PEPE ESCOBAR: On the Road to Interview Lula, Into a Brazilian Black Hole

From Cambodia to Brazil and Argentina and back to Bangkok gave Pepe Escobar insights into the disastrous course his native land is taking. 

By Pepe Escobar
in Bangkok 
Special to Consortium News

We were just beginning to hit cruising speed in our wide-ranging, 2 hour and 10 minute world exclusive interview with former President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva in his prison at the Federal Police building in Curitiba, in southern Brazil.

And then it hit us hard when he told us: “The US was very much afraid when I discussed a new currency and Obama called me, telling me, ‘Are you trying to create a new currency, a new euro?’ I said, ‘No, I’m just trying to get rid of the U.S. dollar. I’m just trying not to be dependent.’”

It was the foundation stone of what would build into a complex, rolling Hybrid War coup, from NSA spying on the Brazilian government and leading national companies, to the Car Wash corruption investigation (now demolished as a monster racket) to the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, the imprisonment of Lula, and the emergence of the Purveyor of Chaos, Jair Bolsonaro.

My journey started in Cambodia. I had spent hours wandering around Beng Mealea, the jungle squeezing the stony repose of the Angkorian ruins, meditating on the rise and fall of empires. The message popped up on my phone in the dead of night: the request for an interview with Lula, placed five months ago, had been approved. How soon could I get to Sao Paulo?

Angkor Wat, Cambodia (Wikimedia Commons)

From Southeast Asia to South America, via Qatar, to Sao Paulo late the following afternoon. As we landed in the city the sky was literally black. Later I found out why: the mini-Apocalypse Now was a direct consequence of the wild fires in the lower Amazon.

Surveying the World From a Tiny Cell

The next day the three of us (two other journalists) flew to operation Car Wash’s HQ, mockingly referred to by Brazilians as the Curitiba Republic. Our first Uber driver in Curitiba, a city of 1.8 million people, was a Muay Thai specialist cum underground homicide detective. Yes, he had killed people on the job.

Early in the evening, the day before the interview was scheduled, the Brazilian Feds suddenly started deploying stalling tactics. One of Lula’s lawyers, Manuel Caetano, engineered a silky counterpunch, with a twist: the interviews’ approval could go back to the Supreme Court again, and they would reconfirm the green light. The Feds relented.

That evening, we visited the Free Lula Vigil outside the Federal Police building. It has been going on uninterrupted for over 500 days, since April 7, 2018, the day Lula arrived in the prison. The vigil, impeccably managed, has everything from a library to a soup kitchen to an education center. Everyday, hundreds, sometimes thousands of militants and wanderers from all over the nation gather to sing “Good Morning, President Lula”, “Good Afternoon, President Lula”, and “Good Evening, President Lula”. And he listens through the tiny window in his cell that is barely open.

The extra day in this improbable, austere place impersonating an American Midwest city, proud of its green credentials and peopled with Polish and Ukrainian offspring, allowed us to devise a careful division of labor. We were representing the website/You Tube, channel Brasil 247, and in my case Asia Times and Consortium News. Mauro Lopes of Brasil 247 would concentrate on Lula, the man, and how the prison experience had changed him. Paulo Moreira Leite would focus on Brazilian politics. And I would hit on geopolitics and international relations.

The author greets Lula in prison. (Felipe L. Gonçalves/Brasil247)

Lula’s interviews take place in a meeting room inside the Federal Police building. He is imprisoned in a 3 x 3 meter room, with that tiny window he cannot open, a bunk bed, sink, small table and a few books and mementos. The door stays open during the day but with two policemen always posted outside. He has no access to the internet or cable TV. Everyday, Marcola, a sweet young man and dutiful aide, brings a pen drive crammed with political news and departs with Lula’s handwritten messages for scores of people all over the nation.

Caetano, the lawyer, already informed us the man was in high spirits and ready to talk. This was confirmed by master photojournalist Ricardo Stuckert, who’s documented Lula all over the world since the early 2000s and briefed us on technical issues. The three of us had fine-tuned a list of interlocking questions. After less than an hour, we exchanged glances: let him roll. And roll he did.

