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“YANKEES OVER ALL”: ON BOLSONARO´S VISIT TO TRUMP

Source: https://movimentorevista.com.br/2019/03/yankees-acima-de-tudo-sobre-a-visita-de-bolsonaro-a-trump/

Translated by Maira Tavares Mendes

 

Bolsonaro’s visit to the United States joined the list of national humiliations. He managed to go beyond Celso Lafer’s fateful episode, when he removed his shoes to be inspected before entering US territory.

The three days that Bolsonaro and his delegation passed on American soil were enough to break historic agreements, such as the visa issue, based on the principle of “reciprocity.”

The delegation headed by Bolsonaro, his son, Eduardo, and Paulo Guedes, was attended by Minister Ernesto Araújo, as well as General Augusto Heleno, Sergio Moro, special adviser Filipe Martins, Tereza Cristina, Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Science and Technology, Marcos Pontes.

After stating their “emotion” when stepping on American soil, the delegation praised “Coca-Cola, Jeans and Disney”, in Guedes’ own words. The press also had to report the demonstrations by Brazilians in various cities of the United States against Bolsonaro and the far right. FOX’s disturbing question about Bolsonaro’s links with the militias investigated on the death of Marielle Franco became news.

Contrary to the expected effect, Bolsonaro did not come out strengthened from his American trip. Amidst many contradictions and difficulties in his administration, doubts about his performance spread everywhere, even among analysts who are not left-wing or critical. To make matters worse, the week ended with an opinion poll that points to a 15-point drop in the government’s positive ratings. Add to that the arrest of former President Temer, the conflict between powers and actors such as the legislative and judiciary, insecurity about the approval of the pension reform, adding crises in the political situation. The trip to the United States demonstrated the most visible aspect of his government: unpreparedness and submission to the interests of the great and powerful of the world.

The deconstruction of the nation

Bolsonaro said that given the difficulty in building achievements, his task would be to prioritize “deconstruction”. Without language barriers, he said he would change the framework he received from previous governments. Critical to every form of “communism,” he lined up with Trump and his surroundings as a fan finds his greatest idol. Even with the innumerable contradictions, such as military wing’s recantations at the return of the delegation, for example in the case of Venezuela, Bolsonaro advanced with his plan of deconstruction of the nation. Dismantling is in progress.

The main sealed agreement concerns the delivery of the Alcântara Space Base, in Maranhão. Almost twenty years after the popular pressure to reject the proposal during the FHC years, Bolsonaro makes a qualitative leap in the delivery of wealth and national patrimony. A pole on space technology, the Rocket Launch Center would be under direct responsibility of NASA and the US government, which would also control the entrance and exit of materials.

The destruction of sovereignty sped up with the visit to the CIA. The first official visit of a Brazilian head of state to the most important espionage and political interference agency in the world contravenes all the precepts of our diplomacy. Responsible for the organization of coups and the establishment of dictatorships in South and Central America, the CIA itself led to a diplomatic crisis during the Dilma government, when espionage activities against Brazilian companies came to the public.

President Bolsonaro’s speech clashed with any kind of nationalism or patriotism of his electoral and social base. The slogan “Brazil over all” was dropped before completing one hundred days of government during the United States tour.

Regarding state-owned companies, strategic or not, the government’s plan, with Minister Guedes at the forefront, is the dismantling and liquidation. The sale of the airports was the first step in the real “privatizations fair”, aimed at internationalizing the control of our strategic areas, from the delivery of the totality of the state assets.

Olavo redoubled the bet

The dinner with Olavo de Carvalho had a more general meaning. The sectors linked to the ideological extreme right were strengthened, with a greater role of Eduardo Bolsonaro, number 03 of the clan, who takes control of the Foreign Relations Committee in the Chamber of Deputies. One of the embarrassing moments in the visit to the CIA was the fact that Minister Ernesto Araujo had been left out so that only Eduardo and his father could enter. Eduardo is directly responsible for articulating with Olavo and Bannon the spaces of the Foz do Iguaçu forum, the new international that the far right is brewing at a world level.

Sitting to the left of Bolsonaro, at the dinner offered to Olavo, Steve Bannon smiled and fraternized in the presence of far-right representatives and conservative groups aligned with Trump.

Even in the face of turmoil, the Bolsonaro clan made clear their predilection, among the different wings of the government, for Olavo and his disciples. And the astrologer / philosopher attacked vice-president Mourão, calling him an idiot and made catastrophic predictions, if Bolsonaro did not correct his course. He even said that the government would not last six months on “the way it is.” The president paid back by renewing the votes of support to minister Velez, surrounded by increasing rumors of resignation.

However, the “ideological” core begins to have its own fissures. Silas Malafaia was furious with the policy of visa liberation and declarations against Brazilians in an irregular situation abroad. The struggle within the ministry of education obeys the logic of dispute between evangelicals and olavistas.There is a great concern in other sectors of the government that the movements of the ideological core can bring great problems for foreign trade. The permanent tension with the measures that threaten the commercial flow with both China, our main buyer and the Arab League countries, because of the fierce transfer of the embassy to Jerusalem, creates instability and division in the ranks of the government itself.

