Impeachment in Brazil: No Cause for Joy - and No Cause for Grief

The "updated" Brazil will not make any sudden moves and walk away from any international associations. Brazil will remain in the BRICS group, but the activity will be more muted.

The Brazilian Senate adopted the final resignation of Dilma Rousseff. 61 senators voted for her impeachment – 20 were against. According to the Brazilian Constitution, from August 31, 2016, former Vice President Michel Temer became the head of state. He will remain in power until the end of 2018, i.e. for the period of Rousseff's unfinished office. As Temer said, he became president only because of the circumstances, and has no plans to run in 2018. However, according to Lyudmila Okuneva, Director of the Centre for BRICS Studies, MGIMO University, the situation may change dramatically in two years.

What awaits Brazil in 2018? "It is not the time to talk about it now. We are watching a regrouping of forces. It is a great shock for everybody" - Okuneva said in a telephone interview with "Michel Temer is not so popular, he is not a charismatic leader, and probably would not win the elections, if they take place. But who knows what will happen in two years? Everything is changing very quickly. Maybe he will change his mind and will participate in the elections. "

"The internal situation in Brazil is changing constantly. The current opposition leader Aécio Neves (Social Democratic Party - ed.) will nominate his candidacy for the presidency. There is no doubt about it. But about the rest I would not like to speak now, "- Okuneva said.

After Rousseff impeachment her supporters rioted in São Paulo. The police had to use tear gas to appease the protesters. But, according to Okuneva, the ex-president will not start a guerrilla war. "She will obey the decision that was taken. She is a person of absolutely democratic convictions, - the expert stressed. - Of course, the new government will have its own opposition. But it is another question. It is legal, because there is always opposition in a democratic country. "

At the same time, according to Okuneva, it is incorrect to compare events in Brazil with so-called Orange revolutions. "The situation in Brazil is a consequence of the weave of internal crises, - the expert said. – How can we talk about an "orange revolution" in the country where for decades the problems in the sphere of political management, state system functioning, party, political, and economic systems remained unsolved? ".

In light of serious internal problems the foreign policy agenda becomes less important for the Brazilian authorities for some time. Although, of course, the recent impeachment had its impact on foreign policy. Thus, after the resignation of Rousseff the Venezuelan authorities decided to freeze diplomatic relations with Brazil, and Bolivia has withdrawn its ambassador to Brazil and called the Rousseff impeachment a coup.

According to Okuneva, similar reaction can be expected from some other ALBA countries (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America). There is a possibility that Ecuador and Nicaragua will follow the similar way. "In particular, the President of Ecuador actively supported Dilma Rousseff and generally negatively reacted to the current situation in Brazil, but in any case he was very careful in his assessments, - Okuneva reminded. - The Organization of American States may also express a negative attitude, as it happened before. Other countries are unlikely to take such drastic steps. "

However, such "diplomatic sanctions" will not create any real economic problems for Brazil. Yes, the Brazilian economy is in big decline, but "it is going through a crisis that does not depend on external factors." "Brazil is a self-sufficient country - Okuneva said. - In any case, it does not depend from Venezuela economically. Brazil has its own tangle of enormous economic problems. And they need to be resolved. "

The only thing that can touch the interests of Brazil and Venezuela is MERCOSUR. "Venezuela is member of MERCOSUR, and Brazil is the locomotive of the Union. Some new confrontation between the Brazilian authorities and Venezuela in the MERCOSUR area is not ruled out, as currently the governments of these two countries have little or no common ground, "- the expert said.

For its part, the "updated" Brazil will not make any sudden moves and walk away from any international associations. According to Okuneva, Brazil will remain in the BRICS group. "But the activity will be more muted, some plans may be reviewed, because now the country simply does not have funds to finance large-scale projects", - the expert explained.

In his first speech to Congress, President Michel Temer said that he will go to the G20 summit in China. "I'm going to talk about the Brazilian renovation and start to attract investments into the country", - Temer said. At the G20 summit a traditional BRICS group meeting will be held with first encounter with new Brazilian leader.

Dilma Rousseff has completed her farewell speech with excerpt from a poem by the Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky: "There’s no cause for joy - and no cause for grief,/ For the waters of history are roiling."

Well, "And so what?" (this is the name of the poem). Let's see what will happen next.
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