By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
A CubaNews translation edited by Walter Lippmann.
“Right now, there’s a good chance that the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, be very brief. The word impeachment is already part of the current language in the media and social networks in the South American giant.”
At least that’s what Andrés Ferrari Haines, a professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Brazil, wrote in an article published, on May 21, by the Argentinean newspaper “Página 12”.
Eduardo Bolsonaro, the president’s son, warned in Buenos Aires that an electoral victory of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s would represent the risk of turning Argentina into another Venezuela.
Curiously, says the newspaper, his father is achieving in Brazil what mercenary Juan Guaidó could not achieve in Venezuela: to have protests everywhere promoting the rule of law and opposition to the President.
An historic march took place on Wednesday, May 15, in which nearly two million people took to the streets in 200 Brazilian cities to protest against the budget cuts in education. It was a turning point in the rejection of President Jair Bolsonaro, his children and several personalities close to him.
Those who, during his electoral campaign, thought that his violent and bellicose style was part of an electoral strategy to attack his opponents are realizing that this is a trait of his personality.
It seems that his capacity for dialogue is zero, and he can only express himself aggressively –even if this might not be his intention.
One could think that Bolsonaro, together with his sons, tried to strengthen his image in a direct relationship with his electoral base, discrediting sectors that were part of the coalition government, such as the military, which occupy several positions in allied political parties.
Even more serious, in the field of the economy, has been the appointment of his “super minister” Paulo Guedes, an extreme neoliberal choice, submissive to U.S. capital, especially to those that seek the extreme exploitation of natural resources and the control of state financial institutions and companies such as Petrobras.
In his strategy, Guedes placed all his chips in favor of the approval of a brutal reform aimed at preventing an “inevitable” economic catastrophe. Here he is meeting great resistance in and out of parliament.
It is a strategy of submission to private activity that launched Minister of Education Weintraub who, summoned by Congress, in the midst of a student protest, made it clear that the objective was not to cut the educational budget, but to extinguish the public education system.
In line with his President, the minister ignored the students and affirmed that “the graduates of the Brazilian public universities don’t know anything.”
Reality, however, has demonstrated the opposite: public schools are at the top of the list in the national ranking –with only two or three private ones– in the front rank. Even more so: the public ones are among the first in comparisons with those in emerging countries, and some have reputable placements at the international level. Thus, it is clear that there is no basis whatsoever for the government project aimed at dismantling public education to the benefit of private education that the minister so much praises.
For his part, Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo aligned Brazil’s foreign policy to the United States in a moralistic crusade that identifies “globalization” with a process driven by “cultural Marxism” and climate risks with a “communist conspiracy”, even at the expense of losing important foreign markets.
Meanwhile, the economy comes to a standstill, the stock market falls and the dollar soars.
In addition, it has become known that consulting firm A.T. Kearney removed Brazil –for the first time—from the top 25 destinations for the United States investors. During the government of Dilma Rousseff, Brazil was in the third place.
Bolsonaro was losing so much support in the last week that even his “guru,” astrologer Olavo de Carvalho, predicted that he will abandon politics in Brazil.
The Brasil LIbre [Free Brazil] Movement, a great player in the fall of Rousseff and in the anti-PT wave, also announced its breaking up Bolsonaro.
The students are calling for a mobilization on May 30 and, in addition, they have joined the General Strike, on June 14, against Bolsonaro’s reforms.
The main print media, O Globo de Rio and Folha do Estado de Sao Paulo, in their editorials are very critical of the political maneuvers of the President and his attacks on democracy.
Investigations of corruption and illicit association against one of his sons, Flavio, are growing every day, and affect nearly one hundred people who were hired or moved fortunes in connection with his office, including the President’s wife herself.
May 24, 2019.
This article may be reproduced by quoting the newspaper POR ESTO as the source.
The reality of the doctors who decided to stay in that South American nation is that they can no longer exercise their profession after the end of the More Doctors program.
February 5, 2019.
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Faced with the attempt by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to sully the work and honor of the Cuban doctors working in the More Doctors program, Cuba responded with customary dignity. The Ministry of Public Health announced the withdrawal of our doctors.
The decision implied the return to Cuba of the more than 8,000 doctors working in Brazil on the program that began in August 2013.
Since his election in October 2018, Bolsonaro repeatedly attacked Cuba and the More Doctors program.
In addition to repeating his questioning of the quality and training of Cuban professionals and requiring them to carry out an examination to revalidate their degrees. Bolsonaro was thus undertaking it against the PAHO-Brazil-Cuba agreements.
Of the 8,332 professionals who were in Brazil, the majority decided to return to the Island, the dignified gesture of the Cuban doctors awakened the admiration of the world and made visible once again the validity of the internationalist character of the Cuban Revolution.
