The Final Act in the Case Dilma Rousseff

August 31, 2016 is a black day for the Brazilian democracy. Because after months of locking horns, the former President Dilma Rousseff was deposed in a more than dubious impeachment trial. With an overwhelming majority of 75 percent, the Federal Senate, the Federal Senado, voted for a political change – thus ending the 13-year-long dominance of the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT). Now the Partido do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro (PMDB) under the leadership of Michel Temer get a chance. Those party that was undermining the president’s throne by trickery and palace coups for years. Their more grotesque than politically motivated actions made them a joke, not only within the borders and between Rousseff’s supporter. Rather the country, which was celebrated as an aspiring BRICS state a few years ago, mutated to a banana republic with a political real-life satire.

Only the Olympic Games brought a short breather in the political thriller. So the international focus moved away from the problems in Brasilia to the exuberant “tudo bem-culture” (All-Clear-Culture) in Rio de Janeiro. But here, between all the splendor and the glory of the sports event, the facets of the economic depression, in which Brazil sticks deeply for two years, revealed themselves: Public employees in Rio de Janeiro, for example, don’t receive any salary since several months because the federal government lacks budget in consequence of the Olympic Games. The number of unemployed people is officially at 11 million, but the estimated number is higher by far. The inflation has hit a three-decade high and the economic growth is about minus four per cent – not least based on the price slump of the commodity. Finally, the crisis keeps Brazil down. And the oppositional coup is probably just the final act of a month-long political paralysis.


Rousseff herself appeared in this five acts lasting drama as a lay figure that was more clueless and resistant to advice than a real political leader. As she eventually appointed her mentor, the former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula), a new cabinet member, her fate was sealed. Because Lula, as he is called by the Brazilians, is well acquainted with the art of money trafficking and the purchase of spheres of influence. Political skills that even the former activist Rousseff were alleged to. And which cost her political mandate. Finally, she is accused to sugarcoat the state budget and to deliberately minimize the depression rates by slip sticking. Considering the involvement of the PMDB in the Lava Jato scandal, this is a true farce which is happening between the Amazon basin and the Serra do Mar.

Personally Rousseff has never get into any debt, or rather, one can’t prove anything against her. All the more the entire impeachment trial seems to be a political meltdown, whose long-term consequences will probably just come to light in the next few weeks and months. The new president Temer anyway is intent on doing budget cutbacks and privatizations to finish the depression off. However, the confidence in him and the entire political elite lies completely idle in Brazil. So Rousseff’s supporters not just discredit the PMDB member “Temer-out slogans”, but they also offered him a shrill whistling at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. Something like this had never happened before in the Maracanã.


The country that wrote on its flag “ordem e progresso”, order and progress, remains in blind activism. As a result of this, the fronts between the two political blocs will increasingly harden. The power brokers of this drama, Temer himself, will probably not get beyond his role as an interim president – and still gain the laurels. Because he made to seize power with one of the most insidious and fictitious coups in the history. In the background, the PT members already reorganize their comeback at the elections in 2018, with their idol Lula leading the way, who will be 72 years old at that time. New elections would probably have been the cleanest solution here. But Brazil overslept the generation change – and now lags behind an outdated and warring political elite. This also has been recognized by the neighbor Venezuela which immediately froze all political and economic relations.

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