This 17 January 2020 video says about itself:
Brazil‘s culture secretary fired after ‘coincidentally’ quoting Goebbels
Brazil’s Secretary of Culture Roberto Alvim was fired Friday, after being accused of paraphrasing Nazi Germany’s propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, in a speech on the government’s vision of the Brazilian arts.
From the BBC today:
Brazil’s culture minister has been sacked after using parts of a speech by Nazi Germany’s propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels in a video, sparking outrage.
In the clip posted on the ministry’s Twitter page, Roberto Alvim detailed an award for “heroic” and “national” art.
Lohengrin by Wagner, Hitler’s favourite composer, played in the background. …
In the six-minute video detailing the National Arts Awards, Mr Alvim said: “The Brazilian art of the next decade will be heroic and will be national, will be endowed with great capacity for emotional involvement… deeply linked to the urgent aspirations of our people, or else it will be nothing.”
Parts of it were identical to a speech quoted in the book Joseph Goebbels: A Biography, by German historian Peter Longerich, who has written several works on the Holocaust.
“The German art of the next decade will be heroic, it will be steely-romantic, it will be factual and completely free of sentimentality, it will be national with great pathos and binding, or it will be nothing.”
Goebbels led the Ministry of Enlightenment and Propaganda, designed to brainwash people into obeying the Nazis and idolising leader Adolf Hitler. Its methods included censorship of the press and control of radio broadcasts, as well as control of culture and arts. …
Among those who called for him to be fired was the Speaker of the lower house of Brazil’s Congress, Rodrigo Maia, who said Mr Alvim had “gone beyond all limits” with an “inacceptable” video.
The Brazilian Israelite Confederation said: “To emulate [Goebbels’] view… is a frightening sign of his vision of culture, which must be combated and contained.”
It called for Mr Alvim’s immediate removal, adding: “Brazil, which sent brave soldiers to combat Nazism on European soil, doesn’t deserve it.”
Brazil’s special secretary of culture, Roberto Alvim, was removed from his post on January 17 amid public furor over a video he posted the previous day on his official Twitter account in which he delivered a fascistic speech on art that directly plagiarized the words of Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda minister of Hitler’s Third Reich: here.
Brazilian Prosecutors Charge Glenn Greenwald With Cybercrimes. Brazilian authorities have charged journalist Glenn Greenwald with cybercrimes, The New York Times reported, an alarming sign that Brazil’s increasingly authoritarian government is punishing a journalist for revealing explosive information.
Brazil’s Bolsonaro government charges journalist Glenn Greenwald with “cybercrimes”: here.
This video is about buff-necked ibis in Brazil.
From daily News Line in Britain:
24th December 2019
A NEW INVESTIGATION into the Brazilian coffee industry has uncovered debt bondage, sub-poverty wages, sub-standard housing, water and sanitation facilities and appalling health and safety conditions.
The study, Picked by Slaves: Coffee Crisis Brews in Brazil, carried out by Thomson Reuters, provides new evidence of how coffee produced under brutally exploitative conditions on farms in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais is sold at a premium price by multinationals, thanks to certification schemes like Rainforest Alliance.
Brazil produces one-third of global coffee beans and Minas Gerais, in turn, accounts for half of this production.
According to the report: ‘More than 300 coffee workers were found by officials in slave-like conditions nationwide in 2018, the highest in 15 years, but the true extent of slavery in the sector is unknown.’
The report cites academics and activists as saying: ‘The scale of slave labour across Minas Gerais is likely to be significant and largely unchecked.’
Brazil’s penal code defines slavery to include exhaustive working hours and degrading conditions of work in addition to debt bondage and forced labour.
The government budget to fund inspections has been slashed while coffee exports have soared.
For years, the number of roving inspection units has declined.
Minas Gerais, with at least 119,000 coffee plantations and hundreds of thousands of workers, the vast majority of them entirely precarious with no rights to minimum standards of employment or social protection, has only 245 inspectors.
Private certification has built a global business on the back of the state’s massive failure to ensure minimum conditions.
Buyer beware: ‘Rainforest [Alliance] endorses hundreds of coffee plantations in Minas Gerais through a system of “group certifications” despite auditing only a fraction of any collective’s many farms,’ says the report.
In a 2019 evaluation of its Brazil coffee certification programme, UTZ, part of the Rainforest Alliance, reported that 98% of its certified producers were medium to large farms.
According to the report, labour violations were identified by officials in 10 farms certified by Rainforest or Brazil’s Certifica Minas, which works with Syngenta.
Systemic violence underpins this system of exploitation – an element missing from the Thomson Reuters report.
Trade union organisers, social and civil rights activists and even labour inspectors are murdered with impunity.
Rainforest Alliance, according to the report, is ‘considering a change to ensure all farms are independently audited at least once every three years.’
