Brazil’s Government is Falling Apart…and it’s Good News?


Good morning, John. It’s easy for us
Americans to get caught in our bubble. Especially when things are as weird as
they are right now. But the rest of the world continues to go on, and in Brazil,
that means the government kinda totally falling apart in a way that makes House
of Cards look frankly boring.When I asked about it on Twitter, brazilians mostly
sent me gifs to explain how they felt. I also got a message from a diplomat,
in Brazil who told me that Brazilians have a saying: Brazil is not for beginners.
But maybe by the end of this video you will no longer be a beginner, so let’s go
there. Brazil is a big country: 200 million people, as big as the UK, France, and
Germany combined. It’s also big enough to fit all those countries inside of it
three times at least. It’s extremely ethnically and economically diverse with
a wide gap between the richest and the poorest. That economic gap also falls roughly
on racial lines, and also on political lines with wealthy white people mostly
in big cities being mostly conservative, and poor people of native or African
descent being more liberal. Brazil has a diverse economy. They’re the ninth largest
producer of oil, the second largest producer of beef, the third largest
producer of iron ore, and and they have the world’s seventh-largest economy. From
1964 to 1985 they were ruled by a military dictatorship, and in a stunning
turn of events that military dictatorship had a lot of bribery and
corruption in it. But in an actual not sarcastic stunning turn of events Brazil managed
to transfer from that military dictatorship to democracy with
relative ease and like sort of slowly and without very much violence. So it’s worth remember throughout this entire process that though Brazil seems very mature
economically and politically, its government is only thirty years old. It’s new, and
they haven’t been doing it for very long. It’s pretty remarkable. There was plenty of economic
and political battles in the nineteen eighties and nineties but thanks to a
lot of hard work, and China’s insatiable appetite for iron ore and hamburgers,
Brazil managed to get its economy on track and it’s become one of the great
success stories of the developing world. Until the last couple of years… so
remember how bribery and corruption were really rampant in the old military
dictatorship? Well that’s a difficult thing to take out of the culture of both
companies and the government, and it has not been removed in brazil. But over the
last thirty years brazil has become more democratically mature and, somewhat
unusually for Latin America, has a really strong independent judiciary and a
really strong independent police force. So the rock of Brazil’s culture of
bribery and corruption has come up against the hard place of
its strong independent judiciary, and something had to break, and it has.
But before we get there let’s talk about Lula. Inacio Lula da Silva was, in the eighties,
a revolutionary socialists who mostly worked against the military dictatorship
as a union organizer. After the dictatorship transitioned to democracy, in
a very weird cool long story that I don’t have time to tell you, Lula emerged as a strong political figure and
the head of the newly formed Workers Party. And the Workers Party wasn’t able
to gain much national traction until Lula became what some Brazilians called
Lula lite; still Lula, still for the people, still from the poorest part of
the country, still representative of that soul of Brazil, but also willing to work
inside of the system, also willing to help out big corporations who are a big
part of Brazil’s economy and how Brazil works. After running in losing three times,
lula was elected in 2003 and remained president until 2011 during which time
he presided over some truly remarkable achievements, including an extremely
successful social program that basically paid poor families to send their
children to school, a program that’s credited with helping lift tens of
millions of Brazilians out of poverty. Lula left office with an unprecedented
eighty percent approval rating. His chief of staff, an economist who was once a
guerilla fighter against the military dictatorship and was captured by them and
tortured, amazing life this woman has had and continues to have, was elected pretty
much as his successor because he couldn’t run for a third term.
Now, Lula was almost never blame free. In 2005, his government was involved in a
scandal which saw members of congress being paid $12,000 a month to vote the
way that Lula wanted them to vote, but Lula was never directly implicated in
the scandal, though several members of his government resigned. In Brazil it has become
so common for huge scandals to fizzle out without anybody getting in trouble
that they have a phrase for it. They call it ending in Pizza. And I’m not saying some
Portuguese word that sounds like pizza. I’m saying pizza. Well the days of things
ending in pizza appear to be over, for a bunch of different reasons. First because
of the massive scale of the scandal and yes we’re finally gonna get there. Petrobras is
Brazil’s only oil company. It’s majority owned by the government, and entirely
controlled by the government. It’s Brazil’s largest company, one of the world’s
largest companies, it’s responsible for ten percent of Brazil’s GDP and a lot of
its government’s revenue. And it spends, as you might expect, a lot of money
on construction contracts. And it’s maybe always kind of been the case that high
up Petrobras employees and the government officials who appointed them,
because remember Petrobras is controlled by the Brazilian government, would give contracts to
construction companies that overcharged the government massively, and the CEO of
the construction company would pocket some of the difference and some of the
difference would come back to the politicians and the employees who ya know, helped
get them that contract. it’s a very common corruption thing. We have it here
in the USA we call it graft. it’s basically just a company bribing a
politician for a lucrative contract. And as Petrobras grew under Lula, thanks
mostly to the price of oil getting really high, the amount getting kicked
back grew as well to truly massive massive proportions. it’s the largest
