‘Leftist Winds Blow through Latin America’: The Puebla Group

Source: TeleSUR

Published 30 November 2021

Ecuador’s ex-President Rafael Correa (C), Mexico City, Mexico, Nov. 30, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @tcanarte

The 2022 presidential elections in Colombia will mark not only the future of democracy but “the difference between peace and war,” former President Samper said.

During the summit held in Mexico City on Tuesday, the Puebla Group congratulated the election of Xiomara Castro as President of Honduras and expressed its confidence in the triumph of popular forces in the presidential elections in Chile and Brazil.

RELATED: Puebla Group’s Seventh Summit Starts In Mexico City

“Xiomara Castro will be the first female president in the history of Honduras. This is very important for Central America, a region that always has many social problems,” Spain’s former President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said.

Paraguay’s former President Fernando Lugo asserted that Castro’s triumph in Honduras cheered the entire continent as it brought with it a “gentle wind that hopefully will become a unstoppable hurricane.”

Rodriguez Zapatero also demonstrated his support for Chile’s leftist presidential candidate Gabriel Boric, who is likely to defeat the far-right candidate Jose Kast in the Dec. 19 run-off elections.

Referring to the presidential elections to be held in Brazil in 2022, the Spanish politician pointed out that “the victory of Lula da Silva will change the continent and the international order.”

Colombia’s former President Ernesto Samper stated that the 2022 presidential elections in his country will mark not only the future of democracy but “the difference between peace and war” in this South American country.

Founded in 2019, the Puebla Group brings together 54 progressive Ibero-American leaders and intellectuals. Also present at the Mexico City summit were former presidents Dilma Rousseff (Brazil) and Rafael Correa (Ecuador). Bolivia’s President Luis Arce and former President Lula da Silva took part by virtual media.

Brazil Will Miss Cuban Doctors

November 16 2918
Source:  Granma

In the wake of Cuba’s withdrawal from the Brazilian More Doctors program, Former President Dilma Rousseff stated, “The end of the agreement was caused by the intemperate statements of President-elect Jair Bolsonaro.”

cuban doctors in brazil 12

The National Council of Municipal Health Secretaries and the National Front of Brazilian Mayors warned rightwing President-elect Jair Bolsonaro of the imminent, irreparable damage to the population’s health, as a consequence of Cuba leaving the More Doctors program.

In a joint statement, the two organizations lamented the suspension of the agreement between the Pan American Health organization and the Cuban government which allowed for the work of some 8,500 doctors from the island in Brazil.

Estimates indicate that 29 million Brazilians will be left without medical assistance after the partnership’s interruption. Thus, these bodies have requested a revision of the position taken by the new government, which has announced its intention to make drastic changes to the program’s regulations. The mayors and healthcare authorities called for maintaining current contract conditions, which were approved in 2016 by the Michel Temer administration and confirmed by the Supreme Federal Court in 2017.

“The abrupt cancelation of the current contracts implies a cruel impact on the entire population, especially the poorest. We cannot renounce the constitutional principle of making the right to health universal, or agree with this setback,” the statement indicated.

Cubans currently represent more than half of the doctors in the program, and the cancellation of their contracts would lead to a situation described by these organizations as disastrous, in at least 3,243 municipalities. Of the country’s 5,570 municipalities, 3,228 (79.5%) only have doctors provided by the program, and 90% of the services available to the indigenous population are provided by Cuban professionals.

The statement also notes that the More Doctors program is broadly supported by those served, indicating, “Eighty-five percent say that health care has improved with the program. In the municipalities, it is also possible to verify the greater permanence of these professionals on the family health teams and their integration within the locales where they are assigned.”

The program was won by Brazilian municipalities, developed in response to the “Where is the doctor?” campaign led by the Mayors Front in 2013. At that time, local officials made clear the difficulties they faced in contracting and placing professionals in the country’s interior, and in poor communities on the outskirts of large cities.

The text notes that the abrupt interruption of cooperation with the Cuban government, focused on prevention at the primary level, will negatively impact the health system, increasing demands for doctors’ appointments at higher level institutions, and additionally aggravate regional inequalities.

“For the designated G100 (a group of cities with large vulnerable populations) the situation is even more devastating. With the goal of reducing the shortage of basic services in these cities, the G100 has been targeted and prioritized for the reception of these professionals.”
Dilma Rousseff stated, “For the poor, this will be an irreparable loss.

“The end of the agreement was caused by the intemperate statements of President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, who ignores the diplomatic dimension that must prevail in relations between two countries,” continued the former President who launched the More Doctors program.

For the poorest, the end of the program will be a great loss in the short and long run. Tens of millions of Brazilians across the entire country will be without primary care, Rousseff stated, describing Bolsonaro’s decision as unilateral and disrespectful, “criticizing on Twitter the terms of the agreement signed during my administration and renewed, without modifications, by the government of President Temer,” she noted.

