Category: Brazil
‘People above profit’: Thousands take to streets in Brazil, angry with President Bolsonaro in new wave of major protests (VIDEO)
worker | July 5, 2021 | 1:53 pm | Brazil | No comments

https://www.rt.com/news/528338-brazil-protest-vaccine-amazon/

‘People above profit’: Thousands take to streets in Brazil, angry with President Bolsonaro in new wave of major protests (VIDEO)

Protesters have flooded the streets in Brazil, including a massive rally in its biggest city, Sao Paulo, criticizing the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and alleged involvement in deforestation in the Amazon.

Demonstrations were organized in over 300 locations across Brazil and abroad, local media reported on Saturday. In Sao Paulo, one of the most populous cities in the world, demonstrators flooded the streets, as seen in footage from RT’s video agency Ruptly. They carried huge banners reading ‘People above profit’ and ‘Life, bread, vaccine and education’. Signs demanding the impeachment of Brazil’s president, ‘Fora Bolsonaro’ (Bolsonaro Out), ‘Enough’, and ‘Responsible or useless’ were also seen. While many came with handmade banners, balloons and stickers were also handed out.

Our people are massacred, our Amazon rainforests are killed by corporatist interests, by the interests of an elite who don’t care that the poor do not have access to anything,” one protester told Ruptly. Others accused Bolsonaro of corruption, saying they were outraged by recent developments involving vaccines.

On Friday, the Supreme Court allowed for an investigation of Bolsonaro, among other senior officials, to be conducted, over alleged irregularities in a Covid-19 vaccine deal. While the authorities have been criticized for the slow vaccine rollout, new evidence emerged suggesting overpricing and corruption related to the purchase of several million doses from India. Bolsonaro and other officials involved in the case deny any wrongdoing, saying the issue was in the hands of the minister of health at the time, who found nothing irregular regarding the contract. It has now been suspended pending the investigation.

ALSO ON RT.COMPulling a Trumpie? Brazil’s Bolsonaro says he won’t concede defeat to ‘fraud’ in next year’s electionAnother scandal regarding the Amazon rainforests was also on the protesters’ agenda. Bolsonaro and his government are accused of involvement in illegal deforestation and other destructive activities in the rainforests. The authorities, however, claim they are taking measures to protect the Amazon. Last month, troops were deployed to the rainforests at the order of the president, tasked to combat a surge in illegal logging.

The latest Brazilian protests have spread around the world, as people with anti-Bolsonaro banners also gathered in several European cities, including Vienna, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Paris. ‘Bolsonaro out’ was seen by thousands of spectators during the Tour de France, as it was written in chalk on the path of the cyclists.

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Brazil’s top court tosses graft cases against ex-President Lula, furthering new bid for presidency
worker | June 29, 2021 | 7:45 pm | Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva | No comments

https://www.rt.com/news/527536-lula-corruption-cases-invalidated/

Brazil’s top court tosses graft cases against ex-President Lula, furthering new bid for presidency

Brazil’s top court tosses graft cases against ex-President Lula, furthering new bid for presidency
The Supreme Court of Brazil has reset two cases against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, which had been brought by a judge that the court had earlier found biased, bringing him closer to a new run for president.

A magistrate of the Supreme Federal Court invalidated all evidence brought in the two cases by Sergio Moro as part of the large-scale corruption investigation known as ‘Lava Jato’ (Operation Car Wash). The court earlier found Moro biased against Lula, as he is commonly known in Brazil, and overturned a criminal conviction that he passed on the former president in 2017.

The conviction barred the socialist Lula from running against right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro in the 2018 presidential election, which resulted in the latter’s win. Moro then became justice minister under President Bolsonaro.

A series of leaks of communications between the ex-judge and others involved in the prosecution of Lula, which were published by journalist Glenn Greenwald, indicated that the conviction was the result of a plot to bar him from returning to power. At one moment, Deltan Dallagnol, the lead prosecutor in the operation, called Lula’s arrest “a gift from the CIA,” which some people interpreted as evidence that the Donald Trump administration was involved in the plot.

