Neoliberal Soft Coups Target BRICS Nations

Brazil, Venezuela and South Africa

By Hugo Turner
Libya 360°


The Empire of Chaos (the US) has won a major victory in Brazil, destroying a democracy in order to bring Brazil back under its control. Dilma Rousseff has been impeached on trumped up charges, ignoring the wishes of the 54 million Brazilians who voted for her, replacing her with the traitor and CIA asset, Michel Temer.

Temer gives a whole new meaning to the idea of rule by the 1% because Temer has a 1% approval rating. Rousseff has been suspended from office for 180 days while the impeachment process continues. Brazil has joined the list of successful recent coups in Honduras, and Paraguay. Like the people of Argentina the people of Brazil are about to be reminded of what it means to be ruled by neoliberal hyenas. For the people of Brazil the battle has only begun.

The 1964 coup in Brazil installed a brutal military dictatorship and was the first of many coups that would leave the entire region under the fascist rule of Operation Condor‘s network of military juntas. The people of Brazil and Latin America are in deadly danger. By this act the US has signaled that even minor reforms, like those carried out by Brazil’s workers party, are unacceptable. Nothing must be allowed to impede the looting and impoverishment of the planet at the hands of the multi-national corporations.

Yet the loss of Brazil has even worse consequences for the globe. It is a strategic victory in the ’empire of chaos’ attempt to reconquer Latin America. It is also a victory in the effort to destroy the BRICS countries. It marks a defeat in the effort to build a multi-polar world. Worse still,  soft coups are making gains in Venezuela and in South Africa. In Venezuela a recall referendum obtained the necessary signatures to remove Nicolas Maduro from office. In South Africa a court ruled that Jacob Zuma must face hundreds of charges that were dismissed years ago. Both Venezuela and South Africa have been the victims of a covert war campaign. In Venezuela a wave of assassinations continues to target those loyal to the Bolivarian Revolution. In South Africa a spate of arson attacks have been carried out that the government has blamed on the US embassy (CIA). As if plunging large parts of the globe into unending warfare is not enough the empire of chaos is determined to destroy every independent country on the planet.

The 1964 Coup in Brazil

Before I discuss the latest coup in Brazil I will give a brief description of the 1964 coup that had disastrous consequences for all of Latin America. My account is based on William Blum’s invaluable book “Killing Hope”. ( Brazil is Chapter 27 out of 56 each recording coups or covert wars the US has carried out since 1945.)

Jose Goulart had become president after Janio da Silva Quadros had been forced to resign or face a military coup. Goulart, the Vice President, barely made it into office. Right-wing military officers tried to bar him but loyalist military officers interceded, forcing the fascists to back down. Quadros had been conservative,  but had sought to ally Brazil with the Nonaligned Movement (NAM) and to trade with the USSR. Goulart was also only a mild reformer but even before he came into office, the CIA, the Pentagon and the State Department, began plotting his downfall. CIA officer Vernon Walters (operating under cover as a military attache) who would go on to play a vital role in setting up Operation Condor,  was a major player in the coup. He helped organize the coup plotters in the military. Goulart was first targeted with economic warfare, political destabilization and media war. Globo Media, which played a major role in the current anti-Rousseff coup, played the same role in the 1964 coup.

The CIA financed mass demonstrations, bribed political opposition and helped fund their campaigns. It created its own labor movement, the AIFLD, to destroy the left wing labor movement and to stage strikes and armed attacks. The tactics of color revolution – hybrid war are far older than the terms themselves. As the US not only had begun plotting against him before he assumed office, the US engineered his being fired as Minister of Labor back in the 50′s. Once he became president his offenses in the eyes of empire were refusing to fire ministers the US labeled “communist”. He sought to trade with the eastern block. He instituted mild economic reforms including a very limited land redistribution program. He passed a law limiting the amount of profits multinational corporations could take out of the country and he nationalized a subsidiary of ITT.