“He disregarded, with absolute arrogance, the diplomatic postures required in relations between countries The most serious, therefore, is that all of this has occurred without consulting the signatories of the agreement, the PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) and the Cuban Ministry of Public Health. His rash, authoritarian statements could even disturb doctors from other countries, participating to a lesser degree in the More Doctors Program.”

Rousseff recalled the President-elect’s statements that he would impose individual contracts on foreign participants in the program, require exams and the validation of credentials, and pay professionals directly, ignoring the Cuban government’s guarantee of a full salary for doctors.

“The demand to subject foreign doctors to an exam in Brazil can only be seen as a gesture of disrespect, xenophobia, and arrogance, directed toward health professionals from other countries. Especially since the (Cuban) Ministries of Public Health and Education supervise the work of all doctors and evaluate their performance,” she continued.

According to Rousseff, Bolsonaro’s affront to Cuban doctors, and those from other countries working in the program, is an attack on the Brazilian people, who will lose access to valuable, highly-skilled professionals providing primary care to the poorest sectors of the population.

“Moreover, this is an authoritarian attitude. It reveals incompetence, unilaterally breaking an agreement signed by a respected, internationally recognized health organization.

“The Brazilian population has benefited from the generous competence of Cuban doctors, who the Brazilian government should recognize for their fraternal solidarity. I convey a tribute to them, my gratitude. The work of these dedicated, generous professionals will be missed by Brazilians,” she concluded.

Brazilian Presidential Candidate Lula on Facing Jail as He Runs for President Again

Source:   truth-out.org / Democracy Now!
March 19 2018

by Amy GoodmanDemocracy Now! | Video Interview

We continue our conversation with former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the highly popular former union leader who is running for president in this year’s election even as he is facing a possible prison term on what many believe to be trumped-up corruption charges tied to the sprawling probe known as “Operation Car Wash.” Lula was convicted of accepting a beachside apartment from an engineering firm vying for contracts at the state oil company Petrobras. But many of Lula’s supporters say the conviction was politically motivated. President Lula responds to the charges against him. “We’re awaiting for the accusers to show at least some piece of evidence that indicates that I committed any crime,” he notes.


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report, as we continue our exclusive, a conversation with Brazil’s former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, popularly known as Lula. The highly popular former union leader is running for president in this year’s election but is facing a possible prison term on what many believe to be trumped-up corruption charges tied to a sprawling probe known as “Operation Car Wash.” Lula was convicted of accepting a beachside apartment from an engineering firm vying for contracts at the state oil company Petrobras, but many of Lula’s supporters say the conviction was politically motivated.

The Intercept recently reported, quote, “The indictment against Lula is rife with problems. The apartment’s title was never transferred to Lula or his associates; he and his wife never used the property; the prosecution could not identify an explicit quid pro quo or benefit related to Petrobras; no official or internal documentation linking Lula to the apartment was produced; and the case rests almost entirely on the testimony of the executive who hoped to gain sentencing leniency for his cooperation,” unquote.

During the interview on Friday, President Lula responded to the charges and conviction against him.


LUIZ INÁCIO LULA DA SILVA: [translated] I was not accused of corruption. I was accused because of a lie in a police investigation, a lie in an indictment by the Office of the Attorney General, and in the judgment of Judge Moro, because there is only one evidence, of my innocence, in this entire trial, which my defense counsel explained in a magisterial manner. We are awaiting the accusers, for the accusers to show at least some piece of evidence that indicates that I committed any crime during the period that I was in the presidency.

Now, what is behind that is the attempt to criminalize my political party. What is behind that is the interest in a part of the political elite in Brazil, together with a part of the press, reinforced by the role of the judiciary, in preventing Lula from becoming a candidate in the 2018 elections. And I continue challenging the federal police, the Office of the Attorney General. I continue challenging Judge Moro and the appellate court to show the world and to show Brazil a single piece of evidence of a crime committed by me. The behavior of the judiciary in this instance is a political form of behavior.

AMY GOODMAN: Mr. President, last year, the ousted President Dilma Rousseff said, “The first chapter of the coup was my impeachment. But there’s a second chapter, and that is stopping President Lula from becoming a candidate for next year’s elections.” Do you see it the same way, that this is the final chapter of the coup, if your conviction is upheld, that you will be prevented from running in the October elections?

LUIZ INÁCIO LULA DA SILVA: [translated] Amy, the Workers’ Party, in 12 years in the government, at the helm of the government in Brazil, was able to do many things that had never been done at any time in the 20th century. In this country, in 12 years, we brought 40 million people into the middle class. We drew 36 million people out of poverty. While Europe was shedding 62 million jobs as of the 2000 date, we created 20 million jobs in the formal sector in this country. For 12 years, all Brazilian workers were able to overcome inflation. It was the time of the greatest economic growth in the history of Brazil. It was the most distribution of income in the history of Brazil. To give you an idea, in 12 years, 70 million people began to use the banking system who had never walked into a bank.

