A lack of activity and upkeep is plaguing facilities including the site of swimming competitions, where craters from disassembled pools collect stagnant water.
Less than six months after Rio de Janeiro hosted the first-ever Olympics in South America, game venues sit idle and already in disrepair, raising questions about a legacy that organizers promised would benefit the Brazilian city and its residents.
A lack of activity and upkeep is plaguing facilities including the site of swimming competitions, where craters from disassembled pools collect stagnant water, and Rio’s famed Maracanã stadium, site of the opening and closing ceremonies.
The field there, one of the most iconic soccer pitches in the world, is giving way to dirt and scrub. Electricity was cut recently because of a financial spat between local officials and the contractor hired to manage the stadium.
Before the games, organizers touted the venues as facilities that could easily be repurposed in sports-crazed Rio. But little more than one beach volleyball tournament has been played at any of the venues — and even that drew criticism because it involved throwing sand on the Olympic tennis court.
Federal, state and local governments, along with private partners, paid more than US$12.8 billion to host the Olympics, about US$7 billion of which was for game venues and related facilities.
There are many who feel the corruption allegations are designed to prevent Lula from running in 2018 presidential elections [Xinhua ]
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has come out swinging against a judge who ordered him to stand trial for allegations of money laundering while in office.
Lula accused anti-corruption judge Sérgio Moro of being politically motivated and said that charges brought against him by federal prosecutors were part of a scheme to discredit him and ruin his career.
On Tuesday, and less than a month after he was indicted on alleged graft charges, Lula was ordered by Moro to stand trial for receiving at least $1 million in kickbacks from Brazilian energy company Petrobras.
Moro first accepted charges filed in July by prosecutors investigating Lula for allegedly “masterminding” a corruption and money laundering operation in Petrobras.
Lula, a hugely popular president who served from 2003 to 2010 and is credited with a number of initiatives that propelled GDP growth and significantly reduced poverty in Brazil, has been under investigation for much of the past year..
“As we were starting to have success in the presidency, they are trying to do with us what they did with Dilma (Rousseff, the former president impeached in August). A part of the press and a part of the judiciary already tried to oust me from the presidency in 2005,” Lula has said.
Last month, Lula and members of his family and three other people had been indicted on a number of charges stemming from alleged financial irregularities, declaration of assets in addition to money laundering and graft.
Some in Brazil believe that the charges and trial are designed to ruin his chances of running in presidential elections in 2018.
In early August, the Vox Populi Institute published a poll which showed Lula would come out the clear winner if he ran for the presidency against a number of likely candidates.
Only 17 per cent of respondents in that poll said they wanted current President Michel Temer to stay on until 2018.
The Vox Populi Institute’s findings appear to support an earlier poll conducted by Datafolha in Brazil.
That poll also showed that Lulu would comfortably win a presidential election. Only five per cent said they would vote for Temer, however.
It’s only been a few weeks since the Zionist coup in Brazil and a Judaized shift in the Latin American powerhouse and BRICS stalwart is already unfolding. Michel Temer, the putschist who seized power from Dilma Rousseff, is known as a “friend of the Brazilian Jewish community”, and this “righteous Gentile” (as the ‘Israelis’ like to call all their puppets) has already appointed another “friend of the Brazilian Jewish community”, Jose Serra, as Brazil’s foreign minister. It has also been revealed that the Coupmonger-In-Chief worked closely with Fernando Lottenberg, the president of the Brazilian Israelite Confederation, on raising awareness (read: brainwashing) among Brazilians about “Holocaust Remembrance Day” as well as passing Zionized “anti-terrorism” legislation that will undoubtedly have an Orwellian effect on Brazil’s citizenry.
Temer has also opened the doors to the “Christian” Zionist scourge that has infected much of America, as well as other Western nations–albeit to a lesser extent–like Canada, the UK and Australia. The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), led by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, arrived in Brazil mere days after Rousseff’s overthrow and just concluded its trip 24 hours ago. Rabbi Eckstein’s gang was on a mission to turn every major “mega-church” in Brazil into even stronger supporters of the usurping Zionist entity for the “cause” of combating “anti-Semitism”. The good “rebbe” and Temer aren’t strangers and thus, this entire event should be looked at not just as a consequence of the Zionist coup against the Workers’ Party (PT), but part and parcel of it. Furthermore, Rabbi Eckstein’s subversive visit should be seen in the greater context of “Christian” Zionist penetration into Brazil and Latin America as a whole.
Brazil, which was once a hotbed of Christian Liberation Theology led by revolutionary luminaries such as Leonardo Boff, is now spiraling into a bottomless pit of “Christian” Zionist hell and has been so since 1977 when the Universal Church–an ultra-Freemasonic institution right down to its reconstruction of Solomon’s Temple–came into being. And let there be no doubt that this “Christian” Zionism is a byproduct of the utterly devilish Rockefeller-financed Wycliffe Bible Translators and the CIA which have worked hand-in-hand from the “Christian” Zionist outfit’s beginnings in 1942 to evangelize the Catholics of Latin America, with a special focus on Brazil, using the satanic Scofield Reference Bible.
