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Brazil: The Provisional Banana Scoundrel Republic

By       Message Pepe Escobar       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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Reprinted from Sputnik

President Dilma Rousseff
President Dilma Rousseff
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Every political junkie on the planet has to be glued to the ongoing Brazilian House of Cards, consistently offering an unparalleled feast of cheap thrills.

The latest cliffhanger was the leak of a conversation between one of the key operators involved in the oil giant Petrobras corruption scandal and a senator and short-lived Minister of Planning in the usurper interim government currently replacing President Dilma Rousseff while she is undergoing an impeachment trial by the Senate.

Call the leak a short autopsy of what from the beginning should have been defined as golpeachment; a mix of coup ("golpe," in Portuguese) and impeachment, which took place in a one/two sequential vote in the Brazilian Congress and Senate, as a notorious congregation of crooks investigated for myriad offenses and crimes seized power in Brasilia in a full-fledged Buffon's Opera. I call their scam Provisional Banana Scoundrel Republic (PBSR).

Meet the interim Walking Dead

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The leak/autopsy duly unveiled how the PBSR cancer progressed. One of the key plotters outlines the coup; stresses how it should protect Brazilian plutocracy/kleptocracy from unintended consequences of the ongoing, two-year-old Car Wash corruption investigation; and how the Left -- from President Rousseff to Lula and the Workers' Party -- should be criminalized for good.

The rest would be history, including the demolition of recently acquired social and workers' rights via the imposition of a neoliberal restoration; total reversion in foreign policy, with geopolitical and geoeconomic relations back to a colonized mindset; and the reestablishment of a conservative, neoliberal, rentier hegemonic class lording over a socially-oriented, democratic society.

That fits in with the current Brazilian Congress and Senate dominated by "BBB" interests. "BBB" stands for Beef (the powerful agribusiness lobby); Bullet (the weapons and private security complex); and Bible (evangelical fanatics), all supported by corporate media. Many of these unsavory characters are connected and/or represent the toxic Brazilian rural aristocracy -- which are in fact heirs to nobility titles handed over to slave owners.

It was going all so swell after only a few days -- even with the former head of the lower house, notorious crook Eduardo Cunha, temporarily sidelined; Cunha -- the ringleader of a campaign financing scam inside Congress -- de facto had become the Prime Minister of the puppet former Vice-President and current, interim President Michel Temer.

Temer The Usurper -- who might actually become Temer the Brief -- has been under siege since he took power. His unpopularity index is reaching reverse Kim Jong-Un levels, standing at almost 99%. The overwhelming majority of Brazilians want him impeached. He's mentioned in several corruption scandals while serially nominating ministers mired in corruption scandals themselves.

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The problem is the PBSR cabal simply can't afford to let him go -- and let power slip away. The Dialogue of the Crooks leak conclusively proved that the Car Wash investigation was instrumentalized to criminalize the Workers' Party and bring down Rousseff while the golpeachment scam advanced in parallel, making sure certain key political forces would not be caught in the Car Wash web.

The Dialogue of the Crooks took place over two months ago -- and at least three weeks before the golpeachment farce reached its apex in a ghastly voting session in the lower house. Which lead us to a key question; why the attorney general and the provincial judge in charge of the Car Wash investigation did not previously reveal its contents, and why did they not take immediate action? If the Dialogue of the Crooks was revealed already in March, golpeachment could not possibly have taken place.

The fact that there was no leak two months ago raises all serious eyebrows. The senator featured in the Dialogue of the Crooks is a notorious node in a historical corruption link inside oil giant Petrobras since the Cardoso administrations in the 1990s. He happened to have been ensconced in the political leadership of all Brazilian administrations for the past 22 years. This means he was always the go-to Crook-in-Chief for his political party, the PMDB.

Yet nothing gets as serious as the admission that the hidden agenda of golpeachment has always been to ditch all corruption probes as part of a broader agreement involving selected Supreme Court judges. If this was not the Brazilian House of Cards, the whole golpeachment scam should have been declared null and void by now. Yet, as I have been stressing from the get-go, this is a sophisticated, Hybrid War-style, judicial-political-financial-media coup. And it will be very hard to unravel it.

The logic of perpetual scandal

So future historians already have their storyline -- furnished by the Dialogue of the Crooks; the 2016 golpeachment was a scam concocted by a bunch of political scoundrels willing to do anything to stay out of jail.

Temer the Brief, a lowly puppet, is now under siege. His two manipulators -- the former leader of the lower house and his short-lived Minister of Planning -- are now forced to be in the shade. Practically, that means approving deeply unpopular economic policies in Congress will be much harder.

Temer The Brief's is a certified illegitimate reign. Not even privileged actors -- the Goddess of the Market, assorted businessmen, even some mainstream media sectors -- are buying the farce. Meanwhile, the Brazilian street won't be quiet; that's Rousseff's and the Workers' Party's strategy (although that's not enough).

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Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia (more...)
 

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