Michel Temer disapproval reaches 94% among the Brazilian population

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According to the Pulso Brasil survey, 95% of Brazilians think that the country is going on the wrong way

Michel Temer and Aécio Neves are the less popular politicians according to the Ipsos / Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom / Agência Brasil survey.
Data from the Pulso Brasil poll published on Tuesday 25 point to the Brazilian people’s dissatisfaction with the coup government of Michel Temer of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB). The study is made monthly by the opinion and market survey firm Ipsos Public Affairs.

The analysis shows that 94% of the population disapproves the management of Temer and 95% believe that the country is going in a wrong direction. The survey interviewed 1200 people in 72 Brazilian municipalities in all regions of the country.
The government of Michel Temer appears to be the worst evaluated with an initial rejection rate of 85% since the Ipsos surveys started.

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Lower House Committee rejects charges against Brazilian president Temer

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President Michel Temer during a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil July 13, 2017.

Welcome to reality: after a nine-years-sentence against Brazilian ex-president Lula, who was a union leader with a great support amongst the majority of Brazilian population, now comes the news that  the Constitutional Justice Committee of Brazil’s Lower House rejected charges against former president Michel Temer, related to Odebrecht file.

The Lower House Committee has rejected by 40 votes to 25, with one abstention, the attorney general´s request for corruption charges to be brought against President Michel Temer.

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Brazil’s Social Movements are defending Lula’s innocence

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The Brazilian Workers Party (PT) denounced that Lula is a victim of political persecution

Several rallies are takimg place in different Brazilian cities following the sentencing of the nation’s former President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva.

Sergio Moro, the lead judge sentenced Lula to nine and a half years in jail. But his lawyers say he is innocent and accuse Moro of being politically motivated.

It is not casual that this decision is coming when president Michel Temer is facing an impeachment and Lula´s popular support is undeniable.

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Brazilian Anarchists, Communists March Against Temer

One year after the parliamentary coup that ousted former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff and installed right-wing Michel Temer as president, the third edition of the annual Antifascist March on Saturday saw hundreds protesting in a number of cities across Brazil.

Organized by legions of anarchists, communists and a number of other left-wing organizations, the march was held in 20 cities and 15 states. It was organized in order to protest against the country’s “conservative advance” and the policies of the extreme right.

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Temer: Coup Government to Make Drastic Cuts to Housing Program

temer-1The coup-imposed government of interim President Michel Temer announced it will make drastic cuts to one of the country’s flagship social programs that provides low-cost housing to Brazilians, O Globo newspaper reported Saturday.

The cuts are set to mostly impact Brazil’s poorest.

The housing program, together with the Bolsa Familia subsidy for low-income people, is crediting with lifting millions out of poverty and are considered the flagship social programs of the leftist Workers’ Party governments led by Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff.

The program provides a subsidy to people depending on their level of income, with the lowest earners receiving housing virtually free-of-cost.

The cuts will affect these lowest earners the most. People in the second-lowest earning bracket will also face deep cuts.

The government will only honor existing contracts for social housing developments already underway.

The democratically elected government of suspended President Dilma Rousseff had made a commitment in February to build 2 million new units of social housing.

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Temer Orders Military to Surround Residence of Dilma Rousseff

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Senate-imposed Interim President Michel Temer has deployed military troops to cordon off the area surrounding the Palácio da Alvorada, residence of the suspended President Dilma Rousseff,  Brazilian Senate Vice President Jorge Vianna said on Thursday.

Vianna said there’s a checkpoint at the Palácio do Jaburu, where Temer currently resides, and which is very close to Rousseff’ residence in the capital of Brasilia.

“Anyone visiting President Dilma has to go through a checkpoint installed at Jaburu, with several heavily armed military (personnel)… I just made a visit to President Dilma. I was with the president of the National Congress. And we had to identify ourselves and wait a long time before getting the access,” Vianna said.

“This means that the elected president is under siege? What country is this? What provisional government is this?” the senator added.

Temer assumed the post of interim president last week following the suspension of President Dilma Rousseff, who is now facing a Senate impeachment trial.

Rousseff, along with millions of others across the country, regards the move as a coup waged by the right-wing opposition.

