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Eric Draitser - Mon May 02, 2016 16:05
By now it is old news that there is a coup afoot in Brazil and that the right-wing is using extraordinary political measures to overthrow of Dilma Rousseff.
What is little discussed amid all the talk of impeachment and corruption in Brazil is the larger context: how international finance capital is [...]
The post Hillary Clinton and Wall Street?s Neoliberal War on Latin America appeared first on .By now it is old news that there is a coup afoot in Brazil and that the right-wing is using extraordinary political measures to overthrow of Dilma Rousseff.
What is little discussed amid all the talk of impeachment and corruption in Brazil is the larger context: how international finance capital is working with Hillary Clinton and other U.S. political elites to reassert the Washington Consensus in Latin America; how the right wing throughout the region is collaborating in this project; and how this is manifesting in the targeted countries. Though the pieces of this puzzle may be partially concealed, it is time to put them all together to see the big picture.
Brazil and Argentina: Case Studies in Wall Street Meddling
As the world waits for the next episode of the unfolding Brazilian drama, it is critical to note why the spectacle that is this ?impeachment? process is happening. Having been elected, and re-elected, four times in the last four elections, Dilma Rousseff and the Workers? Party are undeniably the single-most popular political formation in Brazil, a country known for its deep divide between a wealthy right-wing elite, and the masses of workers and poor people who predominantly support the left, including the Workers? Party in recent years.
With this dynamic it is unsurprising to find that the government is being ousted by a coalition of right-wing extremists, from those who unabashedly support theU.S.-installed Brazilian military dictatorship, to those who simply want to see Brazil follow a more neoliberal model of economic development. However, what might be surprising to some is the key role that powerful financial interests have, and will continue to have, over this process, and any future Brazilian government.
In mid-April, just as the impeachment vote was set to take place, Reuters revealed that Brazil?s right-wing Vice President Michel Temer was already preparing the shortlist of his presumptive cabinet once Dilma and the Workers? Party is removed. Temer tabbed Paulo Leme to serve as either finance minister or head of the Central Bank. Leme is the Chairman of Goldman Sachs?s operations in Brazil, making him perhaps the pre-eminent representative of Wall Street in the country.
Of course, one cannot discount the significant influence companies like Goldman Sachs have beyond just their actual holdings in the country. For instance, Wall Street finance capital is very well connected to Brazil?s richest man, Jorge Paulo Lemann, a multi-billionaire who owns Heinz Ketchup, Burger King, is the majority stockholder of Anheuser-Busch and Budweiser, and is a close associate of Warren Buffett. With his pedigree in finance capital, it is no surprise that Lemann, and the interests he represents, has been financially backinggroups involved in the street protests calling for impeachment, including the highly visible VemPraRua (Come to the Streets).
It should be equally unsurprising that other key protest groups have been funded directly by other Wall Street interests, in particular the infamous Koch Brothers.Charles and David Koch are key moneymen behind the Free Brazil Movement (MBL) and Students for Liberty (EPL) via the Atlas Economic Research Foundation and Atlas Leadership Academy, both of which spawned some of the key protest leaders.
For these reasons, it should come as no surprise then that key players in the impeachment push in Brazil seem to be taking their orders directly from, or at the very least collaborating with, officials in the United States. In fact, the day after the impeachment vote was taken, Senator Aloysio Nunes was in Washington for high level meetings with Republican Senator Bob Corker, who is the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Democratic Senator Ben Cardin, a key supporter of Hillary Clinton. Nunes was also scheduled to meet with Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon, the third highest ranking State Department official, and the lead on Latin American affairs, as well as representatives of the lobbyist organization Albright Stonebridge Group, headed by Clinton-backer Madeline Albright.
In effect, these meetings indicate a desire on the part of the coup plotters to collaborate with all sides of the Washington Consensus ? Republicans and Democrats, private capital and government agencies ? to execute a smooth, U.S.-backed transition in Brazil. In fact, one could be forgiven for thinking that they were watching a re-run of the 2009 coup in Honduras, presided over and sanctioned by Hillary Clinton and her Beltway lobbyist and insider friends.
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