BrianMier Profile picture
Correspondent for @teleSURenglish TV news program "From the South". Native Chicagoan who has lived 25 years in Brazil. Editor of "Year of Lead".
21 Oct
Here is a break down of the criminal charges against Brazil's far right President Jair Bolsonaro levied in the Parliamentary Covid 19 investigation and their maximum sentences. Thread
1) Exacerbating an epidemic resulting in deaths - maximum sentence of 30 years; 2) Ignoring implementation of preventative sanitary measures (an infraction) - maximum sentence of 1 year; 3) Charlatanism (infraction) - maximum sentence of 1 year.
4) Inciting criminal behavior (infraction) - maximum sentence of 6 months; 5) Counterfeiting of documents - maximum sentence of 5 years; 6) Irregular use of public funds (infraction) - maximum sentence of 3 months; 7) Malfeasance - maximum sentence of 1 year.
Read 5 tweets
21 Oct
A bill for an amendment to improve oversight of public prosecutors - a response to Lava Jato which crippled the economy and broke laws to help elect Bolsonaro - was blocked in Congress yesterday, after PSOL broke from the left and sided with Partido Novo to unanimously oppose it.
The only other two parties to unanimously oppose the bill, which lost by 11 votes and was unanimously supported by the Workers Party (PT) and the Communist Party of Brazil (PC do B), were the tiny Partido Verde and Rede, which have 4 members of Congress between them.
For more on self-proclaimed "left" politicians and their support for the US DOJ/FBI/Curitiba Public Prosectors Lava Jato investigation, see this: brasilwire.com/whither-the-la…
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11 Oct
Back to the stone age. Brazil is self sufficient in natural gas, but Chicago Boy Finance Minister Paulo Guedes decided to irrationally link prices to the international market rate. Results: astronomical price hikes mean more Brazilians are now cooking with wood than with gas. Photo: Marcos Maluf/Campo Grande News
Not only is sad result of neoliberalism bad for the environment in a country where the President has ushered in a new era of out of control, man made forest fires in the Amazon rainforest, it is leading to a rise in respiratory infections and burn accidents in children.
Brazil has the World's largest natural gas reserves but the dismantling of Petrobras, which started when the US DOJ-backed Lava Jato operation began crippling strategic sectors of Brazilian industry, has left the company without enough production facilities to process it.
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9 Oct
As we near the start of the last year of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's mandate, @renato_rovai writes in @revistaforum that,"he isn't going to pull off a coup, he won't be impeached, he won't resign and he won't be reelected." Image
I think one would have to be naive to think, after refusing to bring over 130 formal impeachment requests to the floor for vote during the first 3 years of Bolsonaro's mandate, that the center-right recipients of $billions in patronage who control Congress will do it now.
Read 4 tweets
26 Sep
Most journalists understanding of economics is limited to a handful of 19th Century clichés. The Brazilian economy has gone through commodities boom/bust cycles for 500 years. Attributing the Workers Party's success to a commodities boom ignores the 2008 Great Recession. Thread
Bahia demonstrates the limitations of commodities booms. For centuries its production of export commodities like Cocoa and Tobacco generated huge wealth for a handful of European/ Brazilian businessmen while the vast majority of the population suffered in abject poverty.
In other words, as the last 500 years of economic history of the developing world shows, commodities booms without any kind of redistribution measures are absolutely useless in reducing poverty. Example: mining boom in the Congo.
Read 9 tweets
24 Sep
Another relative of the Bolsonaro boys is under investigation for corruption, after a video surfaced showing an alleged henchman of cousin Leo Indio handing cash and T-shirts to poor people as they entered a bus in Pompeia, São Paulo. Leo is accused of illegal fundraising. Image
Some may remember Leo Indio from a 2020 corruption scandal when his boss, Senator Chico Mendes (DEM-RR) was forced to resign after police found R$18.000,00 of allegedly laundered money in his underwear. Indio was forced to resign as Mendes' chief of staff at the time. Image
Nepotism, skimming, money laundering... These allegations must all be fake news spread by lying communists, because President Bolsonaro said there hasn't been any corruption in Brazil in the last 2.8 years, during his UN speech, right? Image
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24 Sep
Renato Rovai, editor of @revistaforum writes that based on poll data, it will be impossible to impeach Jair Bolsonaro before next year's elections. As long as his support stay's above 20%, he says, impeachment is not an option, and Bolsonaro will make it to the 2nd round. Image
A third path candidate, he writes, "appears more like a dream of the traditional media and its well paid analysts than a reality". No third option candidate between Lula and Bolsonaro has cracked 10% in the polls.
