Obama’s Legacy In Latin America: Militarization, Right-Wing Coups, & The Rule Of Wall St.

Obama’s Legacy In Latin America: Militarization, Right-Wing Coups, & The Rule Of Wall St.

It seems we have arrived at the witching hour of Obama’s presidency, when corporate media ghouls continue to breathe out the infectious contagion of liberal lies and half-truths about the Great Dissimulator and his accomplishments.

Whether it’s The New York Times’ opinion pages hailing Dr. Changelove as “The Most Successful Democrat Since F.D.R.,” or the noxious nostalgia for the present injected into the public discourse like so many palliatives into the bloodstream of a terminal patient, the true history of Obama’s presidency is being veiled behind a mask of delusion.

Maybe it’s the Orange-Headed Hydra assuming power in Washington that gives the outgoing administration that air of dignity and grace. Maybe it’s the desire to craft a narrative in which “Hope” and “Change” were something other than hollow campaign slogans deftly employed by a charlatan of the first order. Or maybe it’s just business as usual in the heart of the U.S. Empire. No matter the reason, Barack Obama’s media-induced sainthood is now all but complete in liberal America’s collective psyche.

But the United States is not the only “America.”

Indeed, crossing the southern border and entering into that mysterious place called “Latin America,” one encounters a very different Obama legacy, one that is defined by the same policies that Yankee imperialists have employed for more than a century: destabilization, militarization, and exploitation.

Yes We Can!…continue to pursue a neocolonial agenda in Central and South America.

 

Obama’s love affair with the right wing

An artist who prefers to remain anonymous for security reasons pastes up one of his "interventions" that shows President Barack Obama at a podium surrounded by Honduran politician in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. (AP/Eduardo Verdugo)

An artist who prefers to remain anonymous for security reasons pastes up one of his “interventions” that shows President Barack Obama at a podium surrounded by Honduran politician in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. (AP/Eduardo Verdugo)

A mural in Lithuania depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin and President-elect Donald Trump embracing in a passionate kiss has gone viral. The meaning of the image is about as subtle as a sledgehammer to the skull, but it is no less perspicacious for its lack of subtlety. And while Russia has indeed tacitly, and rather shamefully, supported far-right candidates and causes for its own coldly pragmatic political reasons — Brexit, Trump, Le Pen, etc. — the truth is that Obama’s administration has also backed right-wing reactionaries and extremists where it has suited its interests.

Throughout Latin America, President Obama has been a driving force behind the resurgence of right-wing forces that have rolled back the gains of socialist and social democratic governments, targeted indigenous and African diaspora communities, assassinated activists, and toppled governments where they could.

So, yes, let’s talk about “legacy.”

In Honduras, Obama’s legacy was cemented from the very beginning of his presidency. In the summer of 2009, Manuel Zelaya, the country’s democratically-elected left-wing president, was removed from power in a midnight coup orchestrated by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her cronies in Washington and in Tegucigalpa. And while Obama’s tepid condemnation of the coup elicited cheers from many liberals in its contrast to the Bush administration’s loving embrace of the coup against Hugo Chávez in Venezuela in 2002, the reality is that, as with all things Obama, it was mere words. The support of the president and his henchwoman was the driving force behind the coup.

Clinton is never one to shy away from an opportunity to boast about the amount of blood on her hands. In a passage which removed from later editions of her book “Hard Choices,” she rather brazenly admitted:

“In the subsequent days [after the coup] I spoke with my counterparts around the hemisphere, including Secretary [Patricia] Espinosa in Mexico. We strategized on a plan to restore order in Honduras and ensure that free and fair elections could be held quickly and legitimately, which would render the question of Zelaya moot and give the Honduran people a chance to choose their own future.”

Obama’s top diplomat was instrumental in installing a right-wing government backed by the wealthiest business interests in Honduras and powerful players in Washington. As Clinton bagman Lanny Davis openly stated in an interview just weeks after the coup:

“My clients represent the CEAL, the [Honduras Chapter of] Business Council of Latin America. … I do not represent the government and do not talk to [interim] President [Roberto] Micheletti. My main contacts are [billionaires] Camilo Atala and Jorge Canahuati. I’m proud to represent businessmen who are committed to the rule of law.”

Indeed, Davis quite candidly exposed himself as an agent of powerful oligarch financiers and landowners who, until the election of Zelaya, had always maintained firm control of the reins of government in Honduras. These are precisely the people, backed by the Obama administration, wielding power in Honduras today through a violent right-wing government that assassinates indigenous leaders and human rights defenders such as Berta Cáceres, Margarita Murillo, and many others for the sake of investors who seek to develop indigenous, Afro-Caribbean, and peasant lands for massive profits.

Student protesters clash with police over the president's decision to run for re-election in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, a year after a controversial Supreme Court ruling voided a longtime constitutional ban on presidential re-election, Thursday Nov. 10, 2016. (AP/Fernando Antonio)

Student protesters clash with police over the president’s decision to run for re-election in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, a year after a controversial Supreme Court ruling voided a longtime constitutional ban on presidential re-election, Thursday Nov. 10, 2016. (AP/Fernando Antonio)

Beyond the killings of activists and the political backing of a right-wing coup government, Obama’s legacy in Honduras is also one of militarization. In 2014, The North American Congress on Latin America reported:

“The steady increase of U.S. assistance to [Honduran] national armed forces has, if anything, been an indicator of tacit U.S. support. But the U.S. role in militarization of national police forces has been direct as well. In 2011 and 2012, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Foreign-deployed Advisory Support Team (FAST)—which had previously carried out military-style missions in Afghanistan—set up camp in Honduras to train a local counternarcotics police unit and help plan and execute drug interdiction operations …

Supported by U.S. helicopters mounted with high caliber machine guns, these operations were nearly indistinguishable from military missions, and locals routinely referred to the DEA and Honduran police agents as “soldados” (soldiers).”

The NACLA report further noted that the Obama administration deployed at least five “commando style squads” of FAST teams across Central America. It added that, in Honduras, U.S. and Colombian special forces units have been training, equipping, and deploying with a new “elite” police unit called the Intelligence Troop and Special Security Group, or TIGRES (Spanish for “tigers”), which human rights groups argue is military in nature.

Ultimately, the man who rode the crest of a wave of “Hope” and “Change” not only brought more of the same to Honduras, and Latin America generally, he actually accelerated the re-conquest of the region by the forces of the military-industrial complex and finance capital.

 

Obama’s rightward push in South America

Demonstrators march with a sign that says in Portuguese "Get out Temer" and a drawing of Cuba's late President Fidel Castro, as they demand the impeachment of Brazil's President Michel Temer in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Nov. 27, 2016. (AP/Andre Penner)

Demonstrators march with a sign that says in Portuguese “Get out Temer” and a drawing of Cuba’s late President Fidel Castro, as they demand the impeachment of Brazil’s President Michel Temer in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Nov. 27, 2016. (AP/Andre Penner)

Another example of this confluence between Obama’s right-wing fetish and Wall Street’s boot on the neck of Latin America came last year in Brazil, when Dilma Rousseff’s democratically-elected government was removed from office in what can only be described as a parliamentary coup.

In mid-April of 2016, Reuters published a story exposing Michel Temer, the right-wing vice president at the time and the current president, as preparing the shortlist of his presumptive cabinet months before the Rousseff government had been toppled.

Temer tapped Paulo Leme to serve as either finance minister or head of the Central Bank. Leme is the chairman of Goldman Sachs’s operations in Brazil, making him perhaps the preeminent representative of Wall Street in the country. While his appointment may have been perceived as too brazen, the trend of Wall Street representatives steering the ship of Brazil’s economic and political life is impossible to ignore.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that the Obama administration, too, has been dominated from the beginning by the same types of financiers — often from the very same companies such as Goldman Sachs — that control the coup government in Brazil. The not-so-invisible hand of finance capital is now tightly coiled around the neck of Brazil. Another feather in Obama’s legacy cap.

Of course, there’s Obama’s graceful tango with the new right-wing government in Argentina led by Wall Street darling Mauricio Macri. While Obama was wining and dining the neoliberal reactionary, Macri was busy loading his new government with Wall Street insiders and representatives of Big Oil and other major industries.

This was the real Obama, the one who will not be paraded before Americans as the revered dear leader already missed before he’s left the stage. Rather, this was the man who, without conscience or compunction, ushered in a wave of right-wing reaction throughout the Western hemisphere.

And he did it with a smile.

 

Obama’s quiet militarization of Latin America

President Barack Obama, left, talks to Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos before the start of their meeting at the Casa De Huespedes during the sixth Summit of the Americas, in Cartagena, Colombia, Sunday April 15, 2012. (AP/Carolyn Kaster)

President Barack Obama, left, talks to Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos before the start of their meeting at the Casa De Huespedes during the sixth Summit of the Americas, in Cartagena, Colombia, Sunday April 15, 2012. (AP/Carolyn Kaster)

One of Obama’s great accomplishments in the service of the military-industrial complex was his below-the-radar militarization of the region. The pervasive myth of Obama as distinctly different from George W. Bush lives on in the diseased minds of liberal sycophants, but the facts tell a different story.

Obama represented continuity with, and an expansion of, the worst policies of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton when it came to Latin America. Plan Colombia, the broad heading for the billions of dollars spent on U.S. military engagement and cooperation in Colombia begun by Clinton and expanded by Bush, was further expanded under Obama.

Just totaling the military, police, and economic aid to Colombia for 2010 to 2015, the United States has given nearly $3 billion to Colombia in the form of “aid” to fight the so-called “War on Drugs,” widely seen as merely a cover for U.S. military power projection in South America. Add to that the fact that during Obama’s tenure, and under former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command William McRaven, special forces troop deployments ballooned to more than 65,000, with many spread throughout Latin America.

In an eerily similar fashion, Obama expanded funding and scope for the Mérida Initiative, a project launched by Bush in 2008 which essentially makes Mexico’s military and law enforcement into a de facto arm of the U.S. military and government. As with Plan Colombia (and AFRICOM), even though Obama did not launch this initiative, he expanded it significantly, providing more than $2.5 billion since 2008.

But if liberals want to soothe their broken hearts with the fact that Obama did not actually launch these programs, they might want to consider the Central American Regional Security Initiative, created by Obama in 2011.

According to a March 2014 report from the Igarapé Institute, an independent security and development think tank based in Brazil, CARSI and Mérida alone received nearly $3 billion (2008-2013). It is an open secret that the massive funding has been channeled primarily into military and paramilitary programs. Though the United States touts these programs as success stories, their expansion has coincided with increased militarization in every country where U.S. funds have been provided.

In El Salvador, the government led by President Mauricio Funes consolidated military control of law enforcement in the interests of its U.S. backers. These changes took place simultaneous to the implementation of CARSI, and should be seen as an outgrowth of U.S. militarization. In Guatemala, the government of Otto Pérez Molina, a former military leader with a record of atrocities and genocide, further militarized the country before being imprisoned for corruption in September of 2015.

Similarly, Honduras has been transformed into the U.S. military’s primary foothold in Central America. U.S. Coordinator of the National Popular Resistance Front (FNRP) and Refoundation Party (LIBRE) Lucy Pagoada explained in a 2015 interview that “[Honduras] has turned into a large military base trained and funded by the U.S. They even have School of the Americas forces there.”

“There have been high levels of violence and torture since the [2009] coup,” Pagoada continued.

