10 thoughts on “Open thread on Brazil

  1. I’ve quit Twitter (in protest at the new owner and to cut down on social media use) otherwise I might have been able to give some links.

    Nothing to offer except a general observation. Once the US sets a bad example it emboldens and provokes extremists everywhere.

  2. Fear of the left played a role. It seems the demonstrators believed that the election winners would turn Brazil into a totalitarian state like Venezuela. They did mimic the Trumpists but a key difference is that Bolsonaro, unlike Trump, did not encourage the violent actions and told those agitating to “move on”..

  3. Brief article in Prensa Latina  – Latin American News Agency:

    The president of Colombia,  Argentina’s,   Panama, Honduras and Peru,   Mexico, Nicaragua, Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-People’s Trade Agreement – all condemned the “intersection”.  

    (Links below article)
    PSUV condemns U.S. involvement in Brazil´s insurrection
    Venezuela rejects U.S. official´s statement
    Brazil´s democracy will continue, says António Guterres
    Solar reactor makes sustainable fuel from plastics and CO2
    French Senator expresses solidarity with Lula, Brazilian people
    Mexico, U.S. and Canada condemn coup attempt against Brazil

    And Bolsonaro, as Harry says, told them to move on. But didn’t Bolsonaro prior to election & handover encourage?

    “Supporters of the former president refuse to accept that the populist autocrat lost his bid for reelection, claiming the election was stolen. Hardcore supporters have even openly called for a military coup in order to put him back in charge, with some seeking to sow chaos through vandalism and violent attacks in hopes of triggering a military response.

    “Bolsonaro condemned the “pillaging and invasion of public buildings” after hundreds stormed Brazilian institutions.

    “He rejected what  he called Lula’s “baseless” accusations that he had incited the unrest.


    rog, embolden doesn’t equal fault. Copycat behaviour emboldens. Same w prominent suicides.

    Reverse embolden by RYAN HEATH at Politico;
    “WHAT THIS MEANS: While the immediate problem is securing Brazilian democracy, there are long term consequences for democracy around the world. Sunday’s events will embolden and encourage others, including former President Donald Trump, who greeted 2023 with Bolsonaro at Mar-a-Lago

    “Trump’s former campaign manager Steve Bannon labeled the Brazilian insurrectionists as “freedom fighters” on Gettr, a fringe social platform.

    I’d like to know what media is like in Brazil. Searching…

  4. Since my wife is Brazilian, I may be the one-eyed man here.

    Harry: I can confirm that many Brazilian conservatives claim to buy into the theory of a worldwide communist conspiracy. Very odd since communism died as a radical ideology some time in the 1970s, and the surviving Leninist autocracies in China, Cuba, Vietnam and North Korea are “communist” in name only and make no effort to export the scheme. Maduro does not claim the brand. It is doubly odd in Brazil since Lula has already been President and governed as a mainstream social democrat, with occasional lefty gestures in the direction of Palestinians and other worthy causes. He is as much a known quantity as Churchill was in 1940.

    I hope that Bolsonaro’s craven fence-sitting over the coup has killed any chance of a comeback. He had already been abandoned by most conservative politicians, notably Tarcisio de Freitas, who comfortably won his own election to the high-profile governorship of São Paulo state. Recall that Bolsonaro’s 15-year military career ended with his retirement as a mere captain. The reactionary generals running the country at the time had his measure.

    The social media angle is interesting. The radical right seems to have been learning faster than democratic governments, and the radical Bolsonaristas were able to plan their riot-coup under the noses of an inept police force and sleeping MSM. They got a lot of help from the American J6 crowd, documented here: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2023/1/9/2146380/-American-insurrectionists-aren-t-just-cheering-on-the-Brazilian-mob-they-re-actively-assisting

    Musk fired the entire moderation team for Brazilian Twitter and has not replaced it. Facebook has done a little better, closing the accounts of a good number of irate Bolsonaristas – probably many in error. Good moderation is expensive, and secondary markets like Brazil are skimped. It’s even worse in really small ones like Burma.

  5. Fears that Lula would turn Brazil into a totalitarian state are nonsense. Lula was president 2003—2010. He was a moderate and very successful social democrat.

    What’s different from 6 January?

    Most of Bolsonaro’s allies accepted the integrity of the election.

    Brazil has a centralised electoral system like Australia, so there were not endless arguments over who could vote, or when, where and how they could vote.

    Brazil has a single court, the Tribunal Superior Eleitoral, (Superior Electoral Court) with exclusive jurisdiction over electoral matters. This meant the court proceedings were over very quickly, instead of taking dozens of cases stretching over months.

    Unlike the District of Columbia, the Federal District of Brazil was controlled by Bolsonaro loyalists and it appears that the district police simply let the insurrectionists walk in. The Federal District Security Secretary, Anderson Torres had been Bolsonaro’s justice minister. The governor dismissed Torres within hours. The governor himself has now been suspended and a federal interventor (caretaker governor) has been appointed.

    Unlike the Washington insurrectionists the Brasilia insurrectionists were explicitly calling on the military to seize power. They cheered when the military first appeared because they believed that had happened.

