The Ottawa Chapter of ALBA firmly stands with the Brazilian people in condemning the January 8 attack on Brazilian democratic institutions. We firmly support the Lula government in the measures it is taking to hold high-ranking officials accountable for the coup attempt in which calls were given for a military take-over. In the wake of these events, Brazilians massively took to the streets, demanding accountability at all levels and calling for “No amnesty!”. Following the 1964-85 dictatorship, governments at the time opted not to punish members of the military who had participated in murder and torture, and this has been a bitter experience for the Brazilian people who want to end all conciliation with open abuses of human rights. All political ties and financial support - both internal and external – for the attempted coup must be brought to light.
U.S. president Biden’s statement within the framework of the Mexico-U.S.-Canada Summit in defense of Brazil’s democratic institutions and “the will of the Brazilian people” can only be taken with a grain of salt. His own administration’s support for Bolsonaro – who is presently in Florida and denies all involvement in the coup attempt – is well known. At the 9th Summit of the Americas, the Biden administration did not invite Cuba, Nicaragua or Venezuela, supposedly because they are ruled by undemocratic regimes. Yet, they invited Bolsonaro, a former military officer and firm supporter of the military dictatorship in Brazil as well as that of Pinochet in Chile, the same Bolsonaro who, in 1999, publicly declared: “Elections won’t change anything in this country. It will only change on the day we break out in civil war here and do the job that the military regime didn’t do, killing 30,000 people. If we kill some innocent people, that’s fine, because in every war innocent people die.”
Over the years, Bolsonaro has played a key role in organizing and inciting violence and hatred for Brazil’s democratic institutions.
Before the 2022 October elections won by Lula, Bolsonaro asked his supporters to buy arms so as to “be prepared” in case of a defeat. During his term in office, he included several thousand military officers at various levels of civil government. His Minister of Defense at the time openly challenged and attacked the authority of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal. American intelligence and spy agencies worked with Brazilian judge Sergio Moro in the Lava Joto corruption scandal in order to put Lula in jail and prevent him from running in the 2018 election, charges which were eventually proven fraudulent. For his reward, Moro was named Justice Minister. On his trip to the U.S. in 2019, Bolsonaro visited CIA headquarters, followed in July 2021 by a visit to Brazil by the head of the CIA who held talks with Bolsonaro. The latter has always considered himself a staunch defender of U.S. interests in Brazil, in Latin America and within the international community.
Though it is positive that Canada and the U.S. have seen fit to express an interest in working with President Lula, we must remain vigilant and step up our opposition to all meddling in Latin-American and Caribbean affairs in all its forms, including financing and inciting criminal dissension as well as covert and open coup d’états.
-Fully support the Brazilian people’s struggle for democratic rights!
-Stop all foreign interference in Brazil and in Latin America and the Caribbean!
-No amnesty for enemies of the people andhuman rights abusers!
Statement by the Ottawa Chapter of ALBA, Canada
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