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Brazil Protests: New signs of 'LatAm Spring'?

Adrian Salbuchi is a political analyst, author, speaker and radio/TV commentator in Argentina.

Published time: June 21, 2013 12:33
People march in downtown Rio de Janeiro on June 20, 2013, during a protest of what is now called the 'Tropical Spring' against corruption and price hikes.  (AFP Photo)

Like a bolt out of the blue, the streets of Brazil’s major cities are being rocked by widespread demonstrations, some turning quite ugly. Are they all spontaneous, or is somebody lurking in the background?

It all began in early June when hundreds of thousands took to the streets of Sao Paulo, Río de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, Brasilia and other cities in Brazil protesting a public transport fare hike. As people gathered voicing their grievances, protests grew way beyond what was, after all, a moderate 7% fare rise.

Brazilians increasingly reject government corruption in President Dilma Rousseff's Workers’ Party administration, today symbolized by the huge costs government is bearing to have everything ready for the 2014 Soccer World Cup.  In addition, billions more are being spent on the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro. Politicians are just not reading the writing on the wall; Sao Paulo’s mayor Fernando Haddad was surprised by the rioting whilst visiting Paris promoting his city for the 2020 World’s Fair… 

There is also Brazil’s endemic poverty affecting tens of millions in the “Comunidades” (aka “Favelas” shanty towns), some lying a stone’s throw from plush Rio de Janeiro neighborhoods like Ipanema, Leblón and Copacabana; and rising street crime, and deficient public transport and infrastructure, and low-level education and health services…  

'LatAm' Spring in the making

As in Argentina where millions increasingly protest over basically similar grievances, on-going demonstrations in Brazil might be a sign of much worse things to come.  

After the dreadful “Arab Spring” of the past three years that rained so much death, destruction and chaos on the Muslim World - from Egypt in 2011 to Turkey today and especially the civil wars triggered in Libya and Syria - the question now is: are we seeing something similar starting in Latin America? 

A vandalized press car from TV Record burns during a student demonstration in front of the City Hall in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 18, 2013, against a recent rise in public bus and subway fare from 3 to 3.20 reais (1.50 USD). (AFP Photo)

A “LatAm Spring” being tailored and adjusted to this region’s social and political climate, quite different from the Arab World’s?

Uncannily, these unexpected riots started only a few days after US Vice President Joe Biden paid a state visit to Brazil, meeting with top Brazilian authorities saying that “stronger trade ties and closer cooperation in education, science and other fields should usher in a new era in U.S.- Brazil relations in 2013”.  

The truth is otherwise, however: an increasingly strong Brazil worries the US, even though Ms Rousseff has moved away from her predecessor Ignazio “Lula” Da Silva’s closer ties with Iran and Venezuela. This wasn’t enough to make Washington happy.

In recent years Brazil beefed up its naval and air forces in part with Russian hardware. Last February, for instance, Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev visited Brazil sealing an agreement to supply high-tech air defense missile systems to protect next year’s World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.  An energy alliance was also agreed.  

Brazil being part of the BRICS alliance, Russia has become quite central to its strategies and the US knows that.  A strong Brazil is clearly a “problem”, and what better way to debilitate a country than to have it thrown into social and civil strife?

From 'Arab' to 'LatAm' Spring

The Spanish daily “El País” aptly notes that contrary to “Arab Spring” where the population fought dictatorships claiming basic rights, in Brazil as in other Latin American democracies social discontent is exploding amongst the better informed and educated who have accessed higher levels of economic well-being.  This makes them become less tolerant with inequalities and abuse of power: they demand better public services, education and health that matches growing government taxation, and above all, a stop to rampant corruption.

After two weeks of rioting, major municipalities like Sao Paulo and Rio cancelled those fare hikes, however protests continue with some very worrying signs of “lurking agitators”. 