For this he was accused of seeking to install a “totalitarian dictatorship”. When the US had created  sufficient chaos with their economic war and destabilization campaign and had succeeded in vilifying Goulart in the media, they launched the coup. The military who had been indoctrinated by the US in fanatical anti-communism and trained to see their own people as the enemy,  were given orders to proceed with the coup. On March 31st the CIA backed fascist divisions that moved to occupy the capital city Rio de Janeiro.

However the CIA had only gained control of a faction of the military. Other loyal divisions were willing to resist. The US sent in a huge naval detachment, including aircraft carriers and destroyers, to signal their backing for the coup. Goulart decided to flee rather than risk a civil war. By April 1st he had fled and the fascist General Castelo Branco seized power, arresting thousands of opponents and shooting protestors. Tens of thousands would be tortured and killed over the next decades.

Although Latin America’s endless dirty war began long before the Brazil coup (Unending war and oppression began in1492) the 1964 coup would play a decisive role in helping to spread it throughout the continent. Brazil would play a vital role in the coups in Chile, Uruguay, Argentina and in training the death squads and torturers of the continent. Dilma Rousseff herself was among the hundreds of thousands tortured. Meanwhile members of the Condor Network are still powerful in many Latin American militaries and the CIA and Pentagon influence continues. For more on Operation Condor see my October 2015 article “Operation Condor”. For the continuing dirty war in Latin America see my March 2016 “War on Latin America.” In light of this history it is clear why we must resist this latest coup which threatens to reignite Brazil’s dirty war.

Hybrid War Hyenas and Brazil’s 2016 Soft Coup

Pepe Escobar has written the definitive account of the coup in Brazil. Thus for a detailed account track down the numerous articles he has written on the subject. The only real difference between the April 64 coup and the May 2016 coup is that the military were not called in to overthrow the government. Hence it is referred to as a soft coup. However the manufactured opposition, the media war, the economic war and CIA bribes are the same and as with General Castelo Branco, Brazil’s new president Michel Temer is a CIA asset.

Brazil’s coup has a lot in common with the recent coups in Honduras and Paraguay. Even though Brazil’s coup was accomplished through legal means, it  does not mean that the tortures and disappearances will not begin again  (not that they ever really ended given Brazil’s unending “low intensity” drug war and privatized death squads that masquerade as security agencies).

These agencies played a major role in manipulating Brazil’s senate to vote for impeachment. Pepe Escobar refers to them as  Brazil’s “BBC” (the bullet, the Bible, and the cattle). The bullet is weapons and private security. The Bible is pastors and “evangelical fanatics.”  Cattle is the powerful agribusiness lobby. Pepe also lists illuminating statistics on the senate.  They are 80% white, although Brazil is largely a brown and black country. 60% of the Senate are from political dynasties. 58%  are under criminal investigation and 13% were not elected at all,  worming their way in as “alternates.” These are the oligarchs who had the final say in destroying Brazil’s democracy. They have ignored the wishes of the 54 million Brazilians who voted for Dilma Rousseff and have replaced her with the traitor Michel Temer with his 1% approval rating.

The main front men for this CIA coup were Judge Sergio Moro, who with his completely one sided ‘car wash investigation’ set the coup in motion. By ignoring the crimes of the right and focusing only on crimes by the left,  he turned a corruption investigation into a coup. Next there was then house speaker Eduardo Cunha,  notorious as one of the most corrupt politicians in Brazil with millions in Swiss bank accounts. He lead the impeachment drive in Brazil’s lower house fast-tracking the impeachment process. However he lost his job as speaker so that the coup would not be a complete laughing stock.

Dilma Rousseff is not charged with corruption and is innocent,  yet her impeachment campaign was lead by the Cunha “the Shark”,  one of the most corrupt. Lastly there is Michel Temer, or Brutus as Escobar calls him. He openly admitted that the impeachment lacked all legitimacy before switching sides in a twisted power grab. These criminals have earned by their actions the contempt not just of Brazil but of Latin America and indeed of everyone who opposes the empire. Of course they were merely the tools of the Brazil’s oligarchs, the CIA, and Wall Street but by their treachery they have set Brazil back decades.

