By BO Staff Writer
Most progressive analysis show that the political and economic crisis engulfing Brazil right now is a direct creation of Western Imperialism in cahoots with internal agents of white power, more so those associated with the opposition parties. A bizarre situation has emerged where the seriously corrupt are leading the campaign against corruption and calling for the toppling of an elected president. “Fighting Corruption” has become the excuse used to effect regime change by undemocratic means. Using the power of privately owned media, the opposition parties who are deeply implicated in corruption have painted the President of the Workers Party and the ruling party as corrupt. This is a manufactured lie, repeated enough to a point where most are beginning to believe it.
What complicates the Brazilian situation even more is the economic downturn. Imperialism, having precipitated the economic crisis, is now saying that it is the ruling Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT – the Workers’ Party) that is responsible for the economic turmoil. Furthermore, imperialism has inserted as the key factor in this situation, the narrative of corruption by President Dilma Rousseff. It is indeed ironical that the President that imperialism and its side kicks want gone has not been accused nor found guilty of committing any anti-people crime or any other material wrong doing for that matter. On the other hand, those who are driving the campaign against her are severally implicated in massive corruption that involves huge amounts of cash.
The opposition parties in Brazil have a three phased strategy to effect regime-change outside of the electoral process: firstly, to deepen the economic crisis; secondly, to get the masses on the streets, and; thirdly, to use the parliamentary process to legitimize their putsch. This modus operandi is exactly the same that is being applied in South Africa. The significant difference is that in SA the parliamentary process is not likely to be successfully used given the overwhelming majority enjoyed by the ruling party. The two other strategies, having some prospects of success, are being implemented in SA. The economic crisis here was used more as the run on the rand so as to force the reversal of the appointment of the “outsider”, Des Van Rooyen, as the Minister of Finance – a position of heading the most powerful ministry in the land, the Finance Ministry. A secondary aspect of the economic strategy has been to force all the major banks to impose economic sanctions against the Gupta family businesses. Some have come to call this economic terrorism. The second strategy left to be implemented in SA is that of getting the masses out in “street protest”. The opposition parties in SA share Brazil’s neo-liberal ideological predisposition. This was confirmed by their support of the neo-liberal budget of the new Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, who is favored by white capital.
As in Brazil, the South African regime-change strategy has now passed the economic sanctions phase. It has entered the “street protest” phase. The neo-liberal opposition parties are said to be currently engaged in processes of mobilization for mass action. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), a political party that professes to be “Marxist-Leninist”, has suspended its ideological perspective if not totally abandoned it. To this end it has entered into alliance not only with the right wing Democratic Alliance (DA) but also with the leaders of white monopoly capital including landed gentry like Johann Rupert (who it has openly called for working with) to effect regime-change. The jury is still out on whether the streets would respond and if they do, whether such street protests can be sustained sufficiently so as to effect regime change. White capital has delivered its side of the bargain and has shut down complete access to the banking system for the Gupta businesses. In this context, the Gupta family are seen to be too close to the State President of South Africa.
The significant difference between the ruling party in Brazil and the ruling party in SA is that the former is a social democratic party which has some sense for social justice and reigning in of private capital. Brazil, formerly under the presidency of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula), had made significant progress in combating poverty and inequality. There is talk that he may run again for the Brazilian Presidency in 2018 and this is one of the main sources of the wrath of white capital as well as the white middle classes of Brazil aided by imperialism. The South African ruling party, on the other hand, is a neo-liberal party which has surrendered the economy and the land to whites, to the extreme prejudice of blacks. Consequently, the situation as it currently obtains in SA indicates: deepening poverty – its reported that 63% of the population is classified as poor; the unemployment rate in SA is among the highest in the world; SA is the world champion of inequality; twenty two years of ANC rule and 80% of the land is still in the hands of the white minority; the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) remains white owned with blacks controlling only 3% of the JSE.
So if the center left PT government in Brazil and the ANC neo-liberal party in SA are both under attack, what explains this? There is only one common denominator between these two countries and that is their affiliation to the BRICS process. Imperialism has decided to wage a relentless war against the BRICS member countries so as to disarticulate the whole collective project because it evidently threatens western hegemony of global economic affairs. Brazil and South Africa are the weakest links and a sustained attack on them may break the BRICS process. While in Brazil the ruling party is fairly united and the attack on BRICS comes from pro west opposition parties who move for regime change, in SA the maneuvers for regime change and thus an attack on BRICS are not just the preserve of the opposition parties (which are weak anyway) but also includes pro west sections of the ruling party leadership. Cyril Ramaphosa, known for instigating the Marikana massacre, is the anointed president groomed to take over from the current president. Ramaphosa has already shown his capacity to be ruthless when defending the interests of white capital. Others on the side of imperialism would include the current Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan, Deputy Minister of Finance Mcebisi Jonas, the ANC General Secretary Gwede Mantashe, the Rothschild Group Deputy Chairman Trevor Manuel, the De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited Director and shareholder Cheryl Carolus and a host of white so-called veterans like Ronnie Kasrils.
