Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Brazil's Coup Plotters Aimed to Block Corruption Investigation


Brazil’s Coup Plotters Aimed to Block Corruption Investigation

by Stephen Lendman

US-supported coup plotters had multiple aims in mind - replacing democracy with tyranny, weakening or ending social justice programs, instituting neoliberal harshness, and undermining corruption investigations involving 303 of Brazil’s lower house members, 49 of 81 senators, and 37 of the 65-member impeachment commission.

Specifically, Brazil’s largest newspaper, Folha de Sao Paulo, obtained a taped phone conversation between Senator Romero Juca, now planning minister, and former Petrobras Transporte SA (Transperto, Brazil’s largest oil and gas transportation company) president Sergio Machado.

It took place weeks before President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment proceedings - involving bribery and money laundering Operation Car Wash corruption investigations related to the state-run Petrobras Oil giant.

Machado, Juca, and dozens of other politicians are accused of taking bribes in return for contracts awarded Petrobras at inflated prices. 

“We have to stop this shit,” Juca told Machado. “(T)he easiest solution is to” replace Rousseff with “Michel (Temer).”

Investigations “will never stop” with her in power, he said. The BBC reported he’s stepping down over the leak.

At the same time, he was quoted, saying “I want to repeal the interpretation made by Folha de Sao Paulo…I was speaking of putting an end to the paralysis of Brazil…”

According to the Intercept.com, the taped phone call reveals “profoundly incriminating statements about the real goals of impeachment and who was behind it.” 

“The crux of this plot is what Juca calls ‘a national pact’ - involving all of Brazil’s most powerful institutions  - to leave Michel Temer in place as president (notwithstanding his multiple corruption scandals) and to kill the corruption investigation once Dilma is removed.”

Juca said discussions with Brazil’s military commanders and Supreme Court justices indicated they’d support Rousseff’s removal - and deny action against her was a coup. Only one justice she appointed, Teori Zavascki, refused to go along.

Rousseff’s impeachment has “nothing to do with preserving Brazilian democracy and everything to do with destroying it,” the Intercept said.

Seven of Temer’s newly appointed ministers are being investigated for involvement in Operation Car Wash. He faces corruption charges, barring him from seeking public office for eight years.

Polls show he has near-zero public support. Brazilians want him impeached and removed. Juca admits his taped comments are authentic, while claiming they were taken out of context.

Impeaching Rousseff represents a giant leap backwards. Prospects for reversing injustice are practically nil.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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