A Political Lesson from the Brazilian Olympics

Vicente Morin Aguado

Foto: Benjamin Bruce
Foto: Benjamin Bruce

HAVANA TIMES — A friend of mine, sad at the definitive impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, ended up regretting that “what a shame, after so much hard work, they took away even her honor of inaugurating the Olympics, she didn’t deserve that.”

It’s difficult to be a judge, especially from Cuba, where the information we have available via government media – the only widespread and easily accessible media we have – is so biased. It’s clear that a process like this was possible because the Head-of-State had made evident mistakes, a point which I will dedicate some paragraphs to in this article, but let’s start with the Olympics first.

Favorable opinions about the excellent job Rio de Janeiro did in hosting the last Olympics, and now coming to an end with the praiseworthy Paralympics, widely prevail. The Rio achievement has been the work of three presidential administrations: Lula, Dilma – who was impeached – and will end under the president who has been appointed by parliamentary decision, Michel Temer.

To be clear, an initial conclusion is that one of the aforementioned figures wasn’t necessary to execute the complex sports program. The key thing they had to do was create a responsible, efficient administrative system that was committed to its country regardless of the political nuances of others, including the opposition, which are found in a multi-party society.

Brazil demonstrated its maturity in the role that state institutions played, accompanied by the corporate, public and private sectors, who were able to put on one of the world’s most attended international human events today.

Taking into account these institutions, the fact that the two national parliament houses continued on with the legal process of impeachment against the Head-of-State, without affecting the hectic Olympic schecule, particularly stands out.

In Havana, it’s symptomatic that national media coincides in labeling Dilma’s impeachment “a parliamentary coup d’etat”, reiterating her innocence. The strange thing about the normal revolutionary terminology is the lack of details regarding the charges made against the former president, along with the counter-arguments. We know something about the improper use of the State budget, without Congress’ due authorization, but that isn’t the focus of my article.

The first female President of this South American giant, the heir to Lula de Silva’s politics, repeats her innocence while pointing out the fact that impeaching her goes against basic democratic principles as she was elected by the Brazilian people in a direct election. It’s worth noting that Parliament, both houses, were also voted publicly, secretly and directly by these same people. Acting according to the law, which have been popularly validated, the vast majority decided to apply the famous Anglosaxon impeachment.

It would be superficial of us to assume that there wasn’t anything solid in the accusations made against Dilma, she governed the country thoroughly and we must also add that the majority of Congress was against her, as well as her presumed successor as vice president, her sworn enemy, who was ironically chosen in an alliance by Rousseff and her party in running for a second presidential term.

The Olympics ended well, Brazil will continue on its way to becoming a global superpower, even Cuban doctors, the thousands who are there, will complete their established contracts according to what rationality dictates in this matter.

Is Dilma innocent? Going back to Anglosaxon culture, from whose legal political system this practice of possibly removing a president from power is copied, because civil servants are just citizens obliged to serve, I’d like to highlight a defining phrase, the judicial ruling doesn’t talk about “innocence”, it only defines, in legal terms, Guilty, not guilty.

With regard to the Olympic honors, a phrase spoken by the Apostle of our freedom, Jose Marti, is sufficient:  “All the glory of the world fits into a grain of corn”.

Vicente Morin Aguado: [email protected]


One thought on “A Political Lesson from the Brazilian Olympics

  • Vicente Morin Aguado makes much play about “Anglosaxon” impeachment. Impeachment is a charge for treason or another crime against the state. For his interest, the word is derived from Latin and so is perhaps appropriate in a Latin country although Wilma is not Latin herself being the daughter of a Bulgarian who changed his name from Rusev.
    However, Dilma was deemed guilty by her peers under Brazilian law, not Anglo-Saxon. No doubt the truth about her having any responsibility for the corruption in Petrobras will surface – truth will out. Dilma’s economic achievements are however already a matter of record. GDP fell by 3% in 2015 and the currency (Brazilian real) fell by 32%.
    Cuba in the form of the Castro regime obviously has to offer its support to Dilma and through her to Lula, as the $5 billion development of the much underused Port of Mariel was funded by Brazil – but of course being a communist regime presumably there would not be the slightest whiff of corruption.

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