Analysis

Brazil’s Bolsonaro – What His Win Means

BRAZIL has just elected a neo-fascist, Jair Bolsonaro as president. He has promised a cleansing against the left and promised that “red bandits” will be banished. He has been known to embrace torture, murder and even rape in the fight against communists.

REACTION TO BOLSONARO

Dark Times Are Coming for My Country

By Caetano Veloso via http://www.nytimes.com

Mr. Veloso is a composer, singer, writer and political activist.

In the late 1960s, the military dictatorship in Brazil arrested and imprisoned many artists and intellectuals for their political beliefs. I was one of them. The militarists are back.

“Brazil is not for beginners,” Antonio Carlos Jobim used to say. Mr. Jobim, who wrote “The Girl From Ipanema,” was one of Brazil’s most important musicians, one whom we can thank for the fact that music lovers everywhere have to think twice before pigeonholing Brazilian pop as “world music.”

When I told an American friend about the maestro’s line, he retorted, “No country is.” My American friend had a point. In some ways, perhaps Brazil isn’t so special.

Right now, my country is proving it’s a nation among others. Like other countries around the world, Brazil is facing a threat from the far right, a storm of populist conservatism. Our new political phenomenon, Jair Bolsonaro, who is expected to win the presidential election on Sunday, is a former army captain who admires Donald Trump but seems more like Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines’ strongman. Mr. Bolsonaro champions the unrestricted sale of firearms, proposes a presumption of self-defense if a policeman kills a “suspect” and declares that a dead son is preferable to a gay one.

If Mr. Bolsonaro wins the election, Brazilians can expect a wave of fear and hatred. Indeed, we’ve already seen blood. On Oct. 7, a Bolsonaro supporter stabbed my friend Moa do Katendê, a musician and capoeira master, over a political disagreement in the state of Bahia. His death left the city of Salvador in mourning and indignation.

Recently, I’ve found myself thinking about the 1980s. I was making records and playing to sold-out crowds, but I knew what needed to change in my country. Back then, we Brazilians were fighting for free elections after some 20 years of military dictatorship. If someone had told me then that some day we would elect to the presidency people like Fernando Henrique Cardoso and then Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, it would have sounded like wishful thinking. Then it happened. Mr. Cardoso’s election in 1994 and then Mr. da Silva’s in 2002 carried huge symbolic weight. They showed that we were a democracy, and they changed the shape of our society by helping millions escape poverty. Brazilian society gained more self-respect.

But despite all the progress and the country’s apparent maturity, Brazil, the fourth-largest democracy in the world, is far from solid. Dark forces, from within and from without, now seem to be forcing us backward and down.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/24/opinion/caetano-veloso-brazil-bolsonaro.html

Brazil’s Bolsonaro should understand role of BRICS in international relations, expert says

RIO DE JANEIRO, October 29. /TASS/. Brazil should be guided in international relations by its national interests, including cooperation in the framework of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), rather than ideology, Evandro Menezes de Carvalho, Professor of International Law at the Fluminense Federal University and expert at the Getulio Vargas Foundation, told TASS.

“A new political cycle is beginning in Brazil. Two political forces, which had dominated for more than 20 years, are taking a back seat. I’m speaking about the left-wing Workers’ Party and the center-right Brazilian Social Democracy Party and also major figures – ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Both of them were strong in foreign policy, and they liked to take an active part in international relations,” the expert said, commenting on the victory of far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro in the second round of the presidential election.

“In case of Bolsonaro, it is not yet clear. It seems to me that this is a politician who is mainly oriented at domestic political issues, they are more interesting for him. His rhetoric is related to the standoff between the right-wing and the left-wing forces, aimed against the communists and addressing the needs of the domestic audience. Using it, Bolsonaro tries to cozy up to the voters,” he said.

According to the expert, it is unclear whether this policy aimed at stirring up tensions between the right-wing and the left-wing forces will define Brazil’s relations with its international partners after Bolsonaro assumes office as president in January.

The Brazilian Foreign Ministry should have a vital role here and help Bolsonaro form a broader view on international relations, Menezes noted.

“Now his [Bolsonaro] rhetoric is related to ideology and this hinders his understanding of international situation. It’s high time he [Bolsonaro] understood the role of China and BRICS today. This is the only group, where Brazil is alongside with two permanent members of the UN Security Council and three nuclear powers,” the expert said.

“The doors of BRICS are open for it and Brazil plays an important role in this group. I hope that the government of Bolsonaro will make national interests a priority. Now, when the trade war between the United States and China is in full swing, Brazil has even more reasons to remain in BRICS as it can serve as a mediator,” he said.

BRICS is an acronym standing for an informal association of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Its goal is to develop a consistent, pragmatic and transparent dialogue and cooperation between the countries. The participants also agreed that BRICS activity should be on a non-bloc basis and not be aimed against the third countries. Russia was the association’s initiator.

One of BRICS key goals is developing a global financial system, which will be independent from the current institutions relying on the dollar. Among the steps in this direction was the creation of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement.

http://tass.com/economy/1028320

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One Comment

  1. The election to Brazil of the fascist Bolsonaro is not only a tragedy and a major political setback to the people of Brazil, it highlights a growing trend of the emergence of far-right , repressive and isolationist regimes across the globe. At the helm of these far right-right regimes sits the presidency of Donald Trump.
    The circumstances under which the far-right formally secured its electoral victory are instructive of how the right-wing will subvert constitutional, judicial and legal processes in a what can rightfully be described as “a creeping coup” (ie a coup which is secured discreetly under the guise of fighting corruption and crime).
    Specifically in the case of Brazil, Dilma Rousef was removed from the presidency on trumped-up charges. Upon realising that her popular mentor Lula was poised to win the elections, he was thrown into jail. The “law ” was used to silence those on the left of the political spectrum. Those whose very own hands were dripping of fat as a consequence of their pilfering of public funds were the very same people who cried ” wolf ! “. Here in South Africa one relative of mine boasted in isiZulu in this regard that “….thina siyadla bese siyasula …” Roughly interpreted this means that he belongs to a grouping within our organisation, the ANC, who are experts at pilfering without getting caught. As I said in one of my recent comments herein, I do not want to be accused of being factional hence I will not elaborate any further.

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