01:44 GMT +321 May 2019
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    Brazilian suspended President Dilma Rousseff gives a press conference with international media at the presidential residence Alvorada Palace in Brasilia on May 13, 2016

    Dilma Dilemma: Can Brazil’s Left Wing Overturn the Conservative Coup?

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    Ousted Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was impeached Wednesday afternoon by a parliamentary vote, officially installing Michel Temer as her replacement. Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear spoke with Brazilian-British activist Victor Fraga and geopolitical analyst Pepe Escobar about the “soft” coup and its implications on Brazil's progressive movement.

    "What happened to Dilma isn’t just an insult to democracy, isn’t just a coup d'état, it’s a permanent wound in our pride and our confidence in justice," Fraga declared. "It shows that Brazil will always struggle as a young democracy and never mature. We have a history of coup d'états, we have only four presidents that have carried out the full term in the past 80 years."

    ​He called Rousseff’s impeachment "A victory of the elites, a victory of the aristocrats, a victory of the large landowners, this is a victory of the reactionary and oppressive forces." Fraga stated that the so-called soft coup is "against the people, against the poor, against the working class.This is nothing short of an absolute disaster."

    Escobar, while unhappy with the impeachment, is not surprised, considering the episode to be "a chronicle of an impeachment foretold." 

    "We knew this would happen," he said, suggesting that the removal of Rousseff is part of a larger scheme by Brazil’s right wing to eliminate progressive opposition.

    "The whole thing is about getting the Workers Party out of the Brazilian political system," he said, explaining that the situation, while different than past political upheavals, has the same result. "It’s a much more complex, 21st century, digital, high-tech coup. It’s parliamentary, it’s big business, it’s big banking, it’s institutional, it’s juridical, it involves the public ministry, it involves the federal police. It was a very recalibrated form of hybrid war."

    Loud & Clear host Brian Becker asked Fraga whether he saw similarities between the Brazilian coup of 1964 and today, asking, "Is there much exhaustion because of the protracted character [of the progressive struggle], or do you think there will be resistance in the streets against what’s happened?" 

    "There will certainly be resistance in the streets in Brazil and abroad," Fraga replied. "The coup in ‘64 was supported by the US and I would argue that the same thing happened this time, in 2016. There’s plenty of evidence to show that the US was very involved."

    Fraga feels that although the current coup may be less martial in form, that does not make it any less volatile.

    "Things are in many ways remarkably similar to ‘64." he said. "So what could come is not very rosey, we’re certainly going to fight for the best, keeping in mind that they will not hesitate to do the worst."

    He called conservative political operatives in Brazil "an alliance of scoundrels, enslavers, fascists, drug traffickers…they are the most reactionary types you can think of. So there’s going to be a lot of polarization and it’s not that different from what happened in 1964. There’s no military element, but it could get very nasty."

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    Temer, Dilma, Brazilian coup, Michel Temer, Dilma Rousseff, Brazil
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