Brazil’s Government is Falling Apart…and it’s Good News?

Brazil’s Government is Falling Apart…and it’s Good News?


Good morning, John. It’s easy for us
Americans to get caught in our bubble.
Especially when things are as weird as
they are right now. But the rest of the
world continues to go on, and in Brazil,
that means the government kinda totally
falling apart in a way that makes House
of Cards look frankly boring.When I asked
about it on Twitter, brazilians mostly
sent me gifs to explain how they felt.
I also got a message from a diplomat,
in Brazil who told me that Brazilians
have a saying: Brazil is not for beginners.
But maybe by the end of this video you
will no longer be a beginner, so let’s go
there. Brazil is a big country: 200 million
people, as big as the UK, France, and
Germany combined. It’s also big enough to
fit all those countries inside of it
three times at least. It’s extremely
ethnically and economically diverse with
a wide gap between the richest and the
poorest. That economic gap also falls roughly
on racial lines, and also on political
lines with wealthy white people mostly
in big cities being mostly conservative,
and poor people of native or African
descent being more liberal. Brazil has a
diverse economy. They’re the ninth largest
producer of oil, the second largest
producer of beef, the third largest
producer of iron ore, and and they have the
world’s seventh-largest economy. From
1964 to 1985 they were ruled by a
military dictatorship, and in a stunning
turn of events that military
dictatorship had a lot of bribery and
corruption in it. But in an actual not sarcastic
stunning turn of events Brazil managed
to transfer from that military
dictatorship to democracy with
relative ease and like sort of slowly
and without very much violence. So it’s worth remember throughout this entire process that
though Brazil seems very mature
economically and politically, its government
is only thirty years old. It’s new, and
they haven’t been doing it for very long.
It’s pretty remarkable. There was plenty of economic
and political battles in the nineteen
eighties and nineties but thanks to a
lot of hard work, and China’s insatiable
appetite for iron ore and hamburgers,
Brazil managed to get its economy on
track and it’s become one of the great
success stories of the developing world.
Until the last couple of years… so
remember how bribery and corruption were
really rampant in the old military
dictatorship? Well that’s a difficult
thing to take out of the culture of both
companies and the government, and it has
not been removed in brazil. But over the
last thirty years brazil has become more
democratically mature and, somewhat
unusually for Latin America, has a really
strong independent judiciary and a
really strong independent police force.
So the rock of Brazil’s culture of
bribery and corruption
has come up against the hard place of
its strong independent judiciary,
and something had to break, and it has.
But before we get there let’s talk about Lula.
Inacio Lula da Silva was, in the eighties,
a revolutionary socialists who mostly
worked against the military dictatorship
as a union organizer. After the
dictatorship transitioned to democracy, in
a very weird cool long story that I don’t
have time to tell you,
Lula emerged as a strong political figure and
the head of the newly formed Workers
Party. And the Workers Party wasn’t able
to gain much national traction until
Lula became what some Brazilians called
Lula lite; still Lula, still for the
people, still from the poorest part of
the country, still representative of that
soul of Brazil, but also willing to work
inside of the system, also willing to
help out big corporations who are a big
part of Brazil’s economy and how Brazil
works. After running in losing three times,
lula was elected in 2003 and remained
president until 2011 during which time
he presided over some truly remarkable
achievements, including an extremely
successful social program that basically
paid poor families to send their
children to school, a program that’s
credited with helping lift tens of
millions of Brazilians out of poverty.
Lula left office with an unprecedented
eighty percent approval rating. His chief
of staff, an economist who was once a
guerilla fighter against the military
dictatorship and was captured by them and
tortured, amazing life this woman has had
and continues to have, was elected pretty
much as his successor
because he couldn’t run for a third term.
Now, Lula was almost never blame free. In
2005, his government was involved in a
scandal which saw members of congress
being paid $12,000 a month to vote the
way that Lula wanted them to vote, but
Lula was never directly implicated in
the scandal, though several members of his
government resigned. In Brazil it has become
so common for huge scandals to fizzle
out without anybody getting in trouble
that they have a phrase for it. They call
it ending in Pizza. And I’m not saying some
Portuguese word that sounds like pizza.
I’m saying pizza. Well the days of things
ending in pizza appear to be over, for a
bunch of different reasons. First because
of the massive scale of the scandal and
yes we’re finally gonna get there. Petrobras is
Brazil’s only oil company. It’s majority
owned by the government, and entirely
controlled by the government. It’s Brazil’s
largest company, one of the world’s
largest companies, it’s responsible for
ten percent of Brazil’s GDP and a lot of
its government’s revenue.
And it spends, as you might expect, a lot of money
on construction contracts. And it’s maybe
always kind of been the case that high
up Petrobras employees and the
government officials who appointed them,
because remember Petrobras is controlled by the
Brazilian government, would give contracts to
construction companies that overcharged
the government massively, and the CEO of
the construction company would pocket
some of the difference and some of the
difference would come back to the
politicians and the employees who ya know, helped
get them that contract. it’s a very
common corruption thing. We have it here
in the USA we call it graft. it’s
basically just a company bribing a
politician for a lucrative contract. And
as Petrobras grew under Lula, thanks
mostly to the price of oil getting
really high, the amount getting kicked
back grew as well to truly massive