corruption scandal in the history of any democracy on earth, billions of dollars.
One guy has offered, because you know he’s scared, to give all of the money
that he took in bribes back to the Brazilian government. That amount of
money is a hundred million dollars. one guy! Many people are going to jail. This is not ending in pizza. Around a
hundred of Brazil’s current members of congress, almost a fifth of the entire
body of congress, is under investigation right now. No political party is blame free, but
the Workers Party, which was in charge at the time and also supposed to the party
against this kind of corruption, is catching most of the flat. But it’s more than
just the scale; it’s also just awful timing. People are poised to dislike the
government right now because Brazil is in the middle of a giant recession. The
scandal has resulted in lots of loss to jobs, the zika virus epidemic is hurting
tourism, Chinese retraction is terrible for Brazil, massive trickle-down loans to large
corporations didn’t spur economic growth, and if you’ve been to a gas station
recently you know that oil is not the profit center it once was. All is difficult for
politicians and citizens. Brazil has had to implement austerity measures to get
its budget in line with its revenue, but it’s more than just the scale, and the
awful timing, Brazil also really mostly doesn’t like the current president. They
just don’t like her. Two-thirds of the country, according to a recent poll, want
her to be impeached. But it’s more than just the scale, and the economy, and the
president that nobody likes, it’s also Judge Moro, a guy who’s taking lessons
from the nineties campaign in Italy to take down the mafia, a guy who’s willing to
make deals with criminals if it means uncovering more of the scandal, a guy who
doesn’t mind bending the rules of it means getting support from the public,
and the guy who doesn’t seem to mind being deified and exalted by a lot of
the Brazilian public searching for some non political person to put their faith
in. Brazilians have taken a lot of the love that they lost for Lula and put it
into Judge Moro. He says he has no interest in politics but he doesn’t
really seem to be acting that way, and if Rousseff is impeached, and there are two
current hearings trying to impeach her, a lot of people would like judge Moro to
run. But it’s more than just the scale, and the economy, and the president, or the
charismatic judge who takes no prisoners, are rather takes lots of prisoners, it’s
also the deep kinda ugly partisan divide in Brazil. No one knows how involved
Rousseff and Lula were in the Petrobras scandal or if they were involved at all,
but it doesn’t seem like anybody’s waiting for due process to make their judgments.
In a story that might feel pretty familiar to people in america, social
media has hyperpolarized Brazil. People in Brazil spent a lot of time on social
media, and their filter bubbles are just as strong as ours. People tend to hear and
thus think just the worst things about their opposition, and everyone’s cynicism
about everyone else, which I admit is kind of Justified, results in a lack of
skepticism about negative stories of the opposition. And I’m not saying this is a
unique problem to Brazil. But like when judge Moro released a recorded telephone
conversation in which Rousseff appeared to be telling lula how she would protect him
from prosecution, a lot of people thought how could anyone still be supporting
these people they are so obviously corrupt, but a lot of other people
thought why is it judge taking this seemingly political action in making
this recording public a mere three hours after it was recorded without due process?
Lula and Rousseff say it is just a hundred percent partisan attacks trying to take them
down and have the opposition parties gain political power. The oposition says that it’s a
hundred percent just them trying to get to the bottom of the scandal. Even a
cursory inspection though shows that it is definitely both of those things. In
response to her plummeting approval ratings and multiple impeachment hearings
and also possibly to protect him from prosecution, Rousseff has brought lula on as
her chief of staff. And if that seems fishy, it’s because it is. But also the more
conservative parties, some of them fed by classism and racism, are definitely using
this as a political opportunity to gain power. Meanwhile, on the left a lot of people are
saying the Workers Party is way too centrist, and obviously corrupt, and are running
away from them toward the left and that’s just creating a deeper partisan
divide inside the country. But every major party is involved. Five of the people on
Rousseff’s impeachment committee are under investigation themselves! Many of
the most respected leaders in the country are not gonna make it out of
this unescathed, which means it’s going to be hard for Brazil to lead its way out
of this problem. But it isn’t just the bribery that’s the problem. Paulo Maluf, who literally can’t
leave Brazil because he’s wanted by Interpol, ran for re-election and won
with a campaign slogan: I steal, but I deliver. Lula on the other hand has had his
own quote from 1988 thrown back at him on every social media platform on the
internet: “In Brazil, when a poor man steals he goes to jail. When a rich man steals,
he becomes a minister.” Many Brazilians now see this as Lula predicting his own
future. Now this is all bad in the near term for Brazil, but I think it’s good
for Brazil in the long term because it shows that being a crooked politician is
not worth it. as for what happens tomorrow and the next day
nobody knows. It’s a bad situation, and Brazilians on the whole are very cynical
about the government, but they’re also very pragmatic. While passions can
certainly run high in individuals, there’s an overall culture of peaceful
evolution rather than violent revolution, and very few people seem at all
interested in giving that up which is great news. John, I’ll see you on Tuesday. Thank you to diplomat Rafael Prince, and
journalist and author Alex Cuadros for all of your help. Alex’s book Brazllionaires will be out in July. And thank you as was well to all of the members of the
Brazilian Nerdfighter Facebook group thanks for helping me out and keeping me straight.