The current president is seen as too involved with the “East”. His affinity for China, Russia and India is irksome to the west. It was the veteran SA newspaper man now based in London, John Battersby, who put things into perspective. Its remarkable how white capital and its thinkers view the Zuma “Look East” strategy. Battersby on reflecting on the controversy around the firing and hiring of Minister’s of Finance late in 2015 seemed to have revealed white capital’s fears:
“Nene’s sacking shocked the country to the core and seemed to be triggered by a combination of paranoia, pique and a belief that South Africa no longer needs to heed the warnings of Western investors as it has billions of dollars worth of cheap loans on tap from China and will benefit from the new development bank created for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – the BRICS countries”.
White capital seems to recognize that Zuma no longer cares for “Western Investors” as he builds relations with the “East”. From the perspective of white business and capitalism, Zuma is a radical involved in de-linking from the west. This is precisely the type of policy moves that has led to people like Muammar Qaddafi to lose their lives. From the point of view of white business, Zuma is a problem and this has little to do with the corruption of Nkandla which involves very little money compared to the size of capital moved on a single day by white capital.
Even more suprising is how Battersby located Zuma within a radical Pan-African tradition. The “Look East” strategy is seen as something akin to a Mugabe full flight strategy against colonial relations. Here’s Battersby’s comment in this regard:
“It also accords with Zuma’s personal pan-African vision of a united continent where political freedom is matched by economic freedom and all traces of colonial power have vanished”.
Whilst many in the authentic un-captured left in South Africa would correctly reject this characterization because its precisely what they would hope Zuma would become but he is not. Those who seek to make the president disappear believe that Zuma is a radical who is delinking from the west. Whether misdiagnosed or not, it means the west now has its sights on Zuma and he must fall just like how others in that position have been made to fall. Quite clearly, in the minds of western imperialists, Zuma is no different from the left leaning president of Brazil. They are both seen as anti-west and must therefore be removed. Whether the comparison is unfair or not, it matters not!
In Brazil, the regime-change process has moved from the economic attack and the street protest phases and is now entering the parliamentary political process phase. This week a parliamentary committee has voted for the impeachment of the President. Sunday,17 April 2016, the lower house shall vote and if a two thirds majority votes for impeachment it would mean that the president must be suspended and the coup plotting deputy president takes over. There is still the last hurdle which the 81 member senate must cross – it must get 41 votes in favor of impeachment to seal the fate of President Rousseff. It is not clear if the opposition can muster those numbers but if that process fails, as it did in South Africa, they would intensify the economic terrorism offensive and instigate street protests. Both these actions will be in line with the pro west (in particular US imperialist) agenda.
It must be pointed out that the anti president protestors in Brazil are from the white middle class enclave which is tired of the Workers Party and its pro-poor programmes. Furthermore, the real posibility of the return of Lula is creating nighmares and therefore a whole process has been unleashed to disrupt and end the Workers Party hold over the state.
read more: Who’s protesting In Brazil And Why?
James Petras, in the link below, indicates the root causes of the crisis for the left leaning Latin American governments. Petras shows that by not being radical enough these govemements have made themselves vulnerable to capitalist whitemail and capture. The mistake these goverments made is to think that the commodity boom in global markets would be sufficient to buy their nations out of poverty. They refused to take the path of ending capitalist relations of production and exchange. Now capitalism has come back to bite them. This exactly is the problem with the ANC and in particular the Zuma faction. Instead of going into an offensive mode, as the best defense against imperialism, they are talking about the Constitution and trying to appease whites. What Zuma should be doing is go full throttle against imperialism and white capital. Zuma and his faction inside the ANC should be engaged in mass mobilization against imperialism through calling for radical economic transformation and taking back the land.
Sunday is D-Day for Brazil. The lower house vote shall indicate how far things have gone. In South Africa its said that this coming week may start with some kind of public protest. Only time shall tell how far the regime-change game will go in the new week. Black Opinion shall keep you informed of developments on a weekly basis.