It should be noted for the record that the Freemasonic Universal Church and other like-similar institutions were welcomed by the Brazilian military dictatorship as a counterweight to the Christian Liberation Theologians, who, despite being tortured, killed and disappeared, remained a formidable anti-Imperialist opposition current until the end of the coup regime. And how can we forget that the US-‘Israeli’-backed tyranny that did all of this murdering and maiming would never have attained power if it wasn’t for the Zionist Jew Harold Geneen, who was deathly afraid of losing his multinational ITT telecom giant to democratically-elected Brazilian President João Goulart in a wave of nationalizations. So the Zionist Jew simply called his “shabbos goy” friend CIA Director John McCone, gave him all-access to ITT’s resources and then the CIA used this new, incredibly useful instrument to push forward with the coup full throttle, ultimately deposing Goulart in 1964. It was International Jewry that crushed Brazil’s first attempt at nationalist-socialism, and it was International Jewry that crushed Brazil’s new experiment in nationalist-socialism exemplified by Dilma Rousseff and her Workers’ Party.
Quite possibly NOTHING encapsulates this entire sad affair like BreakingIsraelNews, a known gateway for Zionist propaganda, which called the illegal ouster of Dilma Rousseff “karma” for her anti-‘Israeli’ posturing and quoted a verse from the genocidal, Jewish supremacist book of Deuteronomy to drive its pro-coup point home even further. The arrogance of World Zionism is indeed boundless and this hubris is certainly driving its offensive throughout Latin America. It’s not just Brazil. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a former World Bank economist whose Jewish roots and strong ties to numerous international banks and investment firms (read: the Rothschild Octopus) make him a prime mover and shaker for the Zionist project in the region, is about to take over Peru. Argentina, once run by the fiery anti-globalist Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, is now a pro-US, pro-‘Israel’ neoliberal nightmare run by neocon Mauricio Macri. And Venezuela, home of the Bolivarian Revolution, is once again in the throes of a coup as US-Zionist-aligned oligarchs wage economic war on Caracas through the deliberate creation of food shortages and other forms of destabilizing malice. The homeland of Hugo Chavez (RIP) has long been a target of ‘Israel’–he said so himself–for El Comandante fought the Jewish New World Order tooth and nail, and considering the above-mentioned pomposity of these bloodthirsty “chosenite” coupmongers, it’s a safe bet to assume they are going to continue their efforts to crush the Bolivarian phenomenon permanently.
If Brazil and Venezuela are to survive this dark, dark period, the peoples of these respective great nations must come to terms with the simple fact that it is not merely “Imperialism” which is seeking to destroy their nationalist-socialisms and impose economic neoliberalism on their societies, but International Jewry’s ZIO-IMPERIALISM which is seeking to impose TOTAL neoliberalism on their societies in the political, financial, cultural and even spiritual sectors, hence the blatant “Christian” Zionist surge as of recent. Resistance on all fronts is the only antidote to this growing poisonous trend, and if it is not fiercely engaged in, as Venezuelan President and Chavez successor Nicolas Maduro is desperately attempting to do now, then the darkness is not only going to continue, but worsen to levels not seen since Guatemala in ’54, Brazil in ’64, Chile in ’73, Argentina in ’76 and in more recent times, Honduras in ’09, ALL PUT TOGETHER. Our full solidarity with the Latin American peoples in the face of Empire Judaica’s storm.
Brazil’s newly-installed President Michel Temer has signed legislation that essentially authorizes the identical financial accounting maneuver that was used to justify the impeachment bid against ousted President Dilma Rousseff’s just days after she was removed from office.
The law, announced Friday in the official gazette, expands the government’s ability to seek additional credits without securing authorization from Congress. As described by Brasil de Fato, the rule broadly opens the door for the budgetary maneuver known in Brazil as “pedaling,” in which the government borrows money from state banks to make the budget appear in a better position than it is.
This longstanding practice was used to propel the impeachment process that finally ousted Rousseff from office last Wednesday in a move widely condemned as a parliamentary coup.
Rousseff’s supporters repeatedly pointed out that the accounting trick had been used by many of her predecessors without scrutiny. Independent auditors also found her not guilty of breaking budgetary rules — a fact that did not stop the ill-footed impeachment process from going ahead.
According to Brazil’s Senate news agency Agencia Senado, the unelected Temer government gave pedaling a green-light, claiming that the rule change will make government budget management “more flexible,” including shuffling of expenditures associated with the federal infrastructure Growth Acceleration Program, better known as PAC.