Despite formerly chairing the oil giant Petrobras — from which several former and current officials are linked to the corruption scandal dubbed “car wash” —  Rousseff has not been formally tied to the scandal and there are no formal charges against the socialist leader.

#MichelTemer: Wikileaks and US

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Whistleblower website WikiLeaks described the Senate-imposed President of Brazil Michel Temer as a “U.S. Embassy informant” in a tweet and provided two links where Temer’s candid thoughts on Brazilian politics serve as the basis for a report by the U.S. embassy in Brazil.

The cable from Jan. 11, 2006, states that Temer met with embassy officials on Jan. 9, 2006 to give his assessment of Brazil’s political landscape ahead of the 2006 general election that saw Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva reelected to the presidency.

Temer became interim president after the Brazilian Senate voted to proceed with an impeachment trial against President Dilma Rousseff, forcing her to step down for a period of 180 days.

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#Impeachment Bid Begins in #Brazil as Protesters Defend #Democracy

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take the streets of the main cities of Brazil this Friday across the country.

The Workers’ Party have called  on all Brazilians to fill every corner of Brazil to defend democracy as the impeachment process begins in Congress.

Congress right-wing opposition members kicked off impeachments sessions against President Dilma Rousseff as hundreds of violent anti-government protesters had blocked a main avenue in Sao Paulo rejecting the appointment of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as minister. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets across Brazil to show their support for democracy, for Rousseff and Lula da Silva, as both face a right-wing smear campaign, many demonstrators have already begun to gather in the capital of the state of Alagoas.

At least 60 leftist organizations, including labor unions and grassroots movements, will participate in the mass rallies in at least 15 main cities, including Sao Paolo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and  across the country. According to teleSUR correspondents many of attendees have already started to gather in Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro. Maceio, capital of Alagoas, was the first city to begin the day with pro-government rallies.

The leadership of the ruling Workers’ Party, or PT, have called all Brazilians to fill every corner of Brazil to defend democracy and to show the right-wing that the social changes achieved by the governments of Lula and Dilma will not be reversed and much less will they go unnoticed.  Last year, the opposition launched a plan to defame and discredit Rousseff. They’ve pushed forward impeachment proceedings after attempting to implicate her in a corruption scandal known as “Car Wash,” affecting the state-run oil company Petrobras.

However, she has denied all the allegations and has denounced the apparently false accusations as attempts to bring her government down through a “coup.” Opposition has also targeted former leader Lula, founder of the PT, who has been accused of corruption in the Petrobras case, and more recently has been accused of trying to dodge charges against him through his appointment as chief of staff by Rousseff.

Brazil’s Right Wing Seeking Regime Change?

As the largest country in Latin America suffers a contracting economy, its President Dilma Rousseff has faced record-low approval ratings, fueled by a continuous campaign to link her and top members of the governing Workers’ Party to a massive fraud scheme in the state-owned oil giant Petrobras.

The scandal has become an ongoing theme in Brazil’s mainstream media and has even been used by media giant Grupo Globo to openly call for Rousseff’s impeachment, a call backed by prominent opposition lawmakers. But it is not only Rousseff who the right-wing opposition has in its crosshairs. Former president and Workers’ Party leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva sued four journalists and the editor at Veja magazine in 2015 for publishing a front page special linking him to the Petrobras scandal.

Lula led Brazil’s economic boom from 2003 to 2010 and is still widely popular among the population. The former president has been a fervent supporter of Rousseff and his influence was decisive during the 2014 presidential elections. He is also likely to return as the Workers’ Party’s presidential candidate at the next elections.

Many believe that the right wants the scandal to damage not only the incumbent president, but her potential successor too.

When Lula’s house was raided on March 4, this came on the back of a smear campaign against the expresident. In February 2016, Lula hit out at critics trying to tarnish his name, saying, “They are punching below the belt, there is a project in play to destroy me and our legacy.”

The former president said the accusations of corruption leveled against him have no basis in fact and no proof has been offered that can tie him to the scandal involving the state-owned oil company Petrobras. “I could have made millions and millions, but everyone who knows me knows that I was never interested in making money, but rather in transforming the country,” said Lula.

Social movements have also rallied around Lula. Under the banner of the Popular Front, they expressed their “repudiation” at efforts to link Lula to the corruption scandal.

