Highlights – III

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Comments on recent events

We had a weekend full of pyrotechnic events, with role reversals and situations that call attention to what is most serious. In this case, the attacks on the Federal Supreme Court by the self-styled paramilitary group “300 do Brasil”.

The authorities reacted, arrested the main perpetrators and dismantled the camp in the National Congress. As a disturbing note, there is the suspicion that the Military Police of the Federal District (PMDF) did not act satisfactorily to the point of avoiding what it caused after the resignation of the deputy commander of the Force by Governor Ibaneis Rocha. Another relevant detail in these demonstrations is that the rockets and blank shots that were fired at the Federal Supreme Court may in the future be replaced by more consequential weapons, and it is good that everyone is aware of this.

Everything indicates that the leader of the “300” directs her performances due to a struggle for protagonism within Bolsonarist forces. It should be remembered that in the last election, many leaders of everyday events, such as the marches from 2014 onwards, people who had no political or professional background, ended up being massively elected to the National Congress. The same thing could be happening in relation to this movement.

From the point of view of what is substantive, what is important is the progress of the inquiry into the sources and financiers of the fake news in Congress, in the STF and, above all, in the TSE, with the possible threat to the mandate of the Bolsonaro-Mourão ticket. The legal conditions are given, the political conditions are not, and will depend on many factors. My prediction is that nothing decisive will happen and that we will have to take this moderately until the end of the current president's term.

The Minister of Education, Abraham Weintraub reinforced his anti-republican militancy. He went public, without any protection against the coronavirus, to speak ill of the STF and say that he will not give up on the Provisional Measure (MP) that took voters’ choice away from constitutional milestones. Before, the president of the Senate had returned the MP that proposed the creation of temporary rectors in an unusual gesture, in an act that rarely happens. Weintraub stated that he will not give up on this purpose, calling into question the action of the Federal Senate and the Presidency of the Republic that accepted the withdrawal of the Provisional Measure.

This week, on Monday, June 15, a survey carried out by a university consortium that brings together some of the major Brazilian universities and some universities from abroad [1] was released. The highlight is the data that shows a decrease in sympathy for a coup or military intervention in Brazil. It is the first time in three years that this trend has been observed.

Just over the weekend, Mansueto Almeida, executive secretary of the National Treasury, announced his departure from the government. He explained his decision by not mentioning issues related to the national treasury, as one would expect, but the difficulties of implementing coordinated policies against the coronavirus. He thus denotes his dissatisfaction with the lack of coordination and lack of planning by the federal government regarding the fight against the pandemic, which greatly affects fiscal and federative relations between the Union, State and Municipalities in Brazil. The departure of Mansueto, despite his quick replacement by Bruno Funchal, means an important absence in Paulo Guedes' team.

Finally, the US Department of Health agency in charge of controlling food and medicine, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), repudiated the use of chloroquine as a medicine indicated in the fight against Covid-19, even in emergency situations. The FDA's decision ironically came shortly after the United States donated two billion doses to Brazil.

*Benicio Viero Schmidt is a retired professor of sociology at UnB. Author, among other books, of The State and urban policy in Brazil (LP&M).

Article established from participation in the series Empower Comment.


[1] Check out the article by Carlos Ranulfo Melo at the earth is round (https://aterraeredonda.com.br/a-avaliacao-do-governo/).

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