    Historically Brazil has been relatively coup free compared with the rest of Latin America. The 1964 coup, on the other hand was the first of the long coups. Typically a junta would be very short term—1 or 2 years at most—and then called elections, although often the junta leader would rig the election in his favour. The Brazilian junta did not surrender power until 1985. Similar long coup followed in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay.

    Unlike 1964 the US condemned this attempt as did the OAS and the rest of Latin America.

    Bolsonaro would almost certainly be singing a different song if the coup had succeeded. Bolsonaro has always been close to Trump. even being called the Trump of the Tropics. Trump surrogates like Bannon were deeply involved with this exercise.

  6. Claiming that Lula would turn the country into a totalitarian state is a classic illustration of projection, i.e. where the actual authoritarian/totalitarian casts their adversary—Lula— as having the very qualities (e.g. being a totalitarian) as what they possess. It’s this weird
    ironical nature in that what they claim is true/false is what they intend to achieve, rather than a statement of fact. Trump claiming the election was rigged (if he didn’t win it) and the claims that the other political party was deliberately subverting the elections (even when it was the TFG crew who pushed for fake alternate slates of electors), are a classic. That’s what totalitarians do: they tell you what they intend to do, but in this ironical way of projecting it onto their opponents first. U? There is no country U. Et cetera.

  7. We (the American empire ) made the rules and led the world unopposed for decades. A golden opportunity .We set the standards ,we blew it. Hubris got the better of us. Able to eloquently justify unbridled greed we lost the moral high ground and now fear the world we made in our image .While we were distracted by our trinkets we made a world of naturalized absent minded gluttony and suffering ruled by an unaccountable amoral capitalist class. The future looks like functional nation states waring over resources while the dysfunctional ones war with themselves or their neighbors over nothing. Who are we to complain ?

  8. @ Anonymous, January 11, 2023 at 8:42 am

    Unlike 1964 the US condemned this attempt as did the OAS and the rest of Latin America.

    Sir John Harington: “Treason doth never prosper. What’s the reason? Why if it prosper, none dare call it treason.”

  9. Don correctly said “Claiming that Lula would turn the country into a totalitarian state is a classic illustration of projection”

    Interesting details in…

    “Behind the Terrorist Attack on Brazil’s Government

    By Brian Mier
    January 11, 2023

    “BM: Bolsonaro only condemned the fascists who attempted to provoke a military coup d’etat yesterday, after it looked like they had failed. He may not have been directly involved in the planning, but it’s hard to imagine that his son Eduardo, who participated in the January 5, 2021 so called “War Council” meeting in Washington DC, was not in direct communication with the putschists. Bolsonaro is being accused of inciting the action, and there is a mountain of evidence that he did this and this is also a crime in Brazil.

    “MK: Bolsonaro’s presidency was partly the result of “lawfare” attacks against Lula and his successor Dilma Rousseff which were coordinated with forces in the U.S.”…

    “After Trump took office, the investigation continued, culminating in the arbitrary political imprisonment of Lula during the 2018 election season. At the time he was leading by over double the support of second place candidate Jair Bolsonaro in the polls. His arrest and illegal prohibition of running for office from behind bars, where he was still leading in the polls by a wide margin, directly led to the Bolsonaro presidency, and Bolsonaro immediately appointed US asset and Lava Jato judge Sergio Moro, who, through a loophole in Brazilian law dating back to the inquisition, was able to rule on both the investigation and the trial (with no jury), as “Super Justice Minister”. Together, Moro and Bolsonaro visited CIA headquarters almost immediately after taking office.

    “… Due to this, and the ongoing close relationship between Bolsonaro’s children with Steve Bannon and other actors on the billionaire-funded US far right like Jason Miller and Mathew Tyrmand, it became impossible for the DNC to sustain support for the Bolsonaro administration – if only out of their own opportunistic self-interest. On top of that, a group fluctuating in size between one and two dozen Democratic lawmakers led by Hank Johnson and including people like Raul Grijalva, Susan Wild and Danny Davis, have made repeated shows of solidarity to Lula and the Workers Party during the entire slow motion coup process, even starting a congressional inquiry into the US DOJ role in Lava Jato. All of these factors have led to the incredibly ironic situation of a political party apparatus that created and actively supported the lawfare investigation which resulted in the arbitrary impeachment of Dilma Rousseff and Lula’s political imprisonment, to be publicly supporting the Lula administration now, as are the governments of Russia, China, Cuba and Venezuela, among others. Due to these factors, the US may not end up protecting Bolsonaro as much as he thought they would. Even Trump apparently canceled his invitation for Bolsonaro to spend New Years with him in Mar-a-lago. Bolsonaro has become so toxic that even a large sector of the international far right seems to be rejecting him, despite the best PR efforts made by BBC/PBS with their “Rise of the Bolsonaros”election propaganda documentary series and constant international social media supporter from hybrid war operatives connected to the Mercers and Steve Bannon.

    “MK: Lula has promised to punish the rioters. Won’t that be difficult?

    …”The Workers Party has been less successfully at halting the genocide of police killings underway against Black, primarily male youth on the urban peripheries. To its credit, Workers Party lawmakers have introduced constitutional amendments to the floor of Congress and the Senate three times to abolish the Military Police, which studies show is the main culprit. Each time, the bills were defeated by more conservative parties in the PT’s governing coalition. “…

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