But what has been the fate of the Cuban doctors who stayed in Brazil?
A paper published by EFE on February 3 describes the desperate situation in which Cuban doctors find themselves in the face of unfulfilled promises and the latent reality of a system that is not interested in the health of the poorest and that used them as a disposable tool in the machinery of manufacturing lies and manipulation.
According to EFE, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, the doctors who did not return to the island after the end of the More Doctors program can no longer practice their profession in the South American country.
Some of those who stayed were granted the status of “refugees”, so as not to lose their status as residents and be able to obtain a job portfolio, “a procedure that takes time while they do not receive any income”.
The hope of re-entering Más Médicos as a way to obtain the necessary employment is fading, “to achieve this they must wait at the end of a long line, because the competition launched by the government to fill the vacancies made Brazilian doctors a priority.
Initial applications surpassed the number of vacancies, 8,517, but there are some 800 not filled because “some of the Brazilian doctors chosen gave up their positions because they were in areas that were difficult to access or lacked resources.
Meanwhile, the Cuban doctors who remained in Brazil are trying to obtain one of the 800 places, as soon as they have the right to access the competition, a possibility that has been delayed time and time again.
Getting a job in “anything” becomes the only possibility, the other is waiting for a revalidation exam to be held in order to compete in the labor market on equal terms with Brazilians, but the bad news is that since 2017 there are no exams, it can take years for one to be called.
By Atilio Boron
October 7, 2018
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
[reformatted for web-readability)
In a smelly tavern in the slums of Munich in the first post-war period, a demobilized corporal of the Austrian imperial army – failed as a painter and portraitist – tried to make a living by betting on local drunks that they could not hit him with their spittle from a distance of three meters. If he dodged them, he won; when he didn’t, he had to pay.
Between attempts, he shouted tremendous anti-Semitic insults, cursed Bolsheviks and Spartacists, and promised to eradicate gypsies, homosexuals, and Jews from the face of the earth. All in the midst of the uncontrolled shouting of the clientele gathered there, passing alcohol, and repeating with mockery their sayings while they threw the remains of beer from their cups and threw coins between insults and laughter.
Years later, Adolf Hitler would become, with the same harangues, the leader “of the most cultured people in Europe”, according to Friedrich Engels more than once. Who in those moments – 1920, 21, 23 – was the reason for the cruel sarcasm among the parishioners of the tavern would resurrect as a kind of demigod for the great masses of his country and the very embodiment of the German national spirit.
Bridging the gap, something similar is happening with Jair Bolsonaro, who comfortably leads the polls in the first round of Brazil’s presidential election. His reactionary, sexist, homophobic, fascist outbursts and his apology of the gloomy Brazilian military dictatorship of 1964 and his tortures provoked widespread repulsion in society.
For that reason, for two years, his voting intention never exceeded 15 or 18 percent. The polls of the last two weeks, however, show a spectacular growth in his candidacy. The most recent one assigns him 39 percent voting intention. We know that today’s public opinion polls have enormous margins of error. There can also be media operations of the Brazilian bourgeoisie willing to install in Brasilia anyone who prevents the “return of petista populism” to power.
But we also know, as a recent note by Marcelo Zero in Brazil states, that the CIA and its local allies have unleashed an overwhelming avalanche of “fake news” and defamatory news about the candidates of the petista alliance that found fertile ground in the favelas and popular neighborhoods of the big cities of that country.
These sectors were lifted out of extreme poverty and empowered by the administration of Lula and Dilma. But they were not educated politically nor was their territorial organization favored. They remained as masses in availability, as the sociologists of the sixties would say.
Those who are organizing and raising awareness are the evangelical churches with whom Bolsonaro has allied himself, promoting a harsh, hyper-critical conservative discourse about the “disorder” caused by the left in Brazil with its policies of social inclusion, gender, respect for diversity, LGBTI and its “soft hand” with delinquency, its obsession for human rights “only for the criminals”.
One of their means of attracting favelados to the cause of the radical right is to send so-called pollsters to ask them if they would like their son José to be renamed and called María, to exacerbate homophobia. The answer is unanimously negative, and indignant. The former captain’s preaching is clearly in tune with that popular conservatism skillfully stimulated by reaction.
In this ideological climate, his scandalous and violent nonsense, such as Hitler’s, decant as reasonable popular common sense and could catapult a monster like Bolsonaro to the Palace of the Planalto. By the way, as an additional fact, it should be remembered that he promised Donald Trump to authorize the installation of a U.S. military base in Alcántara, something the petite governments refused. If it were to succeed, it would be the beginning of a horrible nightmare, not only for Brazil but for all of Latin America.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Not to be kissed by force, not to be cuddled up to from behind and not to be grabbed around the waist without prior consent: Brazilian women have mobilized more than ever this year around the “No means no” movement to put an end to the frequent instances of sexual harassment inflicted on them during Carnival.