ALSO ON RT.COMBrazilians protest Bolsonaro’s rule as country hits 500,000 coronavirus deaths (VIDEO)In March, the Brazilian Supreme Court agreed that political bias was present in the case and ruled to overturn Lula’s conviction. It also accused Moro of seven counts of felony judicial bias during his handling of Lava Jato.

This week’s ruling by Supreme Court Magistrate Gilmar Mendes expands that decision to the two cases that Moro launched against Lula while serving as a judge in the city of Curitiba and orders the nullification of “all the decision-making actions” by him. The decision comes days after a federal court acquitted Lula on corruption charges in yet another case.

The news means that it is becoming less likely that Lula will be convicted of a crime and be barred from running in next year’s presidential election in Brazil in a repeat of the 2018 scenario. While he didn’t officially announce his candidacy, Lula is expected by many to run against Bolsonaro, whose policies he has harshly criticized. A poll last month indicated that Lula would win by a comfortable margin, should he and the incumbent president go to a run-off.

ALSO ON RT.COMBrazil doesn’t need US permission to its own backyard, ex-president Lula tells RT 

Lula, who was in office from 2003-2010, has denied all corruption allegations against him. He still faces three trials, one in Brasilia and two in Sao Paulo.

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Will Congressional quest for answers on Brazil’s Operation Lava Jato reveal it to be yet another CIA coup in the Americas?
worker | June 10, 2021 | 8:46 pm | Brazil, Imperialism, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva | Comments closed

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/526117-lava-jato-us-brazil/

Will Congressional quest for answers on Brazil’s Operation Lava Jato reveal it to be yet another CIA coup in the Americas?

Will Congressional quest for answers on Brazil’s Operation Lava Jato reveal it to be yet another CIA coup in the Americas? 
For years, the anti-corruption probe Lava Jato was hailed as the dawn of a new Brazil, in which democracy and the rule of law reigned supreme. Now, it’s clear it was a shameful set-up – with the US involved every step of the way.

On June 7, a coalition of Democratic lawmakers wrote to US Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting answers about the role of the Department of Justice (DoJ) in Operation Car Wash (Lava Jato in Portuguese), the grand Brazilian anti-corruption investigation launched in 2014 that ignominiously collapsed in February this year.

Noting it to be a “matter of public record” that DoJ representatives supported Brazilian prosecutors involved in the operation, they stated that an agreement was “evidently” reached between Brazilian and US authorities providing for a “substantial share” of the fines rendered from prosecuting Brazilian companies under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act to be given to the very prosecutors and judges involved in Lava Jato, and to fund the creation of a “private foundation in Brazil totally administered and controlled by the same Brazilian prosecutors.”

The lawmakers concluded, “We are particularly concerned that the income produced from the enforcement of important US legislation dedicated to fighting corruption, could have ended up going to ends not entirely consistent with democracy, rule of law, equal justice under the law, and due process – not to mention Brazilian legal and constitutional requirements.”

That Washington was involved in Lava Jato, which saw more than 1,000 warrants issued, 429 people indicted and 159 convicted, and numerous high-profile business leaders and politicians – most notoriously Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, president between 2003 and 2010 – jailed, had been clear since 2016, when US federal courts levied record fines against state energy company Petrobras.

ALSO ON RT.COMPower vs people? Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, former president of BrazilHowever, this suspect element of the probe was completely ignored by Western news outlets, as were clear indications from its inception that prosecutions were being pursued on dubious, if not non-existent, grounds.

For instance, Lula’s July 2017 conviction for money laundering and corruption charges was based entirely on the coerced testimony of a sole individual – and in his sentencing, presiding judge Sergio Moro failed to define a specific crime of which the former president was guilty, basing the verdict purely on his own “conviction” that Lula had done “something.”