- The right-wing government under Jair Bolsonaro has reached a new low by attacking workers with disabilities.
He sent to Congress a new proposed law (6159/2019) that would eliminate just access to jobs for disabled people.
Since 1999, Brazil’s ‘quota law’ required companies to ensure that at least 2 to 5 per cent of its workforce were from the disabled community.
Bolsonaro is attempting to roll back gains made by disabled workers.
In addition, it violates the UN Conventions for the protection of disabled people.
In addition, the proposed law would:
- Prevent the application of ‘quota law’ for activities with less than 26 hours of work; jobs that are preferred by people with disabilities.
- Allow companies to skip out of hiring workers with disabilities by paying a nominal fee that would be allocated to the Physical and Professional Rehabilitation Programme.
There was an immediate angry response to Bolsonaro’s proposal to make it more difficult for disabled workers to integrate to mainstream Brazilian society, contribute to the economy, and live independent lives as all workers.
Throughout the country, trade unions and civil society organisations have joined the disabled community to mobilise against the proposed law.
The BWI trade union federation and its affiliates in Brazil are as outraged by the extremist government’s actions.
According to Nilton Freitas, BWI Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean: ‘We must continue to mobilise and support workers with disabilities by defeating this government’s proposal.
‘This is a blatant attack against Decent Work for disabled workers in Brazil, and this is why we must fight back.’
- President Bolsonaro lashed out at journalists last Friday, saying one had a homosexual’s ‘face’.
Bolsonaro accused the press of bias against him and his son, Senator Flavio Bolsonaro.
Prosecutors in Rio de Janeiro are investigating allegations the younger Bolsonaro hired employees with no duties while he was a state legislator.
Another investigation is probing whether those ‘phantom’ workers kicked back part of their salaries to then be laundered through a chocolate shop he co-owns.
In a video posted to Facebook, the younger Bolsonaro has delivered a lengthy denial of all wrongdoing.
The drone of accusations has been a thorn in the side of President Bolsonaro, who was elected on an anti-crime platform to purge the political class of corruption.
He has routinely attacked the credibility of the mainstream media.
Then he told one reporter: ‘Your face looks an awful lot like a homosexual’s, but that’s no reason to accuse you of being a homosexual.’
The comment was met with laughs from his aides and supporters standing nearby.
Asked at the morning briefing whether he had proof that a suspicious deposit into his wife’s bank account was merely repayment of a debt, Bolsonaro instructed the journalist: ‘Ask your mother if she gave your dad a receipt,’ prompting a cheer from his supporters.
- Brazil’s Senate is against the privatisation of Brazilian state-controlled utility giant Eletrobras in the current form proposed by the government, Senate President Davi Alcolumbre said last Friday.
The privatisation bill for Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras, as Eletrobras is officially named, is opposed by 48 out of 81 Senators, Alcolumbre told reporters.
In 2017, Brazil announced that it would put up for privatisation 57 major state infrastructure assets, including selling some or all of its 51 per cent stake in Eletrobras.
In early 2018, Eletrobras expected that the share sale part of its privatisation could raise between US$3 billion and US$4 billion.
Privatisation efforts have accelerated under new right-wing President Bolsonaro.
The Eletrobras share sale is expected to be the largest privatisation in Brazil in the past 20 years as Bolsonaro pushes to cut the state’s control over the industry.
Eletrobras controls transmission lines and electric generating plants throughout Brazil, and owns power distribution companies that are now being sold.
Eletrobras accounts for almost one-third of Brazil’s power-generating capacity and almost one half of the nation’s high-voltage transmission network.
Earlier this year, Bolsonaro approved a plan for Eletrobras’ privatisation, which entails selling new shares to private investors and thus reducing the Brazilian state’s stake in the utility.
Bento Albuquerque, Brazil’s Mines and Energy Minister, said in early November that Eletrobras would probably be privatised in the second half of next year.
But Bolsonaro’s plan has now hit a snag at the Senate, with Senate President Alcolumbre saying that the plan in its current form would not pass in the Senate and that the government needs to draft another plan for the privatisation of Eletrobras.
BRAZIL’S BOLSONARO IS THE FAR-RIGHT AUTHORITARIAN HE PROMISED HE’D BE Since taking office a year ago, Jair Bolsonaro has followed through (or attempted to) on nearly all of his ugliest promises, with troubling and disastrous consequences for Brazil’s environment and the Amazon rainforest, its already-marginalized Black, LGBTQ, Indigenous and poor communities, and the institutions that form the backbone of any democratic society. [HuffPost]
Fascist group carries out terrorist attack in Brazil: here.
This 1 July 2019 video says about itself:
Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has turned out hard against a journalist in front of spinning cameras, saying that he “had a terrible homosexual face”.