The situation is repeated countless times per day in many of the dance troupes that fill the streets in Brazilian cities and towns: A man begins to make advances to a woman, the woman tells him to stop, that she’s not interested, but the man keeps insisting.
In just three hours, a woman can be accosted up to five times, according to what some of them have said.
But something is changing in Brazil, although for the past two years, the number of sexual harassment complaints during Carnival has been growing in a country where 52 percent of women who have experienced such behavior from men have decided to keep silent, according to a survey by the Brazilian Public Safety Forum.
In 2018, stickers and tattoos have begun being seen calling for respect for women’s bodies and an end to macho behavior that is still seen as natural among a large portion of the public.
“When we say ‘no means no,’ we’re speaking up so that women can empower their bodies, we’re saying they aren’t obligated to endure that and that they have a support network,” Julia Parucker told EFE.
Even the police seem to pay the issue little heed. At one Carnival celebration in the state of Pernambuco, one girl said that when she went to the police to complain about a sexual attack the officer said: “Girl, this is Carnival. What do you want me to do…?”
Given that situation, Parucker and a group of female friends have launched an initiative –with donations from the public– to print 25,000 stickers for women to stick on their skin saying “Nao e Nao” (no means no).
“Our bodies are going to be our battleground, where we cry that there’s no reason for it to be like this,” she said.
The initial target was to collect 7,500 reais (about $2,330) but the campaign resonated so strongly among women that they received 20,457 reais ($6,365), which has allowed them to get their message out in the cities of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Salvador, Belo Horizonte, Recife, Olinda and Brasilia.
Even if this is a “daily battle”, Parucker believes, it is important to step up the struggle against harassment whenever “it is necessary, like during the carnival”.
Eloisa Honorato, 31, a member of a dance troupe called “Maravillosas Cuerpo de Baile” (Wonderful Corps of Dancers), enjoys the atmosphere of the popular Sao Paulo-based parade Pilantragi together with more than twenty of her colleagues.
Most of them are carry a female symbol on their head and a top with a patterned music player showing a comb shaped like a Fallopian tube. Eloisa, however, displays a full-body painting, her breasts covered with two red hearts surrounded by a golden bra-like drawing.
“We’re here to fight against patriarchy and against an oppressive society that believes itself to be the owner of our bodies”, Eloisa complains. “We’re all fed up, we can’t take it anymore, and when we all get together we feel stronger and protected by the energy we create”, she adds.
Near them is Luiza Gonçalves, 21, who says “as women we are now more empowered and aware” that we don’t have to put up with “any intolerable situation”.
At least 42 percent of Brazilian women say they have suffered sexual harassment, according to a survey conducted by Datafolha and released last December. A third of them admitted to being sexually accosted as they were walking down the street.
To Parucker, Carnival is particularly delicate because men take advantage of the fact that everybody is happy and joking to “poke around”, to put it mildly, convinced that they can get away with it and nothing will happen.
In her opinion, there’s still a long way to go before society and authorities stop downplaying the cases of harassment “so typical” during Carnival.
The tattoos, stickers and other signs saying “No means no” are the start of a situation in Brazil where women who suffer sexual harassment can “have the courage to complain” because “when we say no means no it’s not a yes or a perhaps. No means no and (men) have to respect that,” said Parucker.
(With information from EFE)
By Manuel E. Yepe
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Paulo Nogueira Batista, an executive director representing Brazil and a group of eight Latin American countries in the International Monetary Fund, stressed during a world tourism conference held a week ago in the Brazilian city of Florianopolis that “U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration should work to bringing Cuba back into international bodies such as the IMF”.
His appeal is anything but exceptional. In fact, it adds to the chorus of many in the United States and other countries against an economic blockade that year after year the international community condemns almost with one voice in the United Nations General Assembly, as well as to the widespread criticism leveled at the U.S. anti-Cuban policy, as with the variety of statements made in the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad in favor of restoring Cuba’s right to join the Organization of American States, even if the host nation is known to be opposed to the idea.
It all reveals a lack of consistency with the promise of change that helped the new U.S. president win the election: to the voters, it means a high number of social rights denied to them despite their country’s wealth, whereas to the elite who truly hold the power these are merely necessary corrections to prevent the collapse of a seriously endangered imperial order.
However, that the superpower has managed to get away with the manifest crime against humanity that its fifty-year-long blockade on the small neighboring island represents throws into relief the wickedness and absurdity of the world order imposed on our planet and proves that it extends beyond economic issues to leave a deep mark on the political leanings of plenty of people and social groups.
