News Release

Brazilian President Testifying at Impeachment

Cuadros-DilmaRousseff-1200x772

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is scheduled to testify at her impeachment trial Monday. A vote on impeachment in the Senate is expected this week.

MARIA LUISA MENDONCA, [Currently in the U.S.] marialuisam222[at]gmail.com
Mendonça is director of Brazil’s Network for Social Justice and Human Rights. She is also a professor in the International Relations department at the University of Rio de Janeiro and the editor of the book Human Rights in Brazil. She was recently featured on a Institute for Public Accuracy news release, saying: “It is widely expected that, within a few days, senators will vote to definitively remove [Rousseff] from office. The impeachment — labeled a coup by many Brazilians — has generated outrage and frequent protests in Brazil, including during the Olympic Games in Rio.”

JAMES N. GREEN, [in NYC] James_Green[at]brown.edu
Green is professor of Brazilian History and Culture at Brown University. He said today: “Impartial observers generally recognize that the charges against her are more political than fiscal in nature. Numerous governors, whose parties are supporting the impeachment, have organized their own states’ public finances in similar ways over the last two decades.

“Tape recordings leaked earlier in the year reveal that many who favor the removal of President Rousseff are doing so because she refused to block federal investigations against widespread corruption among politicians, including many from her own coalition government.

“Michel Temer, her replacement and her vice-presidential running mate from the Party of the Brazilian Democratic Movement, has already reversed all of the policies from their joint electoral platform, turning his back on the 54 million voters who elected Rousseff to a second term in 2014.

“President Rousseff, who underwent torture in 1970 at the hands of the military dictatorship that ruled the country from 1964 to 1985, will leave office with her head held high. Although she now readily admits that she made many errors as president, no serious corruption charges have been leveled against her.

“On the other hand, the former Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, the President of the Senate, the Interim President, and Rousseff’s main opponent in the 2014 presidential election are all fending off corruption allegations.

“Based on policies implemented by Temer in the four months since he assumed the interim presidency, it seems that the new government will swerve sharply to the right, cut many of the social programs that were trademarks of the Lula-Rousseff governments, and do everything possible to prevent former President Lula from running for the office of chief executive in 2018. At the same time, it is expected that Temer will try to put a stop to corruption investigations against the members of his new center-right government coalition.”