terça-feira, 27 de junho de 2023

Bound to a Brazil without its people

Together, the Supreme Court (STF) and the Executive Power govern the country without any competitors or opposition capable of stopping any of their actions

J. R. Guzzo

Day after day, Brazil morphs into a Soviet-regime country. With the consortium formed by the Supreme Federal Court (STF) and the factions that support the President of the Republic, Brazil advances towards having a government — but lacking a people. Like communist Russia and all other analogous regimes, from Cuba to China, that followed its steps, Brazil is bound to become a state without institutions, which haven’t been officially wiped off the map but depreciate more and more every day. Public offices with real influence in the machinery of the State are being occupied by allies that, more than just appointed, are imposed by the consortium. 

In practical terms, the country has been controlled by a one-party regime: the “STF-Lula Association” — while other parties may sometimes shake things up, not only do they fail to navigate a parliamentary inquiry commission they proposed, but also may be fined R$ 22 million should they submit a petition to the Supreme Court. Even though Brazil has a National Congress — which the Soviet Russia also did, by the way —, laws approved by the deputies are simply nullified on a whim by the Supreme Court, whatever the subject is. 

This is happening with the law on indigenous lands, approved in the Chamber of Deputies by 283 votes to 155, but now on the verge of being declared null by the justices of Brazil’s highest court — just like Law No. 14,950 on the same matter was. Most of the press worships Lula, his government, and Justice Alexandre de Moraes. In real life, the media works as a big Pravda, written and spoken in Portuguese — often in poor Portuguese.

Photo: Nelson Jr/SCO/STF

There is still a long way to go, and the Soviet Republic of Brazil, at least for now, is limiting itself to crushing political freedom. (In communist Russia, for example, there has never been a Gay Pride Parade; a homeland passport would be required to travel from one city to another; and the Moscow phone book was a state secret, among other oddities that only communism could create.) But it is precisely towards such a totalitarian regime, more in line with the 21st century and primarily made up of domestically produced parts, that the country is heading. 

Let’s ask a simple question: who will prevent this development if the Supreme Court and the “L” System together are the ones writing laws and deciding what is legal and what is not? It certainly won’t be the Military, who, at every five minutes, declare themselves in favor of “legality” — meaning: whatever the STF-Lula Association decides is legal. 

Furthermore, the Military commanders support the one-party system that rules over the country today; they handed over to the police, locked in buses, citizens who were peacefully protesting the election results in front of the Army Headquarters in Brasília. It won’t be the Judiciary, which is merely a large public office commanded by the Supreme Court. Obviously, it won’t be the Congress either, as it no longer exists as an effective political force. It won’t be the 150 million Brazilians who are 24/7 too busy making a living to take any interest in politics. In short, it won’t be anyone.

The Brazilian Soviet Union is not a mere copy-paste version of the former USSR; although the aftermath is similar when it comes to creating an effective dictatorship in public life, it is essentially a homegrown construction without the deeper political philosophies found in the original German version. There hasn’t been a revolution, a storming of the Winter Palace or a descent from Sierra Maestra. Its key lies in the shareholder agreement between the STF and the Executive Power, the latter embodied by Lula. Together, they govern the country without any kind of competitor or opposition capable of stopping any of their movements. 

The justices of the highest court, to put it bluntly, voided Brazilian laws to release Lula from prison, where he was serving a sentence for passive corruption and money laundering, and to annul all criminal cases against him, thereby enabling his candidacy for the Presidency of the Republic. Then through the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), they orchestrated the most shadowy, contested, and biased campaign in Brazilian electoral history and adopted an electronic voting system not employed in any democracy on the planet. 

They counted the votes and declared Lula the winner. In return, the “L” System abides by everything the Supreme Court wants to be done, in any area or situation. Together, they choose the new members of the TSE, which becomes 100% controlled by the consortium, and decide who will be the new Attorney General of the Republic, effectively eliminating the Public Prosecutor’s Office as an independent force in Brazilian public life, as established by the Constitution. These decisions are made in tightly sealed barbecue parties in Brasília, isolated from the rest of the world, with a ban on cell phones in the premises. What kind of “institutions” could possibly arise from a collusion such as this?

Indeed, the institutions and inherent duties of a republic or those of genuine democracies are being extinguished, one by one, through technically legal decisions by the STF-Lula consortium. The President, amidst the population’s indifference and the moral anesthesia that prevails in Brazil today, appoints his personal lawyer to a vacancy in the STF — no one other than his personal lawyer. 

The media, the political world, and the intellectual classes pretend that such appointment is normal, or almost that. But a very simple fact goes unnoticed by everyone: it is impossible, in the real world, for the new justice to make any decision that is minimally contrary to the interests of the President of the Republic. Does anyone honestly believe that he can be impartial in his judgments, as any decent democracy minimally requires? In which serious country in the world, any of those same countries where Lula conducts touristy “foreign policy” by staying in hotels with daily rates of almost R$ 40,000, does the president, king, or prime minister appoint their personal lawyer to the Supreme Court? 

