Miguel Villalba Sanchez.
Brazil's Banana Scoundrels Will Now Win Their Olympics
by Pepe Escobar* first published on Strategic Cuture.
"The Rio Olympics are gone – Bolt, Phelps, Neymar, the green pool, the Ugly American Lochte and all – but a global audience may have been spared a shameful last act.
Mediocre incompetent opportunist, corrupt coward traitor, and certified political usurper, interim President Michel Temer, refused to go to the closing ceremony, afraid of being booed out of a packed Maracana stadium. According to the latest polls, 79% of Brazilians want Temer The Usurper out. Now.
Thus Temer The Usurper was not able, according to protocol, to pass the baton (for Tokyo in 2020) to visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Team Temer offered a meeting later on in the capital, Brasilia. Japanese diplomats flatly refused; who wants your Prime Minister to meet a coward in hiding?
Former President Lula lobbied hard to bring the Olympics to Rio, and preparations went on under President Dilma Rousseff. Coupled with Temer The Usurper’s primal fear of being booed just as in the Olympics opening ceremony, which led to his subsequent diplomatic humiliation, a noxious, pathetic political propaganda campaign was deployed right to the end of the games, trying to diminish or even extinguish Lula’s and Dilma’s role. Quite a few Brazilian athletes with great performances at the games benefited from government-supported sport programs.
Now the Scoundrel Games are back in Brazil – with a parliamentary junta disputing gold medals with an institutional racket involving big banks, big business, corporate media and sectors of the Judiciary and the Federal Police. The farce is being sold as a trial in the Senate of President Rousseff, accused – without proof – of financially embellishing the state budget.
Unlike the cowardly usurper, Rousseff is going to the Senate to stare all 81 members in the face; these are the people who by the end of this month will for all practical purposes save or bury Brazilian democracy for good. Rousseff, in case of – miraculously – not being impeached, proposes a referendum leading to new elections.
As it stands, it does not look good. The late, great Jean Baudrillard – a great lover of Brazil – would characterize Rousseff’s impeachment drive as a simulacrum, obliterating the real crime; the parliamentary/institutional coup orchestrated by a notorious bunch of scoundrels, Temer included.
The multi-layered coup, with modified Hybrid War elements, comes with a prearranged finale. It does not matter that even Brazilian Public Ministry experts have repeatedly admitted there’s no juridical basis for Rousseff’s impeachment. Even the federal prosecutor on the case concluded a few weeks ago that she did not commit a crime – «responsibility» or otherwise.
The prosecutorial gang includes two of every three members of the Brazilian Congress who are facing an array of scandals. The overall institutional farce points to the Legislative, the Judiciary and the Public Ministry dragging their feet on indicting the legislative scoundrels while accelerating the procedure against Rousseff. That’s the definition of organized crime.
The endgame, from the point of view of the coup plotter galaxy, is to criminalize and finish off with the Workers’ Party for good – from Lula and Rousseff downwards – under an upcoming barrage of hazy «obstruction of Justice» allegations.
And the Obama administration loves it
The president of construction company giant Odebrecht, incarcerated for months now, accused Temer The Usurper of pleading for – and receiving – undeclared «electoral help», in cash, for his party, the PMDB. Temer has already been convicted for violating election finance laws and banned from running for office for eight years.
Interim Foreign Minister Jose Serra also received «electoral help» for his presidential campaign in 2010; part of the loot was paid overseas, something that properly investigated could lead his party, the PSDB, to lose its registration.
In these past few weeks, Temer The Usurper took no prisoners to turbo charge the impeachment timetable farce, at the same time preventing Dilma to mount a detailed defense. His excuse; he needs to go to Hangzhou, China, for the G20 summit starting on September 4. And he needs to go as president-in-charge – not as «leader» of an unelected caretaker government acting like they’ve earned their mandate in the polling booth.
The real reason for the rush, though, is that Temer feared the serious Odebrecht corruption charge like the plague. Other charges may be imminent. Yet he’s protected – at least for now; the Mob – as in the Goddess of the Market, Brazil’s big banking and their shills in corporate media – is on his side.
Brazil remains totally paralyzed by the political/institutional farce. The 8th largest economy in the world, second largest exporter of food products, and largest industrial platform in the developing West is bleeding, badly. Oil workers are accusing the Mob for 1.5 million lost jobs. Huge infrastructure projects are stalled. Large construction companies are virtually broke; Odebrecht by itself fired over 70,000 workers.
In parallel Temer The Usurper’s «government» has already started to enact its masterplan – straight from disaster capitalism’s playbook. One of the key «policies» is to sell out Petrobras – and the pre-salt reserves – to foreign, as in US corporate, interests. Lula correctly identified the pre-salt reserves – the largest oil discovery in the 21st century so far – as the privileged source for a new development drive for Brazil.
But there are way more disasters in store; selling out indigenous Brazilian industrial development via hardcore privatization, abandoning the defense of Brazilian engineering know-how; severe cuts on education, health, science and technology; «flexibilization» of workers’ rights, as in attacking them on all fronts; a regressive attack on pensions; and sabotaging Mercosur – the South American common market – to the benefit of vassal subordination to US interests.
The – legitimate – Uruguayan Foreign Minister, Rodolfo Nin Novoa, was even compelled to denounced the – illegitimate – Brazilian Foreign Minister, the lowly Serra, for trying to buy Montevideo’s help to prevent Venezuela from stepping up to the temporary presidency of Mercosur. In a little over three months, Serra managed to reduce Brazilian diplomacy to a heap of rotten bananas.
And then, of course, there’s the cherry in the cheesecake; the lame duck Obama administration’s full support for the coup and the impeachment farce.
Obama did not have the balls to say it upfront. That came in the form of Secretary of State John Kerry meeting with the repellent Serra in a trip to Brazil in early August. Kerry even issued a long statement – for all practical purposes legitimizing the coup.
Kerry did not have the balls to meet Temer The Usurper. So what; the whole Global South now knows where Washington stands. Parliamentary / institutional regime change is of course OK. As long as it prevents BRICS integration and Chinese trade/commercial advance in Latin America.
Move on, nothing to see here – as Washington proceeds to the serious business of negotiating two crucial military bases with Argentina’s neoliberal vassal Mauricio Macri; one in resource-rich Patagonia, the other smack into the Brazil / Argentina / Paraguay triple border, right by the largest aquifer on the planet.
And there’s all that pre-salt oil about to go to Chevron! How not to love the smell of regime change in the morning? Definitely smells like victory. And you don’t even need to send the Marines for it."
*Independent geopolitical analyst, writer and journalist