What happened in Brazil was not a ‘coup, ’ not even close

En Miami Herald / 2 septiembre, 2016

(Photo: Leo Correa – AP)

Contrary to what former Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders and other members of the U.S. romantic left are saying, the impeachment of former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was not a coup. What is a coup — and one they are conveniently ignoring — is the break of the rule of law by Venezuela’s regime.

Rousseff, formally ousted by a 61-20 vote in the Senate after a three-month congressional impeachment process, was fired for violating budgetary rules. She had been charged with manipulating the budget to make the country’s finances look better during her 2014 reelection campaign.

Sanders, echoing the claims by the presidents of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua, said in an Aug. 8 statement that Brazil’s impeachment process “resembles a coup d’état.” He added, “The effort to remove President Rousseff is not a legal trial but rather a political one. The United States cannot sit silently while the democratic institutions of one of our most important allies are undermined.”

But was it really a coup, or even a disguised coup? A coup usually involves a military takeover, or another way to take power breaking the rule of law. The Merriam-Webster dictionary says a coup d’etat is “a sudden attempt by a small group of people to take over the government usually through violence.”

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Andres Oppenheimer
Es el editor para América Latina y Columnista de “The Miami Herald,” conductor del programa “Oppenheimer Presenta” por CNN en Español, y autor de siete Best-Sellers. Su columna “El Informe Oppenheimer” es publicada regularmente en más de 60 periódicos de todo el mundo, incluidos “The Miami Herald” de EEUU, La Nación de Argentina, El Mercurio de Chile, El Comercio de Perú, y Reforma de México.

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2 September, 2016