The suspension of Dilma Rousseff

Rousseff and Clinton ( Tânia Rêgo:Agência Brasil) July 6 2016

The suspension last May of Dilma Rousseff as president of Brazil was certainly the result of scheming between a cabal of extreme rightwing politicians & the Brazilian oligarchy. It was undemocratic beyond dispute. But the analyses, including by Glenn Greenwald, focused on the political character of Rousseff more than on what her removal represented.

Since assuming the presidency in 2011, Rousseff has presided over several neoliberal projects including massive land grabs from indigenous peoples (for purposes of multinational agribusiness), including violent military action against them; major infrastructure projects like the Belo Monte Dam involving land grabs & environmental destruction; millions spent on building stadia & infrastructure for the World Cup & Olympic games while there are millions of homeless children subject to vigilante violence, drug addiction, & sexual exploitation; military occupation of the favelas (urban slums); protests by millions against the neoliberal austerity measures imposed by her regime.

In 2015, while still president, Rousseff met with Henry Kissinger in NYC as well as with Rupert Murdoch & a number of bankers & CEOs, probably to lobby for more investment in Brazil. At that time, ignoring Kissinger’s malignant & notorious role in Latin American politics–particularly the murderous 1974 coup in Chile–Rousseff called him a “fantastic person, with a grand global vision.”

Whatever she was in her youth, her rebellion was long spent by her entry into capitalist politics in 2002. Her removal as president of Brazil is only of consequence because of what it represents–which appears to be that a conspiracy of rightwing politicians & the oligarchy think a more decisive, brutal, & repressive approach should be taken to the mass protests against neoliberal policies. Just as not that long ago, oligarchies across Latin America thought liberal democracies a more effective way to rule than through military juntas–& altered political rule accordingly. The career eclipse of Rousseff doesn’t matter a whit outside of that context.

Greenwald & others choose to interpret the protests as support for Rousseff’s policies but that’s because they think there are good capitalisms & bad ones. How they make that distinction in the barbaric phase of capitalism escapes analysis.

(Photo is Rousseff with Bill Clinton by Tânia Rêgo/Agência Brasil suggesting the character of her political allegiances)