massive proportions. it’s the largest
corruption scandal in the history of any
democracy on earth, billions of dollars.
One guy has offered, because you know
he’s scared, to give all of the money
that he took in bribes back to the
Brazilian government. That amount of
money is a hundred million dollars. one
guy! Many people are going to jail.
This is not ending in pizza. Around a
hundred of Brazil’s current members of
congress, almost a fifth of the entire
body of congress, is under investigation
right now.
No political party is blame free, but
the Workers Party, which was in charge
at the time and also supposed to the party
against this kind of corruption, is
catching most of the flat. But it’s more than
just the scale; it’s also just awful
timing. People are poised to dislike the
government right now because Brazil is
in the middle of a giant recession. The
scandal has resulted in lots of loss to
jobs, the zika virus epidemic is hurting
tourism, Chinese retraction is terrible
for Brazil, massive trickle-down loans to large
corporations didn’t spur economic growth,
and if you’ve been to a gas station
recently you know that oil is not the
profit center it once was. All is difficult for
politicians and citizens. Brazil has had
to implement austerity measures to get
its budget in line with its revenue, but
it’s more than just the scale, and the
awful timing, Brazil also really mostly
doesn’t like the current president. They
just don’t like her. Two-thirds of the
country, according to a recent poll, want
her to be impeached. But it’s more than just
the scale, and the economy, and the
president that nobody likes, it’s also
Judge Moro, a guy who’s taking lessons
from the nineties campaign in Italy to
take down the mafia, a guy who’s willing to
make deals with criminals if it means
uncovering more of the scandal, a guy who
doesn’t mind bending the rules of it
means getting support from the public,
and the guy who doesn’t seem to mind
being deified and exalted by a lot of
the Brazilian public searching for some
non political person to put their faith
in. Brazilians have taken a lot of the
love that they lost for Lula and put it
into Judge Moro. He says he has no
interest in politics but he doesn’t
really seem to be acting that way, and if
Rousseff is impeached, and there are two
current hearings trying to impeach her, a
lot of people would like judge Moro to
run. But it’s more than just the scale, and
the economy, and the president, or the
charismatic judge who takes no prisoners,
are rather takes lots of prisoners, it’s
also the deep kinda ugly partisan divide
in Brazil. No one knows how involved
Rousseff and Lula were in the Petrobras
scandal or if they were involved at all,
but it doesn’t seem like anybody’s waiting
for due process to make their judgments.
In a story that might feel pretty
familiar to people in america, social
media has hyperpolarized Brazil. People in
Brazil spent a lot of time on social
media, and their filter bubbles are just as
strong as ours. People tend to hear and
thus think just the worst things about
their opposition, and everyone’s cynicism
about everyone else, which I admit is
kind of Justified, results in a lack of
skepticism about negative stories of the
opposition. And I’m not saying this is a
unique problem to Brazil. But like when judge
Moro released a recorded telephone
conversation in which Rousseff appeared to be
telling lula how she would protect him
from prosecution, a lot of people thought
how could anyone still be supporting
these people they are so obviously
corrupt, but a lot of other people
thought why is it judge taking this
seemingly political action in making
this recording public a mere three hours
after it was recorded without due process?
Lula and Rousseff say it is just a hundred percent
partisan attacks trying to take them
down and have the opposition parties
gain political power. The oposition says that it’s a
hundred percent just them trying to get
to the bottom of the scandal. Even a
cursory inspection though shows that it
is definitely both of those things. In
response to her plummeting approval
ratings and multiple impeachment hearings
and also possibly to protect him from
prosecution, Rousseff has brought lula on as
her chief of staff. And if that seems fishy,
it’s because it is. But also the more
conservative parties, some of them fed by
classism and racism, are definitely using
this as a political opportunity to gain
power. Meanwhile, on the left a lot of people are
saying the Workers Party is way too
centrist,
and obviously corrupt, and are running
away from them toward the left and
that’s just creating a deeper partisan
divide inside the country. But every major
party is involved. Five of the people on
Rousseff’s impeachment committee are
under investigation themselves! Many of
the most respected leaders in the
country are not gonna make it out of
this unescathed, which means it’s going to
be hard for Brazil to lead its way out
of this problem. But it isn’t just the bribery
that’s the problem.
Paulo Maluf, who literally can’t
leave Brazil because he’s wanted by
Interpol, ran for re-election and won
with a campaign slogan: I steal, but I
deliver. Lula on the other hand has had his
own quote from 1988 thrown back at him
on every social media platform on the
internet: “In Brazil, when a poor man steals
he goes to jail. When a rich man steals,
he becomes a minister.” Many Brazilians
now see this as Lula predicting his own
future. Now this is all bad in the near
term for Brazil, but I think it’s good
for Brazil in the long term because it
shows that being a crooked politician is
not worth it.
as for what happens tomorrow and the next day
nobody knows. It’s a bad situation, and
Brazilians on the whole are very cynical
about the government, but they’re also
very pragmatic. While passions can
certainly run high in individuals,
there’s an overall culture of peaceful
evolution rather than violent revolution,
and very few people seem at all
interested in giving that up which is
great news.
John, I’ll see you on Tuesday.
Thank you to diplomat Rafael Prince, and
journalist and author Alex Cuadros for
all of your help. Alex’s book Brazllionaires will be out in July. And thank you as
was well to all of the members of the
Brazilian Nerdfighter Facebook group
thanks for helping me out and keeping me straight.