And when they got rid of Dilma, they did want Lula to come back, because they know that the relationship between the Brazilian people and President Lula was the strongest relationship that the people of Brazil had ever had with a president in the entire history of the country. And even more important, they know I am absolutely certain that the best way to ensure economic recovery in Brazil is to lift up the working people of this country. They know that I know how to do that. Now that the poor people had jobs, had a salary, were studying, were eating better, were living — had better housing, when that happens, the economy grows again, and we can become the most optimistic country in the world and the happiest people in the world. And, Amy, that is why I want to be candidate for the presidency of Brazil, to show that a mechanic who doesn’t have a university degree knows better how to take care of the Brazilian people than the Brazilian elite, who never looked after the welfare of the Brazilian people.

AMY GOODMAN: President Lula, why did you decide to run for president again?

LUIZ INÁCIO LULA DA SILVA: [translated] The truth is, I have still not decided, Amy. The ones who are deciding are the Brazilian people. Look, all of the public opinion polls in Brazil, month after month — and there are several of them — in all of them, I’m in first place. And so, I’m beginning to be the candidate who has the lowest negatives and the possibility of becoming a candidate and winning on the first round, and this is making my adversaries very uncomfortable. And I am sure, Amy, that at the Supreme Court I will be acquitted and that I will be candidate, and Brazil could once again be a protagonist in international policy, the economy could grow again, create jobs and improve the quality of life of the people. This is something I know how to do very well.

AMY GOODMAN: If the case does not go well for you in the Supreme Court, would you consider stepping aside?

LUIZ INÁCIO LULA DA SILVA: [translated] First of all, Amy, I’m very optimistic, very optimistic. Now, if that were to happen and I was not able — were not able to be a candidate, if my name is not on the ballot, I think that the party would call a convention and discuss what to do. I am going to require that and call for justice to be done in the country.

Now, if my innocence is proven, then Judge Moro should be removed from his position, because you can’t have a judge who is lying in the judgment and pronouncing as guilty someone who he knows is innocent. He knows that it’s not my apartment. He knows that I didn’t buy it. He knows that I didn’t pay anything. He knows that I never went there. He knows that I don’t have money from Petrobras. The thing is that because he subordinated himself to the media, I said, in the first hearing with him, “You are not in a position to acquit me, because the lies have gone too far.” And the disgrace is that the one who does the first lie continues lying and lying and lying to justify the first lie. And I am going to prove that he has been lying.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, you raise two issues, President Lula: the media as prosecutor and the judge as prosecutor. Can you talk about both? Start with the media.

LUIZ INÁCIO LULA DA SILVA: [translated] Well, Amy, it’s important that you come to Brazil to see what’s happening with the Brazilian press. I was president for eight years. Dilma was president for four years. And for 12 years, all the press did was to try to destroy my image and her image and the image of my party. I have more negative subject matter about me in the leading television news program of Brazil than all of the presidents in the whole history of Brazil. In other words, it’s a daily attempt to massacre me, to tell untruths about Lula, about Lula’s family. And the only weapon that I have is to confront them. And they’re irritated, because after they massacred me for four years, any opinion poll by any polling institute showed that Lula was going win the elections in Brazil.

Now, second, the Office of the Attorney General and the Car Wash scandal. I respect very much the institution. I was a member of the constitutional assembly, and I helped to strengthen the role of the Office of the Attorney General. But it created a task force, organized by a prosecutor, who went to television to show a PowerPoint, and said that the PT, the Workers’ Party, was established to be a criminal organization, that the fact that Lula was the most important person in the PT meant that he was the head of a criminal organization.

And on concluding the indictment, he simply said the following: “I don’t have evidence. I don’t have evidence. I have conviction.” I don’t want to be judged by the conviction of the prosecutor. He can keep his convictions to himself. I want whoever is prosecuting me to come forward in the proceeding and to tell the people of Brazil what crime I committed. The only thing, Amy, that I really want now is for the merits of my trial to be judged. I want him to discuss it. I want him to read the prosecutorial brief and the defense brief, and then make a decision. What I really want at this time is that justice be done in this country.

AMY GOODMAN: The candidate polling second in Brazil’s elections is a far-right-wing congressman and former soldier named Jair Bolsonaro. He’s been called the “Brazilian Trump.” Can you talk about who he is, what he represents, and if you understand there’s any communication between him and the US government right now?

LUIZ INÁCIO LULA DA SILVA: [translated] I cannot. I cannot level accusations against an adversary. The only thing that I would like is to have the right to run in the elections here in Brazil, to win the elections and to recover the right of the Brazilian people to live well. I cannot pass judgment on the president of the United States, just as I cannot pass judgment on the president of Uruguay, and much less can I pass judgment on my adversaries.

AMY GOODMAN: But if you can explain what he represents, how you differ from him?

LUIZ INÁCIO LULA DA SILVA: [translated] He is a member of the federal Congress. He was an Army captain in the Brazilian Army. The information that we have is that he was expelled from the Brazilian army. And his behavior is far-right-wing, fascist. He is very much prejudiced against women, against blacks, against indigenous persons, against human rights. He believes that everything can be resolved with violence. So, I don’t think he has a future in Brazilian politics. He has the right to run. He speaks. He projects a certain image to please a part of the society that is of the extreme right. But I don’t believe that the Brazilian people have an interest in electing someone with his sort of behavior to serve as president of the republic.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you think he was happy with Marielle’s death?

