding together to protect the health of the international community. ... -covid-19/
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

User avatar
Posts: 3905
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:44 pm
Location: Turtle island

Re: Brazil

Post by blindpig » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:05 pm

Bolsonaro and Coronavirus: A Tragedy Foretold
In what may be its darkest hour, Brasil is at the mercy of a deranged lunatic. This is no exaggeration.

“No room for sentiment” said Wall Street insiders in 2018, as their man Jair Bolsonaro ascended to the Brazilian Presidency.

In the face of Coronavirus, Brazil’s people are now living with the deadly consequences of that collusion.

In a televised speech during the evening of March 24 2020, as the sound of Panelaço protests reverberated around the Brazil’s cities, its disintegrating President Jair Bolsonaro spoke of the Coronavirus pandemic. He accused State Governors, whom have imposed autonomous measures to contain the disease, of spreading “panic and hysteria”.

He criticised the media as accomplices in this: “They spread a feeling of dread, with the large number of victims in Italy” insisted Bolsonaro, who argued that the country’s characteristics were so different to Brazil that the experience of Coronavirus there was not relevant. He also said that only over 60s were at risk and lamented the closure of schools.

The 65 year old then claimed to be impervious to the virus, due to his “athleticism”.

“We must return to normality.” Bolsonaro insisted, something that has not existed during his Presidency.

Somewhere between the Malthusian philosophies of Northern Conservatives, the corporate eugenics of Wall Street, and the genocidal instincts of Neo Nazis, is the mind of Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

This man is now responsible for the well being of 210 million people, as they face a cruel and unprecedented pandemic.

Brazil, in what may be its darkest hour, is at the mercy of a deranged lunatic. This is no exaggeration.

On March 23 2020, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick suggested on Fox News that Grandparents would be prepared to die to protect the economy for their Grandchildren.

The same day former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein wrote on his Twitter account that: “Extreme measures to flatten the virus “curve” is sensible-for a time-to stretch out the strain on health infrastructure. But crushing the economy, jobs and morale is also a health issue-and beyond. Within a very few weeks let those with a lower risk to the disease return to work,” while New York Times’ Thomas Friedman argued along the lines of the United Kingdom’s already discredited “Herd Immunity” strategy.

Also that day, the US Department of Homeland Security revealed that they had discovered plans by US Neo Nazis to spread Coronavirus deliberately in non white neighbourhoods and public places. (We should not underestimate the possibility that Brazil’s extreme right, who worship their North American counterparts, and to whom the racist Jair Bolsonaro is a “legend”, will try to emulate such behaviour).

Brazil’s far-right President himself has a long history of making genocidal public statements; that favelas should be machine gunned to weed out drug traffickers; that Brazil needed a war with many casualties; that 30,000 needed to be killed for the country to function; that leftists should be machine gunned, and not treated like normal people; racist statements about quilombolas and indigenous peoples, and so on.

All of this was known to his foreign backers long before he ran for President. They didn’t care.

As Brazil faces the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic, Presdident Bolsonaro’s responses, like so much of his Governance, have defied logic, to the point that it has led some to wonder out loud if this is intentional. It’s as if, they argue, that he and his allies actually want to exacerbate the crisis, perhaps in order to protect and consolidate his power.

This may sound extreme and indeed paranoid, but the truth is that at this point we simply cannot predict how dark the current thinking is within a Bolsonaro circle under siege. Journalist Leonardo Attuch remarked “There is a consensus forming that we have a sociopath in the presidency.”

There have been multiple requests that Bolsonaro be compelled to undergo psychiatric evaluation.

It was reported on Friday 13th March that Bolsonaro had tested positive for Coronavirus on a trip to the United States. This was confirmed on Fox News by his son Eduardo, who then immediately denied the story on social media. His father would, it was claimed, have two further tests, the results of which, they insisted were negative. Of his entourage on the US junket, 22 tested positive for the virus, as did a Florida Mayor with whom Bolsonaro met.

It seemed improbable that Jair Bolsonaro himself was not infected, yet the denials continued.

On March 15th the President broke his own Coronavirus quarantine to shake hands and take photographs with supporters outside the Planalto Palace. This was during pro-government demonstrations that he himself had called, which demanded closure of Congress and the Supreme Court – an auto-coup which had been threatened since even before he was elected.

