The Land of Carnival, Brazil seems to encourage its bigwigs to look in the mirror and see whoever they wish to be. Lula, for instance, has compared himself not only to former presidents Juscelino Kubitschek, Getúlio Vargas, and Nelson Mandela, but also to Jesus Christ, just to name a few, without ever being deemed insane. Marina Silva, having perfected her role as the “forest-native Mother Teresa of Calcutta” for 30 years, has just attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, committed to saving the planet from environmental nano-missiles. But no one could possibly have imagined that, by the beginning of 2024, the grand factory of megalomaniacs would have produced a “Brazilian Winston Churchill” who answers to the name Alexandre de Moraes.
In the guise of a Supreme Court justice, the reincarnation of the greatest statesman in history still can’t pronounce the name of his spirit guide correctly. What we hear instead is a painful “Shorshew”. On a more serious note, it is to the man who stopped the advance of Nazi Germany in World War II that Moraes heedlessly credits the theory that shatters the hope of pacifying the country. According to the justice, it was “Shorshew” who prevented prime minister Neville Chamberlain from continuing to fight the “crocodile” (presumably Adolf Hitler) by making cowardly attempts at conciliation. “Appeasement does not mean peace,” recited Moraes, the head of the largest, yet most disposable criminal court on the planet.
As Moraes expounded on Operation Lesa Patria (which could translate as Operation “Betrayal of the Motherland”), designed to punish those involved in the “coup attempt” of January 8, 2023, it became clear that, in the justice’s mind, the crocodile in this case is the gang of coup plotters at the service of former president Jair Bolsonaro. In addition, the defenders of the illegally incarcerated crowd would be disciples of Chamberlain, thus making the “superjustice” the “Shorshew” of the new century – so much for attending history lessons, right? What Moraes probably doesn’t know is that the notable British leader resisted the fiercest enemy without causing any harm to the democratic regime. While rescuing the English army cornered in Dunkirk, for example, he uncomplainingly dealt with all no-confidence motions presented by the opposition. The justice, on the other hand, obsessed with imaginary dangers, has buried the Constitution, and has subjected the judicial system to hideous torture sessions.
A skilled negotiator, the original British wit, led a national unity government with extraordinary dexterity. On the other hand, the Brazilian bad-tempered and irascible copycat, hates the company of opponents, persecutes dissenters, and doesn’t know the meaning of compassion. Shortly after the victory over Nazi-fascism, Churchill failed to remain in Parliament and left the government – “Voters think I’m more useful in times of war,” he resigned himself. The king of unpopularity, Moraes needs to be accompanied everywhere by eight security agents, and he wouldn’t win an election even for building manager at the condo where he lives. Nevertheless, since the beginning of the year, he has not missed a single chance to reiterate that, under his command, it is the Supreme Court that governs Brazil – and that no one would dare mess with him.
Besides not having released the recordings of the incident at the Rome Airport, which he tried to spin as a national security attack, he came up with a tale, which he swears it’s true, that the bunch who participated in the January 8 coup attempt were like a carnivalesque branch of the Ku Klux Klan and had been planning to hang him. The preposterous accusation is aggravated by the addition of far-fetched geographical references – while some coup plotters wanted to hang him from a tree by the highway linking the federal capital, Brasília, to Goiânia (capital of the state of Goiás), others preferred the Three Powers Square. The impasse must have been the reason why the execution was cancelled. Moreover, last Wednesday – without having clarified yet another very poorly told story –, Moraes chose to disregard the Constitution, reason, and the principle of harmony among the branches of government. He openly defied the Legislative and, without presenting a shred of evidence, targeted congressman Carlos Jordy and a handful of Brazilians, adding them to the hall of people who he pursues relentlessly as if he were a professional warden.
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Technically, the document issued by Moraes to carry out his decision, even if written in a kindergarten-level Portuguese, does authorize the Supreme Court’s police to move forward with Operation Lesa Patria, now to identify and punish financiers of the “coup attempt” that occurred a year ago. The current targets are “Carlos Jordy and others,” the content evasively states before clearly admitting the rush of another despicable offensive against not only the congressman, who happens to lead the opposition in the Chamber, but also against citizens linked to him by friendship ties. On the same day,
Moraes often boasts of reading very carefully everything he signs. As he subscribes to the document, it is up to him to explain both the parade of non-existent crimes, procedural deformations, blatant arbitrariness, and other legal sins, as well as the brutal treatment of the Portuguese language. Some questions rest unanswered, though: if a coup attempt had indeed taken place on January 8, what would the enemies of democracy have done on the day after? With Jair Bolsonaro in the United States, who would have taken over the Presidency? Would this be the first coup in history carried out by unarmed civilians? Would the cotton candy vendor’s cart have been part of the troop supply scheme? What would general Gonçalves Dias, Lula’s pal, have been doing among the deadly enemies of his own boss?
Instead, the Supreme Court justice dedicated four whole lines to talk about the role of English authorities in World War II: “Brazilian Democracy will no longer tolerate the ignoble policy of appeasement, whose failure was widely demonstrated in the attempt at an agreement by England’s then-Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain with Adolf Hitler.” Well, Moraes might ignore that the dictator of the Soviet Union, Josef Stalin, showed that the extreme left is fond of appeasement solutions. It was the communist dictatorship that drafted the peace treaty with Germany in 1939, which Hitler broke in 1942.
Fortunately, Churchill escaped nominal citations in the justice’s extensive ranting. An unyielding democrat, the admirable public figure would never endorse a document that celebrates the persecution suffered by congressman Carlos Jordy, disrespects the boundaries that delimit the actions of the Three Powers, and reaffirms the growing insolence of a Supreme Court that has morphed into a political party. On top of that, Moraes should learn that Churchill, a brilliant writer and speaker, won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 and, had he been alive today, he would have simply detested seeing his name mentioned in a blathering which can only imply that its author should go back to school as soon as possible.