Obviously, many strong forces are currently in motion in the United States to lift the blockade, end the travel ban and reestablish official relations with Cuba, but it’s also undeniable that the effects of half a century of malicious slander compel most of those who fight to get things back to normal between both countries to justify their efforts to correct this wrong by arguing that the Cuban revolution has successfully overcome every aggressive wile so far and therefore other, more subtle ones are needed.
I believe those who claim that all people in the world have the inalienable right to a revolution and that the Cubans have been forced to exercise such right under constant, unjustifiable pressure from its nearest neighbor –the greatest military and economic power on Earth– are still a minority in the United States.
Small wonder, then, that zealous defenders of the U.S.’s worst terrorist acts against Cuba are now challenging the blockade, including Cuban-Americans who made a living from the attacks on the island using the considerable financial aid earmarked by Washington for overthrowing the Revolution and are now saying that violence must be replaced by ideological influence without giving up the ultimate purpose.
This idea of trying to undermine the Cuban Revolution from the inside is not only typical of the new political currents up north or the Cuban counterrevolutionaries at their service. It’s common knowledge that almost every northern nation whose government has long advised world capitalism’s leading superpower to lift the blockade on Cuba is as fearful of the former’s example as they are of the latter’s.
Yet, the Cuban Revolution, whose people and leaders have been so determined to and capable of fighting the hardest battles for their identity and rights, would not be worthy of its name if it shied away from the challenge of engaging the enemy in the battlefield of ideological confrontation.
Funded by the U.S., anti-Cuban propaganda coined the argument that Cuba took advantage of the blockade to explain its mistakes or flaws while shamelessly trying to isolate, starve and discourage the Cubans from their efforts to carry on with a beautiful revolutionary project that they will never give up until they make it come true.
Por Manuel E. Yepe
Mayo de 2009
“La Administración del Presidente estadounidense Barack Obama debía trabajar por lograr la reincorporación de Cuba a organismos internacionales tales como el Fondo Monetario Internacional”, manifestó Paulo Nogueira Batista, un funcionario de dicho Fondo que representa a Brasil y a un grupo de otros 8 países latinoamericanos en el FMI, durante una conferencia sobre turismo mundial que tuvo lugar a mediados de mayo en la ciudad brasileña de Florianópolis.
El llamado no es algo excepcional. De hecho, se incorpora a los muchos que, tanto en Estados Unidos como en otras naciones, se formulan constantemente contra un bloqueo económico que ha sido condenado, casi unánimemente, por la comunidad mundial en la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas, año tras año.
Son denuncias que forman parte de las críticas más generales a la política de Estados Unidos contra Cuba que ahora están brotando en muchos escenarios, como es el caso de los pronunciamientos a favor de la restitución a Cuba sus derechos de pertenecer a la Organización de Estados Americanos que proliferaron en ocasión de la Conferencia Cumbre de las Américas en Trinidad y Tobago, pese a que es sabido que la nación caribeña rechazaría tal reinserción.
Es tangible la incongruencia que existe entre el significado de las promesas de cambios que propiciaron al nuevo presidente de los Estados Unidos su elección. Para las masas de votantes significan muchas reivindicaciones sociales enajenadas no obstante la opulencia del país, en tanto que, para las élites que detentan el poder verdadero son las correcciones imprescindibles para evitar el derrumbe de un orden imperial gravemente amenazado.
Pero la impunidad con que la superpotencia se ha permitido mantener el evidente crimen de lesa humanidad del bloqueo a la pequeña isla vecina durante medio siglo, pone de relieve lo inicuo y absurdo de ese orden mundial a que se halla sometido el planeta y, así mismo, prueba que éste no se limita a los factores económicos sino que ha marcado profundamente la orientación política de mucha gente y grupos sociales.
Es evidente que hoy, en Estados Unidos, son muchos y muy fuertes los intereses que se movilizan contra el bloqueo económico de Cuba, la prohibición de los viajes de estadounidenses a Cuba y la ausencia de relaciones oficiales con la isla antillana.
Pero también es irrebatible que aún la mayoría de quienes abogan por el retorno a la normalidad de los vínculos diplomáticos, económicos, culturales y de todo tipo entre los dos países, se ven obligados por las huellas de cincuenta años de malintencionadas campañas de difamación, a acudir a la justificación de esta posición rectificadora con el argumento de que la revolución cubana no ha podido ser derrotada con las mañas agresivas hasta ahora utilizadas y es preciso adoptar otras más sutiles.