As a result, Lula was precluded from running for the presidency in 2018, paving the way for the election of Jair Bolsonaro, who subsequently appointed Moro as minister of justice and public security. It was a move enthusiastically received both within and without Brazil, for his crusading efforts had made him something of a media sensation – in 2016, he was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 most influential people,” despite local news outlets that same year having exposed his illegal wiretapping of Lula’s defense team.

It was not until June 2019 that the judge’s mainstream fortunes finally took a turn for the worse, when journalist Glenn Greenwald began publishing a series of articles based on leaked Telegram conversations between individuals involved in Lava Jato.

ALSO ON RT.COM‘Humanitarian’ agency USAID was ‘key tool’ for Washington undermining the Venezuelan government, official review revealsThe communications showed that Moro had provided insider information to prosecutors, helped direct their legal actions, briefed them on their media strategy, and requested that operations be launched against relatives of witnesses, to ensure convictions were secured. In November that year, Lula was finally released from prison after 580 days.

More recent leaks have revealed that the Lava Jato team conducted scores of secret, illegal meetings with FBI operatives throughout the seven-year probe. However, Moro’s ties to US state agencies have been a matter of public record since 2010, when WikiLeaks published a State Department telegram related to a week-long US Embassy-sponsored course laid on for judges, police, and prosecutors in Rio de Janeiro.

The document notes that many attendees expressed an interest in receiving further training from the DoJ on prosecuting money laundering cases, and were keen to collaborate with Washington in this field, contrary to Brasilia’s official position, under the auspices of the “fight against terrorism.”

Moro wasn’t a passive presence at the event, leading a talk on the “15 most common issues” he encountered in Brazilian money laundering cases. The telegram goes on to outline a dedicated program, “Projeto Pontes” (Bridges Project), to “bring together US and Brazilian law enforcement in different venues” and “build on our relationships and exchange best practices.”

ALSO ON RT.COMInternal emails reveal that the Dutch government suppressed White Helmets’ financial fraud – what else are they hiding?The following month, Brasil Wire records that he and prosecutor Karine Moreno-Taxman – who was then based in the US Embassy in Brazil, and helped select participants for the week-long training course – were both present at the Brazilian Federal Police Agents Association’s fourth congress in the north-eastern city of Fortaleza. Moro was lead speaker in a panel discussion on corruption and organized crime arguing for changes in the law and more judicial autonomy in investigating crimes against public administration.

Moreno-Taxman then led a panel of her own, which viewed from a present-day perspective gives every appearance of setting out a clear blueprint for the subsequent Operation Lava Jato. For one, she proposed that Brazilian authorities maintain an informal system of collaboration with their US counterparts, circumventing formal cooperation structures as set out in international treaties.

Another key suggestion was manipulating public opinion in prosecutions of high-profile figures to engender loathing of those under investigation. “Society needs to feel that that person really abused the job and demand that he be convicted,” Moreno-Taxman is reported to have said, a message she’d been propounding across Brazil at a variety of US-sponsored events for two years by that point. It seems likely these lobbying efforts formed part of Projeto Pontes.

When Lava Jato collapsed earlier this year, further leaked Telegram conversations exposed how prosecutors cheered Moro’s decision to incarcerate Lula on April 5, 2018, as it prevented a Supreme Court vote that would have allowed defendants to be spared jail pending appeal. The operation’s chief, Deltan Dallagnol, dubbed the news “a gift” from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Had that motion been successful, Lula would have been free to run for president that year – and victory seemed assured, for he was polling 20 points ahead of Bolsonaro.

ALSO ON RT.COMBogus story of Iranian interference in Scottish politics shows Western media to be the true election meddlerToday, polling for the 2022 general election places him in much the same position – perhaps unsurprisingly, given that during his initial seven-year spell in office, Brazil’s economy became the world’s eighth-largest, more than 20 million were raised out of acute poverty, and annual economic growth reached up to seven percent. As Lava Jato is estimated to have damaged foreign investment to the tune of $33 billion and wiped out 4.4 million jobs, a great many Brazilians will be hoping Lula makes a triumphant return to the Palacio da Alvorada.

