What stands out the most about the Lula government, until now, is not necessarily its terminal incompetence. No surprises there when you consider that it has always been clear to any sensible Brazilian that he would lead the worst government in Brazil’s history — worse than his own previous eight-year term, and perhaps even worse than the government of his protégé Dilma Rousseff. He is not in the Presidency of the Republic, obviously, because the majority of voters discovered his hidden virtues, nor because they were enchanted by the excellence of his government projects, but because he was placed there by the Superior Electoral Court (TSE)— in the most obscure elections Brazil has had since the days of the “quill pen,” when the only thing that truly mattered was who counted the votes. What was not properly measured in hiring this calamity was Lula’s and almost everyone around him’s eagerness to destroy Brazil as it is today. They are convinced that having arrived there the way they did, they have every possibility of never leaving — and to never leave, they will have to change the regime. They want to end the current one, with its basic rules of democracy, capitalist economic system, and a bunch of other hindrances. In its place, they want to impose something they don’t quite know what it is yet, but it closely resembles what they are doing every day — and with Lula in the position of a lifelong president.
The left, intellectuals, and the “thinking” Brazil find it absurd when they hear this — they say it’s an exaggeration, “bolsonarismo,” a right-wing thing. But it’s no longer about Bolsonaro, and it hasn’t been for a while. It’s about the creation of a dictatorship in Brazil, and the concrete examples are there every day, in front of the whole world. The latest, and one of the most violent so far, was the impeachment of Deputy Deltan Dallagnol, a key prosecutor in Operation Car Wash, by Lula’s and the PT’s electoral police. It is the most recent evidence that elections are no longer a problem for the dictatorship project; as long as the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) exists, the “Electoral Justice” will serve as a customer service for the left-wing extremists who control the government. Did the opposition elect someone who bothers them to Congress? So what? The TSE impeaches their mandate. It is the crowbar most commonly used by tyrannies — the nullification of the people’s will, expressed in elections. For them, there is no possibility of losing; there is no hypothesis of accepting that citizens have the right to freely choose through their votes. Dallagnol’s impeachment is exactly that.
The deputy did not have a trial, and his case did not have a judge. The session at the TSE that impeached his mandate lasted one minute — an intentional and vulgar mockery, to show that the dictatorship being constructed in Brazil not only nullifies any election it wants but also takes pleasure in humiliating those who are brought before its firing squads. What kind of trial is that — a one-minute judgment? It is justice à la Idi Amin. The judge was not a judge either. The author of the impeachment is the same person who received pats on the face from Lula during the celebrations organized in Brasília to hail the TSE’s results for the 2022 presidential elections. He is also the same person who said to Minister Alexandre de Moraes, at Lula’s inauguration as president, “Mission given, mission accomplished.” The rest of the story is even worse. In a country where the President of the Republic has the dirtiest record of all who have held the office — no one, like him, has been convicted of corruption and money laundering — Dallagnol was impeached based on the “Clean Record Law.” Can you believe it? Furthermore, the deputy was not convicted of any crime. His record is clean — cleaner than the records of at least one-third of the congressmen and senators who are currently in the National Congress and are facing legal proceedings.
It’s all a primitive deceit. The request for impeachment did not come from the Public Prosecutor’s Office or anything like that — it came from the PT, on Lula’s orders, who publicly promised to “take revenge” on Judge Sergio Moro and “all those people,” which obviously includes Dallagnol. The excuse for impeachment was a false allegation — that the deputy had resigned from his position as prosecutor to avoid facing an “administrative disciplinary proceeding” in the Public Prosecutor’s Office, a conduct prohibited by electoral law. That never happened. Dallagnol was not facing any “proceedings” when he registered his candidacy. But the TSE believed it was “inevitable” that he would face proceedings in the future, and that he acted “deceptively” when he resigned from his position. In other words, he was convicted before committing the offense and before being judged by the courts, which goes against all previous decisions made by the TSE itself. It’s so insane that the Paraná Regional Electoral Court (TRE), to which the case was initially referred, unanimously ruled that the candidacy was 100 percent legal. But the Lula-PT system doesn’t control the state-level TREs; they took their demand to the TSE, where the minister of the “mission accomplished” settled everything — in one minute.
