the failed coup

Page/12 in Brazil

From Rio de Janeiro

It was an attempted coup, the result of the non-acceptance of the electoral results, something that had already been expressed in various ways, from the non-recognition of Lula’s victory to his inauguration. It happened just a week after Brasilia was the scene of the most important democratic demonstrations that Brazil had experienced for the inauguration of Lula. But the demonstrations by the Bolsonaristas continued, supported by the former president himself, who continued to refuse to accept the electoral result, something that served as a stimulus for the coup demonstrations.

The coup attempt last Sunday had specific characteristics. The first is that it was preceded by several violent demonstrations that announced an escalation of actions such as the arrival of dozens of buses since last Friday, hinting that a major action was coming.

The character of the demonstration was another specific element. The arrival of thousands of people gave a massive character to the demonstrations. The immediate objective was to create disorder and chaos with calls for military intervention, alleging the government’s inability to guarantee order in the country. The slogan “military intervention” and “SOS FFAA” confirm that they tried to get the military to take the lead in the movement. That was what failed in the operation of the coup leaders, who were left politically orphaned.

The unanimous condemnation of the media, political forces and governments from all regions of the world further weakens Bolsonaro. Meanwhile, Lula is strengthened with the support of the 27 governors and consolidates his relations with the Judiciary and Congress.

The desperation of the demonstrators reveals the feeling of defeat that pervades the radical opposition. The speeches of several of them show that they were moved by the feeling that Bolsonaro has no political future and that Lula has climbed the ramp of the Planalto and is already ruling.

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The intervention of the government of Brasilia reiterates the responsibilities of the governor, whose links with Bolsonaro were maintained and caused the total failure of the protection of the fundamental buildings of the capital. It was very obvious what was going to happen and no preventive measures were taken: Brasilia was left totally defenseless, occupied by terrorists.

There were errors that allowed the immediate success of the attacks. There was unjustified confidence in the Brasilia government. The defense minister of the state government had already made statements that made it possible to distrust him: he said that Bolsonaro was a democrat and that the demonstrations would be democratic. His promiscuous relations with the armed forces led him to have a promiscuous position with the military.

The mechanisms through which the national government and the Judiciary will act against the protesters who practiced widespread vandalism in Brasilia are already configured. There is consensus that all those involved should be prosecuted, from those who committed the violence to those who organized the events and financed them. Instead of representing a recovery of the Bolsonaristas, all of this leads their movement to isolation and decline, which compromises its political survival.

They acted to test the reaction of their adversaries, to gauge what forces they would have to face and with what unity and readiness they would respond to their actions. The results seem to have been very negative for the Bolsonaristas.

The arrest of around 1,400 of them, the widespread condemnation in public opinion, the even greater isolation of Bolsonaro — now with the specter of a possible extradition and the strengthening of Lula — allow us to take stock of Sunday’s operations in Brasilia and the future prospects of the Lula government and the weakened opposition forces.

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