LUIZ INÁCIO LULA DA SILVA: [translated] I think so, because he’s preaching violence every day. He preaches violence. He believes that those who defend human rights are doing a disservice to democracy. He thinks that those who defend women’s rights are doing a disservice to democracy, likewise those who defend the rights of the black community. He is against everything that is discussed when one is talking about human rights.

AMY GOODMAN: We continue with Brazilian presidential candidate, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, in 30 seconds.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.


Amy Goodman is the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on more than 1,100 public television and radio stations worldwide. Time Magazine named Democracy Now! its “Pick of the Podcasts,” along with NBC’s “Meet the Press.”


Rafael Correa: Lenin Moreno is a ‘Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’ who was ‘With the Opposition

Source:  TeleSUR
October 5 2017

rafael correa 4.jpgFormer President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa. | Photo: EFE

Ecuador’s former president defended Vice President Jorge Glas, who faces corruption accusations, and blasted President Moreno as a “traitor.”

Former President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, denounced his Alianza Pais successor Lenin Moreno as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” and expressed support for the current Vice President who is accused of alleged corruption.

RELATED:  Ecuador VP Jorge Glas Sentenced to Pretrial Detention

Accusations without evidence

In an interview with CNN Español following President Moreno’s decision to place Vice President Jorge Glas in pre-trial detention to face corruption accusations, Correa called the charges against Glas “a vulgar political persecution” that is the same thing “they used in Brazil against Dilma,” referring to the ousting of Brazil’s elected president, Dilma Rousseff on the basis of corruption charges in a move many called an “institutional coup.”

He defended the Vice President, saying that the accusations are without evidence. “Glas is a person that does not steal or allow theft, but for this one makes enemies,” he said.

As for President Moreno, Correa said that the current President had deceived him for ten years as a close political ally, who served in his government only to turn on him as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” once assuming power himself.

The founding leader of Ecuador’s Citizen’s Revolution argues that Moreno and his allies “were never with us, but were with the opposition.”

“Moreno cheated me for ten years. He is a person that was with the opposition,” Correa said.

Moreno had previously served as Correa’s Vice President from 2007 to 2013.

Underscoring the abrupt shift that Moreno took after assuming office, Correa said “I went from being the ‘eternal president’ to the ‘corrupt,’” referring to Lenin’s praising words at the inauguration dubbing Correa Ecuador’s “eternal president.”

RELATED:  Ecuador Names Maria Alejandra Vicuna Acting Vice President

Correa also criticized Moreno’s upcoming consultation, which he said had the ultimate aim of preventing Correa from returning to power by eliminating indefinite presidential reelections through constitutional changes.

With Glas relieved of his duties, it was announced on Wednesday that former Housing Minister Maria Alejandra Vicuna would be taking on the role as acting Vice President.

The prosecuted Vice President, Jorge Glas, is a close supporter of Correa, and has said that the charges against him are simply a “retaliation” for criticizing the direction Moreno was taking the country.

IMF to visit Ecuador

Moreno has promoted a policy of “dialogue” with the country’s right-wing opposition,” and announced on Wednesday that the International Monetary Fund would be visiting the country to asses the economic situation. The decision marks a departure from Correa’s policies, which largely rejected the influence of international organizations in Ecuador’s economy in favor of independence.

“A wide range of measures” need to be taken, Moreno said about the upcoming IMF visit.

94% of Brazilians Say Temer Doesn’t Represent the People: Poll

Source:  TeleSUR

August 13 2017

michel temerSenate-imposed Brazilian president Michel Temer. | Photo: Reuters

Some 86 percent of respondents consider the impeachment of democratically-elected President Dilma Rousseff as a clear indicator that democracy is being ignored.

The latest Ipsos poll published by one of Brazil’s most widely read newspapers, State of Sao Paulo, has indicated that democracy is not being respected in the country, showing that the nation is currently being governed by politicians who usurped power, according to Brasil 24/7.

RELATED:  Brazil’s Michel Temer Hits a New Low with a 2% Approval Rating

The poll shows that 86 percent of respondents consider the impeachment of democratically-elected President Dilma Rousseff a clear indicator that the terms of democracy have been systematically ignored in Brazil.

Some 94 percent of respondents consider that the current federal government, led by senate-imposed president Michel Temer does not represent the will of the people.

Published a little more than a year prior to the 2018 presidential election, the poll textually noted that “the wave of negativism contaminates public perception about democracy: only half of the population considers that this is the best system for Brazil, and a third affirms that it is not.”

In an odd twist, the research also showed that while 74 percent of the population is against compulsory voting, just 6 percent of voters feel that they are being properly represented by politicians whom they voted for.

While nine in every 10 voters agreed that Brazil has enough resources to be a first world country, they also concurred that the country is prevented from attaining such status due to “corruption.”