Son minoría aún en Estados Unidos, a mi juicio, aquellos que –al abogar o respaldar un cambio en la política de Estados Unidos respecto a Cuba- parten del argumento de que la revolución es un derecho inalienable que tienen los pueblos de todas las naciones del mundo y que los cubanos se han visto obligados a ejercer tal facultad siempre obstaculizados por una injustificable hostilidad de la potencia militar y económica mayor del mundo, su vecino más próximo.
Por eso, no sorprende encontrar ahora a furibundos defensores de las políticas más terroristas de EEUU contra Cuba abogando en contra del bloqueo. Incluso entre cubanos residentes en los Estados Unidos que han hecho de la agresividad contra Cuba su medio de subsistencia aprovechando los abundantes recursos financieros que Washington ha destinado al propósito de derrotar a la revolución cubana, se encuentran hoy nuevos propagadores de la idea del cambio de los métodos agresivos por los de la penetración, sin variar los objetivos.
Es obvio que esta idea de intentar la derrota de la revolución cubana desde adentro no es privativa de la nueva corriente política estadounidense y de los contrarrevolucionarios cubanos que sirven a Washington. Nadie ignora que los gobiernos de casi todas las naciones del Norte, que durante muchos años han aconsejado a los de la superpotencia líder del capitalismo mundial que levante el bloqueo a Cuba, temen tanto el ejemplo de Cuba como el de EEUU.
Pero la revolución cubana, cuyo pueblo y sus líderes han dado muestras de decisión y capacidad para librar las batallas más complejas por afirmar su identidad y los derechos populares, no sería verdadera si rehuyera el enfrentamiento ideológico como terreno de lucha para su reafirmación.
La propaganda contra la revolución pagada por Estados Unidos acuñó como consigna la de que Cuba se aprovechaba del bloqueo para justificar sus errores o deficiencias, mientras impúdicamente se trataba de aislar, hambrear y desalentar los bríos de los cubanos por llevar adelante un hermoso proyecto revolucionario al que el pueblo no ha renunciado ni renunciará jamás hasta verlo convertido en realidad.
By Manuel E. Yepe
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
“Now the poor, the excluded, the landless and the homeless, who had hoped to reach happiness, will have to seek other party associations –or forge new political tools– based on ethics, the elimination of the causes of social inequalities and the search for another possible Brazil”.
Such is the forecast of Frei Betto, the militant journalist, writer, religious revolutionary of the Dominican Order and Theology of the Revolution –former advisor to the President of the Republic of Brazil when Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva held that position– given the serious crisis in that country after the parliamentary and media coup d’etat against the constitutional order in his country.
The first three governments of the Brazilian Workers Party (PT) –two with Lula and one with Dilma Rousseff– represent the best in the republican history of the South American giant.
“45 million Brazilians were rescued from misery; social programs –from the Bolsa Familia to More Doctors– which spread a safety net under the poorest social sectors of the nation. Access to college became popular. The International Monetary Fund stopped bothering our accounts and Latin America gained greater unity. And Cuba was taken out of limbo,” wrote the prestigious religious revolutionary.
“Too bad the PT did not dare implement structural reforms in politics, taxes and land. It allowed its Zero Hunger emancipation program be replaced by the compensation program Bolsa Familia.”
“As if rhetoric were enough to cover unfortunate inequalities, the PT tried in vain to be the father of the poor and the mother of the rich. To renew Congress it did not trust the political potential of the leaders of social movements. It preferred to form promiscuous political alliances whose opportunistic virus eventually contaminated some of its leaders.”
Thanks to easy credit, inflation control, and a real increase in the minimum wage above inflation, the population had greater access to personal goods. In its 13 years of government, the PT did not insist on the political literacy of the nation or the democratization of the media.
Thanks to tax exemptions, the entire line of electrical appliances, as well as computers and cell phones, are present in almost all the slums of the favelas…“and who knows if, even in the foothills of the mountains, and any other car can be bought on installments “.
“However, you also find the hut occupied by a family without housing, with no security, no health, no education, no quality public transportation. The priority should have been for access to social welfare. Failing this, a nation of consumers was formed, not of citizens; a nation of voters who vote as if they were obeying a religious precept or repaying a personal favor.”
According to Betto, “between advances and setbacks, the PT leaves as its legacy social programs that deserved to be defined as state guarantees and not just as government policies. But, will the party have the audacity to reinvent itself?” wonders the revolutionary intellectual.
PT governments inherited the country from neo-liberal Fernando Enrique Cardoso who left Brazil to Lula in deep economic crisis, with skyrocketing inflation, astronomical public debt, breaking of the social fabric, disarticulation of the state and a deepening of the abysmal inequalities and injustices Brazil has suffered for centuries. Among these were the unjust distribution of land. Another was an electoral law that prevents popular participation. For both, the union leader [Lula] and Dilma, governing has been very difficult.