The loss of Brazil will help sabotage BRICS. It will be a major blow to attempts to resist the empire of chaos throughout the continent in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, and other countries that have so far avoided soft coups. For the people of Brazil who had slowly begun to climb out of poverty thanks to the reforms of Brazil’s workers party, (which despite its flaws, did create a major rise in the standard of living) the coup means they will be ruthlessly thrust back into poverty. Brazil’s massive oil wealth will go not to improving the lives of it’s citizens,  but to enriching the billionaires on Wall Street.

Far worse may await them as the new coup government will eventually begin to wage war on the angry majority of Brazil to insure that they remain in power. The people must prepare themselves for resistance and for revolution. Democracy has failed.  Mild reforms have failed.  The people of Brazil must begin to organize to seize back their power. Should they be successful, they must make radical changes to their society,  that will make soups impossible.

How long will Latin America’s oligarchs be allowed to wage their campaigns of mass murder before the people wake up and give them a taste of revolutionary justice?  Goulart thought he could spare his country a war if he resigned and was proven tragically wrong. Rousseff appears to have made the same mistake and we can only hope that her failure to destroy these dangerous traitors does not lead to a repeat of Brazil’s horrifying ‘dirty war’.

Recent experiences from Honduras to  Ukraine do not give us reason to believe that things will go differently for Brazil. However there are two factors that give reason for hope that this coup may be reversed. First,  Brazil has powerful social movements, the landless workers movement, the landless peasants, and many thousands of smaller groups. Second, if Lula can survive the attempts to destroy him as part of the car wash scandal,  he may run again in 2018,  seizing Brazil back for the people. I hope his security team are on full alert. His potential to run again and restore democracy in Brazil means his life is in great danger.

If only the idea of Lula being assassinated either violently or via cancer or heart attack were paranoid as some of you are doubtless thinking. But ask Fidel Castro who has survived dozens of assassination attempts. One can no longer ask the great Hugo Chavez but the details of his murder continue to emerge thanks to the work of journalist Eva Golinger. She has uncovered more evidence of his assassination.  In a recent interview, she discussed some of the many attempts to kill him which failed. One included a Colombian death squad stationed at a Venezuelan oligarch’s home. Fortunately they were arrested in time. Another involved a sniper caught staking out a location where Chavez was about to speak.

Undoubtedly the most memorable involved the attempt to assassinate him with a radioactive chair at a “prestigious” university in New York where Chavez was giving a speech. She also revealed the names of several traitors who defected to the United States shortly after his death. One, former Major General Herbert Garcia Plaza,  is now coordinating the destabilization of Venezuela from the safety of the US. I highly recommend you read her full interview to learn more.

War on Venezuela

Turning attention to the ongoing “soft coup” in Venezuela, there was some good news. The opposition plot to privatize Venezuela’s public housing was struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional since it interfered with Venezuela’s constitutional commitment to provide housing, education, healthcare and other social programs. Chavez’s radical reforms have born fruit and Venezuela’s Supreme Court is firmly committed to defending Bolivarian socialism.

The opposition, appropriately named MUD,  continues its campaign to destroy Venezuela on the orders of their CIA-NED controllers. They launched a recall petition and collected over 1.85 million signatures.

They need 20% of voters to agree to a recall referendum before forcing  a vote on Maduro’s resignation. Maduro is determined to resist this scheme and hopes to fulfill his term, which doesn’t end until 2018. Obviously this is a dangerous new development. In addition a wave of assassinations continue against  loyal government officials and Bolivarian politicians. The CIA is waging a dirty war on Venezuela using drug-dealing Colombian death squads and right-wing Venezuelan terrorists to wage an Operation Condor-style Phase III assassination campaign,  aimed at weakening the government by killing its most promising leaders. More destabilizing, is the economic war.  Venezuela’s oligarchs continue to sabotage the economy,  eroding public support for the Bolivarian revolution, which has been  a source of hope and inspiration for the entire world.