Rupak Patitunda, a researcher who helped coordinate the poll, stated that public opinion clearly illustrates that the type of democracy practiced in Brazil “is not representative,” adding that the “expectation” of this type of government is not adhered to by politicians.

Bribery charge investigation

The poll comes one week after Temer held meetings with 35 representatives of the lower house; lunched with 58 rural caucus members; dined with 100 lower house members renowned for having little influence in the government body, hence, are prone to vote in accordance with those who support their projects; and relieved 10 ministers of their duties for a 24-hour period just to get enough votes in Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies to beat a bribery charge investigation.

From early June to the end of July, Temer’s administration also authorized some US$1.3 billion in parliamentary amendment projects in order to appease lawmakers and secure the votes he needed to beat the bribery charges.

RELATED:  35 Million-Strong Stike Against Temer’s Neoliberal Reforms Brings Brazil to a Halt

The people should unite

After a period of sharp political polarization, no less than 88 percent of respondents agreed that “people should unite behind common causes and not fight over political party A and political party B,” for such battles do not address the “real problems” of the country.

The data obtained from the latest Ipsos poll is part of a public opinion project called Brazil Pulse, which has been undertaken since 2005. A total of 1,200 people were questioned in 72 municipalities between July 1 and 14. The margin for error is three percentage points more or less.

Dilma responds to impeachment in letter

Source:  Granma
September 6 2016

by Dilma Rousseff | internet@granma.cu

“Today, the Federal Senate has made a decision which shall go down as one of history’s great injustices…61 senators replaced the choice of 54.5 million votes”

dilma responds.jpgToday, the Federal Senate has made a decision which shall go down as one of history’s great injustices. The senators who voted for the impeachment have chosen to tear the Brazilian Constitution apart. They have decided to interrupt the mandate of a president who did not commit a responsibility crime. They have condemned an innocent person and executed a parliamentary coup. (Photo: EFE)

Now that I have been removed from office, politicians who are desperately looking to escape justice will rise to power with those who have been defeated in the past elections. They are not coming to power on direct popular vote, as Lula and I did in 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014. They are taking it over on a coup d’etat.

This is the second coup that I have faced in my life. The first, a military coup, supported by the brutality of weapons, repression, and torture, struck me when I was young. The second, a parliamentary coup which was completed today by means of a judicial farce, removes me from an office publicly elected by the Brazilian people.

61 senators replaced the choice of 54.5 million votes

This was an undisputed indirect election, in which 61 senators replaced the choice of 54.5 million votes. It was a fraud, which we are going to appeal on every possible instance.

It is shocking that the greatest effort against corruption in Brazilian history, which has been made possible by actions and laws created after 2003 — further developed in my government — is helping a group of corrupt politicians to power.

The national, progressive, inclusive and democratic project which I represent is being interrupted by a powerful conservative, reactionary force, with the support of a partisan, venal press. They are going to seize the institutions of the State and have them serve the most radical economical liberalism and social regression.

This coup will affect every progressive, democratic political organization

They have just overthrown the first female president of Brazil, with no constitutional justification for this impeachment. But the coup was not only against me or my party. That was just the beginning. This coup will indistinctly affect every progressive, democratic political organization.

The coup is against social and union movements and against those who fight for their rights in every sense of the word: the right to work and to protect labor laws, the right to fair retirement, the right to housing and land, the right to education, to health, to culture, the rights of young people in making their own future, the rights of black people, of indigenous people, of LGBT people, of women, the right to express oneself with no repression.
The coup is against the people and against the nation. This coup is misogynistic. The coup is homophobic. The coup is racist. It is the imposition of a culture of intolerance, of prejudice, of violence.

I ask Brazilians to listen to me. I speak to more than 54 million Brazilians who voted for me in 2014. I speak to the 110 million Brazilians who approved direct election as the legitimate way to choose their presidents.

Stopped being invisible

I speak mainly to Brazilians who, during my government, overcame poverty, who made the dream of owning a home come true, who started getting medical care, who went to University and stopped being invisible to the eyes of the nation, earning their long denied rights.

The disbelief and the sadness we feel at times like these are very bad influences. Don’t give up the fight.

Listen closely: they believe they have defeated us, but they are wrong. I know all of us will fight. They will face the most solid, tireless, and energetic opposition that a coup government can have.

Biggest reduction of social inequalities

When President Lula was elected for the first time, in 2003, we came to power singing that no one should be afraid of being happy. For 13 years, we have successfully carried out a project that promoted the greatest levels of social inclusion and the biggest reduction of social inequalities in Brazilian history.

The story will not end like this. I am certain that the interruption of this story through a coup is not final. We are coming back. We are coming back to continue our journey towards this Brazil where the people come first.

I hope we can find ways to unite ourselves for causes which are common to every progressive person, regardless of party affiliation or political stance. I propose that, together, we fight against backwardness, against the conservative agenda, against the elimination of rights, for national sovereignty and for the full reestablishment of democracy.

