‘Brazil's leftist forces view efforts to impeach Dilma Rousseff a coup d’état’
Hundreds of people gathered outside Congress in Brazil's capital Brasilia to support suspended president Dilma Rousseff, whose impeachment trial is underway.
On Monday, Rousseff appeared before the Senate to defend herself on charges of financial corruption. She also reiterated that her government, unlike that of the interim president, had been legitimately elected by millions of Brazilian voters.
Before speaking to the Senate, the ousted president was warmly welcomed by her supporters.
RT: What kind of reaction do you expect in the country if President Rousseff is impeached?
Michael Fox: We’ve already heard it and seen it on Twitter and already seen it on the streets. There are hundreds outside of Brasilia right now. The Landless Workers' movement, which is one of the major agricultural movements, one of the largest social movements in the Americas, the major unions, … all these leftist forces have already said they are going to hit the streets. In fact, there was one Tweet that was sent: “If there is a coup, there will be struggle.” We already know that in Brazil the left and social movements have been more organized than at any point since the last 50 years, since the 1964 coup. So, they are already organizing around this obviously if the vote goes against Dilma Rousseff.
RT: The pro-Rousseff protesters call the impeachment a coup d’état. Do you think they have a case here?
MF: That’s what everybody understands. Journalists, media, political scientists - you can see how this completely has been made into a way to get Dilma out of office. And it is really clear if you just look at the composition of Congress. Nearly 60 percent of the Congress members and members of the Senate have their own corruption charges against them. And that could be for bribery, in some cases there are even charges for murder. This is really high. And obviously this comes back. It’s all part of this larger push that Dilma was trying to clean up Congress and the government. And this is their push back. They are attacking Dilma, trying to get her out her office and it looks like they may just do it.
RT: If Michel Temer, who's now the head of the country, remains as president what differences will there be between his policy and Dilma Rousseff's?
MF: Every political analyst has already said that it has gone 180 degrees in the opposite direction. Under the Dilma and Lula governments, you had ‘no more poverty, social programs’ and they were able to lift millions out of poverty. They created health care programs, more doctors; they’ve been trying to bring doctors into the poor communities. Literacy programs, ‘Bolsa Familia’. There were all these different social programs happening. And already we’ve seen that the Temer government has been pushing back on those. They’ve already cancelled the world-renowned literacy program, and cancelled contracts with the Cuban doctors. Up until literally this week those contracts ended and so we don’t know what would be the result of that, whether it means that thousands of Cubans doctors who have been in Brazil to care for people in poor communities, are they going back home? There has been a housing mission in which millions of people have been able to acquire new homes. On the very first day Temer came into office basically they increased the percentage that people had to pay off those homes by roughly 250 percent within a couple of months. Already there has been this crackdown and push back and they announced they would be pushing forward on austerity measures and privatizations... All of this is at risk.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.