Brazil: Minister Resigns After Explosive Transcripts Unveil Plot to Oust Rousseff

Democracy Now!   May 24, 2016    Headlines

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In Brazil, a key figure in the interim government has resigned after explosive new transcripts revealed how he plotted to oust President Dilma Rousseff in order to end a corruption investigation that was targeting him. The transcripts, published by Brazil’s largest newspaper, Folha de São Paulo, document a conversation in March, just weeks before Brazil’s lower house voted in favor of impeaching President Rousseff. Romero Jucá, who was then a senator but became a planning minister after Rousseff’s ouster, was speaking with a former oil executive, Sérgio Machado. Both men had been targets of the so-called “Car Wash” investigation over money laundering and corruption at the state-controlled oil firm Petrobras. In the conversation, the men agree that ousting President Rousseff would be the only way to end the corruption probe. Jucá notes the impeachment would “end the pressure from the media and other sectors to continue the Car Wash investigation.” He also says he has spoken with military commanders, who are supporting the plan and who are “monitoring the Landless Workers Movement,” which supports policies of Rousseff’s party. And Jucá says he has secured involvement by justices of the Brazilian Supreme Court, saying “there are only a small number” of justices he has not had access to. Writing for The Intercept, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald said, “The transcripts provide proof for virtually every suspicion and accusation impeachment opponents have long expressed about those plotting to remove Dilma from office.” On Monday, the planning minister said his comments were taken out of context, but he would step down. Meanwhile, as Brazil’s interim foreign minister visited Argentina, protesters gathered in Buenos Aires to condemn Rousseff’s ouster as a coup.

Mateo Alves: “This is a coup which has been made legitimate by the (Brazilian) National Congress. But it is not legitimate, it is illegal. It is a coup to put those corrupt criminals in power.”

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