Leaving with dignity

I leave the Presidency as I came: without having made any illicit act, without having betrayed any of my commitments, with dignity, and carrying in my heart the same love and admiration I always had for Brazilians, and the same urge to keep fighting for Brazil.

I lived my truth. I gave my best. I didn’t run away from my responsibilities. I was moved emotionally by human suffering. I was touched by the fight against poverty and hunger. And I fought against social inequalities.

I had some good fights. I lost some, I won many of them, and, right now, I’m inspired by Darcy Ribeiro to say that I don’t want to be in the place of those who believe themselves victorious. History will be merciless against them.

Gender equality

To the Brazilian women, who covered me with flowers and affection, I ask them to believe they can. Future generations of Brazilian women will know that the first time that a woman became president in our country, sexism and misogyny reared their ugly faces. We have built a one-way road towards gender equality. Nothing is going to take us back.

In this moment, I will not say goodbye to you. I am sure I can say “I’ll see you soon.”

I will close now, sharing these beautiful words of encouragement from Russian poet Mayakovsky:

“We are not happy, that’s true
But what is the reason for us to be sad?
The sea of history is turbulent
Threats and wars, we will cross them
Break them apart
We’ll cut through them like a keel”

A warm hug to the Brazilian people, who share with me the belief in democracy and the dream of justice.

Thursday, September 1, 2016.

(Taken from medium.com)

Unasur calls meeting of foreign ministers following coup in Brazil

Source:  Granma
September 2 2016

Author: Prensa Latina | internet@granma.cu

Rousseff’s removal from office has prompted varied reactions among governments of the region, several of which have described it as a “coup”.

unasur calls meeting.jpg

The Brazilian people remain mobilized in the streets against the coup. Photo: Brasil de Fato

QUITO.— The Secretary General of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), Ernesto Samper, will begin a round of consultations with member country foreign ministers, in order to arrange a meeting and address the issue of the removal from office of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

In a statement released yesterday the regional mechanism noted that the move in Brazil “raises concerns and has regional implications, consideration of which justifies an extraordinary meeting of foreign ministers,” as reported by PL.

A “coup”

Rousseff’s removal has prompted varied reactions among governments of the region, several of which have described the move as a “coup”.

The protests following the vote by the Brazilian Senate to impeach the president have multiplied across more than a dozen states; however incidents have only been recorded in São Paulo.

There, in the same place where just a few hours before a group opposed to Rousseff had celebrated her removal with honking, cake and champagne, supporters of the former president confronted the Military Police, who attempted to disperse two protests against the Temer government.

Solidarity with Dilma

The two demonstrations departed from the São Paulo Art Museum, in the financial heart of the country, toward the center of the city and, for the third straight night, police fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.

In Brasilia, hundreds of supporters of the Workers’ Party mobilized, as they have done since Monday, in support of the former president.

A crowd gathered to hear Rousseff’s brief farewell speech following her ousting and sang the national anthem in front of the Palacio de la Alvorada, the presidential residence.

Protests against Michel Temer

Several hundred gathered that evening on the Explanada de los Ministerios, facing the Brazilian Congress, to express solidarity with Rousseff.

Protests against Michel Temer also multiplied across Río de Janeiro, where hundreds of people demonstrated in the center of the city, and other capitals of the interior, such as Porto Alegre, Salvador, and Vitoria.

Cuba Condemns ‘Coup D’Etat’ Against Dilma Rousseff in Brazil

Source:  TeleSUR
August 31 2016

Cuba’s government defended Brazil’s left and its social gains, its fight to end poverty and push for Latin American integration.

raul y dilma 2014.jpg

Rousseff and Cuba’s President Raul Castro in Havana, in 2014 | Photo: Reuters

The Cuban government “strongly rejects the parliamentary and judicial coup d’état perpetrated against President Dilma Rousseff,” according to a statement published Wednesday by Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Relations.

RELATED: Dilma Rousseff Ousted, Temer Installed as Brazil’s President

The offensive of imperialist forces

“What happened in Brazil is another expression of the offensive of imperialist forces and the oligarchy against the revolutionary and progressive governments of Latin America and the Caribbean which threatens the peace and stability of nations,” the statement said.

Cuba’s government said the Senate’s vote against Rousseff “is an act of defiance against the sovereign will of the people who voted for her.”

The statement also praises the work of the previous left-of-center governments headed by Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff on education, health, social inclusion, creation of jobs and eradication of extreme poverty.

“Equally praiseworthy has been Brazil’s performance under the Workers’ Party governments in crucial international issues for the defense of peace, development, the environment and programs to combat hunger,” the statement said.

RELATED:  Latin America’s Left Reacts to Brazil Coup

Solidarity with Rousseff, Lula and the Workers’ Party

The government expressed its solidarity with Rousseff, Lula and the Workers’ Party, and said it is confident that the Brazilian people will defend the social achievements reached by their administrations.

The text also criticized the Senate-imposed government of Michel Temer, which took office on Wednesday afternoon, for promoting privatizations and cuts to social programs.

The Foreign Ministry denounced that most of the senators who impeached the president are being investigated on corruption charges, and had no evidence of corruption or crimes of responsibility against her.