 

Good cop, bad cop: Obama’s policies on Cuba and Venezuela

An image of President Barack Obama wearing fake ears and the slogan "Obama go home" on a street wall in Caracas, Venezuela. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro regularly sets social media afire with support, with heavily trending anti-U.S. campaigns such #ObamaYankeeGoHome and #ObamaRepealTheExecutiveOrder, which denounced U.S. sanctions on members of Maduro’s administration. (AP/Ariana Cubillos)

An image of President Barack Obama wearing fake ears and the slogan “Obama go home” on a street wall in Caracas, Venezuela. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro regularly sets social media afire with support, with heavily trending anti-U.S. campaigns such #ObamaYankeeGoHome and #ObamaRepealTheExecutiveOrder, which denounced U.S. sanctions on members of Maduro’s administration. (AP/Ariana Cubillos)

Of course, no discussion of Obama’s actions in Latin America would be complete without an examination of Washington’s attempts to reassert its influence in the region with the simultaneous thaw in relations with Cuba and the destabilization of Venezuela.

Obama signed an executive order on Jan. 13 declaring both Venezuela and Cuba “national security threats” despite no evidence of any such threat. Isn’t it interesting that the president being lauded as the man who sought to normalize relations with America’s long-standing foe in Cuba still manages to not only classify the country as a threat, but to expand that same status to another geopolitical and strategic enemy in the region?

The Obama administration has attempted to undermine and destabilize Venezuela using as pretexts everything from a border dispute with neighboring Guyana to artificially created scarcity of staple goods and speculation against the currency by elites who control commodity distribution networks in the country, and whose backers reside in Madrid, Miami, and Washington. Julio Escalona, an economist and former Venezuelan ambassador to the United Nations, told me in Caracas in 2015: “Our currency is not being devalued by speculation, but by hyper-speculation.”

And, in signature Obama style, Washington has backed the right wing, including many far right fanatics, in an attempt to wrest political control of the country away from the ruling Socialist Party (PSUV) led by President Nicolás Maduro (and in spirit by Hugo Chávez).

Perhaps the best example is the targeted assassination of numerous prominent members of the PSUV, including the 2014 killing of Robert Serra, an up-and-coming Chavista legislator seen by many on the Venezuelan left as the “next Chávez.” Serra was assassinated by individuals connected to Álvaro Uribe, the former president of Colombia and long-standing U.S. proxy.

Similarly, the well-respected journalist and prominent Chavista Ricardo Duran was murdered outside his home in Caracas in January of 2016. Likewise, Fritz St. Louis, international coordinator of the United Socialist Haitian Movement and secretary general of the Haitian Cultural House Bolivariana de Venezuela, was assassinated in March of 2016. In all these killings, the hidden hand of the right wing and its backers in the United States has been an open secret.

And where is the outcry from the liberals who continue to laud Obama? Perhaps now that a Republican is in office they might soon dust off their political consciences to raise their voices against continued U.S. neocolonialism and imperialism in Latin America? Apparently, their interest in human rights and peace is dependent on the color of the tie worn by the man or woman in the Oval Office.

Obama’s legacy in Latin America is, like that of all other U.S. presidents of the last century, one of profit and exploitation, death and destruction. This is surely no secret in Latin America, where millions have raised, and will continue to raise, their voices in opposition to the Yankee Empire.

Unfortunately, the myth of the Nobel Peace Prize winner has become stronger than the reality of lived experience.

In this witching hour, the twilight of Obama’s presidency, let us not be entranced by spells cast by the coven of corporate media warlocks. Let us instead remember Obama’s legacy in Latin America not as “Hope” and “Change,” but as “More of the Same.”

New Files Reveal USA Sold Argentina Military Aircraft to Dump Bodies in Ocean

Source

teleSUR | December 16, 2016

The U.S. provided Argentina with army helicopters despite knowing they were used for death flights.

teleSUR | December 16, 2016

Declassified documents on Operation Condor reveal that the U.S. knew and assisted the Argentine dictatorship as it threw unconscious prisoners to their death in notorious “vuelos de la muerte,” or death flights.

Under the military dictatorship in Argentina, thousands of political opponents were drugged, tossed into aircraft and dumped in the Atlantic Ocean to drown.

According to Adolfo Scilingo, an Argentine naval officer during the dictatorship, the navy conducted death flights every Wednesday between 1977 and 1978, killing up to 2,000 people.

Newly released documents on Operation Condor, the 1970s covert efforts to topple and temper progressive governments outright in South America, show that the U.S. not only knew about the lethal flights — they provided military equipment.

An intelligence report, dated July 1978, states, “terrorists and subversives selected for elimination were now being administered injections of Ketalar.”

“Ketalar is administered in an intra-muscular injection to the prisoner as a preventive health measure, the subject rapidly loses consciousness and vital functions cease. Source alleges that subjects are then disposed of in rivers or the ocean.”

But despite being aware of the horrific death flights, the United States proceeded to sell Argentina army helicopters.

Two months after describing the “new drug” used to paralyze so-called terrorists, then-U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale met with Argentine dictator Jorge Rafael Videla in Rome.

Included in his meeting checklist was a reaffirmation to “improve relations, and to take steps that will lead to such improvement.”

It continues, “As a token of our interest we have taken steps to release export licenses for ambulance aircraft, army helicopters, airport radar equipment and other items.”

Reports suggest Argentina’s death flights began in 1976 and continued until 1983, killing thousands of political opponents — likely with the help of U.S. aircraft.

In 2016, Francisco Bossi, the mastermind of the death flights, confessed to murdering 6,000 people.

The revelations of U.S. involvement and support of the brutal dictatorship come after the Obama administration declassified 500 pages on repression in Argentina during the military regime.

The declassified documents have revealed the U.S. supported torture, tried to “liquidate” human rights activists and destabilize Latin American leftist governments.

RELATED:

New Operation Condor Files Show Terror, Torture in Argentina

USA Wants Venezuela Recall Vote This Year: What has this to do with USA?

US Wants Venezuela Recall Vote This Year

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday urged Argentina to be patient with the slow pace of economic progress under its new government, and urged Venezuela to allow a vote this year on whether to recall President Nicolas Maduro.

In his first trip to Argentina as America’s chief diplomat, Kerry praised President Mauricio Macri, a free-markets proponent who took office in December promising to attract a wave of private investment that has yet to materialize.

Kerry also said he was concerned that the government of Venezuela has failed to enter into meaningful dialogue with the opposition, which is trying to organize a referendum to kick Maduro out of power.

“We encourage Venezuela to embrace the recall not in a delayed way that pushes it into next year, but to do this as a sign of respect for the constitution of the country and the needs of the people of the country,” Kerry told reporters.

The timing is crucial because if Maduro were to lose a referendum this year, as polls indicate he would due to the country’s moribund economy, it would trigger a new presidential vote, giving the opposition a chance to end 17 years of socialism.

But should he lose a referendum next year, Maduro would be replaced by his vice president, maintaining the Socialist Party in power until the OPEC nation’s next presidential election scheduled for the end of 2018.

“BAD HABITS”

Kerry also addressed growing discontent voiced by Argentines over an economy beset by stagflation.

“It’s not all going to change overnight,” Kerry told a group of business leaders at a breakfast meeting in Buenos Aires.

“Getting rid of bad habits takes a little bit of time and investment takes a little bit of time to take hold and begin to create momentum,” he added. “But I am 100 percent confident, as is President Obama, that Argentina is on the right course. People need to be patient.”

Macri’s policies follow heavy state control of the economy and allegations of corruption under previous leader Cristina Fernandez. Her former secretary of public works was caught in July trying to hide almost $9 million in a Buenos Aires convent.

Argentina’s economy is expected to shrink 1.3 percent this year, according to a central bank poll of analysts. The government has not made a forecast.

Kerry met with his Argentine counterpart Susana Malcorra to discuss issues including Venezuela.

Fernandez supported Hugo Chavez’s self-styled revolution in the oil rich country, and the administration of his protege Maduro. Macri is one of the region’s leading critics of Maduro, accusing him of unjustly jailing opposition leaders.

From Buenos Aires Kerry was set to go on to Brazil where he will attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics on Friday.

Headwinds from Argentina’s recession-racked northern neighbor are not helping Macri’s investment push. Brazil, the region’s biggest economy, has been paralyzed by corruption scandals and political turmoil after the suspension of President Dilma Rousseff from power.

(Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

USA causing problems all over Latin America

Washington’s ‘New Managers’ in Latin America: Oligarchs, Bankers and Swindlers

By James Petras

Amid raging corruption, social pathologies and outright political thuggery, a new gang of vassal regimes has taken-over Latin America. The new rulers are strictly recruited as the protégé’s of US financial and banking institutions. Hence the financial press refers to them as the “new managers” – of Wall Street.

The US financial media has once again provided a political cover for the vilest crimes committed by the ‘new managers’ as they launch their offensive against labor and in favor of the foreign and domestic financiers.

To understand the dynamics of the empire’s new vassal managers we will proceed by identifying (1) the illicit power grab (2) the neo-liberal policies they have pursued (3) the impact of their program on the class structure (4) their economic performance and future socio-political perspectives.

Vassals as Managers of Empire
Latin America’s current vassalage elite is of longer and shorter duration.

The regimes of longer duration with a historical legacy of submission, corruption and criminality include Mexico and Colombia where oligarchs , government officials and death squads cohabitate in close association with the US military, business and banking elites.

Over the past decades 100,000 citizens were murdered in Mexico and over 4 million peasants were dispossessed in Colombia. In both regimes over ten million acres of farmland and mining terrain were transferred to US and EU multinationals.

Hundreds of billions of illicit narco earnings were laundered by the Colombian and Mexican oligarchy to their US accounts via private banks.

The current political managers, Peña in Mexico and Santos in Colombia are rapidly de-nationalizing strategic oil and energy sectors, while savaging dynamic social movements – hundreds of students and teachers in Mexico and thousands of peasants and human rights activists in Colombia have been murdered.

The new wave of imperial vassals has seized power throughout most of Latin America with the direct and indirect intervention of the US. In 2009, Honduras President Manuel Zelaya was ousted by a military coup backed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Zelaya’s program of agrarian reform, regional integration (with Venezuela) and constitutional elections was abolished. Zelaya was replaced by a US vassal, Roberto Micheletti who proceeded to murder several hundred landless rural workers and indigenous activists.

Washington moved to organize a constitutional cover by promoting a highly malleable landowner, Porfirio Lobo Sosa to the presidency.

The State Department next ousted Paraguyan President Francisco Lugo who governed between 2008-2012. Lugo promoted a moderate agrarian reform and a centrist regional integration agenda.

With the backing of Secretary of State Clinton, the Paraguayan oligarchy in Congress seized power, fabricated an impeachment decree and ousted President Lugo. He was briefly replaced by Vice President Federico Franco (2012-2013).

In 2013, Washington backed, the capital, Asuncion’s, notorious crime boss for President, one Horacio Castes – convicted for currency fraud in 1989, drug running in 1990, and most recently (2010) money laundering.

The Honduras and Paraguayan coups established (in miniature) the precedent for a new wave of ‘big country’ political vassals. The State Department moved toward the acceleration of banking takeovers in Brazil, Argentina and Peru.

In rapid succession, between December 2015 and April 2016 vassal managers seized power in Argentina and Brazil. In Argentina millionaire Mauricio Macri ruled by decree, by-passing constitutional legality. Macri fired scores of thousands of public service workers, closed social agencies and appointed judges and prosecutors without Congressional vote. He arbitrarily arrested social movement leaders – violating democratic procedures.

Macri’s Economic and Finance Ministers gained millions of dollars by ‘buying into’ multinational oil companies just prior to handing over private options on public enterprises.