Bolsonaro answered questions on Friday near his working palace in Brasilia. The journalist from the critical newspaper O Globo asked him about his son Flavio, who is being investigated for corruption, and about a close friend of the president who is also said to be involved.
Bolsonaro responded fiercely.
Bolsonaro‘s son Flavio is a representative of the state of Rio de Janeiro. He has appointed ‘ghost employees’ according to the indictment and let their wages flow back to himself. In addition, the Brazilian Public Prosecutor suspects him of money laundering. Flavio Bolsonaro denies the accusations.
The comments made by the Brazilian head of state to the reporter were welcomed by cheering and smiling supporters of the president, who had already attracted attention with homophobic statements a few times before. For example, he said in 2011 that he was unable to love a gay son: “I’d rather have that my son died in an accident than that he would show up with some bloke with a moustache.”
The LGBTQ movement in Brazil is furious about it. Some posted pictures of themselves and of gay celebrities with the caption “a terrible gay face.”
This 7 December 2019 video says about itself:
Indigenous leader Davi Kopenawa calls out Bolsonaro’s racism: “He does not like indigenous people”
Indigenous leader Davi Kopenawa is one of this year’s Right Livelihood Award honorees, along with the organization he co-founded, Hutukara Yanomami Association. Kopenawa is a shaman of the Yanomami people, one of the largest Indigenous tribes in Brazil, who has dedicated his life to protecting his culture and protecting the Amazon rainforest.
He says indigenous people in the Amazon are under threat from business interests as well as politicians, including far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who has a long history of anti-indigenous statements and policies. “He doesn’t like Indigenous people. He does not want to let the Yanomami people live at peace,” says Kopenawa. “What he wants is to extract our wealth to send to other countries.” The Right Livelihood Award, established in 1980, is widely known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize” and honors those “offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us.”
Brazil’s Bolsonaro ‘has violated international pact on torture’: here.
This 22 November 2019 video says about itself:
Jeremy Scahill, Glenn Greenwald and Betsy Reed on our Brazil Exposés
Since June 9, 2019, The Intercept and The Intercept Brasil have been publishing an explosive series of stories revealing grossly unethical conduct by the prosecutors and judge behind the criminal conviction of Brazil’s former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Based on a massive archive of leaked materials, which include private chats, audio recordings, videos, and other documentation, these stories — often referred to in Brazil by the “#VazaJato” hashtag — have sent shock waves through Brazil and the entire world.
On Nov. 8, 2019, Lula was released from prison, and many news outlets in Brazil and around the world have credited The Intercept’s reporting for making that possible.
In this conversation recorded in October, Intercept founder Glenn Greenwald and Editor-in-Chief Betsy Reed discuss the impact of this reporting.
By Miguel Andrade in Brazil:
Brazil’s Bolsonaro founds new fascistic party
2 December 2019
On November 21, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro launched a new party, the Alliance for Brazil. It is a fascistic formation explicitly based on loyalty to the president, according to an early manifesto released on November 12. It states that it is “more than a party, [it] is the dream and inspiration of people loyal to President Jair Bolsonaro of uniting the country with allies in ideals and patriotic intent.”
The party’s name deliberately echoes that of the ARENA party created by the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1986. Its program, released at the launching event, is couched in the language of contemporary American neo-fascism as elaborated by Steve Bannon, with whom Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo, the head of the Brazilian House’s Foreign Affairs Committee, maintains the closest relations. He is considered the leader of Bannon’s “The Movement” in South America.
The program sets out the blueprint for a fascist movement based on the “complete identity” of Brazil as a nation “inseparable from Christ” and “part of Western civilization”. It states that this is a program to be enacted by Bolsonaro as “successively attested by Divine Providence and repeatedly pointed out by the people.”
In language obsessed with the “natural order” and “security”, the program further sets out “complete opposition to all forms of communism”, to “class struggle” and any limitation on private property. It also lays out plans to exempt the security forces from any legal restraint.
While “repudiating the class struggle” it asserts its aim to “restore the value of work” through the “collaboration of all, be it those directing or executing it.”
In a whole chapter on the defense of the “family” as “the natural nucleus of society”, the program states its “complete opposition to all forms of abortion”, the right to which is described as a “death culture” and a “social treason” that if allowed would destroy “the whole moral and judicial foundation of the State.” Predictably, it sets out to increase penalties on “pedophilia and child trafficking” while vowing to “completely banish” discussions on LGBT rights.
At the launching event, Bolsonaro received as a gift a sculpture of the party’s name made out of bullet cartridges.
The launching of such a party represents a threat to not only Brazilian workers, but—given the history of US-Brazilian collaboration in imposing dictatorships across the continent—the whole South American working class. Its founding comes after repeated threats to impose police-state measures if large demonstrations inspired by those already sweeping Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile and now Colombia erupt in Brazil.
