(The Real Agenda) Under her presidency and that of her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Brazil went from being the promising, third world jewel to becoming the subject of jokes worldwide.
It is under the rule of the Worker’s Party (PT) that Brazil missed the opportunity to become a growing economic power in Latin America, and the reason for that was the widespread corruption and impunity with which the political and corporate class operate in the country.
Political parties, politicians and powerful business owners do as they please here in Brazil. They raise taxes to stratospheric levels, support wasteful spending, buy off public servants in exchange for political favors, disappear political opponents and work hard to perpetuate themselves in power via a gigantic welfare state that guarantees continuous support from the millions of government-dependent people who have little to no incentive to get off their rear ends to work for a living.
Despite abundant evidence that the political class in Brazil is behind the worst economic and political crises in the history of the country since the end of the dictatorship, president Dilma Rousseff and her godfather and predecessor, Lula da Silva, have made the ongoing investigations all about themselves.
According to both Dilma and Lula, the current police investigation “is a witch hunt” that seeks to blame the two of them for the large corruption operation revealed to the public during Operation Lava Jato, the largest investigation on government corruption in this country.
The largest corruption scandal in the history of the country took place and continues to do so under Lula’s and Dilma’s administration. Many members of the Worker’s Party members, including close Lula and Dilma allies have been captured, accused and imprisoned for their participation in the Petrobras corruption scheme. Furthermore, many of those people implicated in the corruption scheme have negotiated shorter prison times in exchange for talking about what they know.
Every time new details emerged about the Petrobras-looting scheme, police make new arrests and new witnesses come forward with more details about the institutionalized corruption system that has grown exponentially during the last 15 years.
Despite all this, both Lula and Dilma continue to show their hubris, bravado and arrogance in the face of imminent, direct implication in the corruption scandal. Lula has yet to respond to multiple accusations which have already earned him a temporary arrest by police.
Sao Paulo city prosecutors have requested his arrest while investigations are ongoing, as they believe Lula may attempt to flee or because his supporters in government and in the PT might want to shield the former union leader from facing justice.
It took very little time for prosecutors to be proven right. Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff shamelessly intervened and offered Lula a cabinet position to avoid his arrest. The president of the country aided and abetted a suspect by offering him a government position which shielded him from prosecution, just as Sao Paulo authorities had warned.
After multiple requests to nullify and validate Lula’s new position in Dilma’s cabinet, the Supreme Court in Brazil decided to support a judge’s decision to strip Lula from his cabinet position, while removing the head prosecutor in the Petrobras scandal, judge Sergio Moro, from his position. The decision was made, according to the Court, after the Rousseff government questioned Moro’s leaking of Dilma and Lula’s telephone conversation where the president informs Lula of her intention to protect him by naming him into her cabinet.
Now, the Supreme Court is the only body in charge of the investigation that incriminated many PT members in the Lava Jato scandal. Lula’s future depends on the 11-member Supreme Court that, for now, has given the Rousseff administration some breathing room to plan their next defense strategy.
While on the streets of Brazil, two-thirds of the people have thrown their support behind the impeachment of president Rousseff, the president says that “they want me to resign, so they don’t have to overthrow me illegally.” It is not clear to Rousseff that impeachment proceedings are a constitutional way to fire a public servant who has no respect for the country. It is not clear to her that when two-thirds of the people, many of whom used to be PT supporters, call for her impeachment, there is no such a thing as a witch hunt.
During an interview with several journalists in Brasilia, Dilma answered questions about the events of the last two weeks in the country. After Lula’s temporary arrest and questioning, there hasn’t been a day without a new caveat.
Dilma began the interview saying that the process of impeachment, which has already begun to move in the Brazilian Congress and that threatens her presidency, is an illegitimate procedure.
“Legally it is very weak. And it arises because the Congress’s President, Eduardo Cunha, threatened the government: if we did not vote against an investigation against him. He started the process. Cunha was denounced by the Prosecutor of the Republic because he found five illegal accounts that belong to him“.
When questioned about the legality of the impeachment proceedings, Dilma said that “we in Brazil had military coups. In a democratic system, they change methods. And without a legal basis, impeachment is a coup. It breaks the democratic order. That is why it is dangerous.” Except that if impeachment proceedings are accepted by authorities it would mean it has legal basis, so it could not be deemed as a coup.