The all-encompassing swindles and fraud carried out by the ‘new managers’ were covered up by the US media,who praised Macri’s professional team.

Moreover, Macri’s economic performance was a disaster. Exorbitant user fees on utilities and transport for consumers and business enterprises, increased three to ten-fold, forcing bankruptcy rates to soar and households to suffer light and gas closures.

Wall Street vulture funds received seven billion dollar payment from Macri’s managers ,for defaulted loans purchased for pennies over a dollar, twenty-fold greater then the original lenders.

Data based on standard economic indicators,highlights the worst economic performance in a decade and a half.

Price inflation exceeds 40%; public debt increased by twenty percent in six months. Living standards and employment sharply declined. Growth and investment data was negative. Mismanagement, official corruption and arbitrary governance, did not induce confidence among local small and medium size businesses.

The respectable media, led by the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post falsified every aspect of Macri’s regime. Failed economic policies implemented by bankers turned cabinet ministers were dubbed long-term successes; crude ideologically driven policies promoting foreign investor profiteering were re-invented as business incentives.

Political thugs dismantled and replaced civil service agencies were labelled ‘a new management team’ by the vulgar propaganda scribes of the financial press.

In Brazil, a phony political power grab by Congressional opportunists ousted elected President Dilma Rousseff. She was replaced by a Washington approved serial swindler and notorious bribe taker, Michel Temer.

The new economic managers were predictably controlled by Wall Street, World Bank and IMF bankers. They rushed measures to slash wages, pensions and other social expenditures, to lower business taxes and privatize the most lucrative public enterprises in transport, infrastructure, landholdings, oil and scores of other activities.

Even as the prostitute press lauded Brazil’s new managers’, prosecutors and judges arrested three newly appointed cabinet ministers for fraud and money laundering. ‘President’ Temer is next in line for prosecution for his role in the mega Petrobras oil contracts scandal for bribes and payola.

The economic agenda by the new managers are not designed to attract new productive investments. Most inflows are short-term speculative ventures. Markets, especially, in commodities, show no upward growth, much to the chagrin of the free market technocrats. Industry and commerce are depressed as a result of the decline in consumer credit, employment and public spending induced by ‘the managers’ austerity policies.

Even as the US and Europe embrace free market austerity, it evokes a continent wide revolt. Nevertheless Latin America’s wave of vassal regimes, remain deeply embedded in decimating the welfare state and pillaging public treasuries led by a narrow elite of bankers and serial swindlers.

Conclusion
As Washington and the prostitute press hail their ‘new managers’ in Latin America, the celebration is abruptly given way to mass rage over corruption and demands for a shift to the political left.

In Brazil, “President” Temer rushes to implement big business measures, as his time in office is limited to weeks not months. His time out of jail is nearing a deadline. His cabinet of ‘technocrats’ prepare their luggage to follow.

Maurico Macri may survive a wave of strikes and protests and finish the year in office. But the plunging economy and pillage of the treasury is leading business to bankruptcy, the middle class to empty bank accounts and the dispossessed to spontaneous mass upheavals.

Washington’s new managers in Latin America cannot cope with an unruly citizenry and a failing free market economy.

Coups have been tried and work for grabbing power but do not establish effective rulership. Political shift to the right are gyrating out of Washington’s orbit and find no new counter-balance in the break-up of the European Union.

Vassal capitalist takeovers in Latin America generated publicist anesthesia and Wall Street euphoria; only to be rudely shocked to reality by economic pathologies.

Washington and Wall Street and their Latin America managers sought a false reality of unrestrained profits and pillaged wealth. The reality principle now forces them to recognize that their failures are inducing rage today and uprisings tomorrow.

 

Anglo-America: Regression and Reversion in the Modern World

Global Research, May 31, 2016
James-Petras

Professor James Petras

What does it mean when the US and British financial systems launder hundreds of billions of dollars of illicit funds stolen by world leaders while their governments turn a ‘blind eye’, and yet the very same Anglo-American officials investigate, prosecute, fine and arrest officials from rival governments, rival banks and political leaders for corruption?

What does it mean when the US government expands a world-wide network of nuclear missiles on bases stretching from Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, the Gulf States to Japan, surrounding Russia, Iran and China, while the very same US and NATO officials investigate and condemn rival defense officials from Russia, China and Iran, as military threats to peace and stability?

What does it mean when Anglo-American economic officials devote decades to raising the age of retirement, reducing working and middle class household income, cutting workers compensation, expanding part-time work, setting the stage for mass layoffs slashing unemployment and health benefits and reducing social spending by the hundreds of billions of dollars and then turn around and investigate and threaten rival countries, like China and Argentina with loss of markets, investment and employment for not doing the same thing ?

The meaning of Anglo-America’s long-term, large-scale structural regression is clearly evident across the world.  From Europe to Latin America and from Asia to Africa, socio-economic and politico-military agendas have been reversed.

Since the end of the Second World War there had been incremental gains in labor rights, stable employment, poverty reduction and working conditions.

Recently, these have all been reversed:  Longer working days and weeks with reduced salaries and benefits; unstable temporary work replaces stable employment; employer-funded pensions are eliminated and replaced by multi-billion dollar corporate tax cuts and off-shore tax evasion.

Systematic structural swindles by the leading financial institutions have forced employees to delay retirement for years in order to ‘self-finance’ their own meager ‘pensions’, some expecting to ‘die at the job’.

Capitalist regression has been implemented by arbitrary state dictates and authoritarian decrees, erasing any pretense of democratic procedures and constitutional laws.

The regressive and retrograde leader-states from the imperial centers impose their conditions on follower regimes like Mexico and Russia forcing them to reverse their legacy of social progress while blackmailing these regimes’ oligarchs with the loss of lucrative markets, access to tax and money-laundering havens and impunity for their crimes and swindles.

Anglo-America:  Historic Reversion

For the past three decades, the US and Great Britain have led the global drive to undermine labor’s advances.  First, the economic structure sustaining labor organizations were dismantled and fragmented.  Then organized labor was decimated, co-opted and corporatized.

Capital proceeded to reverse labor and social welfare legislation and lower wages, in order to impose longer workdays and destabilize employment.

The mass media re-packaged the regression cycle as  ‘economic reform’, a euphemism, which disguised the re-concentration of power, wealth and income over the last three decades.

The growth of inequality and the concentration of wealth and assets to the 1% became ‘the standard’ for the Anglo-American era.  However, class organization and the vicissitudes of class struggles continued to constrain efforts to impose unchallenged Anglo-American capitalist rulership throughout the world.

The first decisive blow against  social reform resulted from the systematic Anglo-American breakdown of the former USSR and allied nations of the Warsaw Pact in East Europe.  This was followed by the endogenous dissolution of Communist Party rule in China, Russia, Eastern Europe, the Baltic and Balkan states and their conversion into capitalist satellites.  Social welfare, full employment, public pensions and health systems were shredded; labor lost all its rights except one – the right to emigrate to the West as cheap labor.

From Russia to Latvia and Poland to Bulgaria and Romania, there were massive layoffs, plant closures and the total dissolution of social security networks driven by the Anglo-America neo-liberal onslaught.  The Atlantic Alliance brought their new Eastern satellites to social submission.

Until the second decade of the 21st century, Western Europe’s centers for the defense of the progressive social agenda were in France, Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal.  The social agenda in Latin America and China faced the Anglo-America offensive even earlier.

France:  The Strategic Key to Anglo-American Social Regression

France has been the center where the Anglo-American regressive attack on socio-economic policy and Southern Europe’s resistance has been playing out.

By 2015 the regressive alliance had overturned all progressive social policy in the former communist bloc countries.  Their alliance with Germany’s finance sector give them tight control of the EU and they successfully decimated the progressive social programs and labor legislation in Greece, Spain and Portugal.

France became the centerpiece for Western capitalism’s drive to incorporate Italy into the regressive orbit.  The conquest of France and Italy would completely reverse 70 years of incremental labor gains after the defeat of fascist capitalism.

The assault on  France’s progressive social agenda is spearheaded by the retro-Socialist President Francois Hollande and his troika of authoritarian hyper-capitalist ministers:  Financial Minister Michel Sapin, Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron.

The strategy of relying on a ‘nominal socialist’ to destroy the social welfare state is a classic ‘Trojan Horse’ operation. Hollande’s virulent anti-labor policy is implemented by decree under a joint plan developed in association with France’s leading industrialists.

The imposition of the regressive policy in France began in stages.  It first established the retrograde political leadership with Valls, a notorious authoritarian police-state official willing to over-ride any democratic niceties.  The Economy Minister, Emanuel Macron, a millionaire investment banker, is a direct associate of the financial elite, with no qualms in slashing labor programs.  The Finance Minister Michel Sapin, a long-time accomplice of the French bureaucratic-capitalist elite, is prepared to slash pensions and public services while reducing job security in order to lower the cost of labor to capital.

Once the Hollande and his troika took control of the centers of political power, (and after militarizing French society in response to the terrorist attacks), the regime launched its anti-labor offensive to shred the progressive social agenda.  Its first target was its most formidable – the mass of the French working class.

Declaring ‘anti-ISIS’ martial law powers, Hollande adopted an outright authoritarian strategy, bypassing the elected French Parliament in the legislature and imposed ‘rule by decree’ with the announcement of a highly regressive labor law against the French people.

The dictatorial labor decree was a first step to weaken organized labor’s capacity to protect wages and job security in order to give a powerful impetus to employer control over the French labor force.

Once Hollande’s labor decree established capitalist supremacy, his Troika would be in a decisive position to reverse seventy of incremental social advances.

The joint Hollande-Troika-capitalist bloc emasculated the legislature, leaving a weak, bleating chorus of so-called ‘left Socialists’ to bemoan their political impotence. Then an entirely new business anti-labor code was rolled out, which included the right of bosses to hire and fire workers at will, extend the workday , lengthen the work week, undermine labor’s bargaining power and restrain strikes and job actions.  This would open the way for a wave of irregular and contingent jobs for new workers . . . Using the pretext of terrorist attacks, the French capitalist class had begun to rule by decree to further expand and deepen their long planned assault on labor.

Hollande’s troika and France’s capitalists are lowering corporate taxes and employer contribution to social payments.   Regulations that restrained the concentration of elite power were eliminated.

With curfews and ‘anti-terrorist’ militarized police in the streets, French business elite could now freely begin to to imitate the Anglo-American capitalist elite and impose an iron-fisted New Order.

Without labor constraints on French capital, the bosses are is free to relocate factories and investments any and everywhere, under the most favorable wage, tax, employment and environmental conditions.

No longer required to invest in French industry, the business elite can transfer capital from industry to financial sectors, allowing hundreds of billions of euros to be laundered in off shore tax havens.

The Hollande troika will now also establish its own version of ‘Security and Exchange investigators’ to prosecute and fine its rival Anglo-American financial swindlers, just as the Anglo-Americans pursue their French competitors today.

The Hollande regime’s regressive social agenda has opened the door for an even more extreme Presidential prototype to follow and Alain Juppe is waiting.

The rabid Republican Party presidential candidate, Alain Juppe, promises to go ‘whole hog’ in utterly destroying the French welfare state, as it has existed since the fall of fascism.  If elected president, Juppe promised to slash 100 billion euros from the budget – double the amount that the Hollande regime currently seeks to cut.  Juppe has pledged to eliminate 250,000 civil service jobs in all vital social sectors; to delay the retirement age from 62 to 65; eliminate the 35-hour workweek; facilitate worker layoffs and decimate unemployment benefits.  Finally, Juppe has promised French capital that he would implement their entire business agenda, cut taxes for business and bankers and eliminate the tax on inheritance implemented nearly four decades ago.

