By Bruno Falci and Clara Domingos. Jornalistas Livres.
Professor Boaventura de Sousa Santos, with a PhD in Sociology of Law from Yale University, is a professor and coordinator at CES – Center for Social Studies at the University of Coimbra, and one of the most important Ibero-American thinkers. He gave this live interview while coincidentally, in Brasília, Justice Minister Sérgio Moro was making his statement of resignation from the government of Jair Bolsonaro, in yet another chapter of the Brazilian political crisis.
The interview addressed the double crisis Brazil is experiencing – a health crisis, caused by the Coronavirus, and other politics. In this scenario troubled by the pandemic, Bolsonaro’s government reveals a profound institutional instability, with hostility towards Congress and the Federal Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the fight against the pandemic is under the shadow health minister Mandetta’s dismissal, who was approved by the WHO and, therefore, was favorable to social isolation.
On Wednesday the 22nd, the Economy Minister, Paulo Guedes, responsible for the government’s neoliberal agenda, did not participate in a meeting coordinated by Chief of Staff, General Walter Braga Netto, to announce the launch of a post-covid-19 economic recovery program (Pró-Brasil), which foresees an increase in spending on public investments for the coming years. Now, this Friday, the 24th, Brazil, with a government which seems to be under the tutelage of the military, amid various paths to impeachment of the president, the scenario is aggravated by the fall of Minister Sérgio Moro.
According to Boaventura de Sousa Santos, “it really is extraordinary that we are talking at this very moment when Sérgio Moro is making a transition. I think Brazil is the only country in the world that, in the middle of the pandemic, has a serious political crisis. I follow the situation in several countries and none of them are in this situation, which could possibly be a crisis of the political regime itself. Sérgio Moro’s resignation has close and distant causes. The close causes that have been raised are that the Federal Police will soon incriminate the Bolsonaro family, if not the president directly, but his children. This of course has been known for a long time ”.
Boaventura de Sousa Santos is incisive:
“Moro is the man from the United States, he is the United States candidate for 2022. He did all the work. And his political career is exactly this – destroying the Brazilian economy, destroying the left, opening the way for a transition politician – obviously opening the way for himself, he is their candidate. This means that the United States Embassy itself must probably be involved in all of this. This means that Moro began to be seen for his political career, Bolsonaro is no longer a resource, he can be discarded ”.
For the sociologist, Bolsonaro is a disposable president:
“It seems to me that due to the crisis produced by his behaviour during the pandemic, he is being discarded earlier, because the agenda of Paulo Guedes, a neoliberal aligned with the United States, is also at risk at this time, since General Braga Netto, who everyone considers to be the operational president, has come out with an emergency policy that effectively neutralizes Paulo Guedes’ own policy. So, it is natural that Guedes himself has his days numbered.”
“Moro is signaling that he no longer wants to participate in this government, precisely because he wants to do well. His popularity is above Bolsonaro’s. Moro has been in an absolutely criminal silence, in the midst of so many things happening, like the declarations in front of the army barracks door calling for a coup. Bolsonaro for him today is more of a burden than a resource – he doesn’t need him to be a strong candidate for 2022”.