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Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro praised the military dictatorships of Brazil and Paraguay in the inauguration of general Joaquim Silva e Luna, former Defense Minister of Temer, who was appointed president of the binational Itaipu power plant.

Joint statement – PSTU-Brazil and PT-Paraguay

He said that marshal Castelo Branco had been “elected according to the Constitution of the time”. Bollocks! Castelo Branco was not elected. He was appointed, indirectly, after the 1964 coup, which brought down João Goulart and installed a military dictatorship in Brazil which lasted 21 years.

Bolsonaro lauded the other military presidents of Brazil as well as former Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner, who ruled Paraguay with an iron fist for 35 years. Bolsonaro, who is totally submissive to Trump, praised Stroessner because he has a lot of affinity to dictators, but also because of the Itaipu treaty, since it is very convenient for the multinationals located in Brazil and the big capitalists in São Paulo. The terms of the treaty are harmful for energy sovereignty of Paraguay, which must cede its exceeding energy to Brazil in exchange for a compensation which is light-years below the “fair price” of which the Foz Act speaks.

Although in 2023 there will likely be a revision to contemplate the financial and electricity services bases of Itaipu, the entire treaty must be revised to restore Paraguay’s sovereignty, with free control over its energy.

Bolsonaro, with his colonial sycophancy to Trump, also homages general Stroessner to celebrate a treaty of inequality, of spurious debt, of expropriation and subjection of Paraguay to the interests of Brazil in favor of rich countries, of multinationals and of Brazilian capitalists.

Stroessner was marked by charges of corruption, extreme submission to USA interests, who did not hide his sympathy for ex-Nazis, having given asylum to many of them, including the famous doctor Mengele. At least 150.000 people were persecuted and almost 4000 killed and disappeared under Stroessner.

The Brazilian dictatorship, as the Paraguayan, imposed censorship, put an end freedom of expression, of opinion, of organization, instituted arbitrariness, the torture and murder of oppositors. Almost a thousand people were killed or disappeared in Brazil, and that is without mentioning the genocide of the indigenous peoples.

The Brazilian dictatorship was also corrupt and heavily accentuated the social inequality of the country, making the rich much richer and the poor a lot poorer. It should suffice to say that the 10% richest, which by 1960 had concentrated 38% of the national income, went on to keep 51% after nearly twenty years of dictatorship. The poorer, which had 17% of the income, plummeted to only 12% ot it.

The current president of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benítez, a right-wing conservative, famous for being from a family which is very close to former dictator Stroessner, tries to appear democratic and republican. But he was not bothered in the least by Bolsonaro’s speech in favor of the dictatorships.

Both, Bolsonaro and Benítez, are committed to an ultra-liberal economic plan, against the workers and the people.

The workers and the youth of Brazil and Paraguay have nothing to commemorate or applaud from these two governments, and must rebuke any praise towards dictatorships which were toppled by the people after years of suffering.

Dictatorships nevermore!

PSTU – Brazil / PT – Paraguay

Translated by Miki Sayoko