The act allows the government to boost by as much as 20 percent the value of an expenditure by writing down by the value of another by a corresponding 20 percent, which, in fact, doubles the level allowed by previous administrative rules.
Rousseff was ousted Wednesday in a 61-20 Senate vote in favor of her impeachment, though she retained her so-called political rights to hold public office in a second vote.
The day after the impeachment ballot, Rousseff’s defense appealed to the Supreme Court to compel a second Senate impeachment vote, arguing that the process was unconstitutional on the grounds that the budgetary crime she is accused of is not an impeachable offense according to Brazilian law.
Rousseff’s rivals long attempted to paint the impeachment process as a campaign to root out government corruption. But aside from the fact that multiple other leaders have used the pedaling procedure, damning recordings released weeks after her suspension in May revealed that top opposition figures schemed with the Supreme Court and military command to ensure Rousseff’s ouster as part of a bid to stop corruption investigations against their allies.
Like many of his top allies and cabinet members, Temer — installed as president despite being banned from running for public office for eight years — is embroiled in multi-million dollar fraud scandals.
Was the impeachment process against Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff justified? Is interim President Michel Temer credible? How will the people of Brazil react and are we likely to see protests escalating?
Suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was impeached on Wednesday, after the final vote in Senate. She was ruled to have mishandled Brazil’s budget, and misrepresented the state of the economy prior to her reelection in 2014.
Michel Temer, former Vice President under Rousseff, became acting president of Brazil in May after the start of the impeachment of Rousseff.
Watchdog groups say about 60 percent of the country’s lawmakers, as well as interim President Temer, who may potentially form a new government, have been accused of corruption and fraud.
Maria Mendonca, professor at the University of Rio de Janeiro called the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff “very sad for Brazil” and “a very sad day for democracy”. The result of the 2014 elections, when Dilma was reelected, “was not respected.”
“It is a process that reminds us of the military coup in 1964. That was not a real trial, because most Senators already had a position – they made up their minds even before the whole trial started. There was no legal basis for the impeachment. The public prosecutor already had cleared Dilma of all charges in terms of the mechanisms of basically issuing debt to pay for social programs, which is a regular mechanism in Brazil and also in other countries,” she told RT.
In her opinion, the impeachment was “a way for unpopular corrupt politicians to take power without going through an electoral process.”
According to Mendonca, it is now difficult to predict how the situation is going to develop and whether protests by Rousseff’s supporters – that have been going on for days now – may escalate.
“I think we’re going to stay in a situation of limbo for a while, of uncertainty, because the main rules of democracy were broken,” she said.
She added though that “the media in Brazil can manipulate public opinion,” and has been doing so since the beginning of the impeachment process.
“But once people realize that we’re going to have more instability: cuts in social programs, in health care, education, and we’re going to have more serious economic crisis, then people will realize that this was a manipulative process to get rid of a president that was democratically elected; and to implement austerity measures that would make the situation even more unstable politically and economically,” Mendonca said.
Good for Brazil in longer term
David Riedel, economic analyst from Riedel Research Group argues that Rousseff’s impeachment “is a good move” for Brazil as in the longer term it would benefit from a more “business friendly government.”
Dilma Rousseff has run “a very populist regime; she’s been giving a lot of support to social programs and other things,” he told RT. “I think you’ll probably see some social unrest, as those goodies and those free benefits start to be taken away from the population. But it’s a good move for Brazil in the medium and longer term. They needed to take this step. They were successful with the Olympics, which were great, and now they need to be successful in this transition of power to, I would argue, a more business friendly government, which is going to be very good for investors.”
If Michel Temer – who is running the country at the moment and is likely to become the next Brazilian President – “takes advantage of this populist, very expensive spending that the Rousseff and [Luiz Inacio] Lula [da Silva], before her, administrations had under way – that can protect the currency; it can help improve the investment environment,” Riedel said.
“International investors want Brazil to be a success – so they will give them the benefit without doubt if they see things headed in the right direction. So if they are business friendly and investor friendly and cut back on the profligate spending that has been such an issue across Latin America, I think that investors would give them a second look,” the analyst said.
Absolutely no justification
An independent investigation found there were no grounds for launching action.
Political scientist Daniel Shaw from the City University of New York says there’s “absolutely no justification” for the impeachment “from the prospective of millions of Brazilians who voted for Dilma Rousseff and now see the democratically elected president unconstitutionally removed from power.”
But in the minds of the Brazilian rich, the bourgeoisie –“they feel like they don’t need justification to continue to push things in a rightward direction and to continue to exploit the majority of Brazilians,” he said.
WikiLeaks has revealed that Brazil’s new interim president, Temer, was an embassy informant for US intelligence.
Some also suggest that the US could have orchestrated the “coup” against Rousseff.
Commenting, Shaw said: “If we look critically at the history of US foreign policy and how they’d been involved in supporting dictatorships from Pinochet to Somoza across Latin America, when all of the FOI requests are complete in 10-15 years, there’s no question there’ll come out the role that the US State Department played.”