Plotting With the Generals

Here was a man who had used his season in captivity – like monks in Himalayan meditation caves – to retrace the arc of his extraordinary life journey, plunge deep into himself, and now reclaim his status as one of the (very few) top statesmen of the 21stcentury. The contrast with the incendiary nullity in Brasilia couldn’t be starker. The three of us instinctively recognized that our conversation was historic in more ways than one, as the whole world, in utter perplexity, tries to understand how a Top Ten economy, and until recently major leader of the Global South, falls prey to proto-fascist brutalism, intolerance, degree zero of the post-politics of hate, and a plunge to the status of a mere neo-colony.

We flew back to Sao Paulo in a hurry with our interview. The online broadcast was scheduled for 9 pm. People all over the country were hangin’ on with their notebooks and smartphones. There was no time for editing. Yet the file was so huge nerves frayed with the considerable delay it took to upload it to YouTube. The rough cut was out only late at night – one camera only (Stuckert’s) focusing on Lula, and  it had dodgy sound (an edited version would be released a few days later.)

The next day I flew to Brasilia – memories of its ultimate 1960s modernist dream long gone — for an event on Saturday featuring the leadership of Lula’s Workers’ Party. But my mind was focused on a nearby meeting in the vice presidential palace going on between Bolsonaro and all the top generals. They were debating the road map ahead. But no leaks whatsoever emerged.

Night brought a private dinner with former President Dilma Rousseff. In a relaxed setting, surrounded by friends, it was  rare to listen to her unplugged: a woman of honor and integrity, drinking a glass of wine or two, cracking jokes. She had learned to “laugh at herself.”

Diplomatically, President Dilma made sure to stress the “decisive contribution by elements from the U.S. judicial-federal police complex” leading to her impeachment. And it was imperative to conduct “at least an investigation of relations between the U.S. Justice Department and the Car Wash operation,” she said.

Amid the bonhomie, something she said stuck out, ominously: “They [the NSA] had a lot of work bugging my own cabinet and Petrobras.”

The impeached Brazilian president. (Anticapatalista.net)

The Hybrid War Lab

Early the next morning, under the fabulous cerrado light which reminds me of the Central Asian plains, I took a moment of reflection staring at the Supreme Court building (“all judges bought and paid for,” as reconfirmed by various sources) and at a Congress prostrated before the lobbyists’ BBB altar (“Bible, Beef, Bullet”). But after passing through Rio, my aim was to hit Macriland in Buenos Aires to see how a businesslike Argentine Bolsonaro – with better manners – had destroyed a nation.

Four years of hardcore neoliberalism worked like a (poisoned) charm, much as Bolsonaro in the Amazon: it set everything in Argentina on fire. No less than 35 percent of the Argentine population is now downright poor. The usual suspects win: banks, shareholders of privatized companies, the El Clarin group – the king of “officialist” media. To eradicate hunger has become the number one electoral promise of the Alberto Fernandez/Cristina Kirchner ticket, poised to win the upcoming October elections. I was unable to talk to former President Cristina– a close friend of Dilma’s – as she was campaigning in Patagonia.

Walking the streets of Palermo Soho, I preferred to talk to people instead of officialdom about the myriad declinations of Macri’s “economic terrorism” – which culminated in a massive, humiliating, unpayable, $57 billion IMF loan. Punctuating my wandering were all those bookshops: Buenos Aires has the highest number of bookshops per resident in the world. I snapped up priceless literature, inevitable reprints of the the Argentine poet Jorg Luis Borges and everything from a history of Peronism to collected interviews by Axel Kiciloff, Cristina’s former economy minister and favorite to become the next governor of the province of Buenos Aires.

And then, it hit me. To borrow from Keats, as re-read by Borges : Was it a vision, or a waking dream? It was instead a living nightmare. I had been transported from the ruins of Angkor to an urban Borgesian labyrinth of despair.

I returned to Sao Paulo for a geopolitical debate with Lula’s former Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, the Brazilian Sergey Lavrov (they are close friends, on top of having “invented” the BRICS). We had a fabulous lunch at Nino’s, in the same neighborhood where I grew up in the 1960s – complete with a cacio e pepe that beats anything to be found in Rome. At night I had to be trippin’ again – Go ask Alice!South America morphing back into Southeast Asia.

Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim hugs Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, October 2005. (Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images)

I finally got my answer to that secret meeting – poetic justice – back in the Buddhist East, from the brilliant anthropologist Piero Leirner, which went a long way to explain what the military were up to in Brasilia. For them it’s about geosecurity, not geoeconomics and geopolitics. Bolsonaro has been on the record extolling the opening up of the burning Amazon rainforest to U.S. mining giants. The military – constitutionally responsible for Brazil’s sovereignty – wouldn’t mind, as long as they oversee the proceedings.

As Sao Paulo academics were heartily debating, Brazil now seems to be configured as the ultimate global lab for new exhibits of authoritarian neoliberalism. It’s actually nastier: with Western liberal democracy reduced to a mere shell, I see it as the ultimate Hybrid War lab. A Lula in the process of Mandelazation may be even “allowed” to be set free, or placed under house arrest. Because in the end sub-imperial militarism as well as His Masters’ Voice in Washington would have had their way.

What if this is really nothing but a bad dream? As Borges wrote: “We dreamed [the world] resistant, mysterious, visible, ubiquitous in space and firm in time; but we consented in its architecture tenuous and eternal interstices of non-reason to know it is false.”

Watch Pepe Escobar speak about his interview with Lula on CN Live!

Pepe Escobar, a veteran Brazilian journalist, is the correspondent-at-large for Hong Kong-based Asia Times. His latest book is 2030.” Follow him on Facebook.

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32 comments for “PEPE ESCOBAR: On the Road to Interview Lula, Into a Brazilian Black Hole

  1. Souza
    September 11, 2019 at 21:20

    Great Pepe Escobar! As Mujica said before yesterday: ‘working for a better society, a fight which never ends’

  2. September 10, 2019 at 21:06

    I liked the Grace Slick White Rabbit vocal track. Nice perspective.
    Thanks. I get it.

  3. Brockland
    September 10, 2019 at 20:43

    I really like Pepe’s stuff, but the idea that Lula was sacked for threatening U.S. dollar hegemony is misleading in the pattern of Gadaffi’s gold dinar being a threat to U.S. dollar hegemony being misleading.

    Those new currencies are a threat to Globalists, including American Globalists, because they don’t understand money except as a scam for the coveted middleman position. It has to be a scam for the Globalists, because they otherwise don’t have natural real estate advantages. West European based imperialism is dependent on owning in other people’s countries of what one’s own is deficient of.

    American nationalists of the constitutional patriot variety intuitively aren’t so bothered, because they tend to be libertarian-minded entrepreneurial types and intuitively understand real money. Only nationalist imperialists are in danger of being rooked into globalist scams.

    Fiat currencies are still commodities, and denominated by the top currency, U.S. dollars. Even digital currencies are priced in $US, and depend on being fungible in $US. Any settlement of accounts in gold, would likely base discrepancies off US dollars. Any assessment of Russian reserves, is made in U.S. dollars no matter how Russia dumps actual U.S. reserves.

    As the world reserve currency of (no) choice, all economies back the U.S. dollar, allowing the U.S. a tap into everyone’s economic pie. This isn’t going to change any time soon because of all the nations in the world, the U.S. is most secure against external attack. America’s greatest enemies are all internal foes working from within for outside actors. No-one of great wealth denominates said wealth in Bitcoin incarnations, Yuan, or SDRs or even gold except as a speculative tool for more U.S. dollars because goods and services are most reliably bought with U.S. dollars.

    Therefore successful new currencies adds to the basket strength of the American dollar, but may challenge whatever cozy arrangements globalist-dependent powers may have going including leverage over Americans.

    For example, if Obama was a globalist, maybe Gadaffi’s gold dinar would bother him. Gadaffi’s gold dinar definitely bothered globalist Hilary and benefactors of the CFA franc, mascot of Globalism’s monetary imperialism in Africa. Getting rid of Gadaffi was a huge blow to a potentially huge ally of the American dollar, because Gadaffi would have had to back his pan-African gold dinar with foreign reserves as well as gold, leading with the U.S. dollar. With Gadaffi on side, U.S. primacy in Africa would have been far easier to achieve. Gadaffi had given up being a hardcore enemy of the West but wanted the coveted middleman position for Africa; he was Globalist competition.