Both Eduardo Bolsonaro and the government’s intelligence chief, Gen. Augusto Heleno, have referenced the dictatorship-era “Institutional Act No. 5”, known as AI-5, which shut down Congress, outlawed political parties, suspended habeas corpus and institutionalized torture as a means of suppressing political opposition. Two weeks ago, Bolsonaro threatened the use of the dictatorship-era National Security Law against former Workers Party (PT) president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva for “subversion” after he made vague positive references to the Chile protests in front of thousands of supporters. This week, Finance Minister Paulo Guedes told a business audience in the United States that “no one should be surprised” if calls for such repressive measures are made—or, by implication, if they are actually enacted.
The prospect of a coup by Bolsonaro is now regularly discussed in the Brazilian press, with the main question raised being that of whether he has the political ability to head such a movement. Following Guedes’ US statements, market trends columnist for Brazil’s largest daily—Folha de S. Paulo—Daniela Lima wrote that investors speculate that, unable to overcome divisions in Congress, “the government may create a crisis in order to widen its powers beyond the Constitution.”
In the same week that he launched his party, Bolsonaro sent to Congress Law Project (PL) 6.125, guaranteeing that the military will go unpunished for murders “if they feel threatened” during so-called Guarantee of Law and Order operations in Brazil—acts decreed by the president that include the suspension of democratic rights.
This provision has been enacted no less than 138 times since created in the post-dictatorship 1988 Constitution. Its most notable use was the year-and-a-half-long intervention in the state of Rio de Janeiro during which state killings jumped 80 percent in some regions, and Rio city councillor Marielle Franco was brutally murdered. Yesterday, a similar revision was approved by the House Constitutional Committee, widening the concept of “legitimate defense” in the Military Criminal Code from situations of “unjust aggression” to those involving “unjust or imminent aggression.”
Bolsonaro directly related the move to the threat of mass demonstrations, stating on Tuesday that Congress must give him such powers in the case of “terrorism” such as “burning of buses” and “invasion of ministries”, also announcing that he would request the authorization to send the Army to clear camps of farmers demanding land reform.
The unprecedented crisis affecting bourgeois rule in Brazil—the motive force behind the formation of Bolsonaro’s new party—has found sharp expression in the reactions of the country’s oldest newspaper, Estado de S. Paulo, to an apparently unrelated issue, a comment made by the Bolsonaro loyalist who heads the Education Ministry, Abraham Weintraub, who is known for paraphrasing the Nazis by saying that “communists are at the top of the country, the top of financial institutions, the owners of the papers, the big companies and the monopolies.”
On the holiday commemorating the ousting of Brazilian Emperor Pedro II and proclamation of a republic on November 15, 1889, Weintraub called the country’s first president, Marshall Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca, a “traitor” and defended the monarchy. Estado de S. Paulo, which acts as a mouthpiece for the Army High Command, regularly featuring generals in its opinion pages, demanded his firing in an editorial titled “Red Line.” Right-wing columnist Demetrio Magnoli, who is generally aligned with the Estado editorial board, wrote in Folha: “Weintraub’s problem is not [Marshall] Deodoro, but the political break inaugurating the modern era” and “the Republic, a city without a God”, later adding that as a Bolsonaro loyalist, he believes that positivism—the official ideology of the Army High Command at the turn of the XIXth century—“inevitably opens the door to Communism.”
Many columnists have noted that the fascist language presented by Bolsonaro’s new party is unprecedented even for the ruling ARENA under the US-backed dictatorship.
In the face of such unprecedented threats, however, every political force—from bourgeois editorial boards to the pseudo-left—is attempting to minimize them as the product of mundane disputes over electoral campaign financing or corruption schemes, when not dismissing them entirely as inconsequential.
Estado editorialized on November 16: “At this point, it is clear that the motivation of Bolsonaro to leave the party that harbored him is purely finances,” contending that “the formation of a new party in Brazil is not reasonable” given the fragmented political landscape. Even more cowardly was the reaction of Folha, the mouthpiece of Bolsonaro’s “liberal” opposition, which editorialized in relation to the new party’s program that “such texts mean close to nothing in practice”, while taking issue with the fact that it is “not really economically liberal”.
It is a fact that Bolsonaro has virtually no mass support for such a project, let alone the mass middle-class base that characterized fascism in the 1930s. …
The Brazilian bourgeoisie is seeking an unprecedented alignment with US imperialism at the time of its greatest crisis, with both countries seeing the regurgitation of fascistic filth in the form of Bolsonaro and Trump. …
The threat of fascism originates not in the mind of Bolsonaro, but in the outlook of a significant section of the Brazilian capitalist class, which is looking toward dictatorship as the means of defending its wealth against a rising working class. Only the independent mobilization of the working class, armed with an internationalist socialist strategy … will be able to defeat the threat of fascism by putting an end to its source, the capitalist system.