100 Comments

  • Hi from Brazil, thanks for the analysis!

  • @ 1:04 The four men in uniform, from left to right are:
    1. Gustavo Leigh Guzmán — Commander in Chief of the Chilean Air Force.
    2. Augusto Pinochet — Commander in Chief of the Army, and mastermind of the military coup of Sep. 11, 1973 that resulted in the death of Chilean president elect Salvador Allende, and the establishment of a ruthless military dictatorship (1973-1990).
    3. José Toribio Merino Castro — Supreme Commander of the Chilean Navy.
    4. César Mendoza Durán — General Director of the “carabineros”, or Chilean National Police.

    Not Brazilian dictatorship but Chilean dictatorship 😉

  • So wrong in so many ways. A lot of factoids sprinkled with few facts…
    You need to research more

  • Brazil had a lot of violence against freedom and specially in the Dictatorship. Today, the new president has stated his pro-dictatorship intentions and does not respect nor support the diversity and minority groups. He believes that the difference of treatment between privileged groups and persecuted ones is only the last government's faut and not a social oppression of any kind. He promissed to stop this situation by taking away the protections and laws made to assist those groups, casually accused of victimism by the president himself.

  • Well, it's the end of 2018. It was not good news…

  • Os americanos deveriam anexar o Brasil, como apenas mais 26 estados revolucionados, e falando inglês

  • I would really like a follow-up to this, now that Bolsonaro got elected

  • you don't know nothing about Brazil

  • Brasil falhando o meu cu bolsomito ganhou porra!!

  • “In a stunning turn of events”

  • I stopped watching after "jifs"…

  • we need a part 2 already

  • Ur ignorant of Brazilian history and also this is an outdated video.. Btw their millitary didn't kill innocents..instead it wiped of the commies wanting a north Korea type permanent stay in power..their comrades in Cuba and drug cartels helped them immensely.. Lula is a piece of shit ..nothing he did was for his country. But for his party workers only .

  • complete bias vision. 30% correct. to know more reality search: Jeffrey Nyquist update brazil

  • I’d love to see an addendum to this video now that Bolsonaro has been elected.

  • http://www.brasilwire.com/ai-5-and-the-forbidden-future-of-brasil/?fbclid=IwAR3mtD4msDKGe5_QFvNRuiWlv6J7cukYDtI_v2PiqwmRZkg4jLZffSPazzg

  • Wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong. Lula against dictators?Lula want to create a socialist government, like extinct Urss but the people finally wakeup. Capicce?

