Globo behind coup? Brazil president’s supporters blame impeachment on media
The escalating political crisis has driven a wedge between local residents, with anti-Rousseff protesters and crowds of her supporters taking to the streets nearly every day.
On Sunday protesters rallying in support of the suspended leader faced-off with police and rival activists in Sao Paulo.
After the Brazilian Senate voted to impeach Rousseff for breaking budget laws, her supporters took to the streets carrying banners that notably read, among other things "Coup" and "(Network) Globo supported the dictatorship and wants a new coup in Brazil."
Globo's numerous media outlets have been accused of giving voice exclusively to Rousseff's impeachment proponents.
Pro-democracy/anti-Temer protesters in Brazil force expulsion of Globo reporter, calling him a coup agent https://t.co/r0Jwrc4mGa— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) May 15, 2016
A graffiti message, created by supporters of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was left on a wall in front of the Globo television station in Brasilia earlier this year in March. The short message said: "Out Globo, putschist."
Globo TV is watched by nearly half of Brazilians daily - that's over 90 million viewers. The Globo group boasts magazines, websites, newspapers and all seem to dislike Rousseff. While anti-Rousseff protests received daily coverage on the national news in Brazil, rallies in her support received virtually no TV news attention, which has been mocked in a .gif image that appeared online.
"They play compliance, they stay quiet about it, they try to hide what is going on and not call things by their name. It is another right that the people are being denied - they are being denied the right to know the truth and stay well informed,” Lucy Pagoda-Quesada, human rights activist, told RT.
Globo rejected the criticism, saying it had granted “both sides the same airtime.”
“Globo did not support the impeachment in editorials. It declared that, whatever the outcome, everything had to be conducted according to the constitution, which has been the case thus far,” João Roberto Marinho, editorial board chairman of Globo Group, said in a letter published by the Guardian.
Rousseff was suspended from her post for at least 180 days after senators voted 55 to 22 to punish her for manipulating budget data ahead of her re-election in 2014. The left-wing politician claimed that Brazil was in a strong economic position, but since she convincingly won the vote, the economy has unraveled, putting Brazil in the worst recession for decades.
The 68-year-old economist and politician called her removal from office a coup.
"So, there is a systematic blockade in that sense that, OK, it creates a propitious environment for a coup. How have they created a propitious environment for a coup? The environment is of impasse, of instability. They created this impasse, that is how it was systematic. I am certain that the impeachment is a process, that the truth is a tentative way of getting, indirectly, to the government or the presidency of the republic. Why? Because they do not have any way of getting to the presidency of the republic by way of a direct vote," Rousseff said.
Most of Brazil's largest media outlets also threw their weight behind the 1964 military coup that further enriched the nation’s tycoons. Historical events that occurred from March 31 to April led to the overthrow of President João Goulart. The coup subjected Brazil to a military regime, politically aligned to the interests of Washington. Back then the largest media corporations, led by the Globo Organisation (Latin America's largest mass media group, founded in 1925) also hailed the coup as a much needed blow against the corrupt government.
The push to impeach Brazil’s president is part of a regional plan by global elites aimed at weakening the Latin American powerhouse and potentially undermining the BRICS alliance, political analyst and international consultant Adrian Salbuchi told RT.
"All left-of-center governments throughout Latin America are waning and right-of-center governments are coming in strong," Salbuchi said. “Brazil is the powerhouse, the industrial powerhouse of Latin America, and weakening Brazil has dire consequences not just for Latin America as a whole, but for the BRICS alliance which is just growing to counter-balance the Western power elite and traditional financial and industrial structures," he added.
Salbuchi noted that Brazil's new interim president, Michel Temer, will be a “very uneasy president to lead this country. He is not charismatic, is not very much a light as Ms. Rousseff was.”
WikiLeaks revealed last week that the 75-year-old Brazilian lawyer, nicknamed 'the Butler' for his topnotch dress and manners, was an embassy informant for US intelligence. According to the whistleblowing website, he communicated with the US embassy in Brazil via telegram, and such content would be classified as "sensitive" and "for official use only."
"My first word to the Brazilian people is the word 'faith'," Brazil’s new president said in his inaugural speech. "Faith in the values that form the character of our people, the vitality of our democracy, faith in the recovery of our national economy, the potential of our country, in its social and political institutions. And in the capacity that united we can face the challenges in this time of great difficulty," he added.
Tenner reportedly recalled a billboard he had once seen at a gas station, which read: “Do not talk about the crisis: just work,” and pledged to do the same.