“They are against the leftward trend that’s been going on since 1999 with Venezuela at the helm and, of course Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador. This is a blow, an attack not just on the Brazilian people but on the entire progressive current that was sweeping across Latin America,” he added.
Brazil’s suspended President Dilma Rousseff has pledged to hold early elections if she survives a vote on her removal from office in an impeachment trial that is expected to conclude this month.
Rousseff, accused of illegally manipulating finances to hide a growing public deficit ahead of her reelection in 2014, is due to stand trial in the Senate on August 25, four days after the Rio Olympics end.
The Globo news organization reported that the actual judgment vote could take place between August 30 and 31.
In a letter to the federal Senate and Brazilian people that she read out on Tuesday, Rousseff said Brazil’s political and economic problems could only be resolved “through popular vote in direct elections.”
“The full restoration of democracy requires that the population be the one to decide what is the best way to expand governability and perfect the Brazilian political and electoral system,” Rousseff said.
“It’s the only way out of the crisis,” she wrote.
Rousseff admitted she had made mistakes, but said she had done nothing worthy of impeachment.
“I have listened to the tough criticisms of my government, for the errors committed,” she said. “I accept these criticisms with humility and determination so that we can build a new way forward.”
Rousseff further said that forcing her out through impeachment amounts to “an unequivocal coup.”
Rousseff impeachment: A timeline
October 9, 2015: Brazil’s federal audit court rules that Rousseff broke the law while managing the 2014 budget, paving the way for opposition groups to argue that the leader should be impeached.
December 2, 2015: Eduardo Cunha, the president of the Chamber of Deputies, agrees to start anti-Rousseff impeachment proceedings.
December 11, 2015: Rousseff presents a petition before the Supreme Court to stop the process.
March 17, 2016: The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Brazilian National Congress, elects a special impeachment commission, which has a majority derived from the ruling coalition, including the Workers’ Party and the Democratic Movement Party (PMDB).
March 29, 2016: The PMDB leaves the ruling coalition, in a split that hurts Rousseff’s chances of derailing impeachment proceedings.
April 6, 2016: The special impeachment commission publishes a report recommending Rousseff’s impeachment.
April 11, 2016: The impeachment commission decides, in a 38 to 27 vote, to let the Chamber of Deputies vote on the president’s impeachment.
April 15, 2016: The Brazilian Supreme Court rejects Rousseff’s motion to stop the process.
April 17, 2016: A total of 367 out of 513 legislators in the parliament’s lower house vote in favor of Rousseff’s impeachment.
May 12, 2016: Senators vote 55 to 22 to suspend the president for 180 days and hold an impeachment trial in the Senate, the upper house of National Congress, with Rousseff slamming the vote and saying she was “being judged unfairly.”
Michel Temer becomes interim president and announces his new cabinet.
May 24, 2016: The interim government is rattled by a leaked audio tape suggesting a plot against Rousseff, a scandal that forces a number of key ministers in the new cabinet to resign.
June 28, 2016: An investigation by a team of independent auditors, comprised of career Senate budget technicians, concludes there is no evidence that Rousseff participated in budget manipulation.
July 18, 2016: Cunha resigns less than three months after he orchestrated the impeachment.
August 16, 2016: The Senate votes to hold an impeachment trial for Rousseff, pushing her one step closer to dismissal from office. Her trial is due to take place in the week after the Olympics closing ceremony.
A week ago, the Brazilian Senate voted to hold an impeachment trial for the country’s first female president.
A two-thirds majority of the Senate, or 54 votes, would be needed to see her permanently removed from office.
If the trial acquits Rousseff, she will be allowed to serve out her term until 2018. But if it removes her permanently, then acting President Temer will become the full-fledged president until the next election in 2018.
Rousseff is also under fire over a graft scandal at state oil company Petrobras, where she was the manager before taking office as president in 2010.
The embattled leader has denied the allegations and repeatedly asserted that she has fallen victim to a plot by the extreme right.
In recent months, Brazilians have held numerous counter rallies in support of and against the impeachment process.
The heart-warming image of the Olympic Refugee Team entering the Maracana Stadium last Friday was a special moment, but 77,000 Brazilian residents have themselves been displaced as a result of the Games.
The Rio 2016 Games are the first to have a team of refugees compete, in recognition of the 60 million refugees around the world.
Athletes from Syria, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo were chosen to represent the refugee team, which has been handed a group of coaches and support staff to help them during the Games.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach heralded the refugee team.
“These refugees have no home, no team, no flag, no national anthem,” he said.
“We will offer them a home in the Olympic Village together with all the athletes of the word. The Olympic anthem will be played in their honor and the Olympic flag will lead them into the Olympic Stadium.
