The ugly face of Brazil’s coup revealed: old, white and exclusively male

The ugly face of Brazil’s coup revealed: old, white and exclusively male

Coup: complete — After president Dilma Rousseff is finally removed from power, a corrupt, unelectable and neoliberal government takes power, led by Michel Temer.

Months of political circus in Brazil have come to head as Dilma Rousseff of the Worker’s Party (PT) has finally been stripped of her presidency. Following a drawn-out impeachment process, in which a corrupt lower house voted to impeach Dilma (a decision which was annulled and then reinstated within 12 hours), the senate’s decision to take on the investigation triggered her replacement by an interim government, led by the right-wing Michel Temer.

Months of corruption revelations, political gridlock and a sinking economy have caused many Brazilians to totally lose faith in their politicians. But the worst had yet to come.

Temer, the immensely disliked leader of the conservative PMDB party, has ushered in a new cabinet that is one of the most regressive in the country’s modern history. It’s corrupt, unelectable and neoliberal, and features an exclusive cast of old, white men – remarkable in a country famed for its rainbow-coloured diversity.

Even the hated 1964-1985 military dictatorship was more representative of the country:

So, how did this happen? Months of agitation by right-wing politicians, supported by a rabidly conservative media have advanced the case against Rousseff (who is one of the few politicians under investigation for corruption not accused of enriching herself) and succeeded in installing a politician tainted by scandals of his own, who a majority of Brazilians want removed from power. Through political intrigue, the right have recaptured power, something they failed to do at the ballot box for nearly twenty years.

A majority of Brazilians want Temer impeached and just two percent said they would vote Temer for president in 2018, according to a recent nationwide poll by Datafolha.

The platform of Temer’s government includes ‘reviving market confidence’ in Brazil’s falling economy through deep cuts to government spending, including constitutional commitments to health and education; weakening workers rights and privatising infrastructure and institutions.

In his usual fashion, Glenn Greenwald gets to the heart of the matter:

Temer could serve until the end of Rousseff’s term in 2018, but pushing through such controversial policies that will impact millions of Brazilians on a non-existent mandate will likely create a profound counter-reaction. General strikes? Riots? Police repression? What happens next is anyone’s guess.

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