What should we make of the change of leadership in Brazil? What are the implications for the agency of the global south in this long battle to decolonise world affairs?
We have watched as the political drama in Brasilia unfolded towards the removal of Ms Dilma Rousseff from the presidency.
The opposition was emboldened by the defection of the biggest party from Rousseff’s government to the opposition as its leaders were named in corruption investigations.
There was pressure to bring Rousseff down over allegations that she manipulated the national budget. She was finally suspended last Thursday after the senate vote led by her nemesis and former deputy in government Michel Temer.
Having taken over, Temer has surprised many by appointing a cabinet of white males in a country where 52 percent of the population is women and 53 percent is mixed-race. The new finance minister has indicated the intention to shift economic policy to the right, a neo-liberal turn that takes Brazil to the pre-Lula years.
Brazil, which has been an example of a social, multi-ethnic democracy, now seems to have transformed all of a sudden |to a neo-liberal, white men’s democracy.
To make matters worse, the world-famous whistle-blower Wikileaks revealed that Temer is fingered in leaked US cables of July 2015 showing extensive US spying on Rousseff and other key leaders in her government, in what was widely read as part of decades-old US regime change efforts in Latin America.
The 2012 leaks of intelligence by Edward Snowden showing US spying on the Brazilian president caused a diplomatic row.
There was alarm elsewhere that the US had not abandoned the |old imperialist designs that had turned Latin America into what Greg Grandin calls “The Empire’s Workshop”, where in the name |of democracy promotion, anti-democratic and often secret interventions installed “friendly” governments.
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