In what has been described as a “serious blow to democracy” and a Brazil “coup,” President Dilma Rousseff has been suspended for 180 days amid what was described as a “corruption scandal” and a vote by the South American country’s senate, on Thursday, to replace her with Vice President Michel Temer, as reported by The Young Turks.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) May 13, 2016
Michel Temer has been described as a U.S. embassy informant by WikiLeaks. Cables purported to have been produced by the U.S. embassy in Brazil in 2006 appear to have included Temer’s remarks with regard to the Brazilian political landscape, on more than one occasion. One of Temer’s meetings with U.S. officials came just before the 2006 Brazilian general election where Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a close ally and mentor of Dilma Rousseff, was reelected.
“They have taken by force what they could not conquer at the ballot box,” Dilma Rousseff was quoted by The Globe and Mail with regard to the Brazil coup. “What hurts the most in this moment is the injustice. It’s the realization that I’m the victim of a judicial and political farce. But I do not falter. I look back and I see everything we have done. I look onwards and I see everything we need to do.”
Cenk Uyger with The Young Turks reported on a discrepancy in the alleged corruption Dilma Rousseff has taken part in, noting a Reuters article stating that Rousseff had broken “budget rules” and offering that “every Republican” and “almost all the Democrats” in the United States would need to be arrested if breaking budget rules deserved impeachment.
On Thursday, it was reported that the new president, Michel Temer, who only holds 1 percent of support among Brazilians, would introduce a series of “austerity measures” including rewriting labor, tax, and pension laws.
Telesur has reported that Dilma Rousseff was elected on a platform of “social investment and wealth redistribution” and that Michel Temer has faced criticism for his “pro-business, neoliberal” agenda.
The Brazilian media and business community are reported to have “campaigned vigorously” for Rousseff’s impeachment. Brazil’s gross domestic product fell by 3.8 percent in 2015 and unemployment and inflation are both measured north of 10 percent, seemingly underlining true underlying economic uncertainty.
Michel Temer’s plans include trimming the number of cabinet appointments from 31 to 21, as a symbol of his commitment to shrinking the size of Brazil’s government. For the first time since 1979, Brazil will have no female ministers and no black ministers. Fifty-three percent of Brazilians are reported to be black or of mixed-raced.
Temer was reported to have named Ricardo Barros of the Progressive Party to the Health Ministry. It has been noted that Brazil’s Progressive Party has more politicians connected to the Lava Jato corruption scandal than any other.
Alexandre de Moraes was appointed to head up the Justice Ministry by Michel Temer. Moraes served as a lawyer for Edward Cunha, who served as the speaker of the lower house of Brazil’s Congress and was deposed after it was alleged that he hid millions of dollars of bribes in Swiss bank accounts and then lied about their existence under oath.
It has been noted that Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment proceedings over what appears to amount to her breaking “budget rules” is viewed as absurd when compared with the scale of corruption reported to exist among the Progressive Party and Edward Cunha, prompting observers, as well as the former president herself, to describe the transfer of power as a Brazilian coup.
Michel Temer faces accusations that he has taken part in an “illegal ethanol-purchasing scheme” as well as election-spending allegations and an eight-year ban on running for elected office.
[Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images]