Category Archives: Brazil

Naomi Klein, Oliver Stone, Noam Chomsky, Others Condemn ‘Coup’ in Brazil

Common Dreams
“Brazil has only emerged from dictatorship some 30 years ago and these events could set back the country’s progress towards social and economic inclusion by decades”
Nika Knight, staff writer

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Naomi Klein, Oliver Stone, Noam Chomsky. Twenty-two public intellectuals, writers, actors, and activists sent a letter to Brazilian government roundly condemning the impeachment of leftist President Dilma Rousseff. (Photos: Adolfo Lujan/flickr/cc, Matt Sayles/AP, Andrew Rusk/flickr/cc)

Naomi Klein, Oliver Stone, Noam Chomsky, Susan Sarandon, Arundhati Roy, and 17 other human rights activists, intellectuals, and public figures on Wednesday sent a letter to the Brazilian government condemning the impeachment of the country’s President Dilma Rousseff, and demanding that Brazil’s senate “respect the October 2014 electoral process which over 100 million people took part in.”

In the letter, which was published by the U.K.-based group No Coup in Brazil, the luminaries argue that “Brazil is a major regional power and has the largest economy in Latin America. If this sustained attack on its democratic institutions is successful, the negative shock waves will reverberate throughout the region.”

Rousseff’s impeachment trial began on Thursday, and was suspended briefly on Friday when the proceedings devolved into a shouting match.

“It is widely expected that, within a few days, senators will vote to definitively remove [Rousseff] from office,” notes Maria Luisa Mendonça, director of Brazil’s Network for Social Justice and Human Rights.

“The impeachment—labeled a coup by many Brazilians—has generated outrage and frequent protests in Brazil,” Mendonça adds.

“We stand in solidarity with our fellow artists and with all those fighting for democracy and justice throughout Brazil,” the letter says, adding that “Brazil has only emerged from dictatorship some 30 years ago and these events could set back the country’s progress towards social and economic inclusion by decades.”

Rousseff’s removal would end 13 years of Workers’ Party rule, as Common Dreams reported, and bring about the confirmation of “the unelected, right-of-center Temer” as president until 2018, the rest of Rousseff’s term.

“We are concerned about the politically motivated impeachment of the president, which has installed an unelected interim government,” the letter writers say. “The legal basis for the ongoing impeachment is widely contested and there is compelling evidence showing that key promoters of the impeachment campaign are seeking to remove the president to stop the corruption investigations that they themselves are implicated in.”

Prominent organizations have also joined in the condemnation of Rousseff’s impeachment. On Tuesday, 43 grassroots environmental, labor, and religious groups in the U.S. issued a statement decrying the “legislative coup.”

“We join social movements and millions of people in Brazil and worldwide calling for a return to democracy and the rule of law in Brazil, the return of the legitimately-elected President Rousseff to office, the reinstatement of Brazil’s critical social programs, and the recognition of human rights,” the groups declared.

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For the displaced of Rio, ‘The Olympics has nothing to do with our story’

Washington Post
By Sally Jenkins

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An estimated 60,000 people who lost homes to the Rio Games; this man refused to allow his to be one of them.

RIO DE JANEIRO — Just over there, the dolphin-backed Michael Phelps glides through another heat. Over here, a lone ramshackle favela house practically leans against the Olympic Park where Phelps swims. Just over there, Simone Biles does a breathtaking handspring. Over here, the sodium stadium lights glint on the scarred hardpan that was once a vibrant community before it was bulldozed to make room for the Rio Games.

Just over there, the International Broadcast Center rises like a monolith, while over here it casts a shadow over the listing sheet metal roof of Delmo de Oliveira’s favela house, which sits directly across the parking lot. Just over there, Katie Ledecky lashes through the water, but over here there is no crowd noise, just a young man playing guitar for a handful of residents who refused to be evicted even as the Games begin.

Just over there, International Olympic Committee members enjoy prime seating and dine on a per diem of $450 a day, while over here, the Brazilian minimum wage amounts to $228 a month, and nobody has a ticket to the Olympics, even though it’s just 50 yards away, “If they didn’t want us to stay here, I don’t imagine they’ll invite us inside,” says Maria Da Penha Macena, 51.

The extent to which the Olympic “movement” has become a destructive force, driven by an officialdom whose signature is indifference, can be seen just outside the Olympic Park fences, and I mean just outside. The Vila Autodromo favela was once a working-class neighborhood of 3,000 residents curling around a lagoon and the perimeter of the park. Now all that’s left is Olympic parking lot tarmac, raw dirt and 20 tiny white utilitarian cottages, built grudgingly by the city as a concession to a core of families who refused to leave even as their homes were demolished. For a while, some of them lived in converted shipping containers. One of the new cottages bears a sign: “Museum of the Evicted,” it reads.

