Faced with International Silence, Brazilians Must Impose A Price Tag on Dilma’s Impeachment

Faced with International Silence, Brazilians Must Impose A Price Tag on Dilma’s Impeachment

By Joshua Tartakovsky May 7, 2016 Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment is being backed by members of the Senate and Congress, yet Dilma, a seasoned fighter, seems to be able to find tricks to hang on a little longer, violating the illegal impeachment. Most recently, the attorney general said that her impeachment was illegal and now Eduardo Cunha, speaker of the house, was ordered by the court to leave his post due to accusations against him.  Dilma is likely to be able to hang on for a while, but not for very long.   The central question for the confused Brazilian people is where to go from here.   First, we must dispel certain illusions and comfortable notions on President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment.  What we are witnessing is not just the cynical and unconstitutional removal from power of a president who was elected by the people but also the deafening silence of the so-called democratic western world as the Brazilian right-wing, with its bloody history of dictatorships and torture, seeks to grab power undemocratically once again. Of course, this is a very uncomfortable time for liberals. They would like to grab onto every small piece of evidence that convinces them that the world has not gone mad, that sanity prevailed, that the New York Times or BBC really cares about democracy in Brazil and will criticize undemocratic violations, whether they come from the Left or the Right. But that is not what we are seeing.   Glenn Greenwald for example, argued that the New York Times makes clear that those who carried out the impeachment are corrupt themselves. He...
Dilma Must Choose: A New Economic Paradigm Or Prolonged Economic War and Downfall

Dilma Must Choose: A New Economic Paradigm Or Prolonged Economic War and Downfall

By Joshua Tartakovsky, 18 April 2016 Dilma may have a last chance to save her own skin and her country, and she must focus on reviving the economy, investing in industries, and protecting the Real from international speculation. From 2010, after becoming the President of the Republic of Brazil following her position as Lula’s chief of staff, Dilma Rousseff sought to continue the massive growth the country enjoyed by attracting international investment. Indeed, the country grows also during to the massive purchase of its raw goods by China and due to the availability of free credit, putting many householders who rushed to buy electronics and cars into debt. But in her second term in 2014, following slow economic growth due to a slowdown in China’s need for Brazil’s goods, Dilma moved to impose austerity on the Brazilian public and appointed a neoliberal finance minister, Joaquin Levy. The idea was that he would halt inflation since the economy was overheating due to the massive investment coming into the country from Western investors seeking higher returns, but the high-interest rates imposed in Brazil only resulted in a widespread recession, and no matter how hard Dilma’s government tried, the economic situation became worse, with growth becoming minuscule and GDP wildly contracting. Dilma, the former guerrilla fighter, tried to follow the traditional economic path and heed the advice of her advisors, and failed. Now, due to the contracting economy and an accompanying growing public frustration, a well-coordinated campaign against Dilma and PT which encompasses various politicians who turned against her, judges who took a partisan side, and the corporate Brazilian media owned by...
What Is Happening In Brazil?

What Is Happening In Brazil?

By Joshua Tartakovsky, 17 April 2016 The perception we get from the media on what is happening in Brazil is rather simple: The people of Brazil are finally rising up against a corrupt government and demanding the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, who is guilty of corruption. This is a welcomed development. Anyone who supports democracy in Brazil and proper governance should welcome this. Finally, Brazilians had enough of corruption demand good governance. But is that what is really happening? The Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff, is being accused by her opponents, of taking money from private banks before the budget review to cover up a gap in the budget. This money was meant to be repaid later. According to one opinion, the money was to be used for a social program ofBolsa Familia, which provides poor families with basic funding if they send their children to school. This social policy came after decades of neglect and abuse of the poor majority of Brazil. Brazil’s new social policies benefited at least 36 million Brazilians. There is an ongoing investigation on corruption regarding Petrobras – Brazil’s oil and gas company which spans politicians all cross the political spectrum, but Dilma is not tied to this episode. Furthermore, Petrobras has been tied to corruption for decades, well into the years of the military dictatorship and since. Either way, the action taken by Dilma was not illegal nor was it a crime. However, the President of the Deputies House, Eduardo Cunha, who himself is accused of corruption, was the one who launched the call for Dilma’s formal impeachment. Journalist Glenn Greenwald said about...
Brazil Disses the US, Re-elects Putin-Friendly Rousseff

Brazil Disses the US, Re-elects Putin-Friendly Rousseff

Photo by Wilson Dias/Agencia Brasil published on jornalgrandebahia.com.br Russia Insider By Joshua Tartakovsky 2 November, 2014     Rousseff and Putin – working toward a multipolar world The successful reelection of Dilma Rousseff to the presidency of Brazil on Sunday, October 26th, will undoubtedly give a boost not only to Russian-Brazil relations but also to the BRICS Development Bank and to the emergence of multipolar world more generally. Whereas the US media has for the most part tacitly supported the center-right candidate Alécio Neves while warning that a Rousseff reelection will strongly harm international investments in Brazil, Brazilians have decided to vote for who they believed would best serve their best interest and granted Dilma Rousseff 51.6% of the vote. While Neves was supportive of stronger ties with the US and did not voice support for the new BRICS Development Bank that stands as an alternative, however modest, to the International Monetary Fund, Rousseff has shown that she is not fearful of expressing Brazil’s independent voice in the international arena. Following the tapping of her private conversations by the United States National Security Agency, Rousseff canceled her trip to the United States in September 2013. Trade with the US on defense and energy had also declined. In her speeches in the United Nations in 2013 and 2014, Rousseff warned against US hubris and its meddling in other countries affairs. It may be interesting to note that Rousseff was not fearful of taking a strong position after Brazil’s trust in the US was violated, arguing that such behavior should not be carried out by partners, much as Russia did not hesitate to take strong actions following the US support for fascist groups who carried out the coup in...
Why the Brazilian Elections on Sunday Are Relevant For People Outside Brazil?

Why the Brazilian Elections on Sunday Are Relevant For People Outside Brazil?

Picture by Joshua Tartakovsky nsnbc international Sun, Oct. 26th, 2014 By Paula Fortes Aguillera Campos and Joshua Tartakovsky   Fortes Aguillera & Tartakovsky (nsnbc) : The presidential elections in Brazil this Sunday may seem to many in the United States and Europe as an affair that has little relevance to their lives. In the minds of many Westerners, the elections that are taking place in the southern cone of the Americas where poverty is still wide spread, have little relevance neither for the state of affairs worldwide nor for Western states. This line of thinking however is out of touch with reality. The upcoming elections in which the current Brazilian President Dilma Roussef of the center-left Worker’s Party (PT) will be competing for reelection against Aécio Neves, the former governor of the state of Minas Gerais, leader of the center-right Social Democrat Party, Aécio Neves, will determine the future of not only 200 million Brazilians but of people throughout the world. Here is why. While President Dilma Roussef has advocated that Brazil pursue its own independent foreign policy as a global leader acting independently of Washington’s orbit, Senator Alecio Neves would pursue closer collaboration with the US, according to his economic adviser. Dilma has pursued close talks with Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa leading to the creation of a $100 billion-strong alternative bank that would compete with the current Western-dominated International Monetary Fund. On the other hand, Neves is arguing for closer ties with the US and Europe which would mean that Brazil would follow Washington’s line and not seek to challenge it globally. Since the new BRICS development bank will not follow the IMF in seeking to impose the much-criticised ‘Washington Consensus’ on...