Category Archives: Brazil

‘Socialism of the 21st Century’ Collapses in Brazil

With the Senate impeachment vote to remove from office former President Dilma Rousseff, Brazilians joined a lengthening line of Latin Americans who have soured on the populist, corrupting, and impoverishing policies of “21st Century Socialism.”

Faced with its disastrous consequences, people in some neighboring countries had already turned the page and moved on. Argentina wised up late last year and installed center-right President Mauricio Macri after more than a decade of misrule by the Peronist Kirchner family.

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Earlier this year, Peruvians voted for a 78-year-old center-right economist to get them back on track. And in Caracas, Venezuela, tens of thousands took to the streets demanding the removal of the brutally fascistic regime put in power by one of 21st Century Socialism’s founding fathers, the late Hugo Chávez.

‘Socialism of the 21st Century’ Collapses in Brazil

It’s really very simple. Socialists are the firefighters working to put out every fire in the forest. Later the forest burns down.

If you let the small and medium size fires burn, then you can avoid getting wiped out in a massive fire.

How Did Brazil Go From Rising BRIC to Sinking Ship? | The Wire

From 1900 to 1980, Brazil had one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Income per capita rose faster in Brazil than in the US. The country was transformed from a rural, agricultural economy – producing coffee, sugar and other products for export – into an urban, industrial powerhouse.

Yet a closer look at Brazilian economic history reveals frequent cycles of boom and bust, where considerable optimism fell by the wayside, leaving behind unfulfilled dreams. The future, it seems, has always been just around the corner.

Several analysts in Brazil have begun to repeat the claim that the current recession is likely to be worse than what Brazil faced in the 1930s. While technically correct, in our view, this is not the appropriate comparison.

How Did Brazil Go From Rising BRIC to Sinking Ship? | The Wire

Brazil Top Court Justice Suspends Lower House Chief Cunha – Bloomberg

Brazil’s lower house chief Eduardo Cunha, one of the most powerful politicians implicated in the country’s sprawling corruption scandal, suffered a major setback on Thursday as a Supreme Court Justice temporarily suspended him as legislator.

The decision by Judge Teori Zavascki is effective immediately, but needs to be ratified by the entire Court. The injunction was based on a request made by the chief public prosecutor Rodrigo Janot, who argued that Cunha used his position as speaker of the House to intimidate and embarrass legislators, lawyers and defendants in an investigation, according to Justice Zavascki’s ruling.

Brazil Top Court Justice Suspends Lower House Chief Cunha – Bloomberg

Brazil’s congressional committee votes in favour of impeaching Dilma Rousseff | World news | The Guardian

Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff began a week that could make or break her administration with a bruising defeat in a Congressional impeachment committee.

After a bad-natured and at times chaotic debate, the members on the committee voted 38 to 27 to proceed with a motion to remove the Workers’ party leader from office for puffing up government accounts before the 2014 election.

Their decision sets the stage for a full vote of the lower house – most likely this weekend – on whether to approve the country’s first presidential impeachment.

Brazil’s congressional committee votes in favour of impeaching Dilma Rousseff | World news | The Guardian

Insider’s Account of How Graft Fed Brazil’s Political Crisis – The New York Times

The silver-haired senator from Brazil’s western frontier was still in his pajamas when federal police agents banged on the door of his suite at the Royal Tulip, the futuristic luxury hotel that serves as a bastion for much of Brazil’s political elite. It was 6 a.m.

The agents were armed with a secret recording that sounded like the plot for a Hollywood thriller. The senator, Delcídio do Amaral, had been caught detailing an elaborate plan for an oilman ensnared in Brazil’s spiraling graft scandal to flee the country on a private plane.

Mr. Amaral, 61, was until his arrest in Brasília that morning in late November the governing party’s most powerful leader in the Senate. He quickly sought a plea agreement, but prosecutors let him fester in prison for weeks, making a deal only after the disgraced senator provided one stunning disclosure after another that betrayed his former comrades and brought the government of President Dilma Rousseff ever closer to collapse.

Insider’s Account of How Graft Fed Brazil’s Political Crisis – The New York Times

Graft | Define Graft at Dictionary.com

the acquisition of money, gain, or advantage by dishonest, unfair, or illegal means, especially through the abuse of one’s position or influence in politics, business, etc.