Not even Stalin did that; it’s true, though, that he didn’t have a lawyer or ever needed one, but the fact remains that he didn’t do such thing. The truth is, Lula governs without any restraints — one of these, namely the Judiciary, is his partner in the one-party system, and the other, which would be the Legislature, is unable to restrain anything, especially because the STF declares null and void whatever it tries to do. The practical result is that Lula buys sofas for R$ 65,000 to decorate his residence — with taxpayers’ money, of course. He purchases a new Airbus for his personal transportation. He receives in Brasília a dictator who has a $15 million bounty on his head for international drug trafficking. He does whatever he wants, provided the STF allows it.

While there are elections in Brazil, there is also the TSE (Superior Electoral Court) — and, as long as the TSE exists, elections will be worthless, or they will only be worth what the “Electoral Justice” decides they are. 

The TSE is currently a political police force fully at the service of the government. It is an aberration that manages to spend R$ 10 billion per year, even in years when there are no elections, and it has no equivalent in any serious democracy in the world — starting with the fact that it grants itself the right to remove mandates from federal deputies or anyone it pleases. 

This has just happened. They revoked the mandate of Congressman Deltan Dallagnol, as a personal vendetta on behalf of Lula, without the slightest trace of legality; it was a decision reminiscent of the AI-5, with some smokescreens of legal procedure that wouldn’t mislead even a ten-year-old child. The result is that the consortium nullified the legitimate decision of the voters of the State of Paraná; even worse, they unabashedly appointed a new occupant for the seat that was vacated by the revocation, replacing Dallagnol, who received 350,000 votes, with another candidate who received only 12,000. So much for cleaning up or applying mere logic to the electoral system! 

They are now preparing to strip Jair Bolsonaro of his political rights, solely because they see him as a candidate who potentially stands a chance to oppose the STF-Lula’s one-party system. It is a preventive measure, or an anticipated backup plan — they are acting as if the upcoming presidential elections could be different from those of 2022, from the operational perspective of the TSE. Again, as in the case of Congressman Dallagnol, the prohibition on Bolsonaro running for office or having any participation in Brazilian politics is 100% illegal. The excuse is that he manifested his doubts about the “perfection” of the current electronic voting system, which is only adopted, besides Brazil, in two other countries — Bhutan and Bangladesh. 

The allegation could be anything else: genocide, murder of indigenous people, quilombolas, and gays, or the defense of chloroquine. How is it possible, with a minimum of rationality, to render someone ineligible because they manifested doubts about a voting system that is obviously subject to all kinds of doubts? Before that, by an order from Justice Alexandre de Moraes, the STF revoked the mandate of the governor of Brasília without any legal formality. He was later reinstated by another decision from the same Alexandre de Moraes — but the governor today can swear that a triangle has four sides if the Supreme Court justices wish so.

The same type of calamity applies to the National Congress. What’s the point of paying R$ 14 billion per year to maintain a Congress whose laws can be annulled at any moment, and without any reason, by the Supreme Court? It’s not just about the temporal landmark. The same happened with the annulment of the law that determined the prompt serving of imprisonment sentence for defendants convicted in the appeal court, which bailed Lula out of the Federal Police’s prison where he had been locked up for 20 months. 

This is likely to happen again soon with the law that made the payment of union dues voluntary, perfectly approved by Congress — the immediate effect of this law, obviously, was that no Brazilian worker wanted to pay those dues anymore. What could represent the will of the people more accurately? Yet, Lula wants the dues to be mandatory again, and the STF is preparing to meet that demand. The justice in charge of resolving the issue argues that today “times have changed” — a truly astonishing reasoning whose principle is that, once times are in perpetual change, the consequence is that no law made effective in the past is valid in the present. What can be done then? Brazil’s current National Congress is not even capable of protecting the mandates of its own deputies; it is not capable of anything. 

The “Board” of the Chamber of Deputies officially agreed with the revocation of Dallagnol’s mandate. Not long ago, it had also agreed to the nine-month imprisonment of Congressman Daniel Silveira, also by order of Justice Moraes, which was patently against the law. The Constitution states that a federal deputy can only be arrested flagrantly and for the commission of an unbailable crime; Daniel Silveira was not caught in the act nor committed any such crime. So what? He was arrested anyway. In fact, he is in prison again today, this time for not wearing the electronic ankle monitor imposed on him by Justice Moraes, despite having received an unquestionably legal pardon from former President Bolsonaro. The STF, as in the laws passed by Congress, decided that the pardon is not valid. What can we expect when the President of the Chamber, Congressman Arthur Lira, is willing to sign the revocation of his own mandate if ordered by the STF? Absolutely nothing. 

The Soviet Republic of Brazil has not abolished private property — and it doesn’t seem to be on the verge of doing so, considering the numerous strictly private properties owned by the members of the consortium. It also has not made the collectivization of land legal, at least not yet, despite Lula’s passion for the semi-terrorist movement that invades rural properties, destroys assets, and engages in armed violence, without any of its agents ever being bothered by the judicial system. However, it already organizes and hosts meetings of its own Comintern in Brasília, now known as the “Foro de São Paulo,” which charges dollar fees for subscriptions. It is building a Soviet-style state apparatus that only serves the one-party system and is further removed from the Brazilian people than the Earth from the Moon. The Ministry of Justice, of all ministries, is already led by a flesh-and-blood communist who declared himself publicly as a “communist, thank God.” This is where the procession is heading.

Título e Texto: J. R. Guzzo, Revista Oeste, 27-6-2023, 7h49

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