On Tuesday 18th, hardline protesters chanting “Break!  Break! That’s better than protesting” (which in Portuguese rhymes: “Quebrar, quebrar es mejor que manifestar”) tried to break into Sao Paulo’s Municipal Theatre during an opera performance.

Others looted electronics and cell phone stores, broke shop windows, set fire to a TV Rede satellite truck, and tried to break into City Hall. Military Police were ordered to show greater restraint before firing rubber bullets and tear gas, as things could explode very badly. 

In some measure President Rousseff is doing her best to fight corruption.  At least she’s done more than her Argentine counterpart Cristina Kirchner who chooses to completely ignore public evidence of gross corruption in her own government that reaches all the way up to her.  

Dilma Rousseff has done some house cleaning.  Since coming to power in 2011, she fired key ministers accused of corruption, including Antonio Palocci (chief of staff fired June 2011).  Then from June to December 2011 she fired a corruption-riddled minister every month: Transportation Minister Alfredo Nascimento, Agriculture Minister Wagner Rossi, Tourism Minister Pedro Novais, Sports Minister Orlando Silva, Labour Minister Carlos Lupi, Cities’ Minister Mario Negroponte; even Defense Minister Nelson Jobim had to go when he openly criticized her.  

 Anti riot police officers fire rubber bullets after clashes erupted during a protest against corruption and price hikes, on June 20, 2013, in Rio de Janeiro. (AFP Photo)

'Spring' = Engineered civil commotion and wars

In the Global Power Master’s glossary, “Spring” – whether Arab or burgeoning LatAm – conform a three-pronged nation-destroying process.  

First, they start by identifying local populations’ genuine grievances that are ready to explode.

Second, they agitate local protests by suitably infiltrating modern-style “AgitProp” operatives.  

Third, as violence escalates - with governments having no better idea than to order police repression with rubber bullets, tear gas, and blows against demonstrators who strike back with rocks and insults - all you need is one or two dead sprawled on the streets, for things to boil over into nationwide public and pandemonium.

Why would anyone want to do this?  Simple: to weaken the social, political and economic fabric of the target country; weaken its sovereign Nation-State, weaken the capability of sovereign governments to consolidate their national interests and objectives, something that the Global Power Masters simply abhor.  

There are genuine social grievances in every country. They vary and need to be properly understood so the appropriately engineered social conflict controls can be designed and implemented, as seen in Egypt and other Arab lands, maybe even in Turkey today.  

Such engineered conflicts can, if necessary, be escalated into full-fledged civil war as in Libya and now in Syria.  
A key lies in understanding what the “great social divides” to be taken advantage of inside every country or region are.  In the Arab World, these are basically of a religious nature: Sunnis pitted against Shiites, triggered by their histories of alignments and misalignments with former colonial powers, especially the UK, France and their present-day re-tooled versions under NATO, and as “allies” of the US and Israel.  

In Latin America, however, religion will never lead to social strife, much less civil war… Here, the great divide is the poor versus the rich, where greed and materialism have been inbred into the masses through generations of media-imposed consumerism and mis-education, making gross corruption a way of life throughout the region, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico being the worst examples.  

This explosive formula is augmented by the 'drug overworld' clandestinely managed by key powers, financed and recycled by 'megabankers', leading to social calamity and violence.

The stage now set, compact armies of highly trained, well financed, “Arab Spring”-hardened and experienced agitators are brought in, and you can trigger civil war in just about any country in Latin America.  

Corrupt local governments are themselves, in fact, a key part of this equation thanks to on-going money-dominated “democracy” that thrives on billions of money-sloshing, corrupt politicians, and “campaign contributions” from legal and illegal sources: multinational corporations, 'megabanks', mainstream media, drug cartels, organized crime…

This is the latent scene today in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, even Venezuela now that Chavez is gone. 

Same story; different players.

Demonstrators stand next to a fire during a protest part of what is now called the 'Tropical Spring' against corruption and price hikes, on June 20, 2013, in Rio de Janeiro. (AFP Photo)

Why Brazil?

