U.S. Legislators Question Integrity of Brazil's Impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff

Posted Aug. 3, 2016

MP3 Interview with Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, conducted by Scott Harris


As Brazil prepares for the opening of the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, U.S. corporate media has focused much of its attention on the threat posed by the mosquito-transmitted Zika virus – and the health hazards athletes will be exposed to from untreated sewage flowing into waterways where sailing and swimming competitions will be held. But most Brazilians are focused on their nation’s political crisis, where president Dilma Rousseff, who was suspended from office in May, will soon be put on trial in the Senate on charges of breaking budgetary rules. If convicted, she will be removed from office.

While there’s very been little attention paid to Brazil’s impeachment process in the U.S., 40 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives published an open letter directed to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on July 25, expressing “deep concern” about threats to democracy in Brazil. The letter, which was written with support from the AFL-CIO, stated that “the impeachment process has come under fire for procedural irregularities, corruption and political motivations.” The letter went on to urge the Obama administration to express concern about the threat to democratic institutions unfolding in Brazil, one of Washington’s most important political and economic allies in Latin America.

Underscoring the growing skepticism surrounding the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, a Brazilian federal prosecutor recently asserted that the charges of budget accounting maneuvers that triggered the impeachment process, are not a crime or an impeachable offense. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, who examines the mounting criticism of Brazil’s impeachment of President Rousseff.

Find more analysis of Brazil's political crisis by visiting the Center for Economic and Policy Research at cepr.net and at Mark Weisbrot's blog, "World in Transition".

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