The olive green corruption

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By CARLOS CARDOSO FILHO*

Impeachment, self-coup or new elections? What sustains this government, what the dictatorship was and how Brazil and its people can lose less.

Brazil “marches” at disconcerting but daily steps towards a dictatorship that – when compared to the somber regime of exception suffered by the country after the 1964 military coup – tends to be even more harmful to society, the economy, the environment is life. Now, the set of forces that will lend themselves to this disservice to democracy and the Brazilian people comes from the gathering of sectors that mix – in a fundamentalist and fascist way – petty internal and foreign interests, biased faith and eugenic sectarianism.

In national territory: an influential portion of large employers sees in the possible exception and tougher government, which could emerge from Jair Bolsonaro's self-coup, a unique opportunity to further deepen the annulment of the few guarantees that remained to the working class; big capital sees itself on the eve of buying more quickly and at a bargain price the productive state-owned companies that will be in the stalls of the privatization fair; and rentier banking sees an excellent time to grab a lot more money by way of amortization and interest on a “black box” public debt, as it has never been effectively audited, as well as intensifying the financial slavery of almost half of the population that goes into debt while working hard to enrich a few who accumulate riches and grow fat with the easy profits of speculative capital, unproductive and idle by nature.

From abroad, economic groups are historically sure that in a literal and openly military government – ​​as today more than 3 positions in the federal Executive are already occupied by military personnel, 8 of the 22 ministries, as well as the direction of several state-owned companies – it is fine easier, quieter and cheaper the acquisition of Brazilian heritage such as reserves and oil exploration, mining in general and electricity, among other strategic areas and duly guarded by prudent countries that effectively defend their wealth and national interests. A recent and quite emblematic example of the lack of nationalism shown by a large part of the Brazilian military was the sale of Embraer to Boeing which, by the will of the Brazilian uniforms, the cheap delivery would have already taken place, but it just didn't happen because of Boeing itself in the midst of this Covid-19 pandemic scenario.

Dyeing this dark spectrum with the “traditional olive green”, some wings of the Armed Forces operate which, since January 2019, add remuneration advantages, including profiting from the Social Security reform, and feed on the pride of “being on top of the situation”. situation". With a similar intention, there is a significant number of state military police and even private security company vigilantes who identify with Jair Bolsonaro's warlike, arrogant and authoritarian speech, and who believe they have greater space for action in a possible government of exception and hardest that can arise from the self-strike.

In the field of faith, sectors of neo-Pentecostal evangelism agree with the self-coup and the implantation of a military regime that believe in salvation based on conservative and sectarian customs, as well as understand the return of Jesus only through a distorted Zionism that mixes religion with State and , at the same time, raises Israeli flags and supports Nazi ideas and gestures made by members of the federal government.

In addition to these religious fundamentalists, there is a group of right-wing extremists – who devote their entire creed to righteous, prejudiced, resentful and intolerant practices – but who call themselves liberals without knowing that this “economic liberalism” (in practice, a “paleoliberalism”) " led by Chicago-Boy Paulo Guedes that dismantles the State, withers essential services and places society in the hands of speculation and easy profit, whose result has been this save yourself who can) has nothing to do with the political liberalism that it was the basis of the French Revolution in the XNUMXth century and defended equality (including racial), respect for human rights and freedom of expression, press and religion.

Given this context, it is clearly felt that the military – perhaps the most influential and heard by the government – ​​or do not advise President Jair Bolsonaro at all to reduce provocations, affronts and disrespect to institutions, to the other powers of the Republic and to the Brazilian people, or even encourage them to increase these daily follies and attacks, in order to stretch the threads of patience to fray the social and institutional fabric to finally “justify” and “foundation” the self-coup.

Observing this dangerous scene, the Legislative Power seems to experience hourly therapeutic doses of temperance and care. It is that perhaps, by acting demanding more responsibility from Jair Bolsonaro and some of his ministers or even introducing one of the 31 requests for impediment (impeachment) already presented, fear giving him (Bolsonaro) exactly the “justification” he hopes to inflame even more, encourage the troops and implement his old dream, including never hidden, of leading a dictatorship in Brazil.

Although apparently prudent and balanced this patience of the President of the Chamber of Deputies, who has chosen to wait and say that there is no deadline for opening the impeachment process, the losses already point to an urgent brake on this damage: human (deaths caused by actions or President Jair Bolsonaro's omissions at this time of the pandemic); economic (losses for employees and companies due to the lack of financial assistance from the government in this time of crisis); institutional (dismantling and deformations in the functioning of institutions); politicians (discredit, foul ideologization, worsening polarization and growing depoliticization); as well as damage to the image, credibility and acceptance of the country, its people and its products abroad.