Graft | Define Graft at Dictionary.com

I think graft is more associated with corruption in the government. Corruption in business is likely to be given some other name.

It is during the good times that all kinds of problems slowly build up. Then there is crash. The crash is not the problem. The crash is the solution. The problem is all the stuff (bad decisions, bad ideas and corruption) you can’t see that built up during the good times. If the crash is not allowed to happen, or it is cut short, that just makes everything worse.

Now you are getting a glimpse of the problems in Brazil that were hidden before. Bad decisions are not illegal, so you tend not to hear about those.

Brazil president warns of ‘putsch’ ahead of impeachment vote | GlobalPost

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Wednesday she was the victim of a coup as her allies horse-traded frantically for enough votes to ride out an impeachment drive.

“Impeachment is a putschist process that is out of line with the country’s trajectory since returning to democracy,” Rousseff said in a speech in Brasilia, referring to the end of Brazil’s two-decade military dictatorship in 1985.

A months-long crisis reducing Latin America’s biggest country to political paralysis ahead of the Rio Olympics deepened Tuesday when Rousseff’s leftist Workers’ Party lost its main coalition partner.

Brazil president warns of ‘putsch’ ahead of impeachment vote | GlobalPost

Brazil’s Rousseff knew about bribery scheme, senator says: magazine | Reuters

A senator accused of involvement in Brazil’s biggest corruption scandal said President Dilma Rousseff and her predecessor Lula were both aware of it and tried to block prosecutors from investigating, Veja magazine said on Saturday.

In an interview with Brazil’s best-selling weekly news magazine, Senator Delcidio do Amaral said Rousseff’s successful presidential campaigns in 2010 and 2014 were financed with money from the graft scheme.

Amaral was the leader of the ruling Workers’ Party (PT) in the Senate and a close Rousseff ally until he was arrested in November on charges of attempting to bribe a former executive of state-run oil company Petrobras in exchange for his silence in the investigation..

Brazil’s Rousseff knew about bribery scheme, senator says: magazine | Reuters

I

n one short outburst, Brazil’s ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva summed up his party’s predicament more succinctly than most analysts. “The president of the lower house is screwed, the president of the senate is screwed, I don’t know how many congressman are under threat, and everyone is in the belief that a miracle will save them,” he tells President Dilma Rousseff on the phone shortly after being detained for questioning this month over corruption at state oil company Petrobras. 

The conversation, which was secretly tapped by federal police, was made public this week along with tens of others by Sérgio Moro, the crusading judge leading the sweeping graft probe. 

Brazil’s Lula wiretaps mark watershed moment – FT.com

Why Brazil is freaking out

You can’t make this stuff up.

A current president shields a former president from investigation by appointing him to her cabinet. Then a judge annuls the appointment.

Billionaires, corporate execs and politicians are jailed in a massive corruption scandal. Huge protests call for the impeachment of the president, Dilma Rousseff. Oh, and the economy is tanking while its stock market is soaring.

This is the story of Brazil.

Once a star economic performer, Brazil is now deep in recession, sparked by the gargantuan bribery scandal at Petrobras, the state-run oil company, and a sharp decline in commodity prices.

Why Brazil is freaking out – Mar. 17, 2016

Brazilians protest as Lula, under investigation, gets Cabinet position – The Washington Post

Thousands of Brazilians took to the streets at the end of an extraordinary day in a worsening political situation as an enormous political corruption scandal threatened two of their most powerful leaders.

Many were protesting the decision by President Dilma Rousseff to make her predecessor Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva her chief of staff. Others, in smaller numbers, defended her Workers’ Party government. The protests came just days after hundreds of thousands of Brazilians had called for Rousseff’s impeachment and an end to corruption in massed street demonstrations across the country.

Lula, as the former union leader and two-times Workers’ Party president is known here, is being investigated for his alleged role in a multi-billion-dollar scheme in which kickbacks and bribes were paid on fat contracts at state-run oil company Petrobras.

Brazilians protest as Lula, under investigation, gets Cabinet position – The Washington Post

This just makes me want to shake my head in utter amazement. Calling Dilma. Is anyone home?