In other words, the Hollande regime’s assault on labor and embrace of business has opened the door for the rise of the extreme right.  Moreover, Hollande has manipulated the incidents of Islamist terrorism to assume arbitrary decree powers wiping out any pretense of a democratic government.  The terrorist incidents are arguably related to Hollande’s colonialist embrace of the ‘regime change’ assaults against the secular nationalist governments of Libya and Syria and his policy of sending (or tolerating the recruitment of) marginalized French youth of North African ancestry to fight in the ensuing civil wars.  This has further strengthened the rise of the extreme right in France.

As the Socialist and Republicans compete for dictatorial powers to serve business’ regressive agenda, the nationalist, protectionist and social reformist policies of the National Front are emerging as the populist alternative in the coming presidential race.  Anti-fascist rhetoric has worn thin and important sectors of the working class will turn to the National Front in defense of their jobs and social legislation.  The anti-immigration rhetoric of the National Front is now part of the political vocabulary of the Republicans as well as Prime Minister Valls.

The only alternative to a power grab by the French hard right is a mass general strike and sustained street battles in order to resist the reaction by decree.

As throughout history, popular struggles in France begin in the streets – among the trade unions and young workers angrily facing low wages, austerity and the grim prospect of ‘permanently’ temporary jobs.

The outcome of the intensifying French labor-capital conflict will have a decisive impact on the future of labor throughout Europe, especially among all Left unionists.

Latin America:   The Labor-Capital Showdown

Beyond Europe, the Anglo-American onslaught against labor and the working class resonates most directly in Latin America and to a lesser extent in Asia and Africa.

The first country to fall victim to capital’s attack was Mexico with the implementation of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  By the early 1990’s NAFTA had demolished the independent Mexican trade unions, crippled social legislation, eliminated subsidies to small corn farmers, forced peasants into debt, reduced minimum wage, doubled poverty levels and turned the majority of the labor force into landless, indebted, casual workers.  On the other hand, NAFTA has been a bottomless source of wealth as capitalists accumulate double and triple digit profits and absolute power to hire and fire employees.  Mexico’s government, under Anglo-American capital, has allowed the illicit transfer of hundreds of billions of dollars of Mexican assets to US, English and other overseas banks, which have become immense money-laundering operations.  The proximity of Mexican drug cartels to the US banks has facilitated the extension of their networks into the US market.   The horrific expansion of drug cartel death squads, linked to Mexico’s political leaders, dates from the 1990’s and the signing of NAFTA.  This bloody nexus has consolidated neoliberal political power in Mexico and weakened the possibility of a viable mass electoral alternative.

Anglo-American dominance in Latin America in the 1990’s led to an entire panoply of regressive policies: privatizing and denationalizing the most lucrative natural and state resources, banks and industries; reducing wages and social spending for labor while increasing the concentration of capital.  By 2001 however the Anglo-American edifice collapsed throughout South America with the demise of its neo-liberal political leadership.

From Venezuela in 1999, to Argentina in 2002, Brazil 2003, Bolivia 2006 and Ecuador 2007, left and center-left parties capitalized on their mass support and were elected into power.  They took advantage of global economic conditions with the rising commodity prices, booming Chinese markets and new regional alliances to fund a variety of progressive social agendas, including increased social expenditures, guaranteed pensions, family allowances, minimum wages, wage increases for public sector and expanded labor rights.

The Anglo-American power elite was in retreat and isolated, but it was far from defeated.  They retrenched and prepared to re-mobilize their strategic business, banking and political allies when the opportunity arose.   They counter-attacked when global and regional conditions turned unfavorable to the social regimes.

The assault on Latin America was preceded by the Anglo-American neo-liberal take-over of Northern Europe from the 1990’s to the first decade of the 21st century.  This was followed by the sweep and grab of the Balkans and Southern Europe.  The combined Anglo-American-EU-NATO offensive now seeks to reverse the last social-welfare regimes in Europe: France and Italy with the help of President Hollande and Prime Minister Renzi.

Simultaneously the Anglo-American offensive has been launched throughout Latin America.  Their goal is to recover the imperial prerogatives, political power and economic privileges lost during the previous decade.  The primary Euro-American target is the ‘golden triangle’, Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela.  These countries constitute a global center of immense oil and agro-mineral wealth.

The Argentine neo-liberal restoration took off in December 2015 with the election of  far-right President Mauricio Macri (image left).   His junta wasted no time in stripping the state of its social legislation, dismantling job security through large-scale layoffs and assuming authoritarian rule by decree to devalue Argentina’s currency by 40% and to eliminate state subsidies and raising the price for gas, electricity, transport, and water between 300 and 800 %.

The regressive offensive was in full force.  Next, Brazil’s twice elected President Dilma Rousseff was ‘impeached’ and essentially overthrown by a bizarre legislative right-wing coup-d’état, designed to reverse a generation of progressive regulatory, labor and employment legislation.  It was also secretly designed to halt corruption investigations against many right-wing politicians.

Venezuela is next.  It will be the scene of a full-scale-elite coup-d’état with imperial backing, to overthrow the government of President Maduro and end decades of progressive social advances under the Chavista governments.

While in France and Italy, the great social reversal is being implemented by internal enemies from the ‘progressive’ political parties (“Trojan Horses”), in Latin America the reversal is led by openly hostile class enemies who depend on the arbitrary exercise of executive power.  The drive to put a definitive end to the ‘welfare state’ in Europe and Latin America is marked by the use of dictatorial decrees, (in the style of Mussolini in the 1920’s) as exercised by Argentina’s elected President Marci in January 2016 and Brazil’s ‘Interim (Coup) President’ Temer in April 2016.  Meanwhile capitalist lockouts, hoarding and sabotage are being used to crush Venezuela’s elected government.

This epochal confrontation has spread across Africa and Asia. China’s capitalist offensive has seen a four-fold increase in the number of new billionaires in less than a decade, at the expense of hundreds of millions of workers stripped of their rights and social programs.

South Africa, under the ANC government, turned its back on social gains promised by the liberation struggle and has imposed regressive social legislation and repressive anti-labor decrees.  A corrupt class of black and white billionaires now rule by guns and clubs over the black working class.

In Africa and the Middle East, the social welfare states of the nationalist regimes in Iraq and Libya have been completely shredded through imperialist military intervention and civil war.  Their once advanced societies have been thrown back into ethno-tribal warfare with no remaining modern social institutions in those two blighted, resource-rich nations.

Wither the Class Struggle:  Historical Reversal and Class Revolt?

The Anglo-American offensive to reverse decades of social advance has captured most of Europe.  They have incorporated or coopted the Social Democratic parties and are moving swiftly toward dismantling the decade-long center-left welfare states in Latin America.

In Africa, the centerpiece of Anglo-Americanization is South Africa, the continent’s most advanced bastion of international capitalism.

In Asia, China, the second most important capitalist economy in the world, has been leading the struggle to overturn the social agenda of the revolutionary past.

Large-scale, prolonged class resistance in several decisive centers is emerging to confront this Anglo-American process of reversion. The class confrontation however takes specific characteristics in each country.

In France, the major protagonists of street fighting and marches are young unemployed or casual workers, members of the strategic transport and oil unions and student-workers facing a bleak future of marginal employment and a shredded social safety net.

Trade unions and farmers’ association have joined the street struggles on numerous occasions, possibly in preparation for a general strike.

In Latin America, the center of the class struggle is Argentina.  Power-mad President Macri immediately imposed regressive policies against all sectors of the working class.  His actions managed to unite the four major trade union confederations, multiple retirees associations and small businesspeople bankrupted by exorbitant charges on gas and electrical use and regional neighborhood federations.  The widespread growth of job actions among public sector employees points to a general strike.

The regressive assault on long-term social legislation in Brazil immediately followed the thinly disguised capitalist coup.  The ousting of President Rousseff has provoked street demonstrations, led by the huge rural landless workers movement (MST), the confederation of industrial and service workers (CUT), social movements of the homeless workers and the recipients of Lula’s poverty programs.  New revelations, based on taped conversations among the coup plotters reveal their plans to oust the incumbent President Rousseff in order to derail official investigations into their own corruption scandals.  This has enraged the general public.

With the initial take-over, the Brazilian political-financial elite has prepared to launch its full-scale reversal of pensions and employment laws and wage guarantees.  The pro-business leadership plans to slash corporate and wealth taxes and to appoint business executives to all leading ministries.  The deep corruption scandal and the mass demonstrations suggest the rightwing power grab may not survive.

The regressive offensive in Venezuela has severely crippled the national economy and deeply eroded living standards of the vast majority of the working class.  The rightist Congress, backed by the US and allied with international mass media, industry and multinational banks, are trying to force the resignation of Socialist President Maduro.

Maduro has declared a state of emergency and mobilized the armed forces.  He  called on the military and popular militia to defend the constitutional order and has threatened to mobilize the workers to “take control of the means of production”.  Still, the leftist government vacillates over arming the militias and workers.   A wide gap remains before the word and the deed.

In the meantime Venezuela’s right wing and left-wing mass mobilizations face each other in the streets seething with class hatred and waiting to engage in a decisive confrontation.  The military thus far remains constitutionalist and on the side of the elected president.

In South Africa, the corrupt pro-business ANC led by President Zuma (image right) murdered dozens of striking mine workers.  It has impoverished millions of shantytown residents, while increasing the wealth and power of the black-white elite.  On April 30, 2016, 1.1.million South African activists, including civil society and community organizations and trade unions covering the mining, manufacturing and service sectors have organized to form a new confederation linked with informal, unemployed and poor workers.  The South African Workers Summit replaces the moribund and corrupt labor confederation, COSATU, the ‘labor desk’ for the neo-liberal ANC regime.  The new confederation will co-ordinate mass struggles and reclaim social programs as a central part of the anti-capitalist revolution.

In China, the growth and consolidation of the world’s second largest concentration of billionaires has led to the proliferation of large-scale industrial workers’ strikes, walkouts and confrontations with factory bosses, company unions and government officials.  China is becoming the epicenter of Asia’s working class struggles.  Chinese workers have forced the government to investigate and jail over 200,000 corrupt officials, high and low, and to concede substantial wage increases and social compensation to factory workers.  Fearing more social upheaval, China’s billionaires and multi-millionaires have transferred hundreds of billions of dollars of stolen assets abroad in a buying spree of high-end property in the ‘safe’ Anglo-American “heartland” of world reaction.

The continued advance of working class struggles against the public and private oligarchs has forced the Chinese Prime Minister to reform elite privileges and prosecute large-scale banking swindles and illegal seizure of farmland.  Especially important, millions of workers have successfully secured double-digit wage increases and the right to legally live in urban/industrial and construction centers.

As it gains momentum, class struggle in China can become the centerpiece for a wider Asian social transformation and a great leap forward to socialist values.

Conclusion

The Anglo-American drive to establish a global regressive social order has pushed billions of workers on five continents into destitution, insecurity and lifelong exploitation.  The capitalist world rules by fiat and violence, declaring that social regression and worker repression are the ‘wave of the future’. For the elite, the proper order of the universe is being ‘restored’!

In response, new working class organizations have emerged and engage directly to defend their historic social advances and economic rights.

In the course of defending their past progressive social legacy, the new working class militants can clearly see the imperative to challenge and overthrow the entire political and economic order.  From France to Latin America, from China to South Africa, class struggle is defining the present and future of class relations.

