Executive Intelligence Review


Presidential Election Sets Brazil Up for Dangerous Polarization

Oct. 8, 2018 (EIRNS)—Since none of the 13 candidates won at least 50% of the vote in Sunday’s first round of Brazilian presidential elections, a second round will be held on Oct. 28 between the two frontrunners, retired Army Capt. Jair Bolsonaro and the Workers’ Party (PT) candidate, Fernando Haddad. Haddad won 29.3% of the vote, and will gain the support in the second round of some of the defeated centrist candidates, but whoever wins, the conditions for driving Brazil—South America’s largest nation—into political breakdown and outright confrontation are building.

This outcome of the first round became possible when the leading candidate in the polls, former President and PT leader Lula da Silva, was convicted and jailed earlier this year on fraudulent corruption charges cooked up by the U.S. Department of Justice-run “Lava Jato” operation.

In that heated environment, Bolsonaro took 46% of the vote by campaigning as the “tough guy” anti-communist “outsider” who will clean up crime and corruption, which he equates with the working-class- and poor-based PT party. His profile is that of a British asset provocateur. His reputation as an international figure was created by the New York Times, which regularly quoted him in their coverage of Brazil for decades, when in Brazil he was viewed as the resident loudmouth nutcase of the Congress.

His core base in the country are the militant shock troops trained and financed by London’s radical free marketeers (the Atlas Foundation) who led the demonstrations demanding that President Dilma Rousseff be impeached. Bolsonaro dedicated his vote in favor of her impeachment “to the memory of Col. Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra”—the military officer who tortured Rousseff under the military dictatorship in the 1970s. His running mate is ultraconservative retired Gen. Hamilton Mourao, and his leading economic advisor is University of Chicago-trained hedge-fund owner, Paulo Guedes.