No Easy Outcomes in Brazil’s Political Crisis

InterPress Service

By Mario Osava

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Apr 18 2016 (IPS) – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff would appear to be, as she herself recently said, “a card out of the deck” of those in power, after the crushing defeat she suffered Sunday Apr. 17 in the lower house of Congress, which voted to impeach her. But Brazil’s political crisis is so complex that the final outcome is not a given.

A total of 367 legislators – 71.5 percent, or 25 more than the two-thirds majority needed – voted to impeach her and she now faces a vote in the Senate. Because the makeup of the Senate is similar to that of the Chamber of Deputies, the president’s fate is apparently sealed. Continue reading No Easy Outcomes in Brazil’s Political Crisis

Brazilian Coup Threatens Democracy and National Sovereignty

Center for Economic and Policy Research

Mark Weisbrot

See article on original site

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Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is now threatened with impeachment, but there is no evidence that she is linked to the “Lava Jato“ scandal, or any other corruption. Rather, she is accused of an accounting manipulation that somewhat misrepresented the fiscal position of the government — something that prior presidents have done. To borrow an analogy from the United States, when the Republicans refused to raise the debt ceiling in the U.S. in 2013, the Obama administration used a number of accounting tricks to postpone the deadline at which the limit was reached. Nobody cared.

The impeachment campaign — which the government has correctly labelled a coup — is an effort by Brazil’s traditional elite to obtain by other means what they have not been able to win at the ballot box for the past 12 years. Former president Lula is accused of receiving money from corporations for speeches, and for renovations to a property that he claims he did not own. But even if these accusations are true, there is no evidence of a crime or even a link to corruption. The alleged events took place after Lula left the presidency — and again, as in the U.S., former officials can legally get paid for speeches. Yet Judge Sergio Moro, who is leading the investigation, has led a well-executed smear campaign against Lula. He had to apologize to the Supreme Court for releasing wiretapped phone conversations between Lula and Dilma, Lula and his attorney, and even Lula’s wife and their children. Continue reading Brazilian Coup Threatens Democracy and National Sovereignty

Glenn Greenwald: What Is Happening in Brazil is Much Worse Than Donald Trump

Democracy Now
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Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and co-founder of The Intercept.

Brazil is facing its worst political crisis in over two decades as opponents of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff attempt to impeach her on corruption charges. But Rousseff is refusing calls to resign, saying the impeachment proceedings against her amount to undemocratic attempts by the right-wing opposition to oust her from power. On Wednesday, former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva called the impeachment proceedings against Rousseff an attempted “coup d’état.” We speak to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald. His piece, “Brazil Is Engulfed by Ruling Class Corruption—and a Dangerous Subversion of Democracy,” recently was published by The Intercept. Continue reading Glenn Greenwald: What Is Happening in Brazil is Much Worse Than Donald Trump

Brazil Is Engulfed by Ruling Class Corruption — and a Dangerous Subversion of Democracy

The Intercept  Portuguese

brazil2THE MULTIPLE, REMARKABLE crises consuming Brazil are now garnering substantial Western media attention. That’s understandable given that Brazil is the world’s fifth most populous country and eighth-largest economy; its second-largest city, Rio de Janeiro, is the host of this year’s Summer Olympics. But much of this Western media coverage mimics the propaganda coming from Brazil’s homogenized, oligarch-owned, anti-democracy media outlets and, as such, is misleading, inaccurate, and incomplete, particularly when coming from those with little familiarity with the country (there are numerous Brazil-based Western reporters doing outstanding work). Continue reading Brazil Is Engulfed by Ruling Class Corruption — and a Dangerous Subversion of Democracy

Brazil does a U-turn on fracking. Indigenous lands protected from oil and gas exploration

LifeGate

The government sold indigenous land in the Amazon’s Juruá Valley to oil and gas companies. But a court ruled against this, protecting inhabitants from fracking.

Martina Rogato

New York State Mulls Limited Fracking In Southern Tier

A judge has recognized the right to land of uncontacted indigenous peoples in the Amazon‘s Juruá Valley. The Brazilian government sold off protected areas adjacent to their ancestral territories at an auction, in order for oil and gas companies to conduct resource exploration including for [ http://www.lifegate.com/people/lifestyle/fracking-hydraulic-fracturing ]fracking. In December last year a court decided to revoke the concessions granted, and order the suspension and cancellation of further exploration and production activities. The judge highlighted the social and environmental risks related to these, such as damage to local ecosystems and the daily life of communities. Continue reading Brazil does a U-turn on fracking. Indigenous lands protected from oil and gas exploration