Destabilization of South Africa

In South Africa a soft coup threatens another BRICS member.  It has been targeted by an economic war which has sent commodities prices plummeting.  The US isn’t content with destabilizing South Africa; it wants to overthrow the ANC who have held on to power since the fall of apartheid. The ANC is far from perfect.  Before coming to power they had to renounce their longstanding platform of nationalizing South Africa’s resources and building a socialist society. However, given it was 1994 and the Soviet Union had just collapsed, the constant criticism they have endured from the left, while valid, is unfair. Andre Vltchek points out that the ANC has made more progress than people have given them credit for.

They have also been plagued by corruption scandals but only a fool would believe that if the ANC are overthrown in a soft coup that corruption will suddenly disappear. Instead, whoever replaces them, would open the country to be looted by western corporations, reversing whatever gains people have made. You don’t fight corruption with coups because coups are by nature corrupting. They involve people accepting bribes from the CIA and other intelligence agencies to betray their country.  Those willing to sell out their country are unlikely to resist bribes for lesser crimes. Just ask the Ukrainians.

The destabilization campaign against Zuma began innocently enough with students demanding lower fees.  Soon after, instead of chanting the “fees must fall”,  they were shouting “Zuma must fall.” Now EFF head Julius Melema is calling for Zuma’s downfall even threatening to use force.  The US embassy (CIA) have been caught organizing opposition movements and hiring organized crime to burn down 19 schools in the Limpopo province.  The supreme court has ruled that Zuma must face 783 charges against him that were dismissed back in 2007 when he was deputy president under Thabo Mbeki . Zuma was dismissed as deputy president but this lead to a power struggle within the ANC in which he emerged victorious. He was later elected president despite this scandal. Zuma,  like Maduro and Rousseff,  is facing a soft coup attempt. Whatever petty crimes Zuma may have committed,  whatever the flaws of the ANC,  we must oppose this soft coup attempt. The goal has nothing to do with reducing corruption in South Africa or reducing inequality as the EFF deceptively claim. Anyone who thinks a CIA coup will reduce inequality in South Africa needs to read Blum’s “Killing Hope”, since every CIA coup has been undertaken to preserve or worsen inequality.  The goal is to destroy the BRICS,  the main hope for a multi-polar world – to break up the economic partnership between China and South Africa, damaging China,  the economic engine of the multi-polar world and further isolating Russia,  the military backbone of BRICS.


We must oppose the coups in Brazil, Venezuela and South Africa. We must support the people as they resist the return of fascism in Latin America. We must support South Africa as it struggles to maintain it’s independence. The Empire of Chaos thinks it can preserve itself by destroying all the alternatives.

Capitalism is in crisis and people are dreaming of a better world. Remember the overthrow of Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954 inspired the revolutionary career of Che Guevara.

To carry out their economic war on the BRICS, the oligarchs are putting the stability of their global capitalist system at risk –  a dangerous gamble. Although 2016 has been a year of victory for the forces of counter-revolution,  beneath the surface,  all over the world,  people can sense revolution in the air. Thus, even in the face of defeat and danger,  instead of despairing we must redouble our efforts. The time of revolutions is approaching.


1. I highly recommend William Blum’s “Killing Hope: US military and CIA Interventions Since World War II” sadly more relevant then ever this year with coups and covert wars ravaging the globe. For more on Operation Condor read “Predatory States: Operation Condor Covert War in Latin America” By J.P. McSherry

2. Dilma Rousseff’s defiant speech in the face of the impeachment campaign against her

3. An Interview with Dilma Rousseff

4. Pepe Escobar on the Coup in Brazil

5. The Landless Workers Movement on the Crisis in Brazil

6. Mike Whitney Interviews Eva Golinger on the Assassination of Hugo Chavez

7. My Article on Operation Condor

8. My Article War on Latin America

9. Nil Nikandov on the coming showdown in Venezuela

10. Abayomi Azikwe on the destabilization of South Africa

11. Eric Draitser on the US coups in Latin America part of a great series of interviews by Don Debar of PRN that have covered the war on the BRICS week to week subscribe to his youtube channel

12. And Eric Draitser on South Africa part of his series of Articles on the War on The BRICS