Last week Naomi Klein, Susan Sarandon, Ken Loach, Noam Chomsky, Oliver Stone and 16 other prominent activists sent an open letter to the Brazilian government strongly condemning the impeachment of President Dilmah Roussef. This week Bernie Sanders has denounced the attempt to remove her. So why haven't the Labour Party and the Green's said anything?

THE NEW ZEALAND mainstream media managed to successfully ignore the coup against the democratically elected president of Brazil during its coverage of the Olympics and it continues to mostly ignore it now, largely just reporting the bare details of the attempt to remove Dilma Roussef from office. There has been little effort to provide any analysis. It has been much more interested in what Kanye West had to say at the MTV Video Awards.

But the corporate media are not alone in ignoring this attempted coup. Unsurprisingly, the New Zealand Government has remained silent - but so have the opposition parties.

The right wing campaign to remove Roussef has occurred while interim president Michel Terner has initiated wide scale privatisations and began rolling back many of the progressive reforms that Roussef's Workers’ Party have carried out. As Temer himself is barred from running in the 2018 election due to previous electoral violations, he is dismantling democracy and imposing austerity and privatisation without fear of electoral repercussions.

Prominent activists have condemned impeachment of  Dilmah Roussef
We might of reasonably expected the Labour Party and the Greens's (the so-called 'Red Green alliance') to protest not only against this coup but also the attacks on the Brazilian labour movement. But there has been silence. It appears that both the Labour and Green leaderships are unconcerned that the Brazilian Workers' Party is going to be removed from office for the first time since 2002 and a president impeached on trumped up and farcical charges of 'budgetary violations'.

In stark contrast, Bernie Sanders has made his opinion know. Unlike Hillary Clinton he has denounced the attempt to remove Roussef. In a prepared statement, Sanders has said:

“After suspending Brazil’s first female president on dubious grounds, without a mandate to govern, the new interim government abolished the ministry of women, racial equality and human rights. They immediately replaced a diverse and representative administration with a cabinet made up entirely of white men. The new, unelected administration quickly announced plans to impose austerity, increase privatisations and install a far right-wing social agenda.

“The effort to remove President Roussef is not a legal trial but rather a political one. The United States cannot sit silently while the democratic institutions of one of our most important allies are undermined. We must stand up for the working families of Brazil and demand that this dispute be settled with democratic elections.”

We need an equally uncompromising condemnation of this coup by both the Labour Party and the Green Party. It is time for them to stand in solidarity with the Brazilian Workers' Party.


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