‘Fica Dilma’: Nicolas Maduro, Cristina Kirchner, And The Latin Left Condemn Rousseff Impeachment

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment reverberated all around the South American continent Wednesday, especially with leftist figures like Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela and Cristina Kirchner of Argentina who also face stiff campaigns to strip them of any vestige of power. Their response was clear: “Fica Dilma,” or “Dilma stays.”

While Cristina stepped down after two terms as Argentina’s president in December, Nicolas is currently up against a referendum that calls for his ouster in Venezuela. While Kirchner is out of office, she’s not any safer than Maduro. The former head-of-state and her closest associates face a dizzying number of corruption cases that allege endemic grafting of public funds during her administration.

It should come as no surprise, then, that both leaders have served as Dilma’s official cheerleader in each respective country. Cristina posted a lengthy letter earlier this week from previous Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who selected Rousseff as his chosen predecessor. In the note, Lula implored Kirchner and Nicolas Maduro to continue the fight they began almost a decade ago.

When the impeachment was officially approved by the Brazilian Senate on Wednesday, Cristina took to Twitter to lament what she saw as a huge blow to Latin American democracy. In line with Lula’s letter, Kirchner sought to tie the decision to a larger trend in the region.

“South America has once again become the laboratory of the extreme far-right… Brazil has been consumed by an institutional coup d’état: a new form of violating popular sovereignty… our heart is with the Brazilian people, Dilma, Lula and the members of the Worker’s Party.”

On Nicolas’ Twitter, “Fica Dilma” dominated his timeline with dozens of re-tweets of messages showing solidarity with the impeached Rousseff. A message from Maduro himself found itself pinned at the top.

“All solidarity with Dilma and the people of Brazil, we condemn the oligarchic coup d’état of the right. He who fights, prevails!”

Domestically, Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment has also been tumultuous. While many polls show dismal approval ratings for her, similar numbers are reflected for potential replacements. Nearly every person in line to take over the Brazilian presidency is also entangled in corruption scandals, some of them even linked to the same ones that have sullied the deposed leader’s reputation. Rousseff’s own demise hinged on the fact that she committed budget fraud in order to improve her chances of re-election, which in turn spiraled the country into economic turmoil.

Dilma, Nicolas, and Cristina all form part of what is commonly referred to as the “Pink Wave” — a rush of socialist governments that gained footing in South America in the early 2000s. Nearly all of them are now either defeated, like Kirchner in Argentina, or under severe duress, like Maduro in Venezuela. Also coming out in support of Rousseff were several other politicians associated with this movement, among them Evo Morales of Bolivia and former Uruguayan president Jose Mujica.

Nicolas Maduro and Cristina Kirchner aren’t the only international figures, or even the most widely known, to take a public “Fica Dilma” stance. Former Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders released a statement as the Rio Olympics kicked off that called the process a “coup d’état” and chastised the “effort to remove President Rousseff” as “not a legal trial but rather a political one.”

[Photo by Natacha Pisarenko/AP Images]

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