It is estimated that each carrier of Coronavirus will infect three other people if social distancing measures are not taken. This means that each individual, after 10 degrees of infection will be the source for 59,000 new cases.

Even Health Minister Luiz Mandetta, who had briefly began to inspire some confidence with the public, was shouted down by the President for “politicising” a pandemic he was still effectively denying.

Bolsonaro finally admitted on Friday 20th March that he may have the virus, as media and public suspected.

Thus in making physical contact with a large group of people five days prior, he is responsible for endangering tens of thousands. And that is only in Brasilia. The protest he called brought his supporters, many of them elderly, out to the streets in large groups in cities across the country. As yet we cannot even estimate how many infections March 15th demonstrations will have been responsible for.

On 22nd Bolsonaro claimed once again that the public were being fooled about Coronavirus, and simultaneously announced that employers would have the right to cancel contracts and withhold salaries for four months, which would catapult millions more into desperate conditions. The move was reversed following a public outcry.

As of March 23rd, Datafolha polling showed 26% of the population saying they had no fear of the virus.

Disinformation from the President himself, his media outriders, his US-based guru Olavo de Carvalho, the Pied Piper of Brazil, whose video claiming that there had been no deaths from Coronavirus has now been taken down by YouTube, and the wildly powerful billionaire head of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, Edir Macedo, who called the virus harmless, and claimed that the media coverage of it was part of a satanic plot, in a message to his 7 million plus congregation, which has also since been taken off air.

In the past weeks, as the scale of the pandemic was already clear to the world, we have heard from Bolsonaro, his allies and his supporters that Coronavirus is a hoax, “communist”, and a “little flu”.

These messages are spread on social media and invisibly on the WhatsApp platform, which was infamously the primary channel used to deliver him votes at the 2018 election.

Such as sustained flow of disinformation to discourage public safety has extremely disturbing implications.

The population is being encouraged to endanger itself.

Many living packed tightly in the poorest remote regions, peripheral and inner city favelas, lack basic sanitation.

With Bolsonaro’s the banishing of Cuban medics that once served Brazils poorest, and a catastrophic freeze on investment in public health since the coup of 2016, these communities are a timebomb.

Brazil’s States and Municipalities have been attempting to implement their own defence strategies autonomously of the Bolsonaro Government, yet have been repeatedly overruled from Brasília. Gangs and Militias in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas have reportedly imposed curfews themselves in the absence of such action from Government.

A campaign to protect the Afro-Brazilian favela and periphery population from the virus is plain in its use of the word “genocide” to describe what they face from Covid-19.

Brazil’s economic capital, São Paulo, home to 22 million and the largest city in the Southern Hemisphere, has been described as a perfect storm for Covid-19, and its iconic Pacaembu Stadium has been converted into a field Hospital.

There are some circumstances, such as climate, which may work in Brazil’s favour, but some medics are privately forecasting up to two million dead across the country in the worst case scenario. Others have even more horrific estimates.

It will be a historical curiosity that ideological allies Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Jair Bolsonaro all initially reacted to the Coronavirus in essentially similar ways; with denial, minimisation, inaction, all the way through to actually advocating the strategy of allowing the contagion to spread. At best incompetent and irresponsible, at worst criminally negligent and potentially responsible for countless unnecessary deaths.

When we survey this human disaster, we must not forget how Jair Bolsonaro came to be President of Brazil – with the support of the North Atlantic powers and foreign capital. During the election campaign, Wall Street insiders insisted there was “No room for sentiment” as Brazil hurtled towards a submissive form of Neofascism that would be wonderful for business.

Conversely, before Bolsonaro’s idol, Chilean General Augusto Pinochet, came to power via a bloody, genocidal coup in 1973, U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had famously remarked:

“I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.”

History must show that culpability for the coming catastrophe is shared by those who enabled the sacking of Brazilian Democracy and assisted Bolsonaro’s rise to power.

This includes the US, UK, and Canadian Governments, and their craven propagandists in the corporate media.

We can only hope that the Brazilian people can overcome the struggles ahead, despite their President and his supporters.

The best chance Brazil has is that it can remove Jair Bolsonaro and his family from power, as soon as possible. ... -foretold/
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

Post Reply