Canada and Bolsonaro

By now most environmentally conscious people understand that Jair Bolsonaro is a bad guy. Brazil’s president has scandalously blamed environmentalists for starting fires burning in the Amazon region, after having called for more “development” of the huge forests.

Canadians are lucky we have a prime minister who is not such an embarrassment and understands environmental issues, right?

While Justin Trudeau has called for better protection of the Amazon, his government and Canadian corporations have contributed to the rise of a proto-fascist Brazilian politician who has accelerated the destruction of the ‘planet’s lungs’.

In 2016 Workers Party President Dilma Rousseff was impeached in a “soft coup”. While Canadian officials have made dozens of statements criticizing Venezuela over the past three years, the Trudeau government remained silent on Rousseff’s ouster. The only comment I found was a Global Affairs official telling Sputnik that Canada would maintain relations with Brazil after Rousseff was impeached. In fact, the Trudeau government began negotiating — there have been seven rounds of talks — a free trade agreement with the Brazilian-led MERCOSUR trade block. They also held a Canada Brazil Strategic Dialogue Partnership and Trudeau warmly welcomed Bolsonaro at the G20 in June.

Bolsonaro won the 2018 presidential election largely because the front runner in the polls was in jail. Former Workers Party president Lula da Silva was blocked from running due to politically motivated corruption charges, but the Trudeau government seems to have remained silent on Lula’s imprisonment and other forms of persecution of the Brazilian left.

With over $10 billion invested in Brazil, corporate Canada appears excited by Bolsonaro. After his election CBC reported, “for Canadian business, a Bolsonaro presidency could open new investment opportunities, especially in the resource sector, finance and infrastructure, as he has pledged to slash environmental regulations in the Amazon rainforest and privatize some government-owned companies.”

Canada’s support for right-wing, pro-US, forces in the region has also favored Bolsonaro. Since at least 2009 the Canadian government has been openly pushing back against the leftward shift in the region and strengthening ties with the most right-wing governments. That year Ottawa actively backed the  Honduran military’s removal of social democratic president Manuel Zelaya. In 2011 Canada helped put far-right Michel Martelly into the president’s office in Haiti and Ottawa passively supported the ‘parliamentary coup’ against Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo  in 2012. In recent years Canada has been central to building regional support for ousting Venezuela’s government. The destabilization efforts greatly benefited from the ouster of Rousseff and imprisonment of Lula. Brazil is now a member of the Canada/Peru instigated “Lima Group” of countries hostile to the Nicolás Maduro government.

Ottawa has long supported the overthrow of elected, left leaning governments in the hemisphere. Ottawa passively supported the military coup against Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz in 1954 and played a slightly more active role in the removal of Dominican Republic president Juan Bosch in 1965 and Chilean president Salvador Allende in 1973. In Brazil Canada passively supported the military coup against President João Goulart in 1964. Prime Minister Lester Pearson failed to publicly condemn Goulart’s ouster and deepened relations with Brazil amidst a significant uptick in human rights violations. “The Canadian reaction to the military coup of 1964 was careful, polite and allied with American rhetoric,” notesBrazil and Canada in the Americas author Rosana Barbosa.

Along with following Washington’s lead, Ottawa’s tacit support for the coup was driven by Canadian corporate interests. Among the biggest firms in Latin America at the time, Toronto-based Brascan (or Brazilian Traction) was commonly known as the “the Canadian octopus” since its tentacles reached into so many areas of Brazil’s economy. Putting a stop to the Goulart government, which made it more difficult for companies to export profits, was good business for a firm that had been operating in the country for half a century. After the 1964 coup the Financial Post noted “the price of Brazilian Traction common shares almost doubled overnight with the change of government from an April 1 low of $1.95 to an April 3 high of $3.06.”

The company was notorious for undermining Brazilian business initiatives, spying on its workers and leftist politicians and assisting the coup. The Dark side of “The light”: Brascan in Brazil notes, “[Brazilian Traction’s vice-president Antonio] Gallotti doesn’t hide his participation in the moves and operations that led to the coup d’état against Goulart in 1964.”

Gallotti, who was a top executive of Brascan’s Brazilian operations for a couple decades, was secretary for international affairs in the Brazilian fascist party, Acao Integralista. Gallotti quit the party in 1938, but began working as a lawyer for Brascan in 1932.