“This will be a symbol of hope for all the refugees in our world, and will make the world better aware of the magnitude of this crisis. It is also a signal to the international community that refugees are our fellow human beings and are an enrichment to society.”
Although the Olympics may offer a handful of refugees a temporary home in Brazil, the event itself has directly forced around 77,000 Brazilian natives from their homes to make way for infrastructure.
As was the case in the football World Cup in 2014, protesters opposed the hosting of a major sporting event in Brazil – mainly due to the country’s dire economic situation and the social issues that ravage the nation.
One of the main reasons for opposition to the 2016 Olympics has been the creation of IDPs, internally displaced persons, in Brazil.
Among the worst-affected areas was the poverty-stricken Rio suburb of Vila Autodromo, where residents were forcibly removed from their homes.
The infrastructure upgrade to Vila Autodromo will drive development projects including plush apartment buildings, but serves as a sardonic reminder to poor families that they have been forced out of their homes.
On July 14, Brazilian Prosecutor Ivan Claudio Marx reported that the delaying of payments to banks made by President Dilma Rousseff’s administration does not constitute a crime of responsibility. Marx stated that the maneuvers, known as fiscal pedaling, were “a violation of the contract between the government and the banks but not a crime.” The prosecutor’s report even advised terminating the criminal case on Rousseff’s accounting practices and requested a new investigation into illegal payments made by the government without congressional approval.
In 2015, Brazil Attorney General Luís Inácio Adams affirmed that delays in transfers from the National Treasury to public banks, which had to be disbursed from Brazil’s own reserves to pay for social programs, also occurred in past governments and were not considered irregular by the Union Accounts Court (TCU). This action, intended to momentarily relieve the fiscal framework of the country, is one of the main accusations the opposition used to carry out the illegal impeachment against President Rousseff. The Brazilian Constitution states that an impeachment can only be carried out if the President commits crimes of responsibility, which Rousseff is not guilty of.
Marx’s report poses an obstacle to the senators and government officials supporting the impeachment. Earlier in July, a board of experts, tasked with investigating the accusations against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, found no proof of her direct involvement with the country’s fiscal budgetary maneuvers. Following the release of another report absolving Rousseff, the Workers’ Party Senator Gleisi Hoffmann has filed a request to invite the Federal Prosecutor to speak in the Senate, where the impeachment process is being tried. Additionally, she has asked senators to close the impeachment probe. Following Congresswoman Hoffmann, Senator Lindbergh Farias, also from the Workers’ Party, stated that “this process is discredited once and for all” and further recommended the House to stop leading the impeachment forward.
As evidence finding Rousseff not guilty for budget manipulations continues to be released, the international criticism on the impeachment process is mounting. Congressman Alan Grayson, who serves on the United States House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee, has stated his concerns over the threats that President Rousseff’s impeachment poses to Brazilian democracy. Similarly, a group of French congressmen have released a manifesto condemning the impeachment process. The outcome, however, is still very much at play. As international criticism on the impeachment process increases, this new report only further affirms the illegitimate nature of the impeachment proceedings against Rousseff.
Brazil Prosecutor Says Rousseff’s Accounting Tricks Are Not A Crime. Accessed July 18, 2016 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-14/brazil-prosecutor-says-rousseff-s-accounting-tricks-not-a-crime
 Brazil Senators Push to End Impeachment Against Rousseff. Telesur. Accessed July 18, 2016. http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Brazil-Senators-Push-to-End-Impeachment-Against-Rousseff-20160716-0006.html
 AGU Diz Que Pedaladas Fiscais Foram Adotadas Por Governos Anteriores. G1. http://g1.globo.com/politica/noticia/2015/07/agu-diz-que-pedaladas-fiscais-foram-adotadas-por-governos-anteriores.html
 Dilma Rousseff Found Not Guilty of Budgetary Maneuvers. COHA. Accessed July 18, 2016 http://www.coha.org/dilma-rousseff-found-not-guilty-of-budgetary-maneuvers/
 Com Decisão do MP, Senadores vão pedir para Paralisar Impeachment. Agência Brasil 247. Accessed July 18, 2016 http://www.brasil247.com/pt/247/brasilia247/244093/Com-decis%C3%A3o-do-MP-senadores-pedir%C3%A3o-para-paralisar-impeachment.htm
 Grayson’s statement on Brazilian President’s impeachment. Congressman Grayson. Accessed July 18, 2016. http://grayson.house.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/435-grayson-s-statement-on-brazilian-president-s-impeachment
 Dilma Rousseff victime d’une basse manoeuvre parlementaire. Le Monde Idées. July 13, 2017. Accessed July 18, 2016. http://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2016/07/13/dilma-rousseff-victime-d-une-basse-manoeuvre-parlementaire_4969141_3232.html
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Amid raging corruption, social pathologies and outright political thuggery, a new gang of vassal regimes has taken-over Latin America. The new rulers are strictly recruited as the protégé’s of US financial and banking institutions. Hence the financial press refers to them as the “new managers” – of Wall Street.
