Wednesday, December 8

Brazil: warning that Bolsonaro could be planning a military coup amid demonstrations | Brazil

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his allies may be preparing to mount a military coup in the world’s largest democracy, according to an influential group of former presidents, prime ministers and prominent public figures on the left.

An open letter claims that the demonstrations that Bolsonaro supporters are organizing on Tuesday pose a danger to democracy and amount to an insurrection inspired by the attack by Donald Trump supporters on the United States Capitol on January 6.

They claim that nationwide marches by Bolsonaro supporters against the Supreme Court and Congress, involving white supremacist groups, military police and public officials at all levels of government, are “stoking fears of a coup in the third largest democracy in the world. “

Among the signatories are José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, former Spanish Prime Minister Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek Finance Minister Jeremy Corbyn, former British Labor leader Fernando Lugo, former Paraguayan President Caroline Lucas, British Green MP and Adolfo Pérez. Esquivel, the Argentine Nobel laureate and human rights activist.

They note that on August 10, Bolsonaro “led an unprecedented military parade through the capital city of Brasilia, while his allies in Congress pushed for radical reforms to the country’s electoral system that, according to him, are critical ahead of the next presidential elections. anus”.

The president himself said on August 21 that the marches were in preparation for a “necessary backlash” against Congress and the Supreme Court. His message claimed that Brazil’s “communist constitution” had taken power away from him and accused “the judiciary, the left and a whole apparatus of hidden interests” of conspiring against him.

The open letter warns: “Members of Congress in Brazil have warned that the mobilization on September 7 was inspired by the insurrection in the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, when then-President Donald Trump encouraged his supporters to ‘stop the theft’ with bogus Voter Fraud Claims in the 2020 presidential election.

“We are deeply concerned about the imminent threat to Brazil’s democratic institutions, and we are vigilant to defend them before September 7 and after. The people of Brazil have fought for decades to ensure the democracy of the military government. Bolsonaro must not be allowed to steal it now. “

Fast guide

The dictatorship of Brazil 1964-1985


How it began?

Brazil’s leftist president, João Goulart, was overthrown in a coup in April 1964. General Humberto Castelo Branco became leader, political parties were banned, and the country plunged into 21 years of military rule.

The repression intensified under Castelo Branco’s hardline successor, Artur da Costa e Silva, who assumed power in 1967. He was responsible for a notorious decree called AI-5 that gave him broad dictatorial powers and initiated the so-called “ years of chumbo ”. ”(Years of lead), a bleak period of tyranny and violence that would last until 1974.

What happened during the dictatorship?

Supporters of Brazil’s 1964-1985 military regime, including Jair Bolsonaro, attribute it to bringing security and stability to the South American country and planning a decade-long economic “miracle.”

He also went ahead with several pharaonic infrastructure projects, including the still-unfinished Transamazonica highway and the eight-mile bridge across Rio’s Guanabara Bay.

But the regime, while less notoriously violent than those in Argentina and Chile, was also responsible for murdering or killing hundreds of its opponents and imprisoning thousands more. Among those imprisoned and tortured was Brazil’s first female president, Dilma Rousseff, then a leftist rebel.

It was also a period of severe censorship. Some of Brazil’s most beloved musicians, including Gilberto Gil, Chico Buarque, and Caetano Veloso, went into exile in Europe and wrote songs about their forced departures.

How I finish?

Political exiles began returning to Brazil in 1979 after an amnesty law was passed that began to pave the way for a return to democracy.

But the pro-democracy movement “Diretas Já” (Direct elections now!) Only reached its rhythm in 1984 with a series of large and historic street demonstrations in cities like Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Belo Horizonte.

Civil government returned the following year and a new constitution was introduced in 1988. The following year, Brazil held its first direct presidential elections in nearly three decades.

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Other signatories include Ernesto Samper Pizano, former president of Colombia, Cori Bush, a Democratic member of the US House of Representatives, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the French presidential candidate, and Manon Aubry, the French MEP.

More than 5,000 police officers will reportedly be deployed to protect Congress amid fears that it may suffer the same fate as the United States Capitol after Trump’s defeat. Left-wing leaders have urged supporters to avoid clashes by not holding counter-protests, while the US embassy has told citizens to stay away.

On Thursday, the president of the Brazilian Supreme Court of Justice, Luiz Fux, said that people should be aware of the “judicial consequences of their actions”, regardless of their political leanings. “Freedom of expression does not imply violence and threats,” warned Fux.

Polls show that 60% of voters will not vote for Bolsanaro under any circumstances in next year’s election, and voters are furious at his chaotic handling of the Covid crisis.

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