  • Eu sou brasileiro e quero deixar claro que a maioria dos brasileiros e exclusive eu acreditamos e temos convicção de que o LULA é um socialista corrupto e vagabundo que trouxe a crise econômica para nosso país tanto que ele atualmente estâ preso por um grande esquema de corrupção que envolvia muito desvio de dinheiro, as mídias do brasil são esquerdistas e querem enganar o povo brasileiro, ainda bem que não somos todos nós que acreditamos nessas mentiras.

  • Lula is a criminal and in jail right now

  • Lies , you must be on the payroll off the libtard’s Midia off Brazil !

  • Hank you are on the wrong side of history,you just helped a fascist coup by listening to a bunch of online endocrinated Brazilian friends of yours.

    Perhaps you only wanted to look cool by backing up a youth movement, but this youth movement have the evil Steve Banner behind it and billions of dollars of online salary

  • A mafia foi desmantela são bilhões desviados dos cofres públicos esse dinheiro precisa ser recuperado e distribuido aos cidadãos brasileiros colocando esse dinheiro pra circulação reforçando a economia do país Parabéns congratulations raciocínio lógico

  • Bolsonaro won

  • So much has changed since this video came out

  • O Lula tá preso babaca

  • Why doesn't he recognize that millions of Marxists have been murdered and tortured all over South America and the Philippines? Bring up Alfredo Stroessner and Ferdinand Marcos. Upvote the truth.

  • Pizza its pizza

  • You're absolutely correct about Moro, who now is so interested in politics he accepted a job from Bolsonaro!

  • Faça Um Vídeo Atualizado! Foi Excelente!!

  • Didn't it later turn out that Cambridge Analytical was involved in Brazil?

  • LOOKS LIKE BRAZIL HAS MUCH THE SAME PROBLEMS A THE U,S,A,/TO MANY CROOKS IN HIGH PLACES IN GOVERNMENT /AND IT IS GROWING HERE AT HOME /

  • Thank you brother for the information!

  • This guerrila women is an terrorist, she robbed guns from the army and is the dumbest person i have ever seen, one time she said that we need to STOCK AIR.

  • So many Brazilians are lost in their ignorance, believing there were no dictatorship, among other things… It’s really sad. Makes me hopeless. And now here we are, in absolute s&*t.

  • A ditadura militar do Brasil só impediu o avanço Soviético.
    Quando Moscou caiu, a "ditadura" saiu do poder sem matar ninguém nas diretas já.

  • Talking about a president nobody likes

  • Si esta braazziiil

  • Cala a boca!

  • It's not falling anymore….

  • I got news for you. It all ended in pizza again. Cheers from Brazil, more screwed up than ever.

  • você fala merda demais pqp, cala sua boca e fala do seu país. quer pedir opinião no twitter??? doente mental

  • Meu Pardito E O Brasil
    Bolsonaro = MBGA
    Stupid Americans who Never lived here talk poop💩 on my Country! 😂
    You know Nothing! Lenda Lenda 🤜🤛

  • Serio que tem gente achando que ele pendeu pro Lula?

  • Well, 2 years have been enough to change the whole picture now.

  • Look! is the guy from crash curses Chemistry ,Brazil has been learning about corruption, I hope we can progress forward on understanding the political world , we got too comfortable on letting the government "taking care of things" thanks for your videos , I learn a lot with it.

  • What do you have on that book shelf? 🤓

  • Yep

  • Strong and independent is that a joke there is no evidence against Lula. The new government is fascist

  • Don't worry guys, it's just getting worse

  • Brazilian trues, remember:

    Lula is a pig!
    Bolsonaro is a good man.

    Thanks!

  • God bles America

  • Desordem em progress

  • The Brasil is good now

  • there is a difference when the goal of the corruption is with the objective of trying to provide social welfare for the poor

  • Love how you promoted a fascist Mouro

  • Works party is the pure corruption in Brazil.

    For Americans understand it, keep in mind:

    – Lula = Maduro = Cristina Kirchner.
    – Bolsonaro = no one corruption case in 28 years of career.

  • @Vlogbrothers Hank, you should revisit this and explain to all of us un-knowing americans where Brazil is at as of 2019!

  • Capitão Nascimento da Tropa de Elite contra o sistema corrupto e corruptores o sistema é foda tem começar a derrubar de cima para baixo bolsonaro é o Capitão Nascimento lutando contra o sistema

  • So … did this age well?

  • My goodness, where did you get your information from? Is this a joke?

  • Restore The Monarchy!
    