Seemingly undeterred by the operation’s unceremonious unravelling, at a June 3 White House press conference a nameless “senior administration official” revealed that “components of the intelligence community,” includingthe director of national intelligence and CIA, would be fundamental in “establishing the fight against corruption as a core US national security interest.”

“We’re just going to be looking at all of the tools in our disposal to make sure that we identify corruption where it’s happening and take appropriate policy responses,” the official said.  

It’s unclear whether an “appropriate policy response” will entail the covert selection and grooming of a fresh anti-corruption taskforce in another foreign country, although legal apparatchiks overseas would do well to think twice before accepting clandestine offers of fame and fortune in return for fitting up troublesome political figures for crimes they didn’t commit. The once-celebrated Moro is now utterly disgraced, and under investigation for seven separate counts of felony judicial bias. Still, the mainstream media seems oblivious, and that’s the main thing.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Celso Amorim: Lula is Gigantic Force in Brazil, Can Boost BRICS, Facilitate S America’s Integration
worker | April 15, 2021 | 7:49 pm | Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva | Comments closed

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/202104131082583809-celso-amorim-lula-is-gigantic-force-in-brazil-can-boost-brics-facilitate-s-americas-integration/

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Former president Lula will overhaul the present Brazilian politics if he runs and wins, starting with reinvigorating the country’s healthcare system and fighting inequality, reinforcing BRICS, switching to national currencies in trade, and spearheading South America’s re-integration, says former Brazilian foreign minister Celso Amorim.

In a 2 April interview with the Portuguese television station RTP, former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, 75, noted that he would run for the presidency of Brazil in 2022 if “necessary”. The March verdict by Brazil’s Supreme Court invalidating the former president’s conviction has become a big game changer in the country’s politics by opening the door for Lula to potentially run for re-election.

This has sounded alarm bells for President Jair Bolsonaro and his powerful supporters. However, it’s unlikely that the military, who endorsed Bolsonaro in 2018, will try to hinder Lula’s campaign if he runs, says Brazilian diplomat and politician Celso Luiz Nunes Amorim, who twice held the position of foreign affairs minister between 1993 and 1994 under President Itamar Franco and then between 2003 and 2010 under President Lula da Silva. But what if Washington and multinational corporations try to throw a spanner in Lula’s works?

Sputnik: What are Lula’s chances of winning the race?

Celso Amorim: Lula as many others, as many of us, – I say that because I feel personally linked to him, also – we are now concentrated on what can be done to improve the life of the Brazilians because of the pandemic. Brazil has a record number of deaths per day. It’s a country that holds the greatest number in the world. This, of course, is accompanied by recession, unemployment, and a lack of income for the poor. So all these things now have concentrated his attention. Of course, if you ask the question, he’ll say “Well, I may run,” I don’t know exactly what he said to [Portuguese] television, but I have heard him some other time saying: “Well, if there is a request from my party and from the progressive forces, the ones that are more linked to social ideals in Brazil with more independence in foreign policy, if these forces ask, I’ll run.” But as I’ve said, it’s a bit early.

Of course, Lula is a gigantic force in Brazilian politics, so he’ll have a great influence anyhow. And of course, many people, like myself, hope that he’ll run. But, of course, as I say we are a little far away, and we are in the midst of the pandemic, a big health crisis, a big economic crisis, a big potential social crisis, also. So it’s a bit too difficult to make a precise forecast.

Brazilian former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attends a meeting organized by unionists and members of the Workers Party (PT) in Sao Paulo downtown Brazil on March 4, 2016
© AFP 2021 / NELSON ALMEIDA
Brazilian former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attends a meeting organized by unionists and members of the Workers Party (PT) in Sao Paulo downtown Brazil on March 4, 2016

Sputnik: What reaction can Lula expect from Washington, given that the Biden administration is at odds with the Bolsonaro cabinet? Will Washington try to meddle in the Lula campaign?

