As one who lived in Brazil for many years and still spends extensive time there each year, as well as having a large network of Brazilian friends (many of whom hold PhDs) in a variety of professions, as well as relatives who still live there, I have followed this controversy closely.
I was in Brazil when wire tapped phone conversations between Dilma and ex-president Lula were released to the public. I am quite fluent in Portuguese and was able to follow the discussions easily. The notion that she is not directly involved in corruption and lawbreaking is just laughable. The tapes don’t lie.
Dilma was clearly obstructing the investigation against Lula, who is certainly guilty of numerous crimes of corruption (just look at the huge personal fortune he amassed while in office).
This article is so full of bias and outright lies, it doth boggle the mind. The author conveniently fails to mention that the reason Dilma was imprisoned and interrogated in the 1970 was that she was directly involved in acts of terrorism as a radical communist whose group intended to provoke a violent revolution.
This is not speculation, but rather well documented fact. Her and Lula’s communist sympathies were clear when such luminaries as Hugo Chavez sat on the platform at Lula’s first inauguration. Indeed, one of the first acts of the new president was to cut of the massive amounts of money being funneled to prop up the Castro regime in Cuba, never mind that the Dilma’s Workers Party has run the economy into the toilet.
Speaking of the economy, when I arrived in Brazil to live in 1995, the internet was practically non-functional. The only telephome service available in Rio was dial-up, which was problematic as the ancient phone equipment literally could not carry the signal. At that time, it took up to ten minutes of waiting to just get a dial tone.
However, with the advent of president Cardoso, socialist policies were dismantled as much as possible, the phone system was privatized and the result was an influx of capital the soon brought much of Brazil’s infrastructure into the first world. This included major highways connecting the cities.
Indeed, the Cardoso government’s neo-liberal economic policies created unprecedented prosperity in Brazil and lifted millions out of poverty. By the time I moved to São Paulo there were so many Brazilians now able to purchase cars that the already congested streets were becoming much worse. The infrastructure just could not keep up with the economic growth. Indeed, in a decade I personally witnessed much of Brazil become a different country, on many levels.
It was on this wave of prosperity that Lula was elected and the Marxists took power. They immediately implemented social programs designed to buy off those who remained poor (and to keep them there as well), while slowly dismantling the economic reforms that had brought prosperity.
The inevitable economic collapse was delayed by the discovery of new oil reserves, but the PT (Worker’s Paryt) figured out how to destroy that as well. A price fixing scheme (known as the Lava Jato) was developed to inflate the costs of constructing new refineries, etc. for Petrobras, the state run petroleum company.
The illegal profits were kicked back to oil and construction executives, as well as politicians. This included funneling money to finance Dilma’s presidential campaign. Lula was up to his neck in this and Dilma was prepared to appoint him to her cabinet to give him immunity from his immanent arrest, when the prosecution leaked the wiretap conversations.
The public was already hitting the streets in protest, but I have never, ever, seen such outrage as that of the Brazilian people as this unfolded. Indeed, to state that the impeachment is a coup is the most brazen lie imaginable. Not only is there solid legal ground for it, the Brazilian people are demanding it in massive and overwhelming majorities.
They are in the streets with pitchforks and torches, so to speak (unfortunately they have no 2nd Amendment), and the PT government has no hope of support from a military already decimated by leftist policies.
In sum, the amount of money in the corruption scandals surrounding the current and former president are higher, by orders of magnitude, than any other in the history of Latin America; in the neighborhood of a billion U.S. dollars.
The results of 13 years of PT rule have utterly destroyed the economy, showing clearly that the great prosperity of the first half of the 2000’s was a hold-over from the previous administration. Though the PT claimed credit for this prosperity, in true Marxist fashion the economic collapse and the crimes of corruption are the result of conspiracies fomented by their right-wing enemies. Forget about the massive unemployment and inflation that has arrived on their watch.
It’s those nasty capitalists who are responsible. The Marxist PT is never to blame for anything and stands ready to rewrite history at all times to avoid accountability for the crimes and errors of its leaders.
The fact is, the governments of Lula and Dilma (who was handpicked by Lula) will go down as the most corrupt in the history of Latin America, and believe me, that is a distinction that one would have to work hard to achieve. But as all communist authoritarians, their incompetence is only surpassed by their arrogance and sense of entitlement. The public money belongs to the Party in the mind of a good communist, so why not skim off the top to insure re-election as well as personal comfort?
Surely the peons and rubes won’t mind, so long as we keep giving them their monthly free rations of the minimal food to keep them alive and voting.
Well, the peons and rubes are finding out just what the Marxists, Lula and Dilma REALLY think of the proletariat, and they are furious. The Brazilian congress can see full well that if they don’t impeach Dilma, it’s likely that the citizenry will burn Brasilia to the ground. As an American who loves Brazil, I sincerely hope that it won’t come to that.
But, as I said, I’ve never seen a populace this enraged. Dilma, Lula, and the PT are so despised by the public that it is literally dangerous for a PT supporter to reveal himself in public. Numerous beatings have taken place by outraged citizens. And the police are not inclined to intercede to stop it.
In the face of this reality, Dilma’s delusional statements are every bit as valid as an alcoholic’s who is deep in denial. She needs to come to grips with the fact that the most popular new social movement in Brazil calls itself “Tchau Querida” (see ya later, dear). This deliberately sarcastic meme is a good reflection of just how deep the disdain for Dilma and Lula is, at practically all levels of Brazilian society.
Mr. Greenwald is clearly completely fooled and incompetent, or more likely, complicit in attempting to cover up a scandal that makes Watergate look like kindergarten.
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