Today, Brazil’s House of Representatives will vote on whether or not to impeach President Dilma Rousseff.
In a series of posts, we will give you a guide to the impeachment proceedings from a Venezuelan point of view. We will discuss the role of Petrobras, and that of Rousseff’s personality. We will also give you a live blog of the votes.
Why does Rousseff’s impeachment matter?
It is hard to overstate how largely Brazil looms in South America’s politics. The undisputed giant of the region, the Brazilian governments of Lula Da Silva and Rousseff have played a pivotal role in the pink tide that has engulfed the region since the early 00s.
Brazil’s state corporatism played an enormous role in financing left-wing governments in the region. Whether it was Odebrecht’s involvement in massive Venezuelan public works projects, PDVSA’s involvement in Petrobras’ shady deals, Lula’s negotiations with Evo on natural gas exports, or BNDES’s role in practically every cockamamie financing scheme thought up by these guys and gals, Brazil’s spoon was never far from the stew.
But the money has run out, and so has the PT’s luck.
The end of the PT hegemony matters for regional politics as well. Brazil’s influence on the OAS and UNASUR is so critical, that the heads of both of these seemingly warring organizations have recently expressed support for Rousseff. Her claims that impeachment amounts to a coup will test the resolve of these institutions to defend “democracy,” by which we mean their twisted understanding that any President’s right to rule is more important than their people’s rights to not be ruled by them.
With Rousseff’s possible fall, the fate of the region’s pink tide is practically sealed. With her fall, our own kleptocrats lose a key ally.
Pass the popcorn.