Thursday, 17 March 2016

Amid Historic Uprising in Brazil, Regime Shields Corrupt Leader

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The communist-minded regime ruling Brazil is quickly becoming almost a caricature of a “Banana Republic,” but there are still glimmers of hope amid an unprecedented public uprising. In an act of corruption and lawlessness so extreme that it sent shock waves around the world, radical Brazilian President and ex-terrorist leader Dilma Rousseff acted to shield her corrupt predecessor from prosecution and jail time by appointing him as a cabinet minister with legal immunity.

Shortly after the announcement, though, the investigating court released a phone conversation between the two desperate politicians conspiring to do precisely that, sparking nationwide outrage. A separate judge also blocked former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva's appointment as protesters surrounded Congress. The stakes are as high as they can be. But as the regime and its allies circle the wagons, the outcome of the dangerous situation, as of now, remains uncertain.

 

Some analysts expected the communism-touting Rousseff to step down or be impeached following the largest protests in Brazilian history this week — demonstrations demanding her immediate ouster and the imprisonment of her corrupt associates. Instead, she doubled down. In frantic press conferences and speeches, sounding detached from reality, she even accused her critics — some four out of five Brazilians, according to polls — of plotting a “coup d'etat” against her regime. With the exception of PT bosses and their communist-minded hangers-on implicated in the crime spree, though, virtually every political leader in Brazil has denounced PT claims that a lawful impeachment process would represent a coup.

Outraged and embattled citizens rushed into the streets across Brazil to say “enough.” Riot police were even deployed in the capital, Brasilia, as furious Brazilians encircled government institutions. Talk of a general strike to force the regime out of power is growing louder as Brazilians run out of patience and out of options to stop the impunity. More chaos and further unrest are likely, too, as the regime struggles fiendishly to keep itself in power and its operatives out of jail. Some criminals involved in the scandal have already been sentenced to major prison terms, sparking panic among top officials implicated in the scheme hoping to hide behind immunity.

In a speech given early Thursday, Rousseff, whose communist terror group once kidnapped the U.S. ambassador to Brazil, defended her decision to appoint Lula as her chief of staff. She claimed the move was not aimed at protecting him from what appeared to be a likely prison sentence for corruption, bribery, and money laundering, but about saving Brazil and doing what was best for “the people.” With a straight face, she claimed to be fighting corruption, too, even while vowing to go after the judicial branch for its role in exposing the brazen corruption that surrounds her regime.

Surrounded by cheering sycophants from her Workers' Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores, or PT), Rousseff also attacked the millions of “screaming people” who just days earlier took to the streets. As The New American reported Monday, the largest protests in Brazil's history were demanding her impeachment and the imprisonment of Lula for massive corruption. Even the PT's allies on the Left and far Left — the socialist PT party openly allies itself with Marxist-Leninist forces and brutal communist dictatorships — distanced themselves from Rousseff's imploding regime. Now, even some top PT figures are blowing the whistle in what analysts have described as rats fleeing a sinking ship.

On March 15, two days after the largest protests in Brazilian history brought between four million and eight million people to the streets, the former leader of the PT in the Senate blew the whistle on his comrades. He told the Supreme Court that dozens of top politicians were involved in the "Petrolão" (Big Oil) corruption scandal, in which the PT diverted funds from state-controlled oil giant Petrobras to enrich themselves and keep their corrupt party in power. He also said Rousseff and Lula were trying to interfere in the investigation, known as “Operation Car Wash,” or Operação Lava Jato in Portuguese. Other high-level officials have confirmed those allegations.  

Even Aécio Neves, the leftist “Social Democrat” politician who ran against Rousseff in the 2014 election, was implicated in the testimony at Brazil's high court by the senior PT operative. Neves, who quickly conceded the election to Rousseff despite widespread and credible evidence of vote fraud across Brazil, tried to ingratiate himself with the protesters during the weekend's demonstrations. But in a sign that the Brazilian uprising is targeting the entire establishment rather than just Rousseff's party, protesters called him a “thief” and chased him out of their ranks. Now he may have even bigger problems on his hands.  