Historically, Canadian companies empowered fascists in Brazil. Today, corporate Canada appears happy to do business with a proto-fascist trampling on Indigenous rights and fuelling climate chaos. Ottawa has also enabled Bolsonaro. At a minimum the Trudeau government should be pressed to follow French President Emmanuel Macron’s call to suspend free-trade negotiations with MERCOSUR until Bolsonaro reverses his wonton destruction of the earth’s ‘lungs’.

Max Blumenthal: US sanctions on Venezuela are ‘sociopathic’

||| The Grayzone |||

*Pushback with Aaron Maté


The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal discusses his heated exchange with a former Obama official and a member of Venezuela’s far-right opposition over the basis for crippling US sanctions on Venezuela. Max also recounts his recent reporting trip to Venezuela, where he witnessed the impact of US economic warfare and the Venezuelan people’s defiant resistance.


Guest: Max Blumenthal, Senior Editor of The Grayzone and author of several books, including his latest, “The Management of Savagery.”


The Amazon or Amazon

The Amazon or Amazon
Sea ice or ICE
This is how we get to sleep
Some nights
Thinking of a bathtub full
of vodka
Thinking of a bathtub full
of jam
Bathtubs filled with scram-
bled eggs
Or ketchup, said the president
Is all kids need to eat
And spread it on his meat
The president — whose mouth
Is but an anus
Whose tongue is but a turd
That tumbles from his lips each day
And each day they’re surprised
By this
It’s absurd
People don’t believe that
All these murderers are murderers
Despite what they read
Every day in the papers
With their bathtubs full of coffee
And their bathtubs full of juice
Their tabletops of buttered toast
Their pamplemousse
And Zeus says:

It’s the Amazon or Amazon

This planet isn’t big enough for both

It’s sea ice or ICE — pars pro toto

How Jair Bolsonaro Emboldened Brazilian Agribusiness to Torch the Amazon & Attack Indigenous People

Democracy Now!

Posted August 23, 2019


World leaders are calling for the protection of the Amazon, which produces about 20% of the oxygen on the planet.

Andrew Miller, advocacy director for the conservation organization Amazon Watch, says the fires are worse now than in previous years as a direct result of far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s policies, which encourage exploitation of the Amazon for mining, logging and agricultural activity. “The people who feel the impacts directly are local indigenous communities,” Miller says.





Los venezolanos compartieron videos cantando el tema musical “Venezuela” en un reto de redes sociales.

El presidente Nicolás Maduro lanzó este viernes un reto musical con la etiqueta #EnVenezuelaChallenge. Este consiste en compartir fragmentos de la canción “Venezuela” en redes sociales, uno de los temas más icónicos del país, después del Himno Nacional (Gloria al Bravo Pueblo).


Comparto una extraordinaria pieza musical que nos inspira y nos llena de profundo amor patrio. Convoco a un reto: que cada uno de nosotros cuelgue en sus RRSS un pedacito de esta bella canción: Venezuela

— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) August 23, 2019

El mandatario inició el reto (challenge) publicando un video en su cuenta en Twitter donde un grupo de músicos interpreta la canción en el Metro de Caracas.

Los venezolanos no tardaron en unirse al reto y empezaron a publicar videos y mensajes entonando y escribiendo estrofas de la canción. La etiqueta #EnVenezuelaChallenge se convirtió en tendencia nacional.



Letra de la canción «Venezuela»

Llevo tu luz y tu aroma en mi piel
y el cuatro en el corazón
llevo en mi sangre la espuma del mar
y tu horizonte en mis ojos.

No envidio el vuelo ni el nido al turpial
soy como el viento en la mies
siento el Caribe como a una mujer
soy así, qué voy a hacer.

Soy desierto, selva, nieve y volcán
y al andar dejo mi estela
el rumor del llano en una canción
que me desvela.

La mujer que quiero tiene que ser
corazón, fuego y espuela
con la piel tostada como una flor
de Venezuela.

Con tu paisaje y mis sueños me iré
por esos mundos de Dios
y tus recuerdos al atardecer
me harán más corto el camino.

Entre tus playas quedó mi niñez
tendida al viento y al sol
y esa nostalgia que sube a mi voz
sin querer se hizo canción.

De los montes quiero la inmensidad
y del río la acuarela
y de ti los hijos que sembrarán
nuevas estrellas.

Y si un día tengo que naufragar
y el tifón rompe mis velas
enterrad mi cuerpo cerca del mar
en Venezuela.