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24 Sep
Troubles are growing for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's son Carlos. A federal judge in Rio de Janeiro just granted prosecutors access to years of phone records from 11 of his Rio City Council Cabinet staff. 7 are relatives of his dad's 2nd wife, Ana Cristina Siqueira Valle. Image
Prosecutors allege that for years, Carlos Bolsonaro and his stepmother engaged in a salary skimming operation in collaboration with her extended family. The operation only stopped, allegedly, when Ana Christina and Jair Bolsonaro developed marital problems. Image
Among Ana Christina's relatives employed in Carlos Bolsonaro's Rio de Janeiro City Council Cabinet: 2 brothers, a cousin, his wife and two brothers in law. Many of them allegedly rarely or never showed up to work and kicked most of their salaries back to Ana Christina and Carlos. Image
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20 Sep
What is now happening to Paulo Freire's theory has, in the course of history, happened repeatedly to the theories of revolutionary thinkers and leaders of oppressed classes fighting for emancipation. (thread)
During his lifetime, the oppressing classes constantly hounded him, received his theories with the most savage malice, the most furious hatred and the most unscrupulous campaigns of lies and slander.
After his death, attempts are made to convert him into a harmless icons, to canonize him [...] while at the same time robbing the revolutionary theory of its substance, blunting its revolutionary edge and vulgarizing it. (Paraphrased from Lenin's "State and Revolution", ch. 1)
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19 Sep
@UOLNoticias reports that Brazilian President Bolsonaro's son Carlos is trying to outsource his Cambridge Analytica-style social media psyops group, nicknamed "the cabinet of hate", to at least one big data company in the US, and that Steve Bannon is helping set the deal up.
He's doing it, apparently, to protect against his possible arrest, since these activities are illegal in Brazil and he's currently under investigation by the federal police for spreading fake news during the 2018 election season to favor his father.
Among the lies allegedly spread by the Cabinet of Hate to targeted evangelical Christian voter groups via Facebook's WhatsApp messenger service during the 2018 elections: If Fernando Haddad were elected, he would create a government panel to decide childrens' gender at age 5.
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19 Sep
The Koch-trained Free Brasil Movement (MBL) and Bolsonaro and his followers have spent years pushing to purge everything about Paulo Freire, the most internationally-cited Brazilian academic ever, from the Brazilian school system. Today marks the 100th anniversary of his birth.
Freire's 1968 book, "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" written during exile in Chile, after being arrested and imprisoned by Brazil's US-backed neofascist military dictatorship, it is still the 3rd most cited social sciences book in academia today.
One of the founding works of critical pedagogy, "Oppressed" compares traditional education with putting coins in piggy banks, with teachers depositing knowledge in their students' heads. Instead, Freire argues, teachers should treat their students as co-creators of knowledge.
Read 15 tweets
9 Sep
Fascism and big business have walked hand in hand since the days of Mussolini. Meet Marlon Bonilha (l), the multimillionaire owner of the Pro-Tork trucking company, which still has a dozen trucks parked on Brasilia's Esplanade honking and intimidating the Supreme Court.
This is a picture of a childrens' toy version of a Pro Tork truck. Notice the logo on the side of the cab.
Now look at this video I shot yesterday, of the trucks parked in front of the Supreme Court honking and intimidating the judiciary.
Read 4 tweets
5 Sep
I will be in Brasilia covering the planned violent occupation of the Brazilian Supreme Court for TeleSur. I'm starting this thread for updates on what is happening. Will it really happen or is it just Bannon/Bolsonaro psyops? Is the whole point just the threat itself? ImageImage
The US Embassy in Brazil has issued a security alert for US citizens, advising them to stay away from both the anti-Bolsonaro protests, planned in 131 cities, and the Pro-Bolsonaro/Anti Supreme Court protests, planned primarily for Brasilia and Sao Paulo. Image
Several people, including Sergio Reis, the 81 year old cattle rancher/pop singer who has an estimated fortune of R$274 million, have already been arrested as part of an ongoing investigation over a planned violent attack on the Supreme Court this September 7. Image
Read 35 tweets
28 Aug
Today marks the 38th anniversary of the Central Única dos Trabalhadores/CUT, the largest Labor Union Federation in Latin America. Despite the setbacks of the US-backed 2016 coup, with 23 million members it remains the largest mobilizing force on the Brazilian left.
Some self-proclaimed vanguard leftists aided the full spectrum, imperialist war against the Brazilian left during the lead up to the coup by spreading a false narrative that CUT was a PT puppet, which ignored the 1000+ strikes per year during Lula/Rousseff presidencies.
It is true that the CUT and PT are intertwined - Lula helped found both. Around 1/3 of all of PT's elected officials are former union leaders. However, they have to resign from CUT in order to run for office and CUTs institutional decisions are made through democratic assemblies.
Read 5 tweets
27 Aug
Aristocrats see fascism as a route to retaking power lost to the bourgeoisie. While in Brazil planning her "Conservative International", AfD Parliamentarian Beatrix von Storch, granddaughter of Hitler's finance minister, met with Bolsonaro-backers in the Brazilian Monarchy.
