Special for OrinocoTribune.com —The recent President Jair Bolsonaro’s secret meeting with C.I.A. director William Joseph Burns, in early July, “is suggestive”: it is likely that a conspiracy is taking place in Brazil for Bolsonaro and the military to achieve a military coup, considers Noam Chomsky.
Or maybe, according to the American analyst in a particular talk to this Brazilian investigative journalist, to continue the soft-coup that overthrew former President Dilma Rousseff.
Whistleblower and writer John Kiriakou, a former C.I.A. agent, considers the meeting strange, too.
“I believe that this sends a dangerous message that the United States is willing to work with autocratic leaders no matter who is president and that a leader does not have to respect the rule of law, to maintain close ties to the U.S.,” says the first American intelligence officer to blow the whistle against torture used by the C.I.A., currently a Sputnik analyst.
Bolsonaro’s Meeting with CIA Chief
Burns’ visit to Brazil – and Colombia, in late June – took Latin America’s largest country by surprise: not previously announced, no accountability after the meeting held, too, with Bolsonaro’s ministers and military upper echelons.
A perfect Bolsonaro-style, and Brazilian military-style as well as right-wing leaders across the region. Hard-line at home, strongly leaned on a nationalist, moralist silly talk.
Puppets for the Washington regime, docile to Uncle Sam on the other hand, from whom Latin American oligarchies historically pick up crumbs, in exchange for our natural resources.
Exactly this way, in a relatively similar scenario Bolsonaro’s military fellow officers acted in the 1964 coup, overthrowing the progressive government of President Joao Goulart, imposing to Brazil a 21-year bloody military regime that just spread fear, and delayed the country at every aspect – economy, education, politics.
Questioned about how common a C.I.A. meeting with world presidents is, Kiriakou states that it is not at all unusual for an intelligence agency director to meet with world chiefs of states. “Especially when that country and the United States have close diplomatic relations and when the two intelligence services have close operational relations,” he observes.
“In fact, it is quite common for C.I.A. directors to travel internationally and, besides meeting with their counterparts, they usually also meet with foreign leaders. The C.I.A. director usually does six or so every year, always with the most important allies,” adds Kiriakou.
In Brazil, it has been said by some analysts that the meeting likely could have been promoted by the U.S. deep State, without U.S. President Joe Biden’s consent given the cold relation between the president of both countries.
Something Kiriakou completely refutes. “These meetings are never secret from the [U.S.] president. Indeed, the C.I.A. director is usually carrying a message from the US president to the president he is visiting.”
The whistleblower also points out, from his residence in Virginia, that, as for the C.I.A., the agency never announces a director visit. “If the host country wants to do that, there is no objection. But the only way news of such a visit will get out is either through a leak or when it is released by the host country. And nobody ever says what they talk about.”
However, Kiriakou agrees that the way the meeting was held, by the Brazilian part, is not normal. “Bolsonaro must think that he can get something out of leaking the information.”
Added to the serious, historical precedent involved in the relations between the C.I.A. and Brazil’s elites, especially the military, the current Brazilian scenario makes the mysterious visit even more worrisome.
“A military coup does not seem out of the question,” tells Chomsky.
“There is reason to be concerned that some kind of operation may be in the planning stage to carry forward the ‘soft coup’ of the past decade,” adds the American sociologist, from his house in Tucson, Arizona.
Brazil’s Democracy under Risk: A Long Story
Actually, the new process against Brazil’s fragile democracy openly started with the 2013 “Spring” that, much likely influenced by the U.S. and the local military (openly encouraged by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg), three years later would reflect on then-President Rousseff’s overthrow by means shamefully, internationally recognized as totally corrupt.
As well as the military, the Brazilian upper classes never accepted the country’s “re-democratization,” in 1985.
The first, minimal crisis or a tense moment, even personal many times, is enough to witness the strong anti-democratic, elitist mentality, deep hate against everything that “smells social” or minimally different among too racist, “well-educated” Brazilians, that is, those of the middle and high classes. Too much strong in Brazil, such feelings permeate, in not a few cases, even lower class citizens.
Exactly what was made resoundingly clear, more than ever since “re-democratization,” during Brazil’s 2013 “Spring.” Mass protests in which citizens (as witnessed especially by the Brazilian magazine Caros Amigos and the Venezuelan TV Telesur) simply could not explain what they were doing on the streets, against what and whom exactly they were protesting, the Brazilian mainstream media acted in a very similar way compared to the days previous to the 1964 coup.
Especially the most-read Brazilian papers Folha de S. Paulo, O Estado de S. Paulo, and O Globo, exalted the military, and subtly compelled the local society – one of the least educated in the world with a strong trend to reactionarism and dictatorship – to praise the nation’s Armed Forces’ role in politics: through reports, articles and even too much biased “surveys”.
After President Rousseff’s shameful overthrow, it came to light that Brazilian judges and -prosecutors – such as “anti-corruption” Car Wash Operation’s leader, Judge Sergio Moro, were directly trained by the U.S. according to cables released by WikiLeaks.
The Operation itself closely worked with the U.S. Actually, the White House recognized, last June, being behind “anti-corruption efforts” across Latin America. A terror movie the region knows very well.
In 2016, Sergio Moro was awarded the Peacemaker Medal by the military, Brazil’s Armed Force’s most important recognition to a citizen.
Through a WhatsApp message hacked by the Brazilian lawyer Walter Delgatti, who disrupted the Car Wash Operation and its hard consequences in partnership with The Intercept, Prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol thanked the C.I.A. for former President Lula da Silva’s imprisonment: “A gift from the C.I.A.,” he stated.
Prosecutor Dallagnol unfairly accused former President Lula, paving the way for Bolsonaro to be elected president in 2018 through the lowest level campaign in Brazil’s history, based on an unpunished storm of fake news, much violence, and strongly supported by the local mainstream media.
In a frightening environment across the country, in March that year the socialist councilwoman Marielle Franco was murdered by State forces in Rio de Janeiro. While the city was being, once again in recent history, occupied by the military allegedly to “combat the organized crime,” along with a strong campaign against progressive ideas and personalities.
Less than a month later, given the possibility of Lula to be released from the prison, the Army general Eduardo Villas Bôas, then Army Commander, seriously threatened Brazil’s Supreme Court – which ended up not making, then, justice to the former Workers’ Party president.
Militarization of Brazil’s Politics
These days, there are 6,157 military officials serving the Bolsonaro regime, and several ministers.
As reasons to impeach President Bolsonaro just accumulate through his almost three years in power, under a Congress’ and Court’s total inertia, he and the military have been threatening the rule of law in countless ways, including calling on the article 142 of the Brazilian Constitution, known as “Law and Order Guarantee,” threatening with a military coup.
Since former U.S. President Donald Trump’s followers attacked the Capitol last January, trying to obstruct the elections, the Brazilian head of state and military officers are seriously threatening the 2022 elections to not been held.
“Bolsonaro is already quite openly working on Trump-style discrediting of an election he doesn’t win,” concludes Noam Chomsky.
Featured image: Jair Bolsonaro and William Burns during the visit of the CIA Director to Brasilia on July 29, 2021. Photo courtesy of Palacio de Planalto.
Special for Orinoco Tribune by Edu Montesanti