The ministry praised Brazil’s work on Latin American and Caribbean integration, and its active participation in international organizations like the BRICS: Brazil, India, China and South Africa.


Dilma Rousseff Ousted, Temer Installed as Brazil’s President

Source:  TeleSUR
August 31 2016
  • Brazil

    Brazil’s former Rousseff speaks at the Alvorada Palace in Brasilia | Photo: Reuters

Achievement through a parliamentary coup, not the ballot box
Brazil’s right wing finally achieved what it couldn’t for years at the ballot box, ending 13 years of left-wing governance.

Brazil’s de facto president Michel Temer was been sworn in on Wednesday afternoon, after the country’s Senate voted to impeach suspended President Dilma Rousseff, a a trial that many international critics have described as a farce and a parliamentary coup.

RELATED:  ‘Out With Temer!’ Brazil Social Movements Protest Coup Govt

So sure ahead of time that Rousseff would be impeached, Temer had scheduled an address to the nation and meetings with officials, hoping to be officially sworn into office before 5 p.m. The ceremony was quick and Temer didn’t wear a presidential band, as sworn presidents do. He is now set to fly out to China, where he will attend the G20 summit.

Loudly booed but claiming applause

Temer, a right-wing member of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party—loudly booed at the Olympic opening ceremonies in Rio de Janeiro—has been implicated in major corruption allegations, including bribery, and is barred from standing in another election.

“Today we inaugurate a new age (…). We have to leave here with the applause of the Brazilian people,” the 75-year-old said Wednesday.

 The Senate voted 61 to 20 in favor of Rousseff’s ousting, installing Temer in office until the 2018 election. There were were no abstentions among the 81 Senators, who easily passed the two-thirds majority threshold of 54 votes to confirm the impeachment.

RELATED:  If There Is a Coup, There Will Be a Fight: Brazil’s MST

Heated debating

In a separate vote on whether or not to ban Rousseff from office for the next eight years, Senators voted 42 in favor and 36 against, with three abstentions, falling short of the threshold required to pass. The ousted president will be permitted to continue to hold office, while the installed president, Michel Temer, has already been banned from running for office for eight years.

In the immediate leadup to the vote, Supreme Court President Ricardo Lewandowski ruled to separate the vote on whether to impeach Rousseff from a vote on whether to suspend her “political rights” to hold any public office. Lewandowski announced the decision after Rousseff’s Workers Party requested the votes be split in two. The decision sparked a heated debating, further delaying the final vote.

Baseless charges against Dilma

Speaking from the Presidential Palace after the final decision, Rousseff reiterated her innocence in the face of baseless charges and vowed not to give up the political struggle against poverty and inequality to which she has dedicated herself during her first and partial second terms in office.

 “I will fight tirelessly for a better Brazil,” she said, thanking her supporters, particularly Brazilian women, for their support during the impeachment process that she slammed as a discriminatory and misogynistic coup. “We will be back. We will come back to continue our journey towards a Brazil in which the people are sovereign.”

RELATED:  How the Pro-Coup US Is Undermining Brazil’s Democracy

“I wouldn’t want to be in the place of those who think they’re the winners,” she continued. “History will be relentless with them, as has happened in the case of past decades.”

Rousseff, suspended from office since May, is charged with spending money without congressional approval and using an accounting sleight of hand to make the government’s budget appear better than it was ahead of her 2014 reelection — a technique used by many previous presidents that critics of the process have argued is not an impeachable offense as defined in the constitution.

Coup plotters implicated in corruption cases far more serious than accounting tricks

Her allies both nationally and internationally point out that many of the lawmakers who have plotted the coup are implicated in corruption cases far more serious than accounting tricks. According to the public interest organization Tranparencia Brasil, some 60 percent of the 594 members of the Congress face major criminal charges, from corruption to electoral fraud.

Closing arguments in the week-long trial began Wednesday. Tuesday, 66 of the chamber’s 81 senators took to the floor in a marathon session.

Massive street protests across the country to support Dilma
Rousseff and her supporters have, from the beginning, called her ouster a coup. Social movements, trade unions, campesinos, youth, Afro-Brazilian and youth groups have erupted in massive street protests across the country to support both Rousseff and democracy. The largest country in South America with a population of nearly 200 million, Brazil only at only rid itself of a military dictatorship 31 years ago.

RELATED:  Latin America Reacts to Rousseff’s Impeachment in Brazil

“We are 54 million Dilmas,” read signs at many of the protests, referring to the number of votes Brazil’s first woman president received in 2014. Police are trying to crack down on protesters ahead of Wednesday vote.

Rousseff’s dismissal consolidates a political shift to the right and the end of 13 years of leftist Workers Party rule that helped lift some 30 million Brazilians out of poverty.

In testimony to the senate Monday, the 68-year-old leader denied any wrongdoing and said the impeachment process was aimed at protecting the interests of the economic elite in Latin America’s largest country, comparing the trial to her persecution under Brazil’s military dictatorship when she was tortured as a member of an urban guerrilla group.