Posts created 5254

100 thoughts on “Brazil’s Government is Falling Apart…and it’s Good News?

  1. Half of this video is false. Other 25% is simply suspect and the rest is fair.

    In other words, this video is a peace of shit.

  2. Disgusting liberal media !
    So many LIES about President Bolsonaro!
    Bolsonaro is the Best thing that have happened to Brazil!

  3. So!
    It’s been 2 years.

    Dilma has been impeached.

    Lula was put away without due process.

    Moro is poised to become a minister, so he can't continue to prosecute the people he promised to put away (except of course for Lula) and the future of the investigation is dim.

    We elected a violent president who makes Trump seem moderate.

    … Good thing we all still like pizza.

  4. Dear Hank…seems you're still a beginner in the subject: Brazil. Only those who have lived, studied and worked here, those who have studied our glorious history outside of the crappy books the Government provides to its shools can comment on this issue.

  5. Two years have gone by and it is safe to say that this is the wrongest video in youtube (yes, you guys beat the flat earthers, albeit you got it wrong in a far more complex and intricate buisness than the shape of the earth). Wouldn't it be time for an update vlogbrothers?

  6. So they're what America would be, if America was literally a giant Florida and primarily spoke Portuguese.

    Pfft. Not for beginners my ass.

  7. @ 1:04 The four men in uniform, from left to right are:
    1. Gustavo Leigh Guzmán — Commander in Chief of the Chilean Air Force.
    2. Augusto Pinochet — Commander in Chief of the Army, and mastermind of the military coup of Sep. 11, 1973 that resulted in the death of Chilean president elect Salvador Allende, and the establishment of a ruthless military dictatorship (1973-1990).
    3. José Toribio Merino Castro — Supreme Commander of the Chilean Navy.
    4. César Mendoza Durán — General Director of the “carabineros”, or Chilean National Police.

    Not Brazilian dictatorship but Chilean dictatorship 😉

  8. Brazil had a lot of violence against freedom and specially in the Dictatorship. Today, the new president has stated his pro-dictatorship intentions and does not respect nor support the diversity and minority groups. He believes that the difference of treatment between privileged groups and persecuted ones is only the last government's faut and not a social oppression of any kind. He promissed to stop this situation by taking away the protections and laws made to assist those groups, casually accused of victimism by the president himself.

  9. So …the government so long served Corpate interests foremost that it despaired humanic grace of livelihoods, and got the desperate people so in need of leadership then ran strait into the arms….of tragedy. The person in charge now is Balsonaro and he is selling off their Amazon. He has the distemperment to be one of the worst dictators in all the world. I feel broken hearten for Brazil, for the people, for those who are just the people who love their country Brazil.

  10. Ur ignorant of Brazilian history and also this is an outdated video.. Btw their millitary didn't kill innocents..instead it wiped of the commies wanting a north Korea type permanent stay in power..their comrades in Cuba and drug cartels helped them immensely.. Lula is a piece of shit ..nothing he did was for his country. But for his party workers only .

  11. http://www.brasilwire.com/ai-5-and-the-forbidden-future-of-brasil/?fbclid=IwAR3mtD4msDKGe5_QFvNRuiWlv6J7cukYDtI_v2PiqwmRZkg4jLZffSPazzg

  12. Wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong. Lula against dictators?Lula want to create a socialist government, like extinct Urss but the people finally wakeup. Capicce?