Big deliveries, little promises

When it is affirmed that Brazil has left behind any criterion of reciprocity, it is not just a force of expression. A closer look at the exchange relationship between the United States and Brazil, in terms of deals and agreements, leaves the size of submission undressed. We deliver a lot in exchange for just a few vague promises.

One of the main points of the agreement, announced at a press conference between Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro, was the release of the exemption from US wheat import tariffs. Thus, the United States could export 750,000 tons of cereal a year to Brazil without paying the 10% tariff established for purchases of the product outside Mercosur. The counterpart was the promise of reconsideration on the Brazilian meat consumption in the United States, which plummeted after the results of Operation Carne Fraca. The tariff exemption problem conflicts directly with Argentina, Brazil’s main partner in the purchase and sale of the product. Part of the policy of liquidating Mercosur, Bolsonaro opened the wheat market, not worrying about retaliation or disagreements with the South American neighbors.

The second major delivery was the abandonment of the condition reached in the World Trade Organization (WTO), rightly in a period of tariff and commercial wars, everywhere. Abandoning the special condition acquired in recent years under the vague promise of membership in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is a dubious business. The weakening of Brazil in the dispute of exports and foreign trade can generate an even greater exposure of the national industry to the conflicts between the great powers. As well as the president’s popularity, foreign trade may be starting to go downhill.

As already mentioned, the participation of the closed-door meeting with the CIA, without any national security protocol, generated dissatisfaction in the Itamaraty’s own circles.

Supporter of hard-line politics against immigrants, Bolsonaro praised Trump, ruled out reciprocity treaties, and ended any visa requirement for Americans to enter Brazil. Moreover, Eduardo Bolsonaro still said that the illegal Brazilians were a “shame”. The rebellion that it caused in government’s own base can even lead to the overturning of the measure in the parliament, since sectors like Rodrigo Maia already announced the opposition to the measure. Bolsonaro applauded and supported Trump in his pursuit of Latin American immigrants and the construction of the wall on the Mexican border.

Neocolonial Regression or Second Independence

The level of submission in the relationship with the Americans is much higher than in previous agreements such as the MEC / USAID or other experiences. It poses a very dangerous problem: Bolsonaro announces that there is a new place for Brazil in the international system of countries.

The dismantling of Mercosur is in rapid development. The visit to Chile will give wings to the new project, known as “Prosur” to contemplate the regional right, in partnership with Piñera.

The package of measures includes attacks on the Itamaraty’s technical staff, as in the first months of government, with the persecution and dismissal of ambassadors and specialists. The hegemony of international relations, within government, must be maintained with the Olavist sectors. This is the plan for accelerated colonial regression, politically, strategically and economically. Praising the banks, the denationalization of the strategic sectors for logistics, production and control of the main services, is done quickly and aggressively.

The seriousness of alignment with a despotic government model like Trump and his allies Orban, Salvini, among many, imposes more violence on diplomatic relations. Trump witnesses a growing questioning in the United States, facing the vigor of organized sectors of society that do not accept his program. The far right can and should be isolated and defeated. Trump needs to attack the “phantom of socialism” to polarize and join forces for re-election in 2020. In Brazil, the far right wave has its own characteristics. The beginning of government, with its popularity falling short of its 100 days, indicates the limits of popular acceptance of attempting a “trumpism of the tropics” model.

The problem of national sovereignty is reinstated for an entire generation. The years of Lula and Dilma’s government have removed from the agenda the struggle for national sovereignty, an important agenda for the socialist left. It is necessary to retake vigorously this flag, starting by organizing the struggle with the theme of Alcântara, involving local quilombola communities, institutional representations of the state of Maranhão and leading sectors of science and technology to take the fight to the people’s bosom. To discuss the problem of national sovereignty in the economic field, opposing the ultraliberalism of the Guedes model, forged by the Chicago School and inspired by Pinochet’s Chile. The national tasks can only be consequently seized by the socialists. The independence tasks were never fully realized by the representatives of the bourgeoisie and the middle sectors. External debt, with the historical IMF looting of former peripheral countries, is again a central theme in Argentina. To associate the fight for a true second national independence with the fight for rights is the role of the left and the PSOL. In the field of class struggle and in parliament, where we have a privileged position with a bench in the Committee on Foreign Relations and National Defense.

For now, gaining popular awareness for the tasks of independence and defense of sovereignty, means to unmask the false nationalism of the Brazilian right. And to show an active attitude in issues such as the defense of the territorial space of Alcantara, a rejection of the interference of the United States and the CIA in national political life, the intransigent defense of the principle of nonintervention in the case of neighboring Venezuela. Such themes must turn into mass campaigns to organize the struggle of the people, not only against Bolsonaro, but also to defend the interests of the vast majority of workers in Brazil.

New contradictions in the field of world geopolitics are coming. Defending the democratic tasks and national sovereignty are the key for the socialists to win the majority of the people to an anti-imperialist conscience.

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