A large part of the population, even today, does not know the true causes of the 1964 military coup, which have nothing to do with the usual fallacy of fighting communism. The coup scheme started from the action of sectors of the “elite” of the time that, with broad support from the media, took part of society into the conversation and managed to interrupt what would be the basic reforms of the João Goulart government: agrarian, urban, fiscal, banking , administrative and university. Changes that bothered the privileged minority, as they could result in the reduction of social inequality and the strengthening of a nationalist economy. Jango, who intended to guarantee all Brazilians the right to vote in elections, also defended the strengthening of the State, as well as an effective control both of foreign capital that entered Brazil and of the remittance of profits to other countries.

In this era Michel Temer – Jair Bolsonaro, since taking power by force in 2016, a mixture of geopolitical and economic interests (such as participation in pre-salt oil exploration and the delivery of more profits and public assets to big capital ) were and still are present. Along with the attack on politics and the promise to implement a new anti-system government, the old talk of fighting communism gained space in the 2018 elections. , expressions such as “cultural Marxism” and “communism”.

Brazil, delivered by the “anti-communist” military after the damage they did during the dictatorship, was very backward in all areas, including science and technology. He suffered from extreme poverty and hunger. It presented the shameful mark of more than a third of the illiterate population. It was plagued by infectious and parasitic diseases and carried the sad cross of the extremely high infant mortality rate.

The fact is that our military dictatorial experience was nothing but pleasant and emancipating. With power in their hands, the military attacked the workers' guarantees, taking away their stability after completing 10 years on the job. It was the creation of the FGTS that also transferred from companies to workers the responsibility of adding a month's salary for each year worked, in order to compensate those who were dismissed without just cause. This money started to come out of the pockets of the employees themselves in monthly discounts on remuneration.

The loss in purchasing power caused by the wage squeeze was absurd during the 21 years of the military dictatorship in Brazil. The purchasing power of the minimum wage plummeted by 50%. The concentration of wealth took on stratospheric proportions, since, in 1960, the poorest Brazilians had access to 17% of the country's income and, at the end of the olive green regime, ended up with only 12%. All this tightening in favor of the slack given to the richest who, at the beginning of the dictatorship, the richest 10% had 38% of the national income and, at the end of the exceptional government, began to capture 52% of that income.

In the rural zone, the latifundio grew, even with the approval of the Land Statute, used only to stop any possibility of agrarian reform. The concentration of land grew even more in those lead years of the dictatorship through the leverage of land grabs that relied on the omission or even the intentional action of the military. In urban areas, what was seen was the emergence of numerous slums and a lot of state violence in the eviction of these spaces inhabited by residents who had nowhere else to go and were thrown to their own devices.

The environmental devastation was intensified by the military dictatorship that, in the 1970s alone, destroyed around 15 million hectares in the Amazon Forest alone. To pretend that deforesting was cool, Castelo Branco, revealing cowardice and subservience, convinced society by saying that it was better to “integrate rather than surrender”. Like nature, the Indians were also heavily attacked during the military period, as they were arrested, whipped and placed in solitary confinement accused of vagrancy. This attack on native populations reached a climax with the creation of forced labor camps for indigenous people, such as the one that operated in the Municipality of Resplendor in the State of Minas Gerais, as early as 1969.

The militias, whose birth took place at that time, were represented by extermination groups that had in their training military personnel from the Armed Forces and members of the state police. Among these criminal organizations, perhaps the best known were the “Esquadrão da Morte” and the “Mão Branca”. These groups acted freely, terrorized, tortured and killed.

Corruption ran rampant in the military dictatorship. There were scandals that involved the smuggling of clothes, perfumes and luxury whiskeys, carried out by the Army Police itself, to overbilling in public works. Members of the government and its repressive machine were indicted for protecting traffickers and acting directly in drug trafficking. And the period was marked by the receipt of advantages and kickbacks from national and foreign suppliers of products and services. All of this happened in front of anti-corruption bodies equipped and muzzled by the military and a press that was divided between those who supported the dictatorship and those who were silenced by censorship, persecuted, tortured and killed.

This olive green corruption was not restricted to central power, as there were several complaints against governors appointed by the general-president at the time. One of the best-known cases was that of Paraná Haroldo Leon Peres, who was caught extorting $1 million from a contractor, forcing him to resign. Years later, General-President João Figueiredo himself revealed that, if the government had investigated correctly, it would have discovered that the governor of Paraná “was a thief in Maringá”.

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, official data from the federal government itself reveal that 73,2 military personnel from the Armed Forces irregularly received emergency aid of R$600 for people in need. This number of Brazilian military personnel who, at the very least, need to explain themselves is equivalent to the total amount (full force) of the military of Uruguay, Bolivia and Paraguay together.