    Lula might think he could be independent of the U.S. dollar, but he doesn’t understand money any better than Rouseff. Lula would have to keep U.S. dollar reserves to succeed. By so doing he’s enjoy a bigger voice at the table, but not at America’s real expense, but Globalist expense.

    The U.S. dollar is irreplaceable and there appears to be no successor currency, including Bitcoin or Libra. Even under extreme provocation, Russia and China need U.S. dollars in reserve and retain as much as is safe to do so. Forex can’t function without a naturally stable reserve/reference currency, which by default as the world’s second Mackinderan heartland, is more naturally the fiat currency of the United States. Even the U.S., try as some internal factions might, cannot (yet, anyway) destroy their dollar.

  4. September 10, 2019 at 11:40

    No More War

  5. LJ
    September 9, 2019 at 15:51

    Pepe wrote a good article here. He did his job. Interviewed the principles. A man gets around. Of course as a Brazilian Pepe is well aware that Brazil was a Military Dictatorship 40 years ago . The Military was the protector of state corruption .They ensured that Progress would occur and that Order would be maintained. State corruption is even more entrenched now . Brazil now also has a corrupt judiciary in place and the Brazilian People are powerless to change anything through legal means . Lula could maybe change things a little if he were President but I doubt it. . Recall that it was quite recently, during the run up to the election when the courts were about to make their ruling, that the head of the Military spoke up on the issue of Lula being allowed to run for President. Quite simply and quite publicly he issued his fatwa. Lula running for President was unacceptable and would not be allowed. This could not be tolerated. That was not an implied threat. That is why Lula is imprisoned. It is ridiculous that a respected former head of state is being treated in this manner. Where is the UN on this? Silent for all intents and purposes. Where is the United States ?. Well, there is a little problem, WE SUPPORT THIS. We approve of this action in the same way that we approve of Sisi in Egypt. We do not care about the people of Brazil, Democracy or Justice , Not in Brazil, not in Hong Kong, not in Egypt , not in Yemen, not in Venezuela , the list goes on. Trump didn’t do this but it suits him just like it would have suited Hillary if she was President. Worse than tragic that Brazil is doing this . These are dark times and not just in Brazil.

    • Sam F
      September 9, 2019 at 21:03

      Interesting to consider to what extent the problem is the same in the US. We may think of the military as the dictatorship of Brazil, and money power as the dictatorship of the US. But perhaps neither can operate without the other, or without secret agencies to do the direct coercion. The US never reduces its MIC budget or declassifies its secrets no matter how this damages its real security. And any mix of MIC/secret agency/money power needs a fake Congress and Supreme Court as a facade, which we certainly have in the US and Escobar notes in Brazil.

      Perhaps Mr. Escobar can enlighten those of us without the details of Brazilian history, what constellations of power brought democracy back to Brazil without really defeating its oligarchy, what might be done more permanently, and what might work in the US. That might be a very important introduction for some of us.

  6. CARLOS FABRICIO SILVEIRA FERNANDES
    September 9, 2019 at 09:55

    Amazing.
    Should win the best SCIENCE FICTION text ever.

    • Realist
      September 10, 2019 at 15:12

      John Jakob Jingleheimer Schmidt apprises me that Jorge Luis Borges already won the prize for that. He was Argentinian, not Brasilian. Keep up.

  7. Dav
    September 8, 2019 at 21:46

    Pepe is a great writer he always go deep into topic. I admire his work some people do not like great people because they do not understand what going on the world. They might be stupid or ignorance or dumb

    • Brockland
      September 11, 2019 at 00:34

      Naw, just dishonest benefactors of everyone else’s ignorance.

      The most effective detractors of guys like Pepe actually know what’s going on as far as how their bread gets buttered and resent the great trick being called too close to payday.

  8. robert e williamson jr
    September 8, 2019 at 20:59

    Jeff Harrison how can you be stunned. I suppose if you are 20 years old maybe you would be so here is some advice. First thing realize that where ever you find a US tentacle you will find an Israeli tentacle also. Your, “even without asking ” comment is deeply concerning.

