Leonardo Boff on the Brazilian Impeachment–what it’s all about

The impeachment of a dignified and innocent President by a mentally and financially corrupt pack 

Leonardo Boff
          Earthcharter Commission 
Once upon a time there was a nation that was great in terms of her territory and her cheerful people who, nevertheless, were unjustly treated. The people suffered misery mostly in the great peripheries of the cities and deep in the interior of the country. For centuries it had been governed by a small wealthy elite, who never cared about the fate of the poor. As a mulatto historian put it, the people was socially«castrated and castrated again; bled and bled again».
But slowly Brazil’s poor began to organize, in every type of movement, accumulating social power and nourishing a dream of a different Brazil. They managed to transform social power into political power. They helped found the Labor Party, PT, (From the Portuguese, Partido dos Trabalhadores). One of its members, a survivor of the great tribulation and a machine operator, became President of Brazil. In spite of the pressures and concessions he suffered at the hands of the national and transnational moneyed class, he accomplished a significant opening in the system of domination that allowed him to create humanizing social policies. A segment of the population, equivalent to the entire population of Argentina, was lifted out of misery and hunger. Thousands of Brazilians got their own little homes, with electricity and other services. The Blacks and the poor had access, previously impossible, to technical and higher education. But above all, they felt they had regained their dignity, which had always been denied to them. They saw themselves as part of society.They could even buy a car on installments or fly on a plane to visit distant relatives. All this irritated the middle class, because they saw their privilege eroded.  Thus discrimination and hatred of them was born. 
And by its 13th year, the Lula-Dilma government in Brazil had won world respectability. But the economic and financial crisis, being systemic, reached us, causing economic problems and unemployment that forced the government to take strong measures. The endemic corruption of Brazil intensified in Petrobras, implicating not only the upper strata of the PT, but also of the main political parties. A biased, self-righteous judge, focused his concerns almost exclusively on the PT.  The mass media, especially the conservative wing, created a stereotype of the PT as synonymous with corruption. That is not true, because it equates the proper majority with a small corrupt segment. But the condemnable corruption served as pretext for the wealthy elites, and their historical allies, to plot a parliamentary coup, because they could have never won through elections.
Afraid that the policies favoring the poorest would be consolidated, the elites decided to liquidate them. The method they had used before against Getulio Vargas and Joao (“Jango”) Goulart, was invoked again now with the same pretext «of fighting corruption», in fact, to hide their own corruption. The golpistas used the Parliament, 60% of which is accused of crimes, and disrespected the 54 million who elected Dilma Rousseff. 
It is important to be clear that behind this parliamentary coup are the mean spirited and antisocial interests of the power holders, allied with the press that twists the facts and was always associated with every coup, together with the conservative political parties, part of the Public Ministry and the Military Police (that replaces tanks) and a sector of the Supreme Court that, lacking dignity, is not impartial. The coup is not only against President Dilma Rousseff, but against the democracy of a participatory and social character. It is about going back to the most shameless neoliberalism, leaving almost everything to a marketplace that is always competitive and never cooperative (which is why it is conflictive and antisocial). To that end they decided to demolish the social policies, privatize health services, education and petroleum, and attack the social gains of the workers. 
President Rousseff was not accused of a single crime. From administrative errors, also committed by previous governments, they imputed governmental irresponsibility which became the basis forimpeachment.  It is as if a President is condemned to death for a minor bicycle accident, a totally disproportionate punishment. Of the 81 senators who will judge her, more than 40 are implicated in, or under investigation for other crimes. They forced her to sit in the dock of the accused, where those who condemn her should be sitting.  Among them are 5 former ministers. 
The corruption is not only monetary.  The worst is the corruption of their hearts and minds, filled of hatred. The  minds of the pro impeachment senators are corrupt because they know they are condemning an innocent woman. But blindness and corporate interests prevail over the interests of all the people. 
The Apostle Paul’s harsh sentence is appropriate here: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of the men who hold prisoner the truth (Romans 1,18). The  heads of the golpistas will forever carry the sign of Cain, who murdered his brother Abel.  Thegolpistas murdered democracy. Their memory will be damned for the crime they have committed.  And the wrath of God will be upon them.
Leonardo Boff
Free translation from the Spanish sent by

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