60 percent of Brazilians want snap presidential elections

According to a recent poll by Datafolha, 60 percent of Brazilians would want snap presidential elections if Rousseff is removed to vote in a new leader to the country’s top office before the scheduled 2018 polls. Recent surveys have repeatedly shown that Rousseff’s Workers Party predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is the favored candidate in the next election.

In his few months in office, Temer has rolled back many of the social programs aimed at lifting marginalized communities out of poverty and isolation. Food subsidies, health care measures and education policies have been overturned and he has promised more austerity if he stays in office.

RELATED:  Majority of Senate That Impeached Rousseff Under Investigation

A political lynching – history will absolve Dilma

Workers’ Party Senator Angela Portela said it was a sad day for Brazil’s democratic system because an elected president was being unjustly impeached. “This is not a fair trial. It is a political lynching,” she said.

A lead lawyer for the case to impeach Rousseff, Senator Janaina Paschoal, asked forgiveness for causing the president “suffering,” but insisted it was the right thing to do.

Rousseff’s counsel, Jose Eduardo Cardozo, retorted that the charges were trumped up to punish the president for her support of the huge corruption investigation into the national oil company Petrobras, known as Operation Car Wash, that has snared many of Brazil’s elite.

“This is a farce,” he said in a speech, “We should ask her forgiveness if she is convicted.”

“History will treat her fairly. History will absolve Dilma Rousseff if you convict her,” he added.

Brazil Foreign Ministry Workers Launch First Indefinite Strike

Source:  TeleSUR
August 23 2016

Intransigence of interim government’s foreign minister also cited as a problem.

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Brazil’s Foreign Ministry workers protest in 2012. | Photo: Facebook / Sinditamaraty

Workers from Brazil’s Foreign Ministry entered the second day of the union’s first indefinite strike Tuesday for higher wages and to protest the intransigence of “interim” Foreign Minister Jose Serra in the face of the union’s demands.

OPINION:  Petrodollars, Not Corruption Is the Reason for Brazilian Coup

The strike kicked off Monday at 12:00 p.m. local time in Brasilia after over 1,300 workers of the National Union of Public Servants of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, known as Sinditamaraty, voted earlier this month to greenlight the labor stoppage, union statements indicated.

According to the Sinditamaraty, the staff will maintain a 30 percent capacity to cover what are deemed essential services, including passport issuing and consular assistance, to ensure there is not a total disruption of public services in the ministry.

Video:  Wikileaks – Brazil’s new foreign minister promised to help Chevron

Wage talks

Wage talks have long languished after the union proposed a 27.9 percent wage hike early last year to bring salaries in line with similar positions in other public services. The union argues that even that increase wouldn’t cover wage losses since 2008, which has hit lowest-rank workers the hardest at over 30 percent losses. Workers have also raised complaints in recent months over delays in the payment of their housing allowances, the Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported.

OPINION:  The Terrible Science of Crisis in Brazil

“Valuing the institutions means valuing the workers,” said Sinditamaraty President Suellen Paz in a statement. “The workers’ view is that the lack of political will to solve problems devalues the institution as a whole.”

Social media campaign

Workers rallied outside the Foreign Ministry building in Brasilia Tuesday, with plans to continue demonstrations on Wednesday. The union has also announced a social media campaign aimed at increasing pressure for talks on acting Foreign Minister Jose Serra, appointed by unelected “interim” President Michel Temer.

Foreign Ministry laborers outside of Brazil are also organizing actions.

The strike committee raised concern on Tuesday over reports received by the union that interns in the ministry had been “compelled” after the launch of the strike to act as scabs and cover the duties of the workers who walked off the job. In a statement, union leaders urged the ministry to respect labor laws and the parameters of the government’s internship program.

Video: Leaked recording reveals plot to oust president Rousseff

Media silence

Despite marking an historic job action for Sinditamaraty, the strike has received scant coverage in Brazilian media.

The strike comes just days before the Brazilian Senate will launch a trial Thursday against suspended President Dilma Rousseff, the final step in the impeachment process that could permanently remove her from office with a two-third Senate majority as early as next Tuesday.

OPINION:  The Future of Brazil Is Now!

Temer and Foreign Minister Jose Serra embroiled in massive corruption charges

If Rousseff is ultimately ousted, Temer and his all-male Cabinet will be installed for the rest of her term until 2018. Both Temer and Foreign Minister Jose Serra have been embroiled in massive corruption charges, accused of accepting millions of dollars in corporate kickbacks as part of the Petrobras state oil scandal.

A plea bargain deal recently revealed that Serra received over US$7 million from a slush fund of the construction company Odebrecht to finance his unsuccessful 2010 presidential campaign against Rousseff. Serra also unsuccessfully ran for president against Rousseff’s predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in 2002.

Serra has also come under fire for making promises to multinational oil corporations, according to WikiLeaks cables, saying that he could easily push for privatization of the state oil industry and change laws to open up Brazil’s significant offshore oil reserves to foreign exploration and drilling.

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