    Do you have any inkling of what actually goes on in the world of intelligence and counter intelligence? I suspect after reading that comment about the tentacles and then lamenting about why these other countries allow the US into their countries you need to catch up on your reading. Either that or you are being much less than genuine with your comments.

    But never fear I’m here to help you and I’m NOT from the government.

    Thanks to all

    Reading list:

    Chasing Shadows by Ken Hughes – Virginia Press 2014 You can acquire audio tapes used to write this book, tapes from LBJ’s white house office.

    A Season of Inquiry by Loch K Johnson – University Press of Kansas 1985 re-released with added new text no change to old text 2015
    An overview of the undoing of the Church and Pike congressional oversight investigative committees circa 1972-1976

    Sleeping with the Devil by Bob Baer – Crown Publishers 2003 About the middle east oil business and the failings of the CIA there. This book is the only one listed that does not have a listing of notes. Baer worked in the middle east as a field operator.

    Body of Secrets – Anatomy of the ultra-secret National Security Agency by James Bamford Doubleday 2001 About whats wrong with the government surveillance of the masses an early warning from another individual from CIA.

    The Devils Chessboard Allen Dulles, the CIA and the rise of Americans Secret Government by David Talbot Harper Collins 2015 Just Read the Book it’s a good read and very informing. A source of info tying CIA to the JFK murder.

    The Ghost, The secret life of CIA spymaster James Jesus Angleton by Jefferson Morley St. Martin Press 2017 As far as I’m concerned this is a no hold barred reveal of a very troubled man at the top of US counter Intelligence – In my opinion a spy for Israel.

    Dark Money, The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Radical Right Jane Mayer Doubleday 2016 A full blown indictment of billionaires and their corruption of the American system of government and a tip off to the incredible volume of the money laundering using off shore companies today and info connecting CIA to money laundering and billionaire trust funds.

    • anon
      September 10, 2019 at 16:44

      Nice list, thank you. Most regular commenters here are more likely to be stunned again than naive, so nicer to teach than patronize.

  9. delia ruhe
    September 8, 2019 at 13:49

    Not surprising, of course—the united Latin American states were doomed when Chavez died. Most of us have long known that Bolsonaro is Obama’s creature.

    Everyone should remember how Saddam, during the oil for food program, demanded Euros for that oil. Next we knew, the Baby Bush regime was on the anti-Iraq warpath. O, how Cheney must have finally exhaled when he watched the evil Saddam swing from a rope after that kangaroo court found him guilty of everything except, of course, colluding with Washington because that crime was studiously avoided in the list of charges against him.

    First and foremost, Washington needs to protect the petrodollar in order to keep the empire and dreams of “full spectrum dominance” afloat. We will see the end of the empire only when the most important trading nations act in unison to avoid trading in dollars. Of course, that will require the EU to grow some balls and take a lead in organizing its fellow vassal states. We therefore might be waiting a long time.

    Unfortunately, too many influential and otherwise sane Americans think the world will go to hell in a handbasket if the US doesn’t remain ruling it. They can’t see that the handbasket is in sight at this moment, and if the US doesn’t stand down, we’re doomed.

    • Realist
      September 9, 2019 at 02:38

      It’s a mystery why Washington feels that it has to pick the regimes running every other country on this planet and the foreign and domestic policies they all pursue. Just to focus on South America, a huge neighboring continent containing several immense countries both in terms of population and natural resources, there is no way that Venezuela would stop selling America its oil (it used to be our largest supplier), Brasil or Argentina would stop selling us their beef, Chile or Peru would stop selling us their phosphates, nitrates and other minerals, Columbia would stop smuggling us their raw coca, or Rio and all those island countries would stop entertaining American tourists no matter who ruled, what currency they traded in or whether the country provided a social safety net for its poor people or funneled all the proceeds of resource extraction to a small wealthy elite.

