Notes on the situation

Image: Elyeser Szturm

By William Nozaki*

While attention is focused on the foolishness of the statements by Guedes, Araújos, Weintraubs and Damares, something deeper and more dangerous may be happening in the broader arena of the State

In the last week we observed some very relevant economic events that were little or misunderstood by most economic analysts: (i) the release of scenarios for the national defense policy until 2040, (ii) the appointment of General Morão to the Amazônia Council, (iii) the death of the militiaman from Rio de Janeiro who headed the Office of Crime, (iv) the replacement of Onyx Lorenzoni by General, Chief of Staff, Braga Netto at the Ministry of Civil Affairs, (v) the budget increase defense and state-owned Navy, (vi) the revelation that General Heleno had prevented the dismissal of Sérgio Moro.


The disclosure of scenarios for the national defense policy until 2040 was accompanied by astonishment and surprise at the appointment of France as a strategic threat to Brazil. A good part of the analysts saw the assessment only as a sign of decadence or irresponsibility of the Armed Forces. However, it is worth suggesting a hypothesis that seeks logic in chaos. If we take into account that the coup in Brazil was also informed by oil interests, it must be considered that the most recent frontier of offshore oil exploration and production is found in the region of Costa da Guiana, Suriname and French Guiana, an area where there is a presence and French influence. Furthermore, the Brazilian pre-salt is in an area whose protection should be in charge of the nuclear submarine built in partnership with France. Faced with the automatic alignment between Brazil and the US, it would not be absurd to imagine that the US forces are uncomfortable with this French presence in the South Atlantic and that this is reflected in this document.


The blue Amazon, a strategic maritime area, is located precisely between Venezuelan territory and the Brazilian coast, in an Amazon region that is also in the sights of new oil and mineral prospecting. It is a region under Russian military occupation, in the area of ​​Venezuela, and with the advance of mercantile, mining and predatory interests, in the Brazilian area. This is perhaps becoming too strategic an area to remain under the sole care of Bolsonaro's civil ministers, hence the appointment of General Mourão to head the Amazon Council, formally emptied of civil participation by the region's governors.


The recomposition of the military in the Bolsonaro government may signal a reversal in the defeat of the uniform to Olavism, synthesized in the resignation of General Santos Cruz, not by chance the first to indicate that the military would contain the excesses and nonsense of the ideological wing of Bolsonarism. Such a change of scenery, however, could only occur in the face of a new fact, and, perhaps, this event was precisely the death of one of the leaders of the Rio de Janeiro militia. As has been reported, Adriano Nóbrega was a key player in clarifying relations between the Bolsonaro clan, the death of Marielle Franco and the action of militiamen. Perhaps the military intelligence and defense services have unpublishable information about this event, which would put the Armed Forces on another level before Bolsonarists.


Assuming that the above hypothesis is feasible, the arrival of General Souza Braga – precisely the person responsible for the intervention in Rio de Janeiro – may not have been a free choice by Bolsonaro, but the result of pressure from the Armed Forces on a presidential family involved in truncated and fuzzy cases. In this sense, the Casa Civil (now Casa Militar?), is perhaps also under discreet “intervention”.


In addition, it must be considered that, in recent weeks, if, on the one hand, the Civil House lost the PPI (partnership and investment program) to the Ministry of Economy, on the other hand, the government increased discretionary spending on Defense and with the state-owned military company Emgepron (by the way, responsible for increasing the naval fleet for the defense of the aforementioned South Atlantic).


An operation of the magnitude described in the items above could not be carried out without the Ministry of Justice's complete ignorance. In this sense, a report recently described in the book “Torment: the Bolsonaro government, crises, intrigues and secrets” draws attention, according to the author, General Heleno would have prevented the dismissal of Sérgio Moro on the grounds that the government would end. If true, such evidence proves that militarism and lavajatismo are two cohesive forces, by internal and external interests.

The lines above, as already mentioned, outline only a set of hypotheses. But they are based on certain premises, which, unfortunately, are not supported by the majority of “conjuncturalists” in the progressive field, namely: (i) the Blue Amazon and the Green Amazon are at the center of the global and North American geopolitical chessboard; (ii) the Bolsonaro government has less to do with coalition presidentialism than with the strengthening of militias; (iii) the center of Bolsonarist political economy is in the area of ​​mines and energy and not in the macroeconomic tripod; (iv) militarism and lavajatismo are two sides of the same coin and operate at the service of a strategic project with international connections; (v) recent events obey the construction of a new, authoritarian, long-term state institutionality, and not electoral issues and short-term public policies.

While attention is focused on the nonsense statements by Guedes, Araújos, Weintraubs and Damares, something deeper and more dangerous may be happening, and the center of this something is not, essentially, in the stricto sensu sphere of the economy, but in the arena lato sensu of the State. This is not, it should be said, to diminish the importance of the economic, electoral and cultural agendas, spaces of permanent dispute, political accumulation and change in the correlation of forces. But knowing that the current strategy and the enemy in combat are perhaps mobilizing much sharper weapons than those used when fully monitoring the ended cycle of the New Republic. Times have changed.

*William Nozaki He is a professor at the São Paulo School of Sociology and Politics Foundation and a researcher at the International Political Economy Program at IE/UFRJ.

Originally published on the website GGN newspaper

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