To advance their social agenda they had to maintain alliances of convenience and agreements with bourgeois sectors and parties. They to faced a fierce onslaught byldd the right and the great oligarchic media in a country where 90% of the media is in hands of seven wealthy families who control the audiovisual spectrum.
Despite these factors, the PT management has been revalidated by voters in three consecutive presidential elections, including the much-harassed re-election of Dilma in 2014, with a smaller margin than earlier, but still with the very respectable figure of 54 million votes, more than three million more than her rival Aécio Neves.
Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment has been a dirty blow by oligarchic groups of the resentful Brazilian right that has been inserted into the large projects of the imperialist extreme right. They are interested in removing from their way a nation that somehow holds the ideals of Latin Americans and has become a standard bearer of its resolute struggle for independence and social progress.
No doubt there will be a struggle. It only remains to be seen in what arena. The coup leaders lack consensus except within the elite and the fascist sector of the middle class.
June 17, 2016.
Por Manuel E. Yepe
“Ahora los pobres, los excluidos, los sintierra y los sintecho, que tenían la esperanza de llegar a ser felices, tendrán que buscar otras asociaciones partidarias o forjar nuevas herramientas de hacer política, fundadas en la ética, la supresión de las causas de las desigualdades sociales y en la búsqueda de otro Brasil posible”. Tal es el pronóstico que formula, ante la grave crisis por la que atraviesa tras el golpe de estado parlamentario y mediático contra el orden constitucional en su país, el periodista, escritor, religioso de la orden de los dominicos y militante de la Teología de la Revolución, Frei Betto, quien fuera asesor del Presidente de la República de Brasil cuando Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva ocupaba este cargo. Los tres primeros gobiernos del Partido de los Trabajadores (PT) – dos de Dilma Rousseff y uno de Lula- representan lo mejor que ha habido en la historia republicana del gigante suramericano. “Salieron de la miseria 45 millones de brasileños; los programas sociales -desde el Bolsa Familia al Más Médicos- le extendieron una red de protección social a la parcela más pobre de la nación; el acceso a la universidad se popularizó; el Fondo Monetario Internacional dejó de meterse en nuestras cuentas y América Latina ganó más unidad. Y Cuba fue sacada del limbo”, escribe el prestigioso religioso revolucionario Frei Betto.
“Lástima que el PT no se atrevió a implementar reformas de estructuras, como la política, la tributaria y la agraria. Permitió que el programa de emancipación Hambre Cero fuera sustituido por el compensatorio Bolsa Familia.
“Como si la retórica fuera suficiente para encubrir lamentables desigualdades, el PT trató en vano de ser el padre de los pobres y la madre de los ricos. Para renovar el Congreso no confió en el potencial político de los líderes de los movimientos sociales. Prefirió concertar alianzas promiscuas cuyos virus oportunistas acabaron por contaminar a algunos de sus dirigentes”.
Si bien gracias al crédito fácil, al control de la inflación y al aumento real del salario mínimo por encima de la inflación, la población tuvo mayor acceso a bienes personales en sus 13 años de gobierno, el PT no se empeñó en la alfabetización política de la nación ni en la democratización de los medios. Favorecidos por la exoneración de impuestos, en casi todos los tugurios de las favelas está presente toda la línea de aparatos electrodomésticos así como computadoras y celulares… “y, quién sabe si, en las faldas de la cuesta, incluso algún auto comprado a plazos”.
“Sin embargo, se da también la choza ocupada por una familia sin vivienda, ni seguridad, ni salud, ni educación, ni transporte colectivo de calidad. La prioridad debió haber sido para el acceso a los bienes sociales. Se originó por ello una nación de consumidores, no de ciudadanos, una nación de electores que votan como quien cumple un precepto religioso o retribuye un favor de compadrazgo”.
Entre avances y retrocesos, el PT deja como legado, según Betto, programas sociales que merecerían figurar como políticas de Estado y no solo de gobierno. ¿Pero tendrá el partido la osadía de reinventarse?”, se pregunta el intelectual revolucionario.
Los gobiernos del PT recibieron el país del neoliberal Fernando Enrique Cardoso que lo dejó a Lula en honda crisis económica, inflación desbocada, astronómica deuda pública, desgarramiento del tejido social, desarticulación del Estado y profundización de las desigualdades e injusticias abismales que padece Brasil hace siglos; una de ellas, la injusta distribución de la tierra. Otra, una ley electoral que impide la participación popular. Tanto al sindicalista como a Dilma les ha sido muy difícil gobernar.