They have accused investigators of being selective about how they were carrying out their investigation into the corruption scandal, deliberately targeting the former president and his Workers’ Party. The Popular Front also struck back at media outlets for their “criminal and manipulative” handling of the story and for attempting to smear Lula.

“The Brazil Popular Front will not accept the coup-mongering and anti-democratic stance that both sectors of the judicial branch and the mainstream media try to impose on the Brazilian people,” said a statement released in February.

In October, Deputy Luiz Sergio Nobrega de Oliveira, head of a parliamentary commission in charge of the investigation into the Petrobras scandal, said “there was no proof” against Rousseff and Lula in any of documents examined by the parliamentary commission, exonerating them of all responsibility in the Petrobras scandal.

What lies behind any politicization of the corruption issue?

Brazil is currently headed by a shaky governing alliance of the Workers’ Party and the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB). This alliance is being torpedoed by the President of Congress Eduardo Cunha, a leading PMDB member, but one who is closely allied with the opposition. Many believe he is seeking to exploit the issue to strengthen his own power base.

The lawmaker has said that the current alliance in Congress will not hold until 2018, in a clear message of warning to the governing Workers’ Party.

His party mate and head of the Senate, Renan Calheiros broke with the ruling party in a similar fashion. Yet Cunha himself is under investigation in the Petrobras scandal and the investigations into the Petrobras scandal have also embroiled Calheiros in the fraudulent scheme.

Nonetheless, the media has emphasized Cunha and Calheiros as powerful voices, who put constant pressure over the government. Some have even called Cunha the prime minister – a position that does not exist in the country’s constitution – and Cunha himself has announced a constitutional reform proposing changing the presidential system to a parliamentary one.

The proposal has been backed by the main opposition party, the Social Democrat Party of Brazil (PSDB), whose Senator Aecio Neves was the party’s presidential candidate in the 2014 elections. It appears there is an unholy alliance seeking to exploit a corruption scandal to try to drag the country’s politics rightwards.

Political Manipulation of Corruption

The efforts to link the Workers’ Party to the Petrobras scandal have, so far, been the main strategy followed by right-wing parties and politicians to justify an impeachment of Rousseff. They were also the main strategy used to attack Rousseff in the 2014 presidential campaign.

Despite not having enough votes in Congress to initiate an impeachment process, the media campaign, together with repeated calls for impeachment by opposition parties, have helped create negative public opinion. Even though no evidence has been found linking the president to the Petrobras scandal, polls have shown large numbers believe Rousseff herself was responsible for the corruption scandal.

This is, in part, because the media has gone to great lengths in trying to portray the governing Workers’ Party as a corrupt, bureaucratic party that has poorly managed the state company. Lincoln Secco, an historian and Workers’ Party expert from the University of Sao Paulo, told teleSUR in 2015 that the media plays a key role in the current situation by exclusively targeting the Workers’ Party and not necessarily the government’s right-wing allies.

“Scandals involving the PT (Workers’ Party) are shown every day on television. (But) there is barely any criticism to the PMDB government in Sao Paulo,” he explains.

However, the investigations so far into the Petrobras corruption scheme show that politicians from many parties – not only the Workers’ Party – were involved in the illegal network, including some from the main opposition party, PSDB, and others from former presidential candidate Marina Silva’s Socialist Party.

But the focus remains on the Workers’ Party. The raid of Lula’s home came just a few days after he said he could be a candidate in the 2018 presidential election. With many believing that Rousseff has been fatally wounded by the baseless allegations, will Lula increasingly become the right’s target?

Lula and Dilma Supporters Respond to Anti-Government Protests

Supporters of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva release colored smoke in front of his home in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil, March 13, 2016.

Supporters of Brazil’s left-wing Workers’ Party leaders responded to anti-government protests by organizing cultural activities.

Supporters of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva took to the streets of Rio de Janeiro Sunday to protest earlier demonstrations against the two politicians.

Sunday morning, Brazil’s opposition and right-wing protesters marched in the streets to demonstrate against the two leaders from the left-wing Workers Party, or PT.

Lula and President Rousseff have both been entangled in a corruption scandal involving the state owned oil company Petrobras, what critics say is a part of a smear campaign aimed to discredit the leftist leaders.

Protesters are demanding Rousseff’s resignation while opposition members have been threatening her with impeachment. However, the president is not being investigated in the corruption scandal.