Celso Amorim: Washington is not such a simple concept. There are different forces in the United States that act in different ways. Certainly, if you had the Trump administration, they would support Bolsonaro. With the Biden administration – we don’t know yet. So far, his policies toward Latin America have not shown much progress. But you know, when Lula was president we had good relations, and that was with President Bush and President Obama. Of course, there may be interests of American companies in Brazil. There may be some other strategic interests. But, it’s no longer what used to happen in the 1960s or the 1970s.

Even the kind of meddling is different: I think if it happens it will happen by means of the Brazilian media, of the Brazilian economic elite. And the Brazilian economic elite, they are now a bit disconcerted because, of course, they supported Bolsonaro and now, at least, a lot of them regret it.

So, I don’t see really why they would try to do anything to block Lula’s campaign, because actually Lula has always been a person who was open to dialogue, even in relations with difficult questions like Venezuela, to speak about a regional aspect here.

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, right, listens to his Foreign Minister Celso Amorim during the inauguration of a general consulate of Brazil in Caracas, Thursday, Oct. 29,2009
© AP PHOTO / ARIANA CUBILLOS
Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, right, listens to his Foreign Minister Celso Amorim during the inauguration of a general consulate of Brazil in Caracas, Thursday, Oct. 29,2009

Sputnik: Could multinational corporations try to hinder Lula’s campaign, given that he is opposing more privatisation?

Celso Amorim: Certainly, there are, in Brazil, forces who are more linked to let us say this neo-liberalism that want to privatise and they can gain from this process also, in Brazil. And, of course, there may be other international companies that may be interested in Brazil but they don’t have dominance. They may have some support, internationally speaking, that will oppose Lula because they want to have more privatisation, more space to make gains, immediate gains.

On the other hand, even because of the pandemic, because of the high unemployment, because of the policies that have to do with the price of oil, there is a growing sense in Brazil – which goes beyond traditional progressive forces – that we need a presence of the Brazilian state in the economy in order to re-launch the economy. This is happening even in the United States. What Biden is doing now in the United States is something that has not happened since FDR, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, at the time of the [Great] Depression, in the way he is injecting money including by increasing taxes, taxes on the rich, taxes on the corporations.

So, the world is changing a little bit. We can’t think only through the models that we had, even the models that we had until ten years ago, they became already, in a way, overcome, surpassed. So, there’s a new world. I think that the fact that we have BRICS for instance, we have the possibility, Russia has just proposed, I saw my good friend [Russian Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov, with whom I interacted for many years as foreign minister and before as ambassador to the UN, proposing that Russia could abandon the dollar.

I don’t know if Brazil can abandon the dollar, but we could have our trade among BRICS countries with our currencies. So I think it’s very important to reinforce BRICS.

I think Brazil has to work within the groups like BRICS and, of course, to have normal relations with the United States, as well. It’s not easy because Latin America is seen by many people in the US as their backyard, as somehow was implied in your question. But I think also this is changing: we have progressive governments in Mexico, in Argentina, in Bolivia. So, if Lula is elected… and I think if he runs, he has a big chance of being elected, and almost certain that he would be. If he is elected we’ll be able to work both with the integration of South America and with groups like BRICS, and also with the United States, and also with the European Union.

Brazilian former president (2003-2011) Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, delivers a press conference at the metalworkers' union building in Sao Bernardo do Campo, in metropolitan Sao Paulo, Brazil, on March 10, 2021
© AFP 2021 / MIGUEL SCHINCARIOL
Brazilian former president (2003-2011) Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, delivers a press conference at the metalworkers’ union building in Sao Bernardo do Campo, in metropolitan Sao Paulo, Brazil, on March 10, 2021

Sputnik: Which domestic issues will Lula address right away if he wins the presidency? What changes in foreign policy might one expect if Lula wins?

Celso Amorim: The immediate issue that he is addressing now [is the pandemic], because Lula is a big figure in Brazil, what he says and does has an influence. Even, for instance, when Lula criticised the minister of health, Bolsonaro sacked his minister of health. He did not criticise the minister, he criticised the policy, and the minister was sacked some days later. Bolsonaro had never used a mask, and when Lula spoke about these things, he started using it, because he knows that Lula has great influence and he wants to preempt him.

