Supreme Court Minister Luís Roberto Barroso, President of Brazil’s Electoral Court has written that common budgetary maneuvers (pedaladas) were only a formal justification for Dilma Rousseff’s 2016 overthrow, when the real reason for her removal was a loss of political support. In effect this is an admission of something already widely accepted, that her impeachment was a parliamentary coup, conducted under a false pretext.
It is important to note that the loss of political support to which Barroso refers was also a central component of the coup. Firstly Rousseff’s refusal to adopt the neoliberal ‘Bridge to the Future‘ economic programme pushed by coalition allies, followed by a manufactured crisis, an economic hit job – the intervention of Operation Lava Jato in early 2015 – which caused an immediate half a million layoffs in the construction sector, and an estimated 4.4 million indirect 2.5% GDP contraction.
Barroso’s is only the latest in a long line of admissions about the true nature and purpose of Rousseff’s removal, not least from her usurper, Michel Temer himself. Subsequently the role of the Military, US-backed Operation Lava Jato, and other actors in the 2016 coup, which dovetailed into the 2018 election of Bolsonaro, have become more clear.
That a coup was imminent should Dilma Rousseff be re-elected was obvious in September 2014 when Brasil Wire launched. Regardless, denial and omission of the coup in anglophone corporate media is still prevalent. In 2016 the New York Times called Rousseff’s removal ‘a sign of progress’, whilst a new wave of coup denial from corporate journalists at Reuters and Bloomberg materialised in the months leading up to the 2018 election.
It is our opinion that no journalist who still fails to properly acknowledge the 2016 coup against Dilma Rousseff should be in the trusted position of reporting on Brazil to foreign audiences – Editors.
247 – The historical fact that former President Dilma Rousseff was overthrown by a coup d’état has been admitted by Electoral Court President and Supreme Court Minister Luís Roberto Barroso, in an article for the first edition of the Brazilian Center for International Relations magazine. “The formal justification was so-called ‘fiscal pedaling’ —violation of budgetary rules—, although the real reason was loss of political support”, stated Barroso, according to journalist Mônica Bergamo, in her column.
As Brazil is not a parliamentary regime, therefore, a parliamentary coup took place, through an impeachment process without a crime of responsibility – illegality which should have been contained by the Federal Supreme Court, which preferred to wash its hands. As former senator Romero Jucá was recorded saying at the time, what happened in Brazil was a coup “with the Supreme Court, with everyone”.
This is not the first time that Barroso has made such an admission. Mônica Bergamo also recalls that he expressed this reasoning in July 2021, during a symposium in which he stated: “I believe that there should be no reasonable doubt that she [Dilma] was not removed for crimes of responsibility or corruption, but rather , was removed for loss of political support. Not least because to remove her for corruption after what followed would be a historical irony”.
After the coup d’état against Dilma Rousseff, Brazil has gone backwards in all economic and social indicators, with loss of worker rights, nationalised pre-sal oil revenues’ transferral to shareholders of Petrobras, and Brazil becoming a pariah on the international stage.
(News article originally appeared on 247 and has been edited for readability).