As mentioned, Brazil has grown too powerful over the past two decades. Brazil partners with BRICS global powerhouses Russia, China and India. Bringing Russia and China into any global geopolitical formula does not go unnoticed by the US, UK, NATO and Israel.

Brazil “needs to be curbed”, realigned; stopped in its tracks if need be.  Within the consolidating BRICS alliance, Brazil is in an uneasy position.  The three central BRICS countries - Russia, China and India - stand geographically shoulder-to-shoulder whilst Brazil is a far-away “stand-alone” country.

Brazil’s growing strength helps to explain why in 2008 George W Bush reactivated America’s powerful South Atlantic Fourth Fleet after it had lain dormant since 1953. Even the UK’s powerful Falkland/Malvinas military base makes sense when we understand it is not aimed against today’s totally disarmed, decadent and weak Argentina, but against Brazil and also as a geopolitical stepping-stone to Antarctica. 

Brazil is one of the reasons why the US/UK cannot afford to lose control over Mexico, Colombia, Chile and even Peru, and why Global Money Power ensures elections in those countries always result in very pro-US and pro-UK regimes. 
Lucky also for the US, UK and EU, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is now gone and his successor Nicolás Maduro is far easier to isolate and control.  Whilst Chávez lived, Venezuela was permanently earmarked for “LatAm Spring” treatment.  Today that has shifted to Brazil, which needs to be isolated from its BRICS partners: boxed in between a NATO-controlled Atlantic and Caribbean, and US/UK allies on Latin America’s Pacific coast.    

So, the beginning of “LatAm Spring” could very well be playing out in the streets of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia.  

Will this spill over to Paraguay and Uruguay?  

Will Argentina’s middle class - increasingly weary of Cristina Kirchner’s rampant corruption and incompetence, and its unfathomably mediocre political class - unwittingly also set the stage for “Arab Spring” treatment there?  
As in the Arab World, justified working middle class grievances against corruption and public mismanagement that angrily flare up on the streets become excellent breeding grounds for all sorts of foreign agitators – CIA, MI6, Mossad, and other clandestine, well-financed terrorist, criminal and guerrilla groups.  Latin America went through that back in the sixties and seventies…  

Being forewarned of these tell-tale signs and indications can be of help.  These are the pitfalls now facing all Latin American nations, whether friendly or not so friendly towards US/UK interests.
Because above the US/UK/EU lie the Global Power Masters who have one and only one long-term agenda: doing away with all sovereign Nation-states.

What better way to achieve that than by ensuring that the very worst local politicians are catapulted into places of power in country after country, from where then they can grind their countries down into chaos, poverty and death through mismanagement and corruption. This they call “democracy”.

Police spray demonstrators with pepper gas during a student protest at National Congress in Brasilia, on June 20, 2013 within what is now called the 'Tropical Spring' against corruption and price hikes. (AFP Photo)

One day soon, no doubt, the Power Masters they will come out with a magical global solution: fully privatize government, do away with the Nation-State, and outsource management of countries to powerful and efficient consortiums made up by McKinsey consultancies, Barrick Gold mining, Monsanto seeding, Exxon, BP and Shell energy, all lavishly financed by Goldman Sachs, CitiCorp and HSBC; or any other equivalent combination of mega-corporations and bankers suitably scripted by Trilateral Commission, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and Bilderberger think-tank planners.

As former US diplomat and powerbroker Richard N Gardner wrote back in April 1974 in “Foreign Affairs”, the official journal of the CFR "The New World Order will have to be built from the bottom up rather than from the top down...because an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece will accomplish much more than the old fashioned frontal assault."

Clearly, whilst long-term World Government planning is being done in Manhattan and City of London boardrooms and think-tanks; its Global War of Conquest’s actual fighting and killing is being done on the streets of every major city.  

Adrian Salbuchi for RT

Adrian Salbuchi is a political analyst, author, speaker and radio/TV commentator in Argentina. www.asalbuchi.com.ar



The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.