The US financial media has once again provided a political cover for the vilest crimes committed by the ‘new managers’ as they launch their offensive against labor and in favor of the foreign and domestic financiers.
To understand the dynamics of the empire’s new vassal managers we will proceed by identifying (1) the illicit power grab (2) the neo-liberal policies they have pursued (3) the impact of their program on the class structure (4) their economic performance and future socio-political perspectives.
Vassals as Managers of Empire
Latin America’s current vassalage elite is of longer and shorter duration.
The regimes of longer duration with a historical legacy of submission, corruption and criminality include Mexico and Colombia where oligarchs, government officials and death squads cohabit in close association with the US military, business and banking elites.
Over the past decades 100,000 citizens were murdered in Mexico and over 4 million peasants were dispossessed in Colombia. In both regimes over ten million acres of farmland and mining terrain were transferred to US and EU multinationals.
Hundreds of billions of illicit narco earnings were laundered by the Colombian and Mexican oligarchy to their US accounts via private banks.
The current political managers, Peña in Mexico and Santos in Colombia are rapidly de-nationalizing strategic oil and energy sectors, while savaging dynamic social movements – hundreds of students and teachers in Mexico and thousands of peasants and human rights activists in Colombia have been murdered.
The new wave of imperial vassals has seized power throughout most of Latin America with the direct and indirect intervention of the US. In 2009, Honduras President Manuel Zelaya was ousted by a military coup backed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Zelaya’s program of agrarian reform, regional integration (with Venezuela) and constitutional elections was abolished. Zelaya was replaced by a US vassal, Roberto Micheletti who proceeded to murder several hundred landless rural workers and indigenous activists.
Washington moved to organize a constitutional cover by promoting a highly malleable landowner, Porfirio Lobo Sosa to the presidency.
The State Department next ousted Paraguyan President Francisco Lugo who governed between 2008-2012. Lugo promoted a moderate agrarian reform and a centrist regional integration agenda.
With the backing of Secretary of State Clinton, the Paraguayan oligarchy in Congress seized power , fabricated an impeachment decree and ousted President Lugo. He was briefly replaced by Vice President Federico Franco (2012-2013).
In 2013, Washington backed , the capital, Asuncion’s, notorious crime boss for President, one Horacio Castes – convicted for currency fraud in 1989, drug running in 1990, and most recently (2010) money laundering.
The Honduras and Paraguayan coups established (in miniature) the precedent for a new wave of ‘big country’ political vassals. The State Department moved toward the acceleration of banking takeovers in Brazil, Argentina and Peru.
In rapid succession, between December 2015 and April 2016 vassal managers seized power in Argentina and Brazil. In Argentina millionaire Mauricio Macri ruled by decree, bypassing constitutional legality. Macri fired scores of thousands of public service workers, closed social agencies and appointed judges and prosecutors without Congressional vote. He arbitrarily arrested social movement leaders – violating democratic procedures.
Macri’s Economic and Finance Ministers gained millions of dollars by ‘buying into’ multinational oil companies just prior to handing over private options on public enterprises.
The all-encompassing swindles and fraud carried out by the ‘new managers’ were covered up by the US media, who praised Macri’s professional team.
Moreover, Macri’s economic performance was a disaster. Exorbitant user fees on utilities and transport for consumers and business enterprises, increased three to ten-fold, forcing bankruptcy rates to soar and households to suffer light and gas closures.
Wall Street vulture funds received a seven billion dollar payment from Macri’s managers, for defaulted loans purchased for pennies over a dollar, twenty-fold greater then the original lenders.
Data based on standard economic indicators highlights the worst economic performance in a decade and a half.
Price inflation exceeds 40%; public debt increased by twenty percent in six months. Living standards and employment sharply declined. Growth and investment data was negative. Mismanagement, official corruption and arbitrary governance, did not induce confidence among local small and medium size businesses.
The respectable media, led by the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post falsified every aspect of Macri’s regime. Failed economic policies implemented by bankers turned cabinet ministers were dubbed long-term successes; crude ideologically driven policies promoting foreign investor profiteering were re-invented as business incentives.
Political thugs dismantled and replaced civil service agencies were labelled ‘a new management team’ by the vulgar propaganda scribes of the financial press.
In Brazil, a phony political power grab by Congressional opportunists ousted elected President Dilma Rousseff. She was replaced by a Washington approved serial swindler and notorious bribe taker, Michel Temer.
The new economic managers were predictably controlled by Wall Street, World Bank and IMF bankers. They rushed measures to slash wages, pensions and other social expenditures, to lower business taxes and privatize the most lucrative public enterprises in transport, infrastructure, landholdings, oil and scores of other activities.
