At the gates of dictatorship

Image: Elyeser Szturm
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By José Dirceu*

The seriousness of the country's political situation is wide open. Just do not see who does not want. We are, again, under the threat of a military dictatorship

The militarization of the Bolsonaro government with the latest nominations for the Civil House and the Secretariat for Strategic Affairs has roots in our recent history and in the past.

General Braga Netto was Chief of Staff of the Army, the same person who, in Lula's habeas corpus trial, published a photo of the emergency meeting called by Army Commander Eduardo Villas Bôas to, in an open and flagrant violation of the Constitution, order – that's right – to the STF not to dare to grant Habeas Corpus to Lula. Villas Bôas made the same threat via Twitter, which would have led to his immediate arrest in any democracy.

There, military tutelage over civil power was reestablished, which was dormant in the article of the Federal Constitution that deals with the Armed Forces as guarantor of Law and Order, the famous GLO, a sword of Damocles over our democracy.

It is not new that the military is a political force in Brazil. They made the Republic; they immediately rose up against it in the Revolt of the Armada; in the 1920s the lieutenants rose up several times in rebellions and insurrections in the barracks, with dozens of dead and wounded, until the triumph of the 1930 revolution, in which the military and the lieutenants were the main force.

Getúlio Vargas ruled until 1934, when, after defeating the São Paulo separatist revolt disguised as a defense of a Constituent Assembly, the country gained a Constitution, torn up in 1937 by the General Staff of the Army and Getúlio. It was replaced by the famous Polaca, written by Francisco Campos, under the command of General Góis Monteiro, the head of the Army, a copy of the Constitution imposed in Poland by the dictator Pilziuskque.

The Estado Novo lasted until the deposition of Getúlio, in 1945. The elected president, in 1946, Eurico Gaspar Dutra, former head of the Army, created a reactionary, religious, pro-United States government, repressive to workers and to the left.

Dissatisfied with the return of Getúlio, elected in 1950, and his PTB, important parts of the Army, Navy and Air Force began a series of attempts at coups d'état, or the non-recognition of electoral results, with the thesis of an absolute majority. In 1955, they organized themselves to prevent the inauguration of JK (Juscelino Kubitschek), with two military uprisings, Jacareacanga and Aragarças. JK debunks the intervention attempts, but grants them amnesty. After Jânio's resignation, they staged a coup, paralyzed by the resistance of Leonel Brizola and the division of the Army, as in 1955, when Marshal Henrique Teixeira Lott, through a counter-coup, secured JK's possession.

Today, 1964 is history, but it lasted until 1985.

The military has always been a political force at the service of conservative and pro-United States elites, not to mention the shameful division before the 2nd World War between Germanists – fascists, of course – and pro-allies. In 1964, Brazil completely aligned itself with the United States, even sending troops to the imperialist invasion of the Dominican Republic to quell a democratic popular rebellion, always supporting the agrarian and right-wing elites under the cover of the fight against communism.

The 1988 Constitution could have put an end to that, but it didn't, it reconciled with the Armed Forces and the result now haunts us. They are back with Bolsonaro, they hibernated for 30 years in military schools and in the non-submission of military power to civilian power. Despite the civilian command of the Ministry of Defense, to which the military ministries are subordinated, the civil power never decided on military policy in Brazil and never did they, the military, accept the President of the Republic as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

They control the budget, promotions, priorities of national defense and its industry, its armament plans. And with their own new pension reform, voted only in congressional committees, they became a caste.

The seriousness of the country's political situation is wide open. Just do not see who does not want. We are, once again, under the threat of a military dictatorship, and facts such as the execution, commanded by Ronnie Lessa, of councilor Marielle Franco and, now, at the other pole, the burning of archives with the execution of the other suspect of involvement in the murder, head of the militiamen, Adriano da Nóbrega, both with more than proven connections with the president's family, only prove the point we have reached.

It is no longer about the risk of authoritarianism, but about the hidden face of all dictatorships, the violence covered up by the State or promoted by it. Fingerprints are proof that we are once again living on the threshold of a new dictatorship. Gradually, we are realizing how expensive it will be to have amnesty for the crimes of the dictatorship.

* Jose Dirceu he was Chief of Staff in the Lula government.

Originally published on the website Metropolis

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