  13. Eu sou brasileiro e quero deixar claro que a maioria dos brasileiros e exclusive eu acreditamos e temos convicção de que o LULA é um socialista corrupto e vagabundo que trouxe a crise econômica para nosso país tanto que ele atualmente estâ preso por um grande esquema de corrupção que envolvia muito desvio de dinheiro, as mídias do brasil são esquerdistas e querem enganar o povo brasileiro, ainda bem que não somos todos nós que acreditamos nessas mentiras.

  14. Hank you are on the wrong side of history,you just helped a fascist coup by listening to a bunch of online endocrinated Brazilian friends of yours.

    Perhaps you only wanted to look cool by backing up a youth movement, but this youth movement have the evil Steve Banner behind it and billions of dollars of online salary

  15. A mafia foi desmantela são bilhões desviados dos cofres públicos esse dinheiro precisa ser recuperado e distribuido aos cidadãos brasileiros colocando esse dinheiro pra circulação reforçando a economia do país Parabéns congratulations raciocínio lógico

  16. Why doesn't he recognize that millions of Marxists have been murdered and tortured all over South America and the Philippines? Bring up Alfredo Stroessner and Ferdinand Marcos. Upvote the truth.

  17. You're absolutely correct about Moro, who now is so interested in politics he accepted a job from Bolsonaro!

  18. LOOKS LIKE BRAZIL HAS MUCH THE SAME PROBLEMS A THE U,S,A,/TO MANY CROOKS IN HIGH PLACES IN GOVERNMENT /AND IT IS GROWING HERE AT HOME /

  19. This guerrila women is an terrorist, she robbed guns from the army and is the dumbest person i have ever seen, one time she said that we need to STOCK AIR.

  20. So many Brazilians are lost in their ignorance, believing there were no dictatorship, among other things… It’s really sad. Makes me hopeless. And now here we are, in absolute s&*t.

  21. A ditadura militar do Brasil só impediu o avanço Soviético.
    Quando Moscou caiu, a "ditadura" saiu do poder sem matar ninguém nas diretas já.

  22. você fala merda demais pqp, cala sua boca e fala do seu país. quer pedir opinião no twitter??? doente mental

  23. Meu Pardito E O Brasil
    Bolsonaro = MBGA
    Stupid Americans who Never lived here talk poop💩 on my Country! 😂
    You know Nothing! Lenda Lenda 🤜🤛

  24. Look! is the guy from crash curses Chemistry ,Brazil has been learning about corruption, I hope we can progress forward on understanding the political world , we got too comfortable on letting the government "taking care of things" thanks for your videos , I learn a lot with it.

  25. there is a difference when the goal of the corruption is with the objective of trying to provide social welfare for the poor

  26. Works party is the pure corruption in Brazil.

    For Americans understand it, keep in mind:

    – Lula = Maduro = Cristina Kirchner.
    – Bolsonaro = no one corruption case in 28 years of career.

  27. @Vlogbrothers Hank, you should revisit this and explain to all of us un-knowing americans where Brazil is at as of 2019!

  28. Capitão Nascimento da Tropa de Elite contra o sistema corrupto e corruptores o sistema é foda tem começar a derrubar de cima para baixo bolsonaro é o Capitão Nascimento lutando contra o sistema

  29. We understand president Lula is not corrupted but if his some of his Government person is corrupted they should & must be brought to justice.Like India some of the opposition party took huge amount of money & looted the Government join BJP. they are is no charge against them they are patriotic to those parties like BJP..This is democracy ?.

  30. world news used to be interesting and thought provoking like this, now mainstream media highlights nothing matters of people being crude in domestic U.S. based political spheres keeping the rest of global politics a mystery leaving the common American unaware of anything beyond what a child could assume from stereotypes. What happened, Im grateful when material like this explaining a deeper narrative that admits things are confusing come to light, but only on the internet without corporate sponsor network bias.

  31. Hello Hank from the future. Now you know that Hank from the past was still a beginner about Brazil. Will try understand again? Atention, didn't even Glen Greenwald (who leaves in Rio about 10 years now) was fast enough to follow our swing. Brazil is not for "amateurs".

  32. Bolsonaro está acabando com tudo,ontem mesmo o Brasil atendendo a uma sanção do Trump se negou a abastecer os navios iranianos,a Amazônia está sofrendo um impacto irreversível por causa desse governo que apoia os ruralistas,latifundiários e donos de madeireiras criminosas,o povo brasileiro precisa parar esse maluco.

  33. military dictatorship here in brazil was violent and brutal they kidnap people and torture anyone who was agaist them

  34. That's nice watching a video about political Brazilian history coming from a foreigner. However, when you said that there were bribaries and corruption during the military regime, there's a mistake in that information: first of all, the military presidents died poor. Second, it wasn't a dictatorship. Brazil was about to become a communist country, so the tradicional Brazilian families asked the military to prevent that from happening.

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