      Every country on the planet now practices international capitalism whether they have internal progressive policies or stark naked fascism, and they are all open to making deals with American oligarchs. Even Vietnam, the “domino” we tried to save from “communism” by killing in excess of 3 million human beings has succumbed to a highly competitive form of third world capitalism. It licks its chops as Trump attempts to torpedo the capitalist transformation that propelled China so far so fast. (Vietnam, or Singapore or Indonesia is where those freely transportable jobs filled by an unskilled labor force will go next rather than back to America!) What more do the American players need or want? Why do they think they are entitled to micromanage the internal affairs of every other society on earth when they truly don’t give a damn about the wealth, health or happiness of the people? There are people on the make in every society, including many willing to make deals with the shadiest of American entrepreneurs. I thought THAT is what Trump was going to focus on, based on his campaign rhetoric and his self-penned inaugural address that eschewed international monster hunting and nation building in the image of that infamous Milton-Bradley board game.

    • Sam F
      September 9, 2019 at 20:17

      Perhaps you meant to answer your own question “Why do they think they are entitled to micromanage …every other society … when they …don’t give a damn about … the people?” likely because in unregulated market economies like the US “the shadiest of …entrepreneurs” rise to abuse economic power and thereby public office and all of its powers. So they will pick foreign regimes just to aggrandize and get bribes to themselves and their party. The worst rise to the top and equate the spoils with virtue.

    • LJ
      September 10, 2019 at 14:30

      Sam F Jeff Bezos is one ugly dude. . Go back in time to witness beeming Obama and Eric Cantor, (remeber him?) at the signing ceremony of the JOBS ACT. Obama was so very happy to have finally a domestic achievement even if the Democratic Party leaders of both the House and Senate boycotted the signing. The Jobs Act created special rules to facilitate Amazon too build a huge facility . This propelled Amazon into it’s now lofty heights which quickly made Bezos the richest man in the world. A man who now owns the Washington Post. Don’t look anywhere else. Not outside the borders. Eric Cantor got his just reward in the next election although a top job on Wall Street quickly became available. Obama? Well he never got what he deserved or maybe he did? Or maybe he yet will if there is an afterlife. Ha ha ha. Realist I’m certain you must know there are several philosophers and thinkers that provided a semi-logical rational to justify the actions that had already been taken by Eisenhower and the Dulles Bros., ect. They didn’t have think tanks then. All of them were geeks of course.

  10. Cavaleiro Marginal
    September 8, 2019 at 11:10

    They don’t allow. Just think about the black communities in US having their homes or lives invaded by the police, they have no option.
    Going a little deeper in my country’s case of hybrid war, it started on the very first day of Lula’s presidency throughout corporate media. Many years of anti Worker’s Party propaganda combined with more then 30 years of brainwashing produced by the religions invented in US ended up in the Car Wash prosecutors, all imperialist’s lackeys proud of themselves and some of them, like the judge Moro, heavily suspected of being into CIA pockets. Not only through bribes, but also with education and prizes in some of America’s most prestigious universities.
    Is important to noticed that not only my home town Curitiba was in the empire’s radar. Rio and Cuiabá (both capitals in states that share borders with São Paulo, 40% of Brazilian GDP and the country’s financial center) also have Car Wash’s judges and prosecutors. All ready to “do the job” for the empire.
    Now a little off topic. Pepe’s definition of Curitiba is one of the funniest I’ve ever heard, an austere American Midwest city proud of its green credential and its whiteness. I suspect Pepe said that because he was lucky to be there in one of the 112 sunny days the city offers to their inhabitants…

    • Realist
      September 10, 2019 at 01:43

      “Pepe’s definition of Curitiba is one of the funniest I’ve ever heard, an austere American Midwest city proud of its green credential and its whiteness. I suspect Pepe said that because he was lucky to be there in one of the 112 sunny days the city offers to their inhabitants…”

      I don’t know about how the sunshine in Santa Catarina state compares with that in the American Midwest, which is very overcast and gloomy for at least half the year, but my take on Pepe’s comparing Curitiba to my “heartland” roots in Chicago is based in the number of Windy City expatriots residing there, especially amongst those of ethnic extractions who supported the Third Reich during WWII. One of my best friends in high school during the early 1960’s would talk incessantly of his Ukrainian uncle who was ensconced in the illegal import/export business (aka “smuggling”) in Santa Catarina. As soon as said friend graduated university and avoided the military draft during the Vietnam era he made haste to your fair city and followed in his uncle’s footsteps. It was fascinating to listen to him recount his lucrative deals when he’d return to Chi town over the Christmas holidays. In time he met, married and started a family with a Hungarian-American girl, also an expatriot from Chicago. That is the Midwestern, green (as in money) and whiteness (ethnic) connections I gleaned from Pepe’s reference. I hear tell that there are also Anglo-American enclaves persisting in various parts of Brasil that trace back to Confederate families that fled the American South after losing the Civil War.