Brazil has a fantastic health system, one of the best in the world – it was not properly used by Bolsonaro, by the present government, – but thanks to that, the situation is not even worse. It’s more or less like the National Health [Service] in Britain. Of course, we are a developing country and don’t have the same kind of resources, but it permeates the society.

In terms of foreign policy: well, of course, the world changes, so I can’t say that he will do exactly the same things as he did 10 years ago when he was in power. But certainly, we’ll try to work along two or three lines, I’ve just mentioned it: to have a more multi-polar world, reinforcing groups like BRICS, that’s essential for Brazil and I think it’s essential for the other member groups. We’ll work on integration in South America and we’ll develop multi-polar relations with all the world, with great emphasis in Africa because Africa is very near to Brazil.

The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

Record deaths from Covid-19 are ‘worst genocide’ in Brazil’s history, and President Bolsonaro is to blame – ex-leader Lula
worker | March 28, 2021 | 8:03 pm | Brazil | Comments closed

https://www.rt.com/news/519262-lula-bolsonaro-brazil-genocide/

Record deaths from Covid-19 are ‘worst genocide’ in Brazil’s history, and President Bolsonaro is to blame – ex-leader Lula

Record deaths from Covid-19 are ‘worst genocide’ in Brazil’s history, and President Bolsonaro is to blame – ex-leader Lula
The former president of Brazil says his incumbent successor is responsible for the “worst genocide in our history” due to a neglectful response to the epidemic. Brazil this week passed an overall tally of 300,000 Covid-19 deaths.

The scorching critique of President Jair Bolsonaro comes from Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, widely known simply as ‘Lula,’ on the pages of the German weekly Der Spiegel. The popular leftist politician said Bolsonaro has failed to take the pandemic seriously, and this has led to the deaths of over 300,000 people. The grim benchmark was passed by the Latin American nation on Wednesday, while, on the next day, its Ministry of Health recorded more than 100,000 new Covid-19 cases in a single day.

“If he had a bit of dignity, he would have apologized to the families of the 300,000 Covid dead and millions of infected people. He is responsible for that,” said Lula. “Brazil can’t stand it any longer if this man continues to govern like this.”

The former president added that what was going on with Covid-19 in Brazil was the “worst genocide” in country’s history. He used the same term about a year ago, when he explained his concerns with the Bolsonaro government’s approach to the epidemic. The death toll stood at 14,000 at the time.

ALSO ON RT.COMNot ‘forced’ but ‘compulsory’? Brazil’s Supreme Court paves way for SANCTIONS for refusing Covid-19 jabBrazil has the world’s second-worst outbreak of Covid-19 after the US in terms of absolute numbers of cases and deaths. Critics of the incumbent president accuse him of botching the national response for the sake of his laissez-faire, right-wing ideology. Bolsonaro refused to impose restrictive measures to curb the spread of the virus, like harsh lockdowns and mask mandates, arguing that it would lead to economic damage and violate people’s rights.

At the moment the Brazilian government is being accused of failing to procure enough vaccines against Covid-19 for a speedy inoculation program. Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo is taking much of the blame. As the record-breaking disease statistics arrived this week, Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco blasted Araujo’s performance in office as “far below what’s desired.” Seven senators called for the resignation of the minister, who is a close ally of Bolsonaro.

ALSO ON RT.COMBrazil Supreme Court ruling annuls ex-president Lula’s convictions, making him eligible to run in 2022 electionLula was the leader of Brazil between 2003 and 2011, before eventually making the way for his protégé, Dilma Rousseff. After Rousseff was ousted from power in what her supporters describe as a parliamentary coup, Lula was prosecuted and sentenced on corruption charges. A criminal record prevented him from running against Bolsonaro in 2018. The sentences were annulled by a Brazilian Supreme Court judge this month, which potentially allows Lula and Bolsonaro to have a face-off for the presidential office next year.

