Implementation of IMF Policies Created Brazilian Crisis*
A Syrian Orthodox Bishop and his assistants were beheaded with a small combat knife. The head was held up to the cheers of onlookers and then placed on the body by insurgents, who have been publicly armed and supported by America, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and other actors.
Recently, a Catholic priest was executed by foreign militants. The monastery in which he resided was burnt and looted, echoing the events of a massacre in Homs last month which resulted in the entire population of a Christian village being wiped out and their houses and possessions burnt. Two Christian bishops who were kidnapped by Chechen gunmen in Aleppo earlier this year, are still missing.
The atrocities coincide with arms transfers – with new advanced weaponry witnessed in the hands of militants in the past number of weeks as revealed by Wall Street Journal.
Remember Nigeria 2012… This is the tried and tested method of bringing down a rising economy and submitting their sovereignty and natural resources into the hands of global governance!
Maybe all those years of coming together to create Carnaval will finally pay off for the Brazilian people, the most highly-taxed society on Earth, at 53%.
Summed up by one young engineer who was demonstrating in Rio yesterday:
“We pay high taxes and we are a rich country, but we can’t see this in our schools, hospitals and roads.”
These citizens of the country with the 6th largest economy in the world hope that they can show everyone else in the world, similarly disgruntled with their own corrupt governments how to do civil disobedience and get results. Let’s wish them luck!
Brazilians are rightfully fed-up with their horribly corrupt government; where elected representatives nakedly steal from the public till.
This video shows the huge crowd of activists that formed last Tuesday in front of (and on top of!) the National Congress building in Brazil’s capital.
They peacefully and jubilantly proclaimed that they won’t stop until 20 million people stand before Congress in Brasilia, to tell their representatives that what they’re doing “with their money, with their health and with their education is wrong.”
As for the graffiti and vandalism that occurred during last Tuesday’s demonstrations in Brazil’s financial capital of Sao Paulo, demonstration organizers are claiming that these acts were committed by government plants: “There are police officers and other shady organizations which infiltrated the demonstrations, promoting extreme acts precisely to criminalize the movement.”
This video includes a translation of the impressively well-rehearsed mass public statement, spoken in unison by at least several hundred people in Brasilia last Tuesday night.
By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Millions of people across Brazil have joined one of the largest protest movements in the country’s history. Ironically, the social uprising is directed against the economic policies of a self-proclaimed “socialist” alternative to neoliberalism led by the Worker’s Party government of president Dilma Rousseff.
The IMF’s “strong economic medicine” including austerity measures, the privatization of social programs have been implemented under the “progressive” and “populist” banner of the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT), in consultation with Brazil’s powerful economic elites and in close liaison with the World Bank, the IMF and Wall Street.
While the PT government presents itself as “an alternative” to neoliberalism, committed to poverty alleviation and the redistribution of wealth, its monetary and fiscal policy is in the hands of its Wall Street creditors.
Ironically, the PT government of Dilma Rousseff and her predecessor Luis Ignacio da Silva has been commended by the IMF for:
“a remarkable social transformation in Brazil underpinned by macroeconomic stability and rising living standards”.
The underlying social realities are otherwise. The World Bank’s “statistics” on poverty are grossly manipulated. Only 11 percent of the population, according to the World Bank are beneath the poverty line. 2.2 percent of the population are living in extreme poverty.
The standard of living in Brazil has collapsed since the accession of the Workers Party in 2003. Millions of people have been marginalized and impoverished including a significant part of the urban middle class.
While the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) presents a “progressive” people’s oriented image, officially opposed to “corporate globalization”, the macro-economic agenda has been reinforced. The PT government has consistently manipulated its grassroots, with a view to imposing what the “Washington Consensus” describes as “a strong policy framework”.
The multibillion dollar profit driven infrastructural investments pertaining to The World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016, wrought by corporate corruption, have contributed to a significant increase in Brazil’s external debt, which in turn has reinforced the control of economic policy by its Wall Street creditors.
The protest movement is in large part made up of people who voted for the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT).
The PT government’s grassroots support has been broken. The base of the Workers Party has gone against the government.
