MAJOR ALERT: Brazil President Dilma Rousseff suspended
First female Brazilian President stands trial, will not open Olympics in August
When I first heard the news on Thursday afternoon while watching coverage from the SALT Business Conference in Las Vegas, veteran popular Fox Business anchor/reporter Liz Claman had this to say about Brazil’s worsening economic situation:
“It definitely dovetails to corruption.”
After a lengthy night of speeches, the Brazilian Senate voted convincingly by a 55-22 margin (41 was the minimum number of votes needed for a simple majority) to put the 68 year old Rousseff on trial for possible impeachment from office. The trial could last as long as six months.
According to both NBC News and the NBC Olympics site, they both mentioned the fact that Dilma herself may have violated several fiscal rules in handling the country’s federal budget. Brazil has not had a really horrible economy since the United States plunged into the Great Depression back in the 1930’s.
75 year old Vice President Michel Temer, who also is under investigation for alleged corruption will take over during the trial and will declare the Olympics open on Friday night, August 5.
Never before has any Olympics, Winter or Summer have we had major concerns for people’s general health (the proliferation of the Zika virus), safety (the murky waters affecting the rowing and sailing venues, plus the swimming leg of the triathlon), and what loyal friend of this blog in Fabiana Passoni and other MPB artists and their friends and families have known for far too long–Brazil is in big-time shambles, and very little is being done to curb the situation with their economy mired in a deep recession.
The state oil company, Petrobas is also under investigation. However, after Rousseff spent some time there as a chairwoman before taking up politics denies any wrongdoing took place.
For those not in the know and I know many of you loyal blog readers are…
Basically, Dilma Rousseff will be standing charges on how she constantly manipulated government accounts to disguise the size of Brazil’s fiscal deficit. This tactic helped boost her aim to help with most public spending projects during her 2014 re-election campaign, a practice that also helped many previous presidents in the last several decades.
IMHO, that spells one word and one word only: T-R-O-U-B-L-E.
Most people in Brazil want to start fresh and see that Rousseff gets impeached.
But unlike what Americans had to suffer through when the Watergate hearings ate up around two years of soap opera watching during 1972 to 1974 in the height of Richard Nixon’s second term in office, Brazil’s procedures on impeachment are dramatically different.
One person who does not believe in true doom and gloom is IOC President Thomas Bach. His comments from Lausanne, Switzerland sound eerily familiar to what longtime former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch used to say at times during the buildup to Athens in 2004:
“Preparations for the Olympic Games have now entered into a very operational phase and issues such as these have much less influence than at other stages of organizing the Olympic Games…
There is strong support for the Olympic Games in Brazil and we look forward to working with the new government to deliver successful games in Rio this summer. We have seen the great progress being made in Rio de Janeiro and we remain confident about the success of the Olympic Games in August.
The Brazilian people will deliver a memorable Olympic Games full of passion for sport for which they are world renowned. It will be a moment for Brazil to show to the world its determination to overcome the present crisis.”
Stay tuned to your favorite news sources, both on television and online for the latest information to come out of Brasilia as the countdown to Rio reaches 84 days and counting. In summary, the news from early Thursday morning may be one that Brazil as a nation will not have ample time to properly heal and fix up the final venues that Rio needs fixed before the cauldron is lit inside the legendary Maracana Stadium.