With prosecutors seeking to have Lula imprisoned while he awaits trial on serious criminal charges, Rousseff and her co-conspirators realized they had to intervene. And now, their conspiracy has been blown wide open thanks to a wiretap on Lula's phone by federal police. During a phone call between Rousseff and Lula, Rousseff says the papers showing his appointment as chief of staff (and hence legal immunity) were on the way “in case of need.” The need, of course, would be in case police showed up to enforce a court order to put him behind bars. “We'll only use it in case of emergency,” Rousseff can be heard saying on the tape.

Federal Judge Sergio Moro, who has become a hero to Brazilians for his role in courageously tackling corruption at the highest levels of government, decided to release wire-tapped recordings of Rousseff's conversations on March 16. “A free society requires that the governed know what their leaders do, even when they try to act hidden in the shadows,” he wrote, adding that shadowy efforts to curry favor and protect Lula by his allies did not appear to be working. Brazilians erupted in furious protests as they learned of the conspiracy.

But Rousseff and her co-conspirators have vowed to take action against the judicial officials for exposing their conversations. “All the judicial and administrative means available will be adopted to repair the flagrant violation of the law of the Constitution of the Republic, committed by the judge who was author of the leak,” Rousseff fumed in a statement apparently aimed at intimidating the judge and anyone else involved in pursuing justice and rooting out corruption in government.

At the last moment, another federal judge in Brasilia, Itagiba Catta Preta Neto, issued an injunction blocking Lula's appointment as chief of staff. The order explained that Rousseff's appointment of Lula to shield him from prison prevents the “free exercise of the Judiciary Power, the operation of the Federal Police and of the Federal Prosecutor's Office.” The regime's attorney general, though, quickly vowed to appeal the judge's order so that Lula can take his post and be shielded from the ongoing prosecution and potential jailing.

Impeachment proceedings in the Brazilian Congress are ongoing. And even traditional PT allies are trying desperately to distance themselves from the stench of the mushrooming scandal. Prosecutors are closing in on Lula and other top officials involved in the corruption and the broader effort to advance totalitarianism in Brazil and across Latin America. And allies are becoming harder to find for the embattled PT cabal, though it still has powerful friends in Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Washington, D.C., Moscow, and beyond.  

As The New American has been reporting and documenting for years, Lula and his PT were among the founders, along with communist dictator Fidel Castro, the communist Sandinistas, and Marxist narco-terrorist group FARC, of a totalitarian network known as the Foro de São Paulo (FSP). Despite warnings about the alliance from top U.S. officials, the Obama administration nevertheless has poured American taxpayer funds on FSP membersincluding on the PT-controlled Petrobras at the center of the scandals in Brazil. The Council on Foreign Relations, Moscow, and Beijing have also been instrumental in aiding the criminal totalitarian network that now dominates much of Latin America.  

Critics are still fuming about the latest developments. “Recent events prove, in the most complete and unequivocal way, that the state created by the 'New Republic' is immune to public outcry, is an autonomous structure that hovers over the nation, unreachable and unattainable,” said anti-communist philosopher and professor Olavo de Carvalho, a leading opposition figure who has played a giant role in exposing the totalitarian designs and methods of the PT and its FSP allies. “'Our institutions,' before which so many prostrate in worship, are a circle of protection built around the triumphant criminality and the most cynical coup-d'étatism.” Protesters in cities across Brazil carried signs reading “Olavo was right” as his efforts to expose the crime syndicate increasingly bear fruit.

The situation in Brazil is explosive. It could quickly spiral out of control as the PT and its FSP allies are backed into a corner in Brazil, making them extremely dangerous. A victory for the Brazilian people would represent a massive blow to corruption and international communism, which is why Rousseff was willing to take the extreme step of trying to install Lula in her cabinet. A victory for Rousseff, Lula, the PT, and the FSP would represent a devastating blow to liberty, honesty, prosperity, and the people of Latin America. The stakes, in other words, are extremely high, and the consequences of what comes next will be felt for generations.

Photo of inflatable doll depicting Lula in prison garb: AP Images

Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe after growing up in Latin America, including four years in Brazil. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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