History: Workers Party Betrayal
The Workers Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores) has now been in power for over ten years.
The ongoing social crisis in Brazil is the consequence of the macro-economic agenda launched at the outset of Luis Ignacio da Silva’s accession to the presidency in 2003.
Lula’s election in 2002 embodied the hope of an entire nation. It represented an overwhelming vote against globalization and the neo-liberal model, which has resulted in mass poverty and unemployment throughout Latin America.
The election of Lula in the Fall of 2002 was perceived as a major breaking point, a means to repealing the policy framework of his predecessor Fernando Henrique Cardoso.
While embraced in chorus by progressive movements around the World, Lula’s administration was also being applauded by the main protagonists of the neoliberal model. In the words of the IMF’s Managing Director Horst Kohler:
“I am enthusiastic [with Lula’s administration]; but it is better to say I am deeply impressed by President Lula … the IMF listens to President Lula and the economic team, and that is our philosophy.”
No wonder the IMF is “enthusiastic”. The main institutions of economic and financial management were handed over on a silver platter to Wall Street and Washington.
The IMF and the World Bank have commended the Workers Party government for its commitment to “strong macroeconomic fundamentals.” As far as the IMF is concerned, Brazil “is on track” in conformity with IMF benchmarks. The World Bank has also praised both the Lula and Dilma governments: “Brazil is pursuing a bold social program with fiscal responsibility.”
According to Professor James Petras:
Most Wall Street and Washington policymakers, surprised by Lula’s selection of an orthodox liberal economic team, were perfectly ecstatic when he began to forcefully push through a radical neo-liberal agenda, including privatizing social security, substantially lowering pensions for public sectors employees and reducing the cost and easing the requirements for capitalists firing workers.
According to Marcos Arruda of PACS, a non-governmental research center in Rio de Janeiro:
“Lula’s economic team by pursuing IMF-imposed policies is gutting social payments not just for the retired, but also for the disabled and the poorer families as well.”
The pursuance of orthodox economic policies has also pushed up official unemployment to 12 percent while domestic interest rates stand at 26.5 percent, among the highest rates in the world. In Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, unemployment has reached 20 percent.
Brazil under the PT government not only endorsed neoliberalism “with a human face”, it also supported the US-led militarization of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Lula had established a personal relationship with George W. Bush. While he was a staunch critic of the US-led Iraqi war, a supporter of Hugo Chavez, he was also tacitly supportive of US strategic interests in Latin America.
In the wake of the US-France-Canada sponsored coup d’Etat in Haiti in February 2004 against the duly elected government of Jean Bertrand Aristide, President Luis Ignacio da Silva endorsed the military occupation of Haiti and dispatched Brazilian troops to Port au Prince, under the auspices of the UN Stabilization Mission (MINUSTAH).
Meaningful change cannot result from a debate on “an alternative to neoliberalism”, which on the surface appears to be “progressive”, but which tacitly accepts the “globalizers” legitimate right to rule and plunder the developing World.
The social protest movement which has swept Brazil is the result of 10 years of “free market” economic repression under the disguise of a “progressive agenda.”
Police join protesters
Mass protests force Brazil congress to reject ‘bill of discontent’
The measure was defeated on Tuesday by Congress by 430 votes to nine; with the Rio Times saying the protests were “largely fuelled by social media and citizen journalists.”
The amendment, known as PEC 37, would have limited the power of state prosecutors to investigate crimes. The protesters had argued that PEC 37 might have opened the way to more corruption; a problem which is endemic in Brazil.’
The police in Brazil are amongst the most corrupt in the world and have been mired in recent years in a number of corruption scandals.
Congress also voted Tuesday 25 June 2013 to funnel all revenue and royalties from newly-discovered oil fields off the Brazilian coast into education and health.
Here, we see the the Military Police of the State of Sao Paulo, agreeing to sit down and join the protestors, who chant:
THE PEOPLE, UNITED WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED!
‘Vitoria!’ Mass protests force Brazil congress to reject ‘bill of discontent’ http://rt.com/news/brazil-protests-congress-amendment-275/