AfD Parliamentarian Von Storch's birth name/title was, Her Highness Duchess Beatrix Amelie Ehrengard Eilika von Oldenburg. She is a distant relative of both Prince Charles and Bertrand de Orléans e Bragança, the head of the Brazilian royal family, who she met with last month.
In 2018, Congressman/Prince Luiz Philippe Maria José Miguel Gabriel Rafael Gonzaga de Orleans e Bragança became the first member of the Brazilian Royal Family to take political office since the fall of the Monarchy. Jair Bolsonaro later said, "I should have chosen you as my VP.
Read 14 tweets
25 Aug
The Brazilian Federal Police is investigating Steve Bannon for allegedly running a digital fake news cabal that's breaking Brazilian law by spreading disinformation about the electoral system, in collusion with Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro. thread
As a country that only returned to democracy in 1985 after a bloody, US backed military dictatorship, Brazil has strong laws protecting the integrity of its electoral system. You can get arrested for making up baseless claims about fraud, as the Bolsonaro's have been doing.
In his defense, as the Federal Police net tightens around him, Eduardo Bolsonaro is saying that he "didn't know that questioning the electronic voting system and anonymous voting was a crime in Brazil." Most children learn that ignorance of the law is no excuse in grade school.
Read 8 tweets
24 Aug
Brazil's Military Police are a living legacy of the dictatorship that was never purged of its torturers and death squad actors after 1985. Controlled by the state governors, officers aren't required to respond to the regular rule of law, having their own parallel courts. Thread
Active duty military police are barred from participating in protests or making public statements about politics. This week Military Police in São Paulo, Rio, Santa Catarina, Espírito Santo, Ceará and Paraíba, have publicly supported Sept. 7 anti-Supreme Court protest.
Last week, São Paulo governor Doria fired Military Police Colonel Aleksander Lacerda, who oversaw 7 battalions and 5000 police officers, after he made a series of threats against the Supreme Court online and called on active duty officers to go to the Sept. 7 protest in Brasilia.
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21 Aug
President Bolsonaro's elite supporters, under guidance from Steve Bannon/Mike Lindell, appear to be planning a Jan. 6 style invasion of the Supreme Court building in Brasilia on September 7th - Brazilian Independence day.
"I'm worried about September 7," says former Foreign Chancellor/Defense Minister Celso Amorim. "I want to see if the armed forces are defending Bolsonaro as a person, or if they are defending the Constitution."
Sept. 7 Supreme Court protest planner Bruno Semczeszm recently met with Beatrix Von Storch. Were they comparing Sturmabteilung-influenced tactics? Bolsonaro is already aligned with paramilitary militias.
Read 10 tweets
3 Aug
The fact that no progressive US academic has written a single peer reviewed article about US DOJ partnership in the Lava Jato investigation - public knowledge since 2016 - which illegally imprisoned Lula and helped elect Bolsonaro - is a damning indictment of the US left.
A friend at UCLA spent a month searching, all he could find were writings by conservative legal scholars, essentially FCPA specialists, praising the investigation.
The US DOJ has been publishing articles on its own website about its partnership with Lava Jato since 2016, top officials have talked about it in speeches and there is a trail of court documents involving Lava Jato in the Southern NY district. justice.gov/opa/pr/odebrec…
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31 Jul
Michel Gherman, from Rio de Janeiro Federal University's Jewish Studies dept., says that Jair Bolsonaro has been an open Nazi sympathizer during his entire, 30-year political career, citing his public admiration for Hitler and use of Nazi slogans like, "work sets you free". Image
In other words, it's ridiculous to see wealthy Brazilian Jews like Luciano Huck who supported Bolsonaro in 2018 feign shock that he just met with the grandaughter of Hitler's Finance Minister.
During his campaign, Bolsonaro was applauded for a speech in which he compared black people to cattle to a primarily wealthy, Jewish audience in the Hebraica Clube in Rio de Janeiro. Image
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14 Jun
Corporate PR think tank AS/COA spent years cheerleading crooked,US-backed Lava Jato judge Sergio Moro as he crippled key sectors of the economy, caused 4.4 million job losses and helped elect Bolsonaro. Now it warns that 1-man crusades against corruption aren't working.
Notice the false equivalency in AQ's framing center-left Mexican President AMLO with Brazilian President Bolsonaro. Their Golden Boy Sergio Moro is under criminal investigation for illegally helping elect Bolsonaro, and for conflict of interest by becoming his Justice Minister.
Read more on the 7 felony counts of judicial bias against Moro - all with ample material evidence (unlike Moro's now-overturned, evidence-free kangaroo court convictions of former Brazilian President Lula) - here: brasilwire.com/lava-jato-serg…
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