Para hacer avanzar su agenda social han debido mantener alianzas y conciliaciones con sectores y partidos burgueses y de conveniencia para estar en condiciones de enfrentar una embestida feroz de la derecha y la gran prensa oligárquica en un país donde el 90 % de los medios están en manos de siete adineradas familias que controlan el espectro audiovisual. No obstante estos factores, la gestión del PT ha sido revalidada por los electores en tres comicios presidenciales consecutivos, incluyendo la muy acosada reelección de Dilma en 2014, con un margen más ajustado que los anteriores pero ascendente a la muy respetable cifra de 54 millones de votos, más de tres millones sobre su rival Aécio Neves.
El juicio político (impeachment) contra Dilma Rousseff ha sido un sucio golpe de los resentidos grupos oligárquicos de la derecha brasileña que se ha venido a insertar en los grandes proyectos de la extrema derecha imperialista interesada en quitarse del camino a una nación que, de alguna manera, concierta los idearios de los
latinoamericanos y ha devenido abanderada de su indetenible lucha por la independencia y el progreso social.
No hay dudas de que habrá pelea. Sólo queda por ver en qué terreno. Los golpistas carecen de consenso salvo en la élite y el sector fascista de la clase media.
Junio 17 de 2016.
By Manuel E. Yepe
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
A US State Department spokesperson repeatedly refused to comment on the momentous political crisis in Brazil during his June 3 press briefing. He gave evidence of the sharp contrast between his long and loquacious criticisms of neighboring Venezuela and Washington’s complicit tolerance of the parliamentary coup in Brazil.
This was reported on the alternative website AlterNet by journalist Zaid Jilani, who actively participated as a reporter in the press conference given on June 3rd by US State Department official spokesperson Mark Toner.
In a dispatch by Jilani, published by digital website The Intercept and other alternative media, it was reported that, when questioned about this sharp contrast, Toner, visibly excited, said: “I don’t have anything to comment about the ongoing political dimensions of the crisis in Brazil.”
The US “hard” foreign policy intends to apply to Venezuela the Inter-American Democratic Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS) imposed by the Washington on the continent following September 11, 2001. It’s goal was to strengthen United States domination in the context of the New York terrorist events used as a pretext for President George W. Bush President George W. Bush ‘s declaration of the “war on terrorism”.
In the case of Brazil, the United States tries to justify the “soft” parliamentary, judicial and media coup d’état against President Dilma Rousseff’s government. Her impeachment’s legitimacy has been rejected by most experts and observers who are not subject to the networks of international corporate media controlled by Washington.
The State Department has been extremely repetitive in its criticism of Venezuela’s progressive government. It accuses that government of applying popular policies contrary to the hegemonic interests of the global corporations. By contrast, it has been silent about the takeover of the government in Brazil by a staunchly right-wing, pro-business government that is making the privatization of state industry a priority.
The debate with Toner at the press conference began when The Intercept journalist (Zaid Jilani) asked Toner why the U.S. has been joining in regional criticisms of Venezuela’s government for its alleged democratic backsliding, but has ignored Brazil’s political crisis, where right-wing lawmakers voted on May 12 to suspend the democratically-elected President from government and to open impeachment proceedings against the head of state.
It was then that veteran Associated Press State Department reporter Matt Lee jumped into the fray, asking if the impeachment of former President Dilma Rousseff was itself “valid.”
Toner continued to dodge, declaring U.S. confidence in Brazilian institutions. “But we’re very concerned about the current development of political events in Venezuela…” he said.
“And why aren’t you very concerned about a similar situation in Brazil?” Lee probed.
“Again — well, look, I’ve said my piece. I mean, I don’t have anything to add,” Toner concluded.
When Pam Dawkins of Voice of America asked about Venezuela and “the state of democracy there” in light of the delay of a proposed recall referendum put forth by the country’s opposition, Toner’s tone changed dramatically. In a response that went on for two full minutes, Toner waxed moralistic, asking Venezuela to respect democratic norms.
“We call on Venezuela’s authorities to allow this referendum to move forward and thus ensure that Venezuelans can exercise their right to participate in this process in keeping with Venezuela’s democratic institutions, practices, and principles consistent with the Inter-American Democratic Charter.”
Lee felt obliged to note again the contrast between Toner’s long critical response about the situation in Venezuela and the two phrases about Brazil “which is a much bigger country and with which you have enjoyed better relations.”
Then another reporter jumped into the fracas, asking Toner if the composition of the new Brazilian cabinet –composed entirely of men, many of them tied to large industries in the country– that replaces the cabinet led by the first female head of state in Brazil’s history raised any concerns.
“Look, guys, I will see if we have anything more to say about the situation in Brazil,” Toner concluded, to get rid of the embarrassing situation in which he had been placed because of the ambivalence of the “two-faced” imperialist foreign policy.
