the olive green

Image: Collective Manifest
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By ALEXANDRE ARAGÃO DE ALBUQUERQUE*

The present time comes to unveil the veil of the persistent and violent Brazilian slave structure, alive and current, making use of more subtle methods of building hybrid civil-military coups

Strong arm, light hand, smooth face. On July 11, the Lieutenant Colonel of the Brazilian Army, Mauro Cesar Barbosa Cid (Mauro Cid), assistant to former President Jair Bolsonaro and son of General Mauro Cesar Lourena Cid, arrested since May for being the subject of eight investigations by the Supreme Court. Federal Court (STF), presented himself in uniform to give testimony at the Joint Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPMI), which investigates the coup attempt perpetrated on January 08 against Brazilian democracy.

This event, called by criminal hooligans “Selma Festival”, occupying and destroying the buildings of the Three Powers, a mob coordinated and fed around the barracks in different parts of Brazil, since the end of the October 2022 election, publicly demonstrated the degree of commitment of that military force with the dark court in force with the arrival of bolsofascism to the central executive power. In uniform at that CPMI session, Lieutenant Colonel Mauro Cid presented himself not as an individual person, but as a collective person, a representative of the institution.

To help understand the enormous assimilation of Jair Bolsonaro into the Army, it is necessary to look at the Academia Militar Agulhas Negras (Aman), especially the class of 1977. that is, well before the 2014 elections, this process was crowned with the arrival, at the top of military power, of their contemporaries from Aman. When he assumed the presidency of Brazil, four of his classmates held the highest post in their careers: Generals Mauro Cesar Lourena Cid (father of Lieutenant Colonel Mauro Cid), Carlos Alberto Neiva Barcellos, Paulo Humberto Cesar de Oliveira and Edson Leal Pujol they had been promoted to army generals (four stars).

Edson Leal Pujol, as is known, was named commander of the Army. Lourena Cid was appointed Head of the Office of the Brazilian Export Promotion Agency (Apex), in Miami – USA. Paulo Humberto became president of Postalis, a pension fund for postal workers. And Neiva Barcellos assumed, in Geneva – Switzerland, the post of military adviser to the representation of Brazil at the Conference on Disarmament at the UN.

But, in addition, the good relations of the members of the Aman 1977 class with the Federal Executive (Jair Bolsonaro) extended beyond the select group of four-star generals. To take just one example, reserve brigadier general (two stars) Cláudio Barroso Magno Filho acted as an active lobbyist for Brazilian and Canadian mining companies with interests in exploration in indigenous areas, having been received at least eighteen times in Planalto. (Cf. VICTOR, Fábio. camouflaged power, Companhia das Letras).

Aiming to measure the dimension of the phenomenon of assignment of members of the Armed Forces to exercise civilian functions in the Bolsonaro government, between 2019 and 2022, numerous surveys were produced. The Federal Court of Auditors (TCU), at the request of Minister Bruno Dantas, was responsible for one of these investigations, identifying the presence of 6.157 (six thousand, one hundred and fifty) military personnel exercising civil functions in the federal public administration in 2020.

As researcher Fábio Victor attests, the benefits, privileges and pleasures of the most varied to members of the Armed Forces were one of the strong symptoms of the militarization of federal public management under Bolsonaro's baton, openly showing that it was not just a government of military personnel. , but also for military. One of the strong signs of this situation can be easily seen by the maneuver authorized by the Ministry of Economy of Paulo Guedes, guaranteeing super salaries for several military personnel in high posts on the Esplanada. Palace generals such as Augusto Heleno (the little one), Braga Netto and Luís Eduardo Ramos began earning R$60 per month, above the maximum constitutionally permitted ceiling equivalent to the salary of STF ministers (op. cit.).

Going back a little in history, it is important to remember that, on the eve of the judgment of the Habeas corpus on April 04, 2018, to guarantee freedom to the former president Lula, authorizing him to run for the presidential election of that year, the four-star reserve general, Luís Gonzaga Schroeder Lessa, who had been a military commander in the East and the Amazon , snarled in an interview given to the coup newspaper O Estado de São Paulo: “If [habeas corpus] happens, then I have no doubt that the only thing left is to resort to armed reaction. Then it is the duty of the Armed Forces to restore order” (Supreme may induce violence. The State of S. Paul, April 03, 2018).

At 20:39 pm, on the same day, April 03, the three-star general Otávio Rego Barros (who would become spokesman for the presidency in the Bolsonaro administration), direct assistant to Eduardo Villas Bôas, sent a tweet on the official page of his superior, the threat of the then army commander to the Federal Supreme Court: “I assure the Nation that the Brazilian army believes it shares the desire of all good citizens to repudiate impunity and respect the Constitution, social peace, Democracy, as well as keeping an eye on its institutional missions”. Result already known, the next day, the STF denied the Habeas corpus to the then ex-President Lula. Jair Bolsonaro came to central executive power with his company of soldiers, after the historic walling of the Supreme Court by army generals. Authoritarianism would be the trait of this presidential administration.

On January 02, 2019, at the inauguration ceremony of the Minister of Defense, General Fernando Azevedo e Silva, President Bolsonaro spoke: “General Villas Bôas, what we have already talked about will die between us. You are one of those responsible for my being here.” In response to Jair Bolsonaro, on January 11, in the transmission of the command of the army to Pujol, Villas Bôas said: “The Brazilian nation celebrates the collective feelings that were unleashed after the election of Bolsonaro”.

Ask yourself: what feelings would they be? The exacerbation of social and state violence, discrimination, the rise of authoritarianism, subservience to US power, the loss of Brazil's international credibility, the dismantling and handing over of public assets to private capital, the indiscriminate propagation of fake news, the systematic attack on electronic voting machines and the Superior Courts, the disregard for popular agendas, the insensitivity to the misery to which the Brazilian people were subjected during the four years of the last government? Was this Bolsonarista's military project?

The present time, after the return to democracy with the re-election of President Lula in 2022, comes to unveil the veil of the persistent and violent Brazilian slave structure, alive and current, making use of more subtle methods of building hybrid civil-military coups, cynical, as occurred in 2016 and deepened in 2019, with the aim of maintaining the concentration of income and power in the hands of a very few privileged people, contrary to any democratic horizon based on freedom and substantive equality, as well as on the fair distribution of socially produced goods .

But now the dictator is naked and needs to be fought tenaciously by the entire democratic society. The dictator’s nudity is reminiscent of that well-known school poem: “A colleague gave me the glue / I distributed it with the troops / From the most astute to the most sanctimonious / Everyone wallowed stealthily in the stones / The farce repeated itself through the historic and recurrent malandragem of the company".

*Alexandre Aragão de Albuquerque Master in Public Policy and Society from the State University of Ceará (UECE).

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