    • Cavaleiro Marginal
      September 10, 2019 at 17:41

      Hey Realist, thank you for your reply! I tried to reply to Jeff Harrison in my first comment but apparently (and for sure) I made something wrong. Anyway…
      Realist, you are wright about Pepe’s definition. I just mocked on him because when he was live at 247 youtube channel he was really mad after a very cold night in his hotel (I was eagerly watching him and his colleagues). I just pointed it could be worse… Gloomy is a very on spot definition not only for Curitiba’s weather but also for its citiziens’ mood, which is the absolutely very opposite of what someone else would expect from a Brazilian native.
      Santa Catarina and Paraná (where Curitiba is the capital city) are both Brazilian southern states (along with Rio Grande do Sul) and share some similarities, the Slavic, German and Italian background is one of them. Unfortunately many things of the “old Germany” are still around, the neonazis is one of them.
      You are right about those anglo-American enclaves. They are relatively small and well mixed with the original population, which is the most unique characteristic of the country. This include my beloved hometown, made with the efforts of African slaves, indigenous populations and Portuguese settles. Above these foundations, 2 ou 3 centuries later, many waves of Europeans fleeing from starvation or wars arrived in southern Brazil and, despite their descents love to deny this fact, mixed all together with the original population.
      By the way the sunshine here in Santa Catarina’s cost where I live now is much brighter and warm then the experienced by Pepe in Curitiba where Lula is into an infamous, illegal and unfair jail.

  11. Adam Roger Prus-Szczepanowski
    September 8, 2019 at 10:05

    Complete international communist BULLSHIT!

    • ML
      September 8, 2019 at 17:35

      Go back to bed. And stay there until you can behave.

    • anon4d2
      September 8, 2019 at 17:44

      Sure, that is why you have no facts or argument in opposition. How persuasive.

    • September 8, 2019 at 19:08

      Bolsonaro a communist? Same authoritarian instincts but surely not a marxist.

  12. Skip Scott
    September 8, 2019 at 10:05

    Fantastic article. Pepe is one of the best journalists on the planet. Sometimes it is darkest before the dawn. With obvious fascists now in power in so many places, the mask has been ripped off. Let us hope it leads to an awakening and an end of empire.

  13. Sam F
    September 8, 2019 at 09:56

    Very well done and interesting record of travels and interviews. The description of the corrupted Brazilian Supreme Court and Congress fit very well those of the US. The complete corrosion by money power, of public institutions unprotected from money, is international as well as domestic. The prospect of restoration of democracy seems better in Brazil than in the US.

  14. julio
    September 8, 2019 at 06:16

    Someone who write such stupid article is a very bad person…or a leftist comunist or a well paid journalist. Both are sadly misinformed.
    Stay in Bangkok…you will useful there writing lies that you created.

    • anon4d2
      September 8, 2019 at 17:47

      If you have any evidence or argument in opposition, you are free to present that.
      Otherwise you would be wasting the time of more the careful thinkers here.

    • September 8, 2019 at 19:09

      I think youre getting your politics upside down.

    • Richard
      September 9, 2019 at 12:30

      Assertions presented without evidence may be disregarded without consideration.

    • September 10, 2019 at 21:17

      Me and Julio down by the schoolyard :-)
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVdlpZ4M-Hw

  15. julio
    September 8, 2019 at 06:14

    Someone who write such a article is a very stupid person…or a leftist comunist or a well paid journalist. Both are sadly misinformed.

  16. Jeff Harrison
    September 7, 2019 at 21:58

    Pepe is always interesting. It always stuns me how the US has its tentacles in everybody’s business, even without asking. What is inexplicable is that these other countries allow the US in because we destroy every one we become interested in.

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