On May 30 Donald Trump announced that from June 10 he would impose a 5% tariff on all goods imported from Mexico until Mexico stopped undocumented migrants that has entered its national territory through its southern border attempting to enter his country. This latest trade war episode was apparently stimulated by the detention the previous … Continue reading The Mad King and the Decline of American Empire
The news that the ultra-right candidate in Brazil's elections, Jair Bolsonaro, secured 46% of the vote last Sunday has produced headlines around the world. Although "the markets" responded favourably to the result, liberal newspapers worried about whether an eventual Bolsonaro victory in the second round of the presidential elections, which takes place on October 28, … Continue reading The Brazilian coup’s harvest of fear and hate
Yesterday, January 24, the higher federal tribunal based in Porto Alegre rejected former president Lula's appeal against his conviction on corruption charges by the lower court of Judge Sergio Moro in Curitiba, the court that is responsible for the Lava Jato anti-corruption investigations. The three judges who composed the Porto Alegre second instance tribunal were … Continue reading The judgement of Lula: where next?
It is not exactly easy to be optimistic about what 2018 has in store for either Latin America or Europe. In a sense, my country of citizenship, the United Kingdom, now seems to offer one of the more promising political scenarios around. There is civil war within the country's elite, Theresa May's Conservative government gets … Continue reading 2018: a year for political hope?
Both British and Brazilian democratic politics as usual are now in crisis. It may seem eccentric to make any kind of comparison between countries on different sides of the Atlantic in different hemispheres that have different histories and political systems. Yet it is worth beginning by reflecting on some issues that transcend these differences before … Continue reading Crisis with elections, crisis without elections: Brazil versus the UK in June 2017
In his very carefully argued speech today on the relationship between contemporary terrorism and foreign policy, Jeremy Corbyn observed that: "Many experts, including professionals in our intelligence and security services, have pointed to the connections between wars our government has supported or fought in other countries and terrorism here at home." Conservative and Liberal Democrat … Continue reading It’s Corbyn’s critics who need the history lesson
As I remarked in this blog at the beginning of the sequence of events that led to the ouster of President Dilma Rousseff, the supporters of the 2016 coup would be advised to think carefully about what they wished for. As the country sinks deeper into a crisis that now touches all its institutions, this … Continue reading Brazil’s new crisis
This week the Brazilian congress is debating the final report of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPI) set up to "investigate" the federal agencies responsible for assessing the land rights of indigenous, afro-descendent and other groups that have claims to "traditional" occupation of territories under Brazil's 1988 Constitution, the National Indigenous Foundation (FUNAI) and National … Continue reading The Violence(s) of Ethnocide in Post-Coup Brazil
Last Tuesday, Minister Edson Fachin, the Supreme Court judge responsible for the Lava Jato (Operation Car Wash) investigations in Brazil, responded to the request from the Attorney General, Rodrigo Janot, to approve investigations by the Supreme Court into serving politicians implicated by the plea bargain testimony of the CEO and other executives of the Odebrecht … Continue reading Fachin’s List: the end of political bias in the Brazilian coup?