Following Sunday morning’s anti-government protest, supporters responded by organizing major demonstrations in the form of cultural activities.

Event organizers say they are defending democracy in Brazil, and have denounced the anti-government campaign the government being orchestrated by the media, corporations and right-wing sectors.

In regards to the protests Sunday morning, President Rousseff responded by welcoming the fact that Brazilians are free to demonstrate peacefully and express what they think.

“We believe that all people have the right to go outside, but now no one has the right to create violence. I lived in a time when if you protested you went prisoner, if you disagreed you were in jail. Not now. We live in a time when people can protest and express what they think, and that’s something we have to preserve,” she said.

Supporters say that as long as the threats against Rousseff and Lula persist, they will continue their movement of support, including a mass demonstration called for March 18, organized by the national labor union.

What You Need to Know About Brazil’s Petrobras Scandal

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was taken in for questioning last week for his alleged connection to the Lava Jato scandal involving the country’s state oil company, Petrobras.

The Petrobras scandal has long been a thorn in Brazil’s side. Over the past two years, over 100 people have been arrested for their alleged involvement, including senators and top executives at Petrobras. President Dilma Rousseff has also been implicated in the scandal by mainstream media and is facing threats of impeachment, even though she is not formally being investigated.

But what is this scandal plaguing so many of Brazil’s top politicians? What is Lava Jato?

It is an investigation that uncovered a web of corruption in Brazil’s Petrobras, as well as a host of financial and political problems. It was discovered in 2014, but experts estimate that criminal activities were being developed for ten years. Lava Jato, Portugese for car wash, is one of Brazil’s largest corruption investigations.

The scheme consisted of companies bribing senior Petrobras officials and other public offices to get “overbilled” contracts with the state oil company. Dozens of senior executives of construction companies have already been detained for their alleged involvement in the scandal between 2004 and 2012. The diverted money amounts to some US$8 billion.

When Did The Case Become Public?

The case became public when investigators started to question the movement of billions of Brazilian reais abroad, and throughout the country, through seemingly legitimate businesses. One of these early schemes used car wash establishments for the money laundering operations. This is where the name Lava Jato was born.

Experts handling the case also found the connections of these money laundering schemes with the state owned oil company Petrobras. What is Rousseff’s Connection to the Scandal? Rousseff is not under investigating for any involvement in the scandal, but she was the chairwoman of Petrobras when many of the alleged kickback schemes were hatched.

Due to this connection, many have tried to link her to the corruption scheme, including Brazil’s media giant Grupo Globo which is using the allegations to openly call for Dilma’s impeachment – a call backed by prominent opposition lawmakers.

Critics say the allegations are nothing more than an attempt to discredit Rousseff’s administration, adding that the media has long played a role in trying to portray the ruling PT party as bureaucratic and corrupt, and that it has inefficiently managed the state resources.

What is Lula’s Connection to the Scandal?

Former president Lula da Silva was arrested on Friday and taken in for questioning over the Petrobras scandal. However, Lula claims the arrest was arbitrary and illegal because he had never refused to testify and has already been absolved by the Brazilian courts of all corruption allegations. Lula’s arrest happened just after he announced that he would consider running for president in the next elections.

Lula’s return to the presidency is seen as one of the only ways the left-wing Brazilian Workers’ Party (PT) could stay in power since current President Dilma Rousseff has seen public support plummet – mainly for her alleged connection to the Petrobras scandal and Brazil’s weakening economy.

But critics say both Rousseff and Lula are facing a smear campaign by opposition parties, seeking to make it look as though the ruling PT party has lost control.

Following the announcement that he could potentially run again for president – what would be a major blow to the country’s right-wing opposition given his popularity – he was arrested for allegedly orchestrating a plot to buy off a witness in the Petrobras scandal and was later detained on suspicion that he had directly benefited from the scandal. In a separate case, Sao Paulo prosecutors are seeking Lula’s arrest for other money laundering charges and making false declarations.

If a judge decides to send him to trial, Lula could face up to 13 years in prison, essentially barring him from the next presidential election. Brazilian Minister of Labor and Social Health Miguel Rossetto said Lula’s arrest is “a clear attack on what Lula represents as a politician and social leader,” adding that he has always been open and willing to cooperate with authorities.