The Evil Empire Strikes Back: BRICS Under Attack, Coup in Brazil ~ [Reports Collection]

Syrian Free Press

BRICS_heads_of_state_2014_G-20_Brisbane_Australia_Agencia_Brasil

BRICS leaders, G-20, 2014 Brisbane-Australia (Photo Agencia Brasil)


(SOTT with Audio) ~ Democratically-elected Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has been suspended pending impeachment, replaced with a corrupt, right-wing, unpopular U.S. spy.

Modi’s India seems to be aligning more with the U.S. in confrontation with China.

South Africa is suffering at the hands of U.S. intrigue.

In short, it appears as if the U.S. Empire is launching a multi-front war on Russia and China by ‘converting’ its BRICS allies to the dark side.

This comes as the U.S. ‘policy’ in Syria is coming apart at the seams.

Their ‘friend and ally’ Turkey has been exposed as arguably the biggest supporter of ISIS/Daesh in Syria.

The U.S. is feebly trying to maintain that the terrorist groups it supports are ‘moderates’.

But unwilling to admit defeat, the U.S. seems keen on taking the world down with it in perhaps the biggest case of suicidal hubris the world has ever known.


brics countries

“Soft” Coups Threaten Brazil, Venezuela and South Africa

The Empire of Chaos(The US) has won a major victory in Brazil destroying a democracy in order to bring Brazil back under control. Dilma Rousseff has been impeached on trumped up charges ignoring the wishes of the 54 Million Brazilians who voted for her and replacing her with the traitor Michel Temer.

Temer gives a whole new meaning to the idea of rule by the 1% because Temer has a 1% approval rating. Rousseff has been suspended from office for 180 days while the impeachment process continues. Brazil has joined the list of successful recent coups in Honduras, and Paraguay. Like the people of Argentina the people of Brazil are about to be reminded of what it means to be ruled by neo-liberal Hyenas.

dilma_rousseff_second_term

For the people of Brazil the battle has only begun. The 1964 coup in Brazil installed a brutal military dictatorship and was only the first of many coups that would leave the entire region under the fascist rule of Operation Condors network of military juntas. The people of Brazil and of all of Latin America are in deadly danger. By this act the US has signaled that even minor reforms like those carried out by Brazil’s workers party are unacceptable. Nothing must be allowed to impede the looting and impoverishment of the planet at the hands of the multi-national corporations.

By Hugo Turner, GlobalResearch

Yet the loss of Brazil has even worse consequences for the globe. It is a major strategic victory in the empire of Chaos attempt to reconquer Latin America. It is also a major victory in the effort to destroy the BRICS countries. It marks a major defeat in the effort to build a multi-polar world. Worse still Soft coups are also making gains in Venezuela and in South Africa. In Venezuela a recall referendum obtained the necessary signatures to remove Nicolas Maduro from office. In South Africa a court ruled that Jacob Zuma must again face hundreds of charges that were dismissed years ago. Both Venezuela and South Africa have been the victims of a covert war campaign. In Venezuela a wave of assassinations continues to murder those loyal to the Bolivarian Revolution. In South Africa a wave of arson attacks have been carried out that the government has blamed on the US embassy (ie the CIA). As if plunging large parts of the globe into unending warfare is not enough the empire of chaos is determined to destroy every independent country on the planet.

Flashback: The 1964 Coup

Before I discuss the latest coup in Brazil I will give a brief description of the 1964 coup in Brazil that would go on to have such disastrous consequences for all of Latin America. My account is based on William Blum’s Invaluable book “Killing Hope” Brazil is Chapter 27 out of 56 each recording coups or covert wars the US has carried out since 1945. Jose Goulart had become president after Janio da Silva Quadros had been forced to resign or face a military coup. Goulart the Vice President barely made it into office Right-Wing military officers tried to bar him but Loyalist military officers had interceded forcing the fascists to back down. Quadros had been quite conservative but had sought to ally Brazil with the nonaligned movement and to trade with the USSR. Goulart was also only a mild reformer but even before the moment he came into office the CIA, the Pentagon, the State department began plotting his downfall. CIA officer Vernon Walters (operating under cover as a military attache ) who would go on to play a vital role in setting up operation Condor was a major player in the coup. He helped organize the coup plotters in the Military. Goulart was first targeted with economic warfare, political destabilization and media war. Globo Media which played a major role in the current anti-Rousseff coup played the same role in the 1964 coup.

The CIA financed mass demonstrations, bribed political opposition and helped fund their campaigns. It created it’s own labor movement the AIFLD to destroy the left wing labor movement and to stage strikes and even armed attacks. The tactics of color revolution/Hybrid War are far older then the terms themselves obviously. As mentioned the US had begun plotting against him even before he ever assumed office and in fact had engineered him being fired as minister of Labor back in the 50′s. Once he became president his offenses in the eyes of the empire were refusing to fire ministers the US labeled “Communist. He sought to trade with the eastern block. He instituted mild economic reforms including a very limited land redistribution program. He passed a law limiting the amount of profits multinational corporations could take out of the country and he nationalized a subsidiary of ITT.

For this he was accused of seeking to install a “Totalitarian” Dictatorship by the State department. When they had stirred up enough chaos with their economic war and destabilization campaign when they had succeeded in vilifying Goulart in the media they launched the coup. The military who had been indoctrinated by the US in fanatical anti-communism and trained to see their own people as the enemy were given the go ahead for the coup. On March 31st the CIA backed fascist divisions moved to occupy the capital city Rio.

However the CIA had only gained control of a faction of the military other loyal divisions were willing to resist. The US sent in a huge Naval detachment including Aircraft carriers and destroyers to signal their backing for the coup. Goulart decided to flee rather then risk a civil war. By April 1st he had fled and the Fascist General Castelo Branco seized power arresting thousands of opponents and shooting protestors. And of course the dirty war came anyways tens of thousands would be tortured and killed over the next decades.

Although Latin America’s endless dirty war began long before the Brazil coup (Unending war and oppression began in1492) the 1964 coup would play a decisive role in helping to spread it throughout the continent. Brazil would play a vital role in the coups in Chile, Uruguay, Argentina and in training the death squads and torturers of the continent. Dilma Rousseff herself was among the hundreds of thousands tortured. Meanwhile members of the Condor Network are still powerful in many Latin American militaries and the CIA and Pentagon influence continues. For more on Operation Condor check out my October 2015 article “Operation Condor”. For the continuing dirty war in Latin America see my March 2016 “War on Latin America.” In light of this history it is clear why we must resist this latest coup which threatens to reignite Brazil’s dirty war.

The 2016 Soft Coup

Pepe Escobar has written the definitive account of the coup in Brazil. Thus for a detailed account track down the numerous articles he has written on the subject. Frankly I feel more like screaming or crying than writing about this tragic moment in Brazil’s history. The only real difference between the April 64 coup and the May 2016 coup is that the military were not called in to overthrow the government. Hence people are referring to it as a soft coup. However the manufactured opposition, the media war, the economic war and doubtless the CIA bribes flying left and right are all the same. In fact just like Castelo Branco Brazil’s new president Temer is a CIA asset.

Brazil’s coup has a lot in common with the recent coups in Honduras and Paraguay. Thus even though Brazil’s coup was accomplished with legalistic means does not mean that the tortures and disappearances may not soon re-appear in Brazil not that they ever really ended given Brazil’s unending “low intensity” drug war and privatized death squads that masquerade as security agencies.

These agencies of course were a major factor in the coup part of what Pepe Escobar calls Brazil’s “BBC.” “BBC” stands for in this case not the notorious British propaganda outfit but for the three main economic interests manipulating Brazil’s senate to vote for impeachment. BBC stands for the Bullet, The Bible, and the Cattle. The bullet is weapons and private security. The Bible is pastors and “Evangelical Fanatics.” While Cattle is the powerful Agribusiness lobby. Pepe also lists some illuminating statistics on the senate they are 80% White although Brazil is largely a brown and Black country. 60 percent of the Senate are from political dynasties 58% of them are under criminal investigation and 13% of them were not elected at all worming their way in as “alternates.” These are the oligarchs who had the final say in destroying Brazil’s democracy. They have ignored the wishes of the 54 Million Brazilians who voted for Dilma Rousseff and have replaced her with the traitor Michel Temer with his 1% approval rating.

The main front men for this CIA coup were first Judge Sergio Moro who with his completely one sided car wash investigation set the coup in motion. By ignoring the crimes of the right and focusing only on crimes by the left he turned a corruption investigation into a coup. Next there was then house speaker Eduardo Cunha notorious as one of the most corrupt politicians in Brazil with millions in swiss bank accounts. He lead the impeachment drive in Brazil’s lower house fast tracking the impeachment process. However he lost his job as speaker so that the coup would not be a complete laughing stock. After all Dilma Rousseff is not even charged with having been corrupt and is innocent yet her impeachment campaign was lead by the Cunha “the Shark” one of the most corrupt. Lastly there is Michel Temer or Brutus as Escobar calls him. He openly admitted that the impeachment lacked all legitimacy before switching sides in a twisted power grab. These criminals have earned by their actions the hatred not just of Brazil but of Latin America and indeed of everyone who opposes the empire. Of course they were merely the tools of the Brazil’s Oligarchs, the CIA, and Wall Street but by their treachery they have set Brazil back decades.

The loss of Brazil will help sabotage BRICS. It will be a major blow to attempts to resist the empire of Chaos throughout the continent in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, and the other countries that have so far avoided soft coups. For the people of Brazil who had only slowly begun to climb out of poverty thanks to the reforms of Brazil’s workers party which despite it’s flaws did create a major rise in the standard of living the Coup means they will be Ruthlessly thrust back into poverty. Brazil’s massive oil wealth will go not to improving the lives of it’s citizens but to enriching the billionaires on Wall Street.

Far worse may await them as the new coup government will eventually begin to wage war on the angry majority of Brazil to insure that they remain in power. The people must begin to prepare themselves for resistance and in my opinion for revolution. Democracy has failed in Brazil mild reforms have failed in Brazil. The people of Brazil must begin to organize to seize back the power. And should they ever prove successful they must make radical changes to their society that will make impossible this sort of “Soft coup”.

How long will Latin America’s Oligarchs be allowed to wage their campaigns of mass murder before the people wise up and give them a taste of revolutionary justice? Goulart thought he could spare his country a war if he resigned and was proven tragically wrong.

Rousseff appears to have made the same mistake and we can only hope that her failure to destroy these dangerous traitors does not lead to a repeat of Brazil’s horrifying Dirty War.

Recent experience in Honduras or Ukraine do not give us much reason to believe that things will go differently for Brazil. However there are two factors that give reason for hope that this coup may be reversed. First Brazil has powerful social movements, the landless workers movement, the landless peasants, and many thousands of smaller groups. Second if Lula can survive the attempts to destroy him as part of the Car Wash Scandal he may run again in 2018 seizing Brazil back for the people. I hope his security is on full alert sadly his potential to run again and restore democracy in Brazil means his life is in great danger.

If only the idea of Lula being assassinated either violently or via cancer or heart attack were paranoid as some of you are doubtless thinking. But ask Fidel Castro who has survived dozens of assassination attempts. One can no longer ask the great Hugo Chavez but the details of his murder continue to emerge thanks to the work of journalist Eva Golinger. She has uncovered even more evidence of his assassination in particular in a recent interview she discussed some of the many attempts to kill him which failed. One included a Colombian death Squad camped out at a Venezuelan Oligarchs place thankfully they were arrested in time. Another involved a sniper caught staking out someplace Chavez was about to speak at.