The attacks made by President Jair Bolsonaro, his ministers and the military closest to governors and mayors is once again history insisting on repeating itself. Because, during the dictatorship, disrespect for States and Municipalities was constant. They suspended municipal and state elections and began to nominate opportunistic “bionic” mayors and governors. At the time, the withdrawal of municipal autonomy, for example, was publicized as an advance since the Municipalities – reduced to mere local subunits – would be seen as “administrative instruments in the country's economic development”. Imposing phrase used to demean municipalities.

Reducing municipal dignity to almost nothing, the military attacked local finances by negatively affecting revenues from taxes on property and transfer of real estate, land tenure, as well as on businesses and professions. The taxation on businesses (industries) and professions alone, which today is the ISS, represented about 44% of the local collection. With the withdrawal of the important tax on businesses and professions under the responsibility of the Municipalities and the reduction of the municipal participation in state taxes collected on sales from 30 to 20%, the central military power took a decisive step towards the submission of these municipalities to the will, ideology and politics of the exception regime, even giving birth and growing the indebtedness of the Municipalities, today a harsh reality.

Jair Bolsonaro has been attacking municipalities even before the arrival of the coronavirus in Brazil. An example of this is PEC 188/19, baptized with an influential expression under the name of “PEC of the Federative Pact”, but which tries to extinguish, just by shallow criteria of collection (own revenue) and population, about 1.252 Brazilian Municipalities, without any minimal analysis of the participation of these public entities in regional productive arrangements, the lives of their populations, aspects related to the culture and history of each of these locations. Even worse, without considering the revenues from constitutional transfers legitimately belonging to these endangered municipalities, many distortions are possible due to the characteristics and peculiarities linked to inputs and products, origin and destination of production, climates, regional vocations and seasonality.

Now, in the midst of the seriousness of the pandemic, Jair Bolsonaro, some ministers and military advisors – who know that caring for people's health is a common competence of the Union, States and Municipalities, as determined by article 23, II of CF/88 – are trying to dodging responsibilities in the face of the crisis, fantasizing about defending jobs and leaving it to governors and, even worse, to mayors, the task of keeping the population without social contacts and agglomerations on their own. And it is in the Municipality that the commercial sectors are much more involved with power. It is there that mayors, when they are not the direct product of the support of these entrepreneurs, are themselves (the mayors) the owners of companies or have emerged in politics, in many cases, through the hands of friends or relatives who represent the business community, the latifundia or sectors of local economic power.

For President Jair Bolsonaro and most of the members of that government, pushing the people towards the virus does not only mean associating with the greed of those who make motorcades with the windows of cars closed and wearing masks, but honking in front of hospitals and asking for the opening of trade. It is not limited to running away from the responsibility of giving concrete solutions to the crisis: carrying out more tests to detect the disease and collaborating financially so that employees and companies can go through the pandemic without risking their survival. This group that occupies the Federal Executive Power acts in a eugenic way, as they know that the greater risks of contamination and death threaten the poor and black population of Brazil much more. Even though the coronavirus landed in the country through airports and ports where people from the middle and upper middle class arrived, the contagion and deaths from Covid-19 among poor blacks are much higher than among whites throughout the national territory. There are places, like São Paulo for example, where for every death in Moema, four die in Brasilândia.

Very common phrases among us such as: “Brazil cannot become a Greece”, “they want Brazil to become a Venezuela” or “this is how we are going to become Cuba” deserve analysis in this moment of a pandemic in which countries are fighting to defend the lives of their peoples , while in Brazil, an already well-militarized government pushes the population to the front line without any weapon (medicine) or shield (vaccine), exposing them to death in an unequal fight against the enemy that is the new coronavirus.

While Brazil, even in the face of huge underreporting due to a shortage of tests, has already suffered, so far, an absurd 250 reported cases of Covid-19 and a regrettable 16 deaths from the disease, Cuba totals 1840 patients and 79 dead, Venezuela has 459 infected and 10 dead and Greece has 2810 sick people and 162 deaths. Even Vietnam – a country that the American film industry taught us to be suspicious of – followed the scientific teachings and adopted the social isolation measures released by the WHO and, even with a population of 100 million inhabitants (half Brazil) and bordering China , has only 308 confirmed cases and 12 fatalities.

For Brazil to start putting a stop to this escalation of the pandemic in health and the damage caused by the pandemonium in politics, if the President of the Chamber of Deputies still does not understand that it is time to initiate the process of impeachment of President Jair Bolsonaro, that the TSE can better appreciate the obscure electoral practices of the ticket Jair Bolsonaro + Hamilton Mourão, so that the Brazilian people get rid of those who, although they had a whole military experience to train and learn to defend and attack, reveal not knowing how to defend people's lives or the country's economy, but also only manage to attack mayors, governors, the press, the Legislature, the Judiciary and, even more serious, the lives of the population.

*Carlos Cardoso Filho is a professor of tax law and vice-president of the National Federation of Municipal Tax Auditors and Inspectors (FENAFIM).

 

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