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Brazil’s communists warn of ‘the greatest health and hospital crisis in history,’ as death toll passes 300,000
worker | March 25, 2021 | 8:12 pm | Brazil, Communist Party Brazil | Comments closed

https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/article/w/brazils-communists-warn-greatest-health-and-hospital-crisis-history-death-toll-passes

Brazil’s communists warn of ‘the greatest health and hospital crisis in history,’ as death toll passes 300,000

THE Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) has warned that the country is undergoing “the greatest health and hospital crisis in history” after the coronavirus death toll passed 300,000.

The National Council of Health Secretaries announced the grim milestone on Wednesday night. Only the United States has had more people die from Covid-19.

PCdoB parliamentary leader Renildo Calheiros called on President Jair Bolsonaro to “wake up” and stop undermining the public health response as hospitals in the capital Brasilia reported lining their floors with corpses because their morgues are full.

With the country’s health system overrun, thousands of critically ill patients are waiting for intensive care beds to become available.

Mr Calheiros said that, though evidence of the danger posed by Covid-19 had mounted for over a year, the president “preferred to deny science, access to vaccines and publicly discourage preventive measures, such as wearing masks and social isolation.

“Unfortunately, he has now demonstrated that it is not a ‘little flu’,” he said, a reference to Mr Bolsonaro’s infamous dismissal of the new virus last year.

With MPs from parties of both left and right saying that they were fielding calls from desperate constituents with dying relatives unable to get into hospital, even allies of the president have called on him to change course.

Lower house Speaker Arthur Lira acknowledged that the public mood was turning to anger on Wednesday. “There is a lot of solidarity, but everything has its limits. Everything,” he said.

Mr Bolsonaro tried to strike an upbeat note on Tuesday in an address to the nation in which he promised that 2021 would be “the year of vaccination.” But in many cities, residents met the address with pot-banging protests to drown out his words.

The Communist Party pointed out that not only has the Bolsonaro administration itself refused to enforce social distancing or a lockdown, this month it tried – and failed – to get the Supreme Court to reverse such measures adopted by individual states.

PCdoB MP Daniel Almeida said he hoped that Tuesday’s address presaged a change of policy. “It seems that despair is knocking on Bolsonaro’s door. The shocking thing is that we need record deaths for many people to pay attention to the irresponsibility of the government. Over 300,000 lives lost? It’s genocide.”

To left-wing forces of Brasil
worker | March 20, 2021 | 7:17 pm | Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva | Comments closed

COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE SOVIET UNION
CENTRAL COMMITTEE

FIRST (GENERAL) SECRETARY

Tel. +7-495-647-6335, e-mail: sekr@kpss.org

To left-wing forces of Brasil

 

On behalf of the leadership, all members and supporters of our Party I send our congratulations on decision of the Supreme Federal Court of Brasil to drop all corruption charges from Comrade Lula.

 

In conditions of deep socio-economic crisis the Brazilian public opinion was expressing a growing intolerance against a court arbitrariness, and even an extremely conservative judge community could not withstand such a pressure. Such intolerance was manifested not only in sociological surveys, but also in mass manifestations in defense of Lula, organized primarily by the MST movement. A certain role was also played by the movement of international solidarity, in which we took a modest part, in particular, conducting the vigils near the Brazilian embassy in Moscow.

 

Such decision of the Supreme Court of Brazil has a great political importance, allowing Lula to take part in the presidential elections. And win them with a great advantage, as evidenced by results of public opinion polls.

 

If Brazilian left forces will come to power again, the country will continue its rapid development, interrupted by the rule of the far right. At the same time the situation will change also in the international arena. Without the US dictates the country will conduct a more balanced policy and withering BRICS could gain the second breathing.

 

But this is a matter of the future. Today we must congratulate Brazilian comrades with a real and serious victory.

 

Long live Socialism!

Long live solidarity between Left forces all over the world!

 

Sergey Skvortsov,

First (General) Secretary of the CPSU