It is a gross scandal. The most voted federal deputy from Paraná was impeached based on a signature on a piece of paper, in compliance with a government demand — an insult not only to the voters of Paraná but to every Brazilian voter who has the constitutional right to vote for candidates of their choice. He was not punished for something he had done, but for irregularities that would likely “happen” in the future — yet another creation of the ongoing process of dismantling democracy in Brazil, like the “perpetual flagrancy,” judgments of “batches” of defendants, or the million-real fines per hour imposed on those who displease the Lula government and its partners in the high judiciary.
This is precisely how they want to kill the rule of law and institutions — with scandals that, instead of being fought against, are subject to discussions about “political engineering,” accepted as part of the “legality” imposed by the Supreme Courts and Electoral Courts, and treated as “defense of democracy” by the majority of the media and the “civilized” Brazil.
The construction of dictatorship in Brazil is happening step by step through decisions like the impeachment of Deputy Dallagnol. It is a regime they want to build through decrees, ordinances, and rulings from the Supreme Court, Electoral Court, and similar government agencies. Democracy, as conceived by the current government, will be dismantled by destroying the basic principles of the economy, sabotaging the production system, and nullifying the power of Congress. This can be seen through the suppression of laws that have already been legitimately passed, such as the State-Owned Enterprises Law, education reform, or the planned return of the union tax — or through the imposition of laws that Congress does not want to approve, such as social media censorship. It is evident through the political imprisonments and illegal investigations conducted by the Supreme Court against government opponents — so far, in four years of action and thousands of persecuted Brazilians, not a single leftist activist has been bothered by these investigations. It is evident through the systematic violation of the law by the highest judiciary and the downgrading of the Public Prosecutor’s Office to a service that follows the government’s orders.
The impeachment of Deputy Dallagnol is another nail in the coffin. For those who have doubts about the daylight burial of democracy that is taking place, it is instructive to hear the Minister of Justice, in a meeting with leaders of social media platforms about a month ago, saying that “the time of freedom of expression as an absolute value, which was a fraud, is over, it’s over, it has been buried.” It could have been a lecture by the head of the KGB. Speaking about the “Federal Police that I command,” he threatened the social media platforms, said they will “bear the consequences” for unspecified crimes, and informed them that their internal statutes “do not interest him” and are worthless. The minister stated that the objective of censoring social media is to end the “massacre of children in our schools” — this when the law he wants to forcibly pass in the Chamber of Deputies mentions punishing “disinformation,” “fake news,” “misleading” or “distorted or out of context” conclusions, in other words, a mishmash that directly affects the freedom of thought and expression. Shortly afterward, Justice Alexandre de Moraes banned the Telegram app from publishing its opinion on the censorship bill being debated in the Chamber of Deputies — and forced it to publish a text from the Supreme Court saying the opposite of what the prohibited post said. What on earth does this have to do with the massacre of children?
The PT and the Brazilian left are convinced, and openly declare, that accepting to leave government in 2016, after having entered the Palácio do Planalto for the first time, was the biggest mistake in their entire history. They should never have agreed to it and are not willing to do so now, especially when they have the Supreme Court, the Armed Forces, and the leadership of Congress at their service. It is their sole visible objective. Anyone who thinks otherwise can respond to a simple test. Forget about Lula, his worldwide tourism program with his wife, and his conviction that if the president can stay in power for life in Venezuela, why not here? There is a multitude more that wants to stay in power forever. Does anyone believe, for example, that the Minister of Justice and the communist supporters who are part of his court are willing to meekly accept defeat in fair elections and return to the scarcity of life in the opposition? To believe in fair play, one would have to believe that they could say something like this: “Well, what a pity, we lost the election… Too bad, isn’t it? We’ll have to start all over again.” Will the leaders of the MST (Landless Workers’ Movement) accept without complaint the return of the positions they gained in the Incra, or the absence of six ministers of State at their “fairs”? And what about their trips abroad? What about the rest of the herd who are earning over R$ 70,000 per month in state-owned companies’ boards and enjoying the other wonders of the state machinery?
These people are willing to stay there for all eternity, as is the case in the regimes they look up to as models, and they have the material means to do so — they just need to keep doing what they are doing. Brazil is facing a desert ahead. At the moment, there are no oases in sight.