June 11, 2016.
Por Manuel E. Yepe
Un portavoz del Departamento de Estado estadounidense se negó reiteradamente a comentar la actual crisis política en Brasil y estableció un inconsecuente contraste entre su larga y mordaz crítica contra el gobierno de Venezuela y la cómplice tolerancia de cara a los “golpistas parlamentarios” en Brasilia.
Así lo reportó en la red alternativa AlterNet el periodista Zaid Jilani, quien participó activamente como reportero en la conferencia de prensa que ofreció el 3 de junio, Mark Toner, funcionario de la cancillería estadounidense y su portavoz oficial.
En un de despacho de Jilani aparecido en la publicación digital The Intercept y otros medios alternativos se cuenta que, cuestionado acerca del agudo contraste en que incurrió, Toner respondió visiblemente excitado: “no tengo nada que comentar sobre las actuales dimensiones políticas de la crisis en Brasil.”
La política exterior “dura” estadounidense pretende aplicar a Venezuela la Carta Democrática de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA) impuesta por Estados Unidos al continente aquel nefasto 11 de septiembre de 2001, para fortalecer la dominación de Estados Unidos en el contexto de los acontecimientos terroristas en Nueva York que sirvieron de pretexto para la declaración por el presidente George W. Bush de la guerra contra el terrorismo.
En el caso de Brasil, Estados Unidos intenta justificar el golpe “blando” de estado parlamentario, judicial y mediático contra el gobierno de Rousseff, juicio político cuya legitimidad ha sido rechazada por la mayoría de los expertos y observadores no sometida a las redes de la prensa corporativa internacional que controla Washington.
El Departamento de Estado ha sido sumamente reiterativo en sus críticas al gobierno progresista venezolano, al que reprocha aplicar políticas populares contrarias a los intereses hegemónicos de las corporaciones globales, y sin embargo guarda sigilo respecto a la toma del gobierno en Brasil por un régimen pro empresarial, de derecha, incondicional partidario de la privatización de las industrias del estado como una prioridad de gobierno.
El debate con Toner durante la conferencia de prensa comenzó cuando el periodista de Intercept (Zaid Jilani) preguntó a Toner por qué Estados Unidos se había unido a las críticas y amenazas al gobierno de Venezuela por supuestos retrocesos democráticos, en tanto ignora la crisis política de Brasil, donde legisladores de la derecha votaron el 12 de mayo por la separación del gobierno de la Presidenta Dilma Rousseff e iniciaron un proceso de impeachment contra la democráticamente electa Jefa de Estado.
Fue entonces cuando se incorporó a la discusión el veterano reportero de la Associated Press en el Departamento de Estado, Matt Lee, preguntando si la destitución de la ex Presidenta Dilma Rousseff había sido legalmente “válida”.
Toner, desviando el sentido de lo que se debatía, se limitó a reafirmar la confianza de Estados Unidos en las instituciones brasileñas. “Pero estamos muy preocupados por el desarrollo de los acontecimientos políticos en Venezuela…”, dijo..
“¿Y por qué no les preocupa una situación similar en Brasil?”, preguntó Lee. “Bueno, miren, yo he dicho lo mío y no tengo nada más que añadir”, selló Toner. Cuando Pam Dawkins, corresponsal de la Voz de las Américas, preguntó sobre el estado de la democracia en Venezuela “a la luz de la demora en la aprobación de la propuesta del referéndum revocatorio que ha presentado la oposición”, Toner resurgió con una extensa respuesta de corte moralista enfatizando en que Venezuela debía respetar las normas democráticas.
“Hacemos un llamado a las autoridades de Venezuela para que permitan este referéndum y así aseguren que los venezolanos puedan ejercer su derecho a participar en este proceso en consonancia con las instituciones democráticas, las prácticas y los principios conformes con la Carta Democrática Interamericana.”
Lee se sintió obligado a observar una nueva vez el contraste entre la extensa respuesta crítica acerca de la situación en Venezuela y las apenas dos frases sobre Brasil, “que es un país mucho más grande y con el que hemos tenido más amplias relaciones.”
Cuando otro reportero se incluyó en el debate, preguntando a Toner si para él era motivo de preocupación la composición del nuevo gabinete brasileño – integrado enteramente por hombres, muchos de ellos estrechamente vinculados a grandes negocios del país, en reemplazo del gabinete liderado por la primera mujer Jefa de Estado en la historia de Brasil.
“Miren, chicos, tendré que ver si tenemos algo más que decir acerca de la situación en Brasil”, concluyó Toner para liberarse de la embarazosa situación en que se hallaba colocado a causa de la ambivalencia de la política exterior imperialista “a dos velocidades”.
Junio 11 de 2016.
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