Undoubtedly the most memorable involved the attempt to assassinate him with a radioactive chair at an “Prestigious” University in New York where Chavez was giving a speech. She also revealed the names of several traitors who defected to the united states shortly after his death. One of these traitors former Major General Herbert Garcia Plaza is now coordinating the destabilization of Venezuela from the safety of the US. I highly recommend you read the interview with her yourselves to learn even more shocking information.

Venezuela

Unfortunately I must turn my attention to the ongoing “soft coup” in Venezuela. There was some good news the opposition plot to privatize Venezuela’s public housing was struck down by Venezuela’s supreme court as unconstitutional since it interfered with Venezuela’s constitutional commitment to provide housing education healthcare and other social programs. Chavez’s radical reforms have born fruit and Venezuela’s Supreme Court is firmly committed to defending Bolivarian Socialism. However the opposition appropriately named MUD continues it’s campaign to destroy Venezuela on the orders of their CIA/NED controllers. They launched a recall petition and easily achieved the 1% of signatures needed.

Next they only need 20% of voters to agree to a recall referendum and then a Referendum forcing Maduro to resign can eventually be voted on. Maduro is determined to resist this scheme and hopes to fulfill his term which doesn’t end until 2018. Obviously this is a dangerous new development. In addition a wave of assassinations continue to murder loyal government officials and Bolivarian politicians. The CIA is waging a dirty war on Venezuela using drug dealing Colombian death squads and right wing Venezuelan terrorists to wage an operation condor style Phase III assassination campaign aimed at weakening the government by killing it’s most promising leaders. However even more destabilizing has been the economic war and Venezuela’s Oligarchs continue to sabotage the economy eroding public support for the Bolivarian Revolution. The Venezuelan Revolution a source of hope and an inspiration for the entire world remains under deadly threat.

South Africa

In South Africa a soft coup threatens another BRICS member. South Africa is another victim of the economic war which has sent commodities prices plummeting. This has served to destabilize South Africa just as it has Venezuela, and Brazil. But of course the US isn’t content with destabilizing South Africa it wants to overthrow the ANC who have ruled South Africa since the fall or Apartheid. The ANC is far from perfect in a secret deal before coming to power they had to renounce their longstanding platform of nationalizing South Africa’s resources and building a socialist society. However given it was 1994 and the Soviet Union had just collapsed the constant criticism they have suffered since from the left while valid is slightly unfair. Andre Vltchek points out that the ANC has made far more progress then people have given them credit for.

They have also been plagued by corruption scandals but only a fool would believe that if the ANC are overthrown in a soft coup that corruption will suddenly disappear. Instead whoever replaces them would open the country to be looted by western corporations reversing whatever gains people have made since the fall of apartheid. You don’t fight corruption with coups because coups are by their nature corrupting they involve people accepting bribes from the CIA and other intelligence agencies to betray their country. Obviously those willing to sell out their country are unlikely to resist bribes for lesser crimes. Just ask the Ukrainians.

The destabilization campaign against Zuma began innocently enough with students demanding lower fees. However soon instead of chanting the “Fees must Fall” they were shouting “Zuma must Fall.” Now EFF head Julius Melema is calling for Zuma’s downfall even threatening to use force. And if that wasn’t bad enough the US embassy (CIA) have been caught organizing opposition movements and even hiring organized crime to burn down 19 schools in the Limpopo province. Worse now the supreme court has ruled that Zuma must face 783 charges against him that were dismissed back in 2007. They date from when Zuma was deputy president under Thabo Mbeki. Zuma was dismissed as deputy president but this lead to a power struggle within the ANC in which he emerged victorious. He was later elected president despite this scandal so it is ridiculous to try to overthrow him based on a 10 year old scandal. Zuma like Maduro, and Rousseff is facing a soft coup attempt. Whatever petty crimes Zuma may have committed whatever the flaws of the ANC we must oppose this soft coup attempt. The goal has nothing to do with reducing corruption in South Africa or reducing inequality as the EFF deceptively claim. Anyone who thinks a CIA coup will reduce inequality in South Africa needs to read Blum’s “Killing Hope” since every CIA coup has been undertaken to preserve or worsen inequality. Instead the goal is clearly to destroy the BRICS the main hope for a multipolar world. The goal is to break up the economic partnership between China and South Africa damaging China the economic engine of the multipolar world and further isolating Russia the military backbone of BRICS.

We must oppose the coups in Brazil, Venezuela and South Africa. We must support the people as they resist the return of fascism in South America. We must support South Africa as it struggles to maintain it’s independence. The Empire of Chaos thinks it can preserve itself by destroying all the alternatives. It is far to late for that Capitalism itself is in crisis and people are already dreaming of a better world. Remember the overthrow of Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954 inspired the revolutionary career of Che Guevara. In fact to carry out their economic war on the BRICS the Oligarchs are putting the whole stability of their global capitalist system at risk a dangerous gamble. Although 2016 has been a year of victory for the forces of counter-revolution beneath the surface all over the world people can sense revolution in the air. Thus even in the face of defeat and danger instead of despairing we must only redouble our efforts. The time of revolutions is approaching.


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R E L A T E D      R E P O R T S

~

Dilma out: Brazilian plutocracy sets 54mn votes on fire

(Pepe Escobar, RT) ~ Never in modern political history has it been so easy to “abolish the people” and simply erase 54 million votes cast in a free and fair presidential election.

Brazil President Dilma Rousseff-1

Forget about hanging chads, as in Florida 2000. This is a day that will live in infamy all across the Global South – when what was one of its most dynamic democracies veered into a plutocratic regime, under a flimsy parliamentary/judicial veneer, with legal and constitutional guarantees now at the mercy of lowly comprador elites.

After the proverbial marathon, the Brazilian Senate voted 55-22 to put President Dilma Rousseff on trial for “crimes of responsibility” – related to alleged window dressing of the government’s budget.

This is the culmination of a drawn-out process that started even before Rousseff won re-election in late 2014 with over 54 million votes. I have described the bunch of perpetrators of what Brazilian creativity has termed‘golpeachment’ (a mix of coup – “golpe” in Portuguese – and impeachment) as Hybrid War hyenas.

Sophisticated golpeachment – supported by what amounts to an Electoral Inquisition College – has propelled Hybrid War to whole new levels.

Hybrid War as applied to Brazil exhibited classic elements of a color revolution. Of course there was no need for no-fly zones or humanitarian imperialism to “protect human rights” – not to mention provoking a civil war. But considering the high resistance level of the victim state, where civil society is very dynamic, Hybrid War designers in this case bet on a mix of capitulation – and betrayal – of local elites, mixed with“peaceful protests” and a relentless mainstream media campaign. Call it ‘Civil War Light.’

That carried with it a fabulous cost-benefit ratio. Now the (immensely corrupt) Brazilian political system and the current executive/legislative/judiciary/mainstream media alignment can be used by the usual suspects for their geopolitical agenda.

Welcome to regime change light – politics, in a nutshell – as war by other means on the BRICS. A new software, a new operating system. Carrying a pathetic corollary; if the US is the Empire of Chaos, Brazil has now gloriously reached the status of Sub-Empire of Scoundrels.

Scoundrels galore

Rousseff may be accused of serious economic mismanagement, and of being incapable of political articulation among the shark pool that is (immensely corrupt) Brazilian politics. But she is not corrupt. She made a serious mistake in fighting inflation, allowing interest rates to rise to an unsustainable level; so demand in Brazil dramatically dropped, and recession became the norm. She is the (convenient) scapegoat for Brazil’s recession.

She certainly may be blamed for not having a Plan B to fight the global recession. Brazil essentially works on two pillars; commodity exports and local companies relying on the teats of the state. Infrastructure in general is dismal – adding to what is described as the “Brazilian cost” of doing business. With the commodity slump, state funds dwindled and everything was paralyzed – credit, investment, consumption.

The pretext for Rousseff’s impeachment – allegedly transferring loans from public banks to the Treasury in order to disguise the size of Brazil’s fiscal deficit – is flimsy at best. Every administration in the West does it – and that includes Clinton’s, Bush’s and Obama’s.

The Operation Car Wash investigation, dragging on for two years now, was supposed to uncover corruption in the Brazilian political system – as in the collusion of oil giant Petrobras executives, Brazilian construction companies, and political campaign financing. Car Wash has nothing to do with the golpeachment drive. Yet these have been two parallel highways converging to one destination: the criminalization of the Workers’ Party, and the definitive – if possible – political assassination of Rousseff and her mentor, former President Lula.

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When golpeachment reached the lower house of Congress – an appalling spectacle – Rousseff was eviscerated by Hybrid War hyenas of the BBC variety; “BBC,” in English, stands for“bullet,”“bible” and “cattle,” where“bullet” refers to the weapons and private security industry,“bible” to pastors and evangelical fanatics, and “cattle” to the powerful agribusiness lobby.

The “BBC” hyenas are members of almost all Brazilian political parties, paperboys for major corporations, and – last but not least – corruption stalwarts. They all benefited from millionaire political campaigning. The whole Car Wash investigation ultimately revolves around campaign financing, which in Brazil, unlike the US with its legalized lobbies, is a Tarantino-worthy Wild West.

The Brazilian Senate is not exactly an “upper” – as in more polished – house. Eighty percent of members are white men – in a country where miscegenation rules. A staggering 58 percent is under criminal investigation – linked to Car Wash. Sixty percent hail from political dynasties. And 13 percent – as alternates – were not elected at all. Among those favoring impeachment, 30 out of 49 are in trouble with the law. Charges include mostly money laundering, financial crimes and outright corruption. Renan Calheiros, the president of the Senate – who oversaw today’s impeachment vote – is the target of no fewer than nine separate money laundering/corruption Car Wash lines of investigation, plus another two criminal probes.

Meet the three Banana Republic amigos

Rousseff is now suspended for a maximum 180 days while a Senate committee decides whether to impeach her for good. Enter President-in-Waiting Michel Temer – a dodgy, shady operator – who has been branded a“usurper” by Rousseff. And usurper this provincial Brutus certainly is – according to his own words. On March 30 last year, he was tweeting that,“Impeachment is unthinkable, it would create an institutional crisis. There is no judicial or political basis for it.”

His administration is born with the original sin of being illegal and massively unpopular; his approval rating floats between an epic 1 percent and 2 percent. He was already fined last week for violating campaign finance limits. And, predictably, he’s drowning in a corruption swamp – named in two Car Wash plea bargains and accused of being part of an illegal scheme of ethanol buying; he may become ineligible for the next eight years. Almost 60 percent of Brazilians also want him impeached – on the same charges leveled against Rousseff.

Members of Brazil's Senate react after a vote to impeach President Dilma Rousseff for breaking budget laws in Brasilia, Brazil, May 12, 2016. © Ueslei Marcelino

Brutus 1 (Temer) would not bask in the glow of his 15 minutes of fame without the shenanigans of Brutus 2 (Brazil’s number one crook, former speaker of the lower house Eduardo Cunha, facing charges of bribery and perjury, holder of illegal Swiss accounts, and now finally sidelined by the Supreme Court). It was Brutus 2 who fast-tracked impeachment as pure vengeance; the Workers’ Party did not cover his back as he was facing a tsunami of corruption charges. Brutus 2 used all his vast powers – he runs a campaign financing scam inside Congress – to obstruct the Car Wash investigation. His replacement, the interim speaker, is also under investigation for bribery.

