January 27, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Brazilian "maidan" did not follow the Ukrainian scenario

Last weekend in Brazil turned out to be hot: on January 8, supporters of the former head of the republic, Jair Bolsonaro, stormed the working residence of the president, the Planalto Palace, as well as the buildings of the Supreme Court, Congress and some ministries.

The current leader of the republic, Lula da Silva, who at that time was on a working trip in the state of Sao Paulo, ordered troops to be sent to the capital. In the end, after about three hours, law enforcement forces regained control of government offices. But the country does not remember riots of this magnitude.

Recall that the socialist da Silva, who was already in power in 2003-2010, officially took the oath just a week ago – on January 1. In turn, supporters of Bolsonaro, who do not recognize his defeat in the elections, have been protesting since last October. The former president, who hid in the United States, called on his supporters to protest. “Suddenly” the protest turned out to be well organized, and “peaceful protesters” took over the parliament buildings and other government institutions.

Everything happened quickly, but the president who won the election was able to leave for a safe place and had already sent troops to the capital, he was promised support by the socialist countries of the region, and the police began to disperse the protesters. The federal governor, a longtime ally of Jair Bolsonaro, has come under fire for security failures in Brazil, Reuters reports. The Supreme Court suspended him from office for 90 days.

Failed attempt

As a result of the protests, Brazilian police detained more than 400 people, said the governor of the federal district, Ibanez Rocha.

It seems that the coup according to the scenario of Pinochet in Brazil is not destined to take place, but there is no doubt that Washington will arrange such “tests” for the new president more than once.

The ex-president Bolsonaro himself, who is hiding from a possible trial in the United States, called the protesters violators of the order. True, this did not help him very much – a number of members of the Democratic Party immediately called for the extradition of the fugitive politician back to Brazil and accused him of attacking democracy. The parallels with the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters suggest themselves. In addition, Facebook, owned by Meta, a recognized extremist company in Russia, will remove content supporting Brazilian protests – this was exactly the policy the social network had with respect to the “trumpists”.

World media comments

BBS – No Trump Buddies Here

Steve Bannon, once Donald Trump’s chief strategist, also played a role in these events, writes the BBC:

“Through a series of podcasts and social media posts, Bannon and his guests have increasingly fueled accusations of ‘stolen elections’ and ‘hidden dark forces’. Bannon circulated the BrazilianSpring hashtag and continued to cheer on the opposition, even when Bolsonaro himself seemed to recognize the election results. … Like the events of January 6, 2021 in Washington, such distorted reports and unverified rumors did much to fuel the ire of the mob, who began to smash windows and storm government buildings in an attempt to get their way.”

La Stampa: Rebellious Populism: An Export Variant

There is a clear trend here that Europe should also take into account, warns La Stampa:

“Incendiary populism knows no bounds, it is a kind of Fourth International. It feeds on popular discontent and draws inspiration from charismatic leaders flirting with autocracy: Donald Trump, Jair Bolsonaro are classic examples… Populism of this kind is easily exported and instrumentalized… In Europe and in the West in general, attacks on democracy and democratic institutions with the goal of canceling the election results became a risk to be reckoned with.”

Helsingin Sanomat: Much bigger than the storming of the US Capitol!

These events did not come as a surprise, notes Helsingin Sanomat:

“It would be nice if you could marvel at the chaos that happened on Sunday, but there is nothing to be surprised at: everything happened as if according to the script. Bolsonaro sowed doubts in the minds of his supporters long before the election… What Bolsonaro’s supporters did is far larger than the storming of the US Congress building by Trump supporters in January 2021. What happened on Sunday in the Brazilian capital could be compared to the events in the United States if Trump supporters tried to storm not only the Congress, but also the White House and the Supreme Court – and they would succeed. Apparently, the scale of material damage in Brazil is much higher.”

What happened?

On Sunday, thousands of supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro stormed the country’s National Congress, despite an attempt by police to stop the crowd with tear gas. In the same way, the buildings of the Supreme Court of Brazil and the presidential palace were taken by storm. The riots continued for several hours.

The storming of other government buildings took place a week after the inauguration of the country’s new president, Lula da Silva. Demonstrators supporting Bolsonaro and his far-right policies refuse to acknowledge his recent electoral defeat.

Lula da Silva, who was on a working trip to Sao Paulo state, said the demonstrators committed “acts of vandalism and fascism.” According to him, there has never been such a precedent in the history of the country.

“Like real vandals, they destroy everything they see in front of them,” Lula said. “We believe that security was not provided properly. And I want to tell you that all the people who did this will be punished.”

Predictable coup attempt

Many were surprised by the ease with which the protesters broke into official buildings, although the authorities were aware of the tensions that existed and that many supporters of Jair Bolsonaro disputed Lula’s victory, notes RFI Correspondent in Brazil Martin Bernard.

In Brazil, fears have long been expressed that in the event of a defeat, Bolsonaro will refuse to recognize him, and civil strife may flare up in the country. Supporters of the defeated president themselves have been talking about violence for months, the RFI correspondent notes. They staged actions in front of military bases, urging the military to stage a coup.

Brazilian history professor and far-right specialist Odilon Caldeira Neto, in an RFI commentary, notes that the attempted uprising was predictable:

Various groups have been formed in recent months. They were supported by Bolsonaro and mobilized by some of the military (…). They received financial support from the heads of businesses in strategic sectors for the Bolsonaro camp, such as agribusiness. It should be noted that some units of the military police, which in recent years have already shown a certain degree of “Bolsonarization”, showed more connivance in the face of anti-democratic actions.

Opinion from Ukraine

The authors of the ZeRada channel write: In Brazil, history repeats itself, just like we have in 2004 . The presidential elections were held, where one won in the second round by a margin of 2%, the other did not calm down and began to move his Maidan. In Brazil, there is also an unspoken split in the country, as we have been, are and will remain. Although the war made its own adjustments, the authorities quietly decided to demolish everything and clean up everyone. Now the occupation of the residence. Helicopters with grenades. Already enter the state of emergency. Everything that Yanukovych did not do either in 2004, when Yushchenko shook Ukraine, or in 2014, when the “radicals” shook.

The world swing will continue. It won’t be the last country to see mass protests break out this year. Only one nuance. The more problems there are in the world, the less informational attention will be paid to the Ukrainian crisis, and without highlighting, it will cease to interest someone, and some will simply exchange it for something, and start a new party, somewhere in Asia. For Zelensky and the Office of the President, this is bad. Everything is bad for them, which prevents them from getting personal hype.

We are watching how this story ends, but it can have a good effect on the global economy.

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