Even as the prostitute press lauded Brazil’s new managers’, prosecutors and judges arrested three newly appointed cabinet ministers for fraud and money laundering. ‘President’ Temer is next in line for prosecution for his role in the mega Petrobras oil contracts scandal for bribes and payola.
The economic agenda by the new managers are not designed to attract new productive investments. Most inflows are short-term speculative ventures. Markets, especially, in commodities, show no upward growth, much to the chagrin of the free market technocrats. Industry and commerce are depressed as a result of the decline in consumer credit, employment and public spending induced by ‘the managers’ austerity policies.
Even as the US and Europe embrace free market austerity, it evokes a continent wide revolt. Nevertheless Latin America’s wave of vassal regimes, remain deeply embedded in decimating the welfare state and pillaging public treasuries led by a narrow elite of bankers and serial swindlers.
As Washington and the prostitute press hail their ‘new managers’ in Latin America, the celebration is abruptly giving way to mass rage over corruption and demands for a shift to the political left.
In Brazil, “President” Temer rushes to implement big business measures, as his time in office is limited to weeks not months. His time out of jail is nearing a deadline. His cabinet of ‘technocrats’ prepare their luggage to follow.
Maurico Macri may survive a wave of strikes and protests and finish the year in office. But the plunging economy and pillage of the treasury is leading business to bankruptcy, the middle class to empty bank accounts and the dispossessed to spontaneous mass upheavals.
Washington’s new managers in Latin America cannot cope with an unruly citizenry and a failing free market economy.
Coups have been tried and work for grabbing power but do not establish effective rulership. Political shifts to the right are gyrating out of Washington’s orbit and find no new counter-balance in the break-up of the European Union.
Vassal capitalist takeovers in Latin America generated publicist anesthesia and Wall Street euphoria; only to be rudely shocked to reality by economic pathologies.
Washington and Wall Street and their Latin America managers sought a false reality of unrestrained profits and pillaged wealth. The reality principle now forces them to recognize that their failures are inducing rage today and uprisings tomorrow.
As was reported following the assassination of prominent Honduran environmental activist Berta Cáceres in March, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton erased all references to the 2009 coup in Honduras in the paperback edition of her memoirs, “Hard Choices.” Her three-page account of the coup in the original hardcover edition, where she admitted to having sanctioned it, was one of several lengthy sections cut from the paperback, published in April 2015 shortly after she had launched her presidential campaign.
A short, inconspicuous statement on the copyright page is the only indication that “a limited number of sections” — amounting to roughly 96 pages — had been cut “to accommodate a shorter length for this edition.” Many of the abridgements consist of narrative and description and are largely trivial, but there are a number of sections that were deleted from the original that also deserve attention.
Clinton’s take on Plan Colombia, a U.S. program furnishing (predominantly military) aid to Colombia to combat both the FARC and ELN rebels as well as drug cartels, and introduced under her husband’s administration in 2000, adopts a much more favorable tone in the paperback compared to the original. She begins both versions by praising the initiative as a model for Mexico — a highly controversial claim given the sharp rise in extrajudicial killings and the proliferation of paramilitary death squads in Colombia since the program was launched.
The two versions then diverge considerably. In the original, she explains that the program was expanded by Colombian President Álvaro Uribe “with strong support from the Bush Administration” and acknowledges that “new concerns began to arise about human rights abuses, violence against labor organizers, targeted assassinations, and the atrocities of right-wing paramilitary groups.” Seeming to place the blame for these atrocities on the Uribe and Bush governments, she then claims to have “made the choice to continue America’s bipartisan support for Plan Colombia” regardless during her tenure as secretary of state, albeit with an increased emphasis on “governance, education and development.”
By contrast, the paperback makes no acknowledgment of these abuses or even of the fact that the program was widely expanded in the 2000s. Instead, it simply makes the case that the Obama administration decided to build on President Clinton’s efforts to help Colombia overcome its drug-related violence and the FARC insurgency — apparently leading to “an unprecedented measure of security and prosperity” by the time of her visit to Bogotá in 2010.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership
Also found in the original is a paragraph where Clinton discusses her efforts to encourage other countries in the Americas to join negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement during a regional conference in El Salvador in June 2009:
So we worked hard to improve and ratify trade agreements with Colombia and Panama and encouraged Canada and the group of countries that became known as the Pacific Alliance — Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Chile — all open-market democracies driving toward a more prosperous future to join negotiations with Asian nations on TPP, the trans-Pacific trade agreement.
Clinton praises Latin America for its high rate of economic growth, which she revealingly claims has produced “more than 50 million new middle-class consumers eager to buy U.S. goods and services.” She also admits that the region’s inequality is “still among the worst in the world” with much of its population “locked in persistent poverty” — even while the TPP that she has advocated strongly for threatens to exacerbate the region’s underdevelopment, just as NAFTA caused the Mexican economy to stagnate.
Last October, however, she publicly reversed her stance on the TPP under pressure from fellow Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley. Likewise, the entire two-page section on the conference in El Salvador where she expresses her support for the TPP is missing from the paperback.
In her original account of her efforts to prevent Cuba from being admitted to the Organization of American States (OAS) in June 2009, Clinton singles out Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as a potential mediator who could help “broker a compromise” between the U.S. and the left-leaning governments of Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua. Her assessment of Lula, removed from the paperback, is mixed:
As Brazil’s economy grew, so did Lula’s assertiveness in foreign policy. He envisioned Brazil becoming a major world power, and his actions led to both constructive cooperation and some frustrations. For example, in 2004 Lula sent troops to lead the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti, where they did an excellent job of providing order and security under difficult conditions. On the other hand, he insisted on working with Turkey to cut a side deal with Iran on its nuclear program that did not meet the international community’s requirements.
It is notable that the “difficult conditions” in Haiti that Clinton refers to was a period of perhaps the worst human rights crisis in the hemisphere at the time, following the U.S.-backed coup d’etat against democratically elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004. Researchers estimate that some 4,000 people were killed for political reasons, and some 35,000 women and girls sexually assaulted. As various human rights investigators, journalists and other eyewitnesses noted at the time, some of the most heinous of these atrocities were carried out by Haiti’s National Police, with U.N. troops often providing support — when they were not engaging them directly. WikiLeaked State Department cables, however, reveal that the State Department saw the U.N. mission as strategically important, in part because it helped to isolate Venezuela from other countries in the region, and because it allowed the U.S. to “manage” Haiti on the cheap.
In contrast to Lula, Clinton heaps praise on Lula’s successor, Dilma Rousseff, who was recently suspended from office pending impeachment proceedings:
Later I would enjoy working with Dilma Rousseff, Lula’s protégée, Chief of Staff, and eventual successor as President. On January 1, 2011, I attended her inauguration on a rainy but festive day in Brasilia. Tens of thousands of people lined the streets as the country’s first woman President drove by in a 1952 Rolls-Royce. She took the oath of office and accepted the traditional green and gold Presidential sash from her mentor, Lula, pledging to continue his work on eradicating poverty and inequality. She also acknowledged the history she was making. “Today, all Brazilian women should feel proud and happy.” Dilma is a formidable leader whom I admire and like.
The paperback version deletes almost all references to Rousseff, mentioning her only once as an alleged target of NSA spying according to Edward Snowden.
The Arab Spring
By far the lengthiest deletion in Clinton’s memoirs consists of a ten-page section discussing the Arab Spring in Jordan, Libya and the Persian Gulf region — amounting to almost half of the chapter. Having detailed her administration’s response to the mass demonstrations that had started in Tunisia before spreading to Egypt, then Jordan, then Bahrain and Libya, Clinton openly recognizes the profound contradictions at the heart of the U.S.’ relationship with its Gulf allies:
The United States had developed deep economic and strategic ties to these wealthy, conservative monarchies, even as we made no secret of our concerns about human rights abuses, especially the treatment of women and minorities, and the export of extremist ideology. Every U.S. administration wrestled with the contradictions of our policy towards the Gulf.
And it was appalling that money from the Gulf continued funding extremist madrassas and propaganda all over the world. At the same time, these governments shared many of our top security concerns.
Thanks to these shared “security concerns,” particularly those surrounding al-Qaeda and Iran, her administration strengthened diplomatic ties and sold vast amounts of military equipment to these countries:
The United States sold large amounts of military equipment to the Gulf states, and stationed the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet in Bahrain, the Combined Air and Space Operations Center in Qatar, and maintained troops in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, as well as key bases in other countries. When I became Secretary I developed personal relationships with Gulf leaders both individually and as a group through the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Clinton continues to reveal that the U.S.’ common interests with its Gulf allies extended well beyond mere security issues and in fact included the objective of regime change in Libya — which led the Obama administration into a self-inflicted dilemma as it weighed the ramifications of condemning the violent repression of protests in Bahrain with the need to build an international coalition, involving a number of Gulf states, to help remove Libyan leader Muammar Gaddhafi from power:
Our values and conscience demanded that the United States condemn the violence against civilians we were seeing in Bahrain, full stop. After all, that was the very principle at play in Libya. But if we persisted, the carefully constructed international coalition to stop Qaddafi could collapse at the eleventh hour, and we might fail to prevent a much larger abuse — a full-fledged massacre.
Instead of delving into the complexities of the U.S.’ alliances in the Middle East, the entire discussion is simply deleted, replaced by a pensive reflection on prospects for democracy in Egypt, making no reference to the Gulf region at all. Having been uncharacteristically candid in assessing the U.S.’ response to the Arab Spring, Clinton chose to ignore these obvious inconsistencies — electing instead to proclaim the Obama administration as a champion of democracy and human rights across the Arab world.