So meet Temer, Cunha, Calheiros; these three amigos are the true stars of the Banana Republic of Scoundrels/Crooks.

As if the Supreme Court would be rascal-free. Judge Gilmar Mendes, for instance, is a lowly plutocrat vassal. When an attorney for the government entered a motion to suspend impeachment, he quipped, “Ah, they can go to heaven, to the Pope, or to hell.” Another pompous judge received a request to sideline Cunha as early as December 2015. He only examined the request over four months later, when the whole golpeachment scam was in its decisive phase. And still he argued, “there’s no proof Cunha contaminated the impeachment process.”

Finally, complementing the whole scam, we find Brazilian mainstream media, with the toxic Globo media empire – which lavishly profited from the 1964 military coup – at the forefront.

All hail the neoliberal restoration

Wall Street – as well as the City of London – could not hide its excitement with golpeachment, believing Brutus 1 Temer will be an economic upgrade. Arguably, he might dare to tweak Brazil’s Kafkaesque tax code and do something about the enormous hole in the pension system. But what that mythical entity – the “markets” – and myriad “investors” are salivating about is the prospect of fabulous rates of return in a reopened-for-speculation Brazil. The Brutus 1 game will be a neoliberal feast, actually a restoration, with no popular representation whatsoever.

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff. © Adriano Machado

The golpeachment gang gets really incensed when they are identified as coup plotters. Still, they could not give a damn about the OAS, Mercosur, Unasur – all of them condemned the coup – not to mention the Holy Grail: the BRICS. Under Brutus 1, the Foreign Ministry, to be led by a sore loser senator, is bound to sink Brazil’s key role in BRICS cooperation, to the benefit of Exceptionalistan.All one needs to know is that neither Nobel Peace Prize-winner Barack “kill list” Obama nor Queen of Chaos Hillary “We came, we saw, he died” Clinton condemned the ongoing regime change light/golpeachment. That’s predictable, considering Exceptionalistan’sNSA spied on Petrobras and Dilma Rousseff personally – the genesis of what would develop as the Car Wash investigation.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest limited himself to the proverbial platitudes: “challenging moment”; “trust in Brazilian democratic institutions”; or even “mature democracy.” Yet he added, significantly, that Brazil is “under scrutiny.”

Of course, the current stage of a very sophisticated Hybrid War strategy has been accomplished. But there are countless cliffhangers ahead. The Car Wash investigation – currently in slow motion – will pick up speed as a rash of dodgy plea bargains is already in store to create the conditions to criminalize for good not only Dilma Rousseff but the key piece in the chessboard: Lula.

Game over? Not so fast. The anti-golpeachment front does have a strategy: to imprint especially in “deep Brazil,” the vast masses of the working poor, the notion of illegality; to rebuild Rousseff’s image as the victim of a profound injustice; to re-energize the progressive political front; to make sure the Brutus 1 government will fail; and to create the conditions for the man who will come in from the cold to win the 2018 presidential elections.

Brazilian House of Cards? Bets could be made this may even end up as Anaconda, with Lula immobilizing the Hybrid War hyenas in a cobra clutch.


Brazil President Dilma Rousseff-2

Hybrid war hyenas tearing Brazil apart

(Pepe Escobar, RT) ~ The gloomy and repulsive night when the female president of the 7th largest economy in the world was the prey of choice fed to a lynch mob of hyenas in a drab, provincial Circus Maximus will forever live in infamy.

By 367 votes for and 137 against, the impeachment/coup/regime change-light drive against Dilma Rousseff cleared the Brazilian Congressional circus and will now go to the Senate, where a“special commission” will be set up. If approved, Rousseff will then be sidelined for 180 days and a low-rent tropical Brutus, Vice-President Michel Temer, will ascend to power until the Senate’s final verdict.

This lowly farce should serve as a wake-up call not only to the BRICS but to the whole Global South. Who needs NATO, R2P (“responsibility to protect”) or“moderate rebels” when you can get your regime change just by tweaking a nation’s political/judicial system?

The Brazilian Supreme Court has not analyzed the merit of the matter – at least not yet. There’s no solid evidence anywhere Rousseff committed a“crime of responsibility”; she did what every American President since Reagan has done – not to mention leaders all across the world: along with her vice-president, the lowly Brutus, Rousseff got slightly creative with the federal budget’s numbers.

The coup has been sponsored by a certified crook, president of the lower house Eduardo Cunha; reportedly the holder of several illegal accounts in Switzerland, listed in the Panama Papers and under investigation by the Supreme Court. Instead of lording over near-illiterate hyenas in a racist, largely crypto-fascist circus, he should be behind bars. It beggars belief that the Supreme Court has not launched legal action against Cunha. The secret of his power over the circus is a gigantic corruption scheme lasting many years, featuring corporations contributing to his and others’ campaign financing.

And that’s the beauty of a regime change-light/color revolution of Hybrid War when staged in such a dynamically creative nation such as Brazil. The hall of mirrors yields a political simulacrum that would have driven deconstructionists Jean Baudrillard and Umberto Eco, if alive, green with envy; a Congress crammed with fools/patsies/traitors/crooks, some of whom are already being investigated for corruption, has conspired to depose a president who is not under any formal corruption investigation – and has not committed any “crime of responsibility”.

The neoliberal restoration

Still, without a popular vote, the massively rejected tropical Brutus twins, Temer and Cunha, will find it impossible to govern, even though they would perfectly incarnate the project of the immensely arrogant and ignorant Brazilian elites; a neoliberal triumph, with Brazilian “democracy”trampled down six feet under.

It’s impossible to understand what happened at the Circus Maximus this Sunday without knowing there’s a gaggle of Brazilian political parties that are seriously threatened by the non-stop overspill of the Car Wash corruption investigation. To ensure their survival, Car Wash must be“suspended”; and it will, under the bogus “national unity” proposed by lowly Brutus Temer.

But first, Car Wash must produce a high-profile scalp. And that has to be Lula in jail – compared to which the crucifixion of Rousseff is an Aesop fable. Corporate media, led by the noxious Globo empire, would hail it as the ultimate victory, and nobody would care about Car Wash’s enforced retirement.

The 54 million-plus who voted for Rousseff’s reelection in 2014 voted wrong. The overall “project” is a government without vote and without people; a Brazilian-style parliamentary system, without bothering with pesky “elections”and crucially, including very “generous” campaign financing flexibility not bound to incriminate powerful companies/corporations.

In a nutshell, the ultimate aim is to perfectly “align” the Brazilian Executive, Legislative, Judiciary and corporate media interests. Democracy is for suckers. Brazilian elites remote controlling the hyenas know very well that if Lula runs again in 2018, he will win. And Lula has already warned; he won’t buy any“national unity” crap; he’ll be back in the streets fighting whatever illegitimate government pops up.

We’re now open for plundering

As it stands, Rousseff runs the risk of becoming the first major casualty of theNSA-originated, two-year-long Car Wash investigation. The President, admittedly an incompetent economic manager and lacking the right stuff of a master politician, believed that Car Wash – which practically prevented her from governing – would not reach her because she is personally honest. Yet Car Wash’s not so hidden agenda was always regime change. Who cares if in the process the nation is left on the verge of being controlled exactly by many of those indicted by the anti-corruption drive?

Lowly Brutus Temer – a vanity case version of Argentina’s Macri – is the perfect conduit for the implementation of regime change. He represents the powerful banking lobby, the powerful agribusiness lobby and the powerful federation of industries in Brazil’s economic leader, the state of Sao Paulo.

The neo-developmentalist project for Latin America – uniting at least some of the local elites, invested in developing internal markets, in association with the working classes – is now dead, because what may be defined as sub-hegemonic, or peripheral, capitalism is mired in crisis after the 2008 Wall Street-provoked debacle. What’s left is just neoliberal restoration. TINA (“there is no alternative”). This implies, in the Brazilian case, the savage reversion of Lula’s legacy; social policies, technological policies, the drive to globally expand large, competitive Brazilian companies, more public universities, better salaries.

In a message to the nation, Brutus Temer admitted as much; “hope” after impeachment will be absolutely swell for “foreign investment”, as in let them plunder the colony at will; back to the trademark history of Brazil since 1500.

So Wall Street, US Big Oil and the proverbial “American interests” win this round at the circus – thanks to the, once again proverbial, vassal/comprador elites. Chevron execs are already salivating with the prospect of laying their hands on the pre-salt oil deposits; that was already promised by a trusted vassal in the Brazilian opposition.

The coup goes on. The real hyenas haven’t yet pounced. So it’s far from over.

NOTES REGARDING THE LATEST 2 ESCOBAR’S ARTICLES:

  • Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia Times Online. Born in Brazil, he’s been a foreign correspondent since 1985, and has lived in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Washington, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Even before 9/11 he specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central and East Asia, with an emphasis on Big Power geopolitics and energy wars. He is the author of “Globalistan” (2007), “Red Zone Blues” (2007), “Obama does Globalistan” (2009) and “Empire of Chaos” (2014), all published by Nimble Books. His latest book is “2030”, also by Nimble Books, out in December 2015.

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“Ten Facts that Brazil and the World Should Know”

(By Igor Fuser , MST) ~ It is important that we  inform all Brazilian men and women, we must report in such a  clear and objective manner,  that even the wooden figureheads on the bows of the boats on the San Francisco River, will understand  that:

  • 1. The request for the impeachment  of President Dilma Rousseff has nothing to do with what is known as the “Car Wash” or “Lava Jato” operation, nor with any other initiative undertaken  to fight against corruption. Dilma is not accused of stealing a single penny. The pretext used by the opposition politicians to try to overthrow her government is the so-called “fiscal backpedaling” procedure, which is a procedure of routine public budget management  at all levels of government – federal, state and municipal – and was adopted by the administrations of Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Lula Da Silva without any problems. She simply put money from the “Caixa Economica” Federal Savings Bank into social programs, in order to close the accounts and then, within the next year, she returned the money to the Caixa Economica. She did not get any personal benefit and not even her worst enemies can accuse her of a corrupt act.
  • 2. This is precisely why the request for impeachment  constitutes a coup d’etat , because  a president can only be removed if he or she  is found to have  committed a crime -and as a crime did not occur, so far, Dilma’s name has not been presented  in any corruption investigations: not even the slightest suspicion against her exists.
  • 3. Unlike  President Dilma, the politicians calling for her dismissal are corrupt and are as dirty as they come.   Eduardo Cunha (PMDB- RJ) who, as chairman of the House is responsible for the impeachment process, has received more than 52 million Brazilian Rs. (BR$)  from  corrupt schemes undertaken in Petrobras, plus he has  millions   deposited in secret accounts in Switzerland and other tax havens. Of the 65 members of the Parliamentary Commission that  will investigate  the request for impeachment  37 (more than half!) are under the watchful eye of the Justice Department and are being investigated for corruption.  If they manage to depose the president, in exchange they expect to see the charges against them for the fraud they have committed dropped.
  • 4. The PSDB, the party that leads the campaign for impeachment, is  the opposition party that was defeated in the presidential elections of 2014. Their presidential  candidate, Aecio  Neves, through his political manipulations and connections, is trying to achieve  an outcome that he was not able to achieve through the electoral process  thus  disrespecting the vote of those 54,499,901 Brazilian men and women who voted for Dilma (3.4% more voters than those obtained by Aecio  in the second round vote in 2014).
  • 5. If the coup is allowed to succeed, the opposition will put into play  all the elitist and authoritarian proposals that Aecio  planned to implement if he had won the election. The post –coup  president will surely change labor laws to the detriment of wage workers ; he will annul the  policy that supports the adjustment of minimum wage to cost of living; he will implement an unbridled privatization of the  work force; he will hand over  all Brazilian oil reserves in the off-shore fields to transnational corporations(link is external) (as advocated by Senator José Serra); he will privatize Bank of Brasil and Caixa Economica Federal; he will eliminate free public higher education and introduce tuition-based  education in federal universities, as a first step towards privatization; he will repress social movements and freedom of expression on the Internet; he will expel the Cuban doctors  who work in the program “More Doctors;” he will give the green light for agribusiness corporations  to acquire indigenous land; he will eliminate the independent foreign policy, thus reducing Brazil to being  a servant of the United States.    It is all of this that is at stake, much more than President Dilma’s current administration  or Lula’s political future, at stake in the battle against impeachment.
  • 6. It is a mistake  to imagine  that the economy will improve after an eventual change in the presidency of the Republic. All the factors that have led the country to the current crisis will continue to exist, with the addition of many aggravating factors. Political instability will be the rule. The leaders of the current  push toward a coup d’état will fight each other for power as piranhas around a piece of meat. And Dilma will be replaced by a weak political figure, Michel Temer, who is more interested in securing his future (most certainly a chair on the Federal Supreme Court) and protecting himself from accusations of  corruption than in governing effectively. Inflation will continue increasing as well as unemployment.
  • 7. Politically, Brazil will free fall  into a chaotic period of   instability. The overthrow of an elected president, legitimized by the electoral and popular vote will  lead the country,  for the first time since the end of the military regime, to have an illegitimate president as head of the Executive and  one whose  legitimacy is challenged  by a great portion of the society.
  • 8. Conflict will set  the tone of social life. Fascist tendencies, emboldened by the coup, will feel free   act on their violent impulses, those that have been expressed symbolically through the images of dolls  wearing  the MST  cap or the PT star that are hung in effigy,  .    but, more specifically  they will carry out  invasions and attacks on unions and political parties;  savage attacks on people whose only crime is wearing a red shirt. The current leader of the extreme right-wing sector, Deputy Jair Bolsonaro, has openly proposed, in a public event in favor of the impeachment, that every  rancher should carry  a rifle to kill MST militants.
  • 9. Unions and social movements will not stand idly in the face of such  cruelty of the  right –wing sectors and their corporate leaders, nor in the face of attacks to dismantle the  social rights won during the last two decades. They will resist by all means – strikes, land occupations, roadblocks, building take-overs, and more. Brazil will once again become a torn country because of the irresponsibility and uncontrolled ambition of half a dozen greedy politicians incapable of reaching power through the  popular vote. That’s what awaits us if the coup against President Dilma is consummated.
  • 10. But this won’t happen. The mobilization of citizens in defense of legality and democracy is growing, with the participation of more and more people and movements; regardless of political affiliations, religious beliefs and whether or not they support official policies. Our views on the PT or on Dilma’s government are no  longer what matters. What is at stake  is democracy, respect for elections and the right  to vote,  and the constitutional provision that prohibits the application of impeachment without the existence of a crime to justify this extreme measure. More and more Brazilians are realizing this and taking to the streets against coup mongers.

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MST Statement on the suspension of President Dilma Rousseff

(MST) ~ The Landless Workers Movement (MST) publicly expresses its disgust and dissatisfaction regarding the decision of the Senate, this Thursday (May 12), in admitting the process of impeachment against President Dilma Roussef and temporarily removing her from the post. We are sure, as stated in the text of the case, that the President did not commit any crime with fiscal peddling. If this is to be considered a crime, the vice president, Michel Temer, who now assumes the Presidency, and Senator Anastasia, the rapporteur of the process and former governor of Minas Gerais, should also be accused.

This is an institutional and anti-democratic coup that disrespects the will of 54 million voters and was orchestrated by the most conservative sectors of society, particularly the neoliberal business sector, subservient to the interests of U.S. companies, a coup supported by a permanent campaign of mass media – especially Globo – and by a selective action of the sectors of the judiciary.

The coup endorsed by the Senate does not only disrespect the views of the public about who should be the head of state, but, as announced by Temer, intends to apply a recessive and neoliberal program, one that left sad memories for the Brazilian people from the times of the Collor-Cardoso governments. It is anti-popular and represents a social backlash that was repeatedly rejected by the majority at the polls. Unable to live with democracy and submit to the popular will, the elites have removed the President without any evidence of crime, just so their project of social cuts, unemployment and privatization is able to take place.

Michel Temer’s “Bridge to the recession” will only lead to the accentuation of social and economic crisis and widen the political instability of the country. The newly announced government, for its history, does not represent a rupture with the corrupt methods, which we all have denounced in the streets. We hope that the Senate will redeem itself when it judges the merit. And if it does not, the democratic party forces opposed to the coup should appeal to the Supreme Court. Brazilian society knows we are facing an economic, political, social and environmental crisis. This crisis will not be overcome with coups. What is needed is a broad debate in society that agglutinates most popular and social forces, to seek to build a new national project to confront the crisis.

Regarding the established political crisis, we defend the idea, alongside other popular movements, that only a deep political reform that returns to the people its right to choose their legitimate representatives, can be a real way out. The current Congress has no condition or political will to do so. Hence the need for the Senate to approve the holding of a plebiscite that gives the people the right to convene a constituent assembly, to move forward a political reform to conduct general elections under democratic conditions.

The MST will remain mobilized in defense of democracy and social rights, together with the Brazil Popular Front and the thousands of workers who will not accept the coup. We will keep our struggle against landlordism and agribusiness, for a popular agrarian reform and for the constitutional right of all rural workers to have land and a dignified life in the rural areas.

No to the coup! Temer out!

MST National Coordination (Brasilia)


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Brazil’s acting president used to be US intel informant

(RT) ~ Brazil’s new interim president, Michel Temer, was an embassy informant for US intelligence, WikiLeaks has revealed.

According to the whistleblowing website, Temer communicated with the US embassy in Brazil via telegram, and such content would be classified as “sensitive” and “for official use only.” 


Two cables were released, dated January 11, 2006 and June 21, 2006.

One shows a document sent from Sao Paolo, Brazil, to – among other recipients – the US Southern Command in Miami. In it, Temer discusses the political situation in Brazil during the presidency of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

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Regarding the 2006 elections, when Lula was re-elected, Temer shared scenarios in which his party (PMDB) would win the elections.

He declined to predict the race, however, but said there would be a run-off and that “anything could happen.” 

Temer said the PMDB would elect between 10 and 15 governors that year, and that the party would have the most representatives in the Senate and thus the House of Representatives. This would mean that the elected president would have to report to PMDB rule.

“Whoever wins the presidential election will have to come to us to do anything,” Temer reportedly said.

Temer has replaced Dilma Rousseff, who was suspended from office earlier this week, after the Senate approved impeachment against her.

Rousseff was suspended from her post for at least 180 days after senators voted 55 to 22 to punish her for manipulating budget data, ahead of her re-election in 2014.

The left-wing politician claimed that Brazil was in a strong economic position, but since she convincingly won the vote, the economy has unraveled, putting Brazil in the worst recession for decades.


A man looks at tank ammunition at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair at the ExCeL centre in east London, on September 10, 2013. The arms fair describes it self as the world's largest fully integrated defence and security exhibition. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
A man looks at tank ammunition at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair at the ExCeL centre in east London, on September 10, 2013. The arms fair describes it self as the world’s largest fully integrated defence and security exhibition. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Arms dealer fears Brexit will hit business

(RT) ~ A British military weapons and hardware dealer trading plane parts and troop carriers says his business would take a hit if the United Kingdom votes to leave the EU.

Richard Moore operates a specialist firm in Cambridgeshire trading with Eastern and Central Europe and exporting to other Western European states.

War Criminals

He told the Mirror that losing access to EU agreements would be a “disaster” for his trade.

EU rules allow him to transport arms and military vehicles across borders in member states without having to notify them, he says.

If the UK leaves the bloc, he will have to close down his business or move it to another country in Europe.

Before the rules were introduced in 2011, Moore would have to contact each state he planned to transport hardware through, and obtain permission, he says.

It took months. Now, providing what you’re buying is in the EU no permits are required. I’ll have to go back to the old ways of having to apply to each country.”

Moore says the firm purchases military hardware such as Magnetrons used to guide fighters on Russian airbases, radar locating equipment, BUK radar systems and scud launchers.

“It can be a dangerous trade dealing with not-so-pleasant people, and when things go wrong you can get locked up in prison,” he told the Wisbech Standard.

Moore suggests the extra paperwork of operating outside the EU would cause headaches for the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

“This could affect our MoD, if they wanted, as they have, special items that are being used against our military.

“This is a very special and secretive trade, but with the chance [of] the UK leaving the EU I have felt obliged to publicize the fact.”

Moore says the EU helps maintain stability and stops wars.

“It’s not perfect. But it is working. Not a single EU member has gone to war with another since its foundation. Frankly, we should be celebrating this peace, with whistles and bells.”


A man looks at tank ammunition at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair at the ExCeL centre in east London, on September 10, 2013. The arms fair describes it self as the world's largest fully integrated defence and security exhibition. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
Ex-MI5 chief becomes latest doom-monger
to warn of Brexit risk


SOURCES:
Sign Of The Times, 15/5/2016
Landless Workers Movement (MST) of Brazil (National Coordination)
Pepe Escobar, RT 12/4/2016
Pepe Escobar, RT 19/5/2016
Hugo Turner, GlobalResearch, 14/5/2016
RT, QuestionMore, 13/5/2016
RT, QuestionMore, 16/5/2016
Igor Fuser , MST
Submitted by SyrianPatriots 
War Press Info Network at:
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/temer-brazil-coup/

President Kirchener of Argentina reveals the USA asked her to provide Iran with enriched nuclear fuel

World Leader Accuses Obama of TREASON on the Floor of the United Nations

(Conservative Tribune)  Lost in the media hype surrounding the addresses of Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin to the United Nations General Assembly on Monday was a bombshell claim by the president of Argentina.

President Christina Fernandez de Kirchener announced that her nation had been approached by an Obama administration official with a request that Argentina provide enriched nuclear fuel to the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2010.

The official in question was Gary Samore, former White House Coordinator for Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction, who did not dispute the seemingly outrageous claim and has been open about his opposition to the nuclear agreement currently worked out between Obama and Iran.

Kirchener said that Samore wanted Argentina to provide nuclear fuel to Iran, ostensibly to counter Iran’s excuse that they needed nuclear fuel for their reactors, removing the impetus for them to continue their own uranium enrichment program.

Kirchener stated that the deal fell through when her government asked for the request in writing, to abide by proper protocol, at which point the issue was dropped and Kirchener never heard from Samore again about it.

For his part, Samore released a statement admitting that he had in fact traveled to Argentina in 2010 and made the request, though he insinuated the incident was no big deal.

In fact, Samore went on to explain how after Argentina balked at the deal, he subsequently approached France and Russia with a similar proposal in which Iran would send their low-enriched uranium to Russia, which would further enrich it before sending it along to France.

France would in turn finish converting the enriched uranium into nuclear reactor fuel, sending it back to Iran for its own use, ostensibly preventing the Islamic republic from weaponizing its uranium stockpiles.

This deal fell through as well, according to Samore, leading to the 2010 U.N. resolution that increased economic sanctions on Iran, ultimately bringing them to the bargaining table for the horrible deal Obama eventually worked out with them this year.

The White House did not immediately respond to the potentially treasonous allegations.

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