After saying this, Dilma insisted in saying that “They ask me to resign. Why? Why be a fragile woman? No, I’m not a fragile woman. My life was not that. They ask me to resign to avoid the bitter swill of having to take me down illegally. They think I am very affected, bewildered, very depressed. But I’m not, I’m not. I had a very complicated life for not being able to fight now. I was 19 and was three years in prison during the dictatorship, and jail time. I fought in very difficult conditions. So I do not give up, of course not. “
Dilma forgot to mention that the reason behind her prison time was the commission of acts that today would be considered as terrorism in any democratic country in the world. Dilma was a left-wing operative who, from hidden trenches sought to cause upheaval during a very delicate time in the history of the country. You see, Dilma was a member of a guerrilla group that attempted to destabilize the country.
When asked about her attempt to save Lula by naming him into her cabinet, Rousseff dismissed it. “That is because the tactics of those who defend the worse the better. And this tactic also goes against my government, and Lula would strengthen my Government. Thinking that because he is a minister he will escape justice is seeing a problem where there is none. Suppose it is true, which is that he will be protected. What a strange protection, I would say, he can still be investigated by the judges of the Supreme Court. What happens is they do not want him to become a cabinet member. But Lula has, as a minister or as a consultant, one way or another, but he will come, no one will stop it.”
Rousseff’s arrogance also masks another fact that is often removed from reality, since, according to her, everything is a witch hunt against her. Lula intends to run for the office of president again. In addition to protecting him from prosecution, Dilma seeks to set Lula up for a new presidential run.
One of the consequences of Dilma not being straightforward with the people in Brazil is that a large majority now supports a complete overhaul of the government. Asked about whether or not this was a serious situation, Dilma said that “is a serious consequence, because when you start to question politicians in Brazil ‘political heroes’ arise. They implant chaos and then come the saviors of chaos.” So, Dilma says that questioning government corruption is the same as being in favor of chaos. With this statement, Dilma declares that anyone who is against government corruption and who wants to correct government misdeeds is an enemy of government.
“We advocate a pact, we argue that a dialogue is open, but that has to be done without democratic breakups, without unfounded impeachment attempts. We must discuss and reform the Brazilian political system. You need to make reforms. But without agreement there will be no reforms. They are not going to make those reforms with demonstrations on Paulista Avenue in São Paulo, or on one side or the other. Once in a series on Genghis Khan I heard this phrase: “Conquering is done on horseback; rule has to be done on foot.” Well, here Dilma shot herself on the foot, because, as mentioned before, she was a foot soldier for guerrilla movements during her early years. Also, there isn’t any organization that best represents the political takeover of Brazil than the Worker’s Party itself.
Dilma is delusional. If you think that is an exaggeration, take a read at her explanation about an impending social explosion against her government.
“These explosions are mainly due to inequality and poverty. We democratically, did a great social transformation in recent years by including 40 million poor people into the middle class and rescuing 36 million others from poverty.” For Dilma, it is democratic to take people’s money via the taxing system to give free stuff to 76 million people with the only intent of having them vote for you and your party for the foreseeable future.
“Even during the crisis we have maintained social programs. So I think that the basis of the country is not explosive. Here, there are no religious, nor ethnic problems. What does grow is political intolerance. Now they are everywhere discussing, arguing with families …. During the demonstrations against me I went on television saying they were entitled to anything but violence. I do not know what will happen, but I trust in the peaceful spirit of the Brazilian people.“
So, Dilma believes that using violence to steal people’s income is an example of democracy and peace, but if people rally on the streets to demand that she resigns, that is a sign of intolerance? Dilma’s so-called democratic values were seen during the 2013 street demonstrations against the FIFA World Cup. After a few vandals and provocateurs attacked crowds of peaceful protestors and destroyed private property, police attacked and gassed government protestors in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and other states in the country.
When asked about how she personally took the current political and economic crises, Dilma said that she is doing just fine. “I have no guilt. Surely, they criticize me for not being depressed. And I sleep very well. I go to bed at ten o’clock at night and get up at a quarter to six in the morning. Every day.”
Luis R. Miranda is an award-winning journalist and the founder and editor-in-chief at The Real Agenda. His career spans over 18 years and almost every form of news media. His articles include subjects such as environmentalism, Agenda 21, climate change, geopolitics, globalisation, health, vaccines, food safety, corporate control of governments, immigration and banking cartels, among others. Luis has worked as a news reporter, on-air personality for Live and Live-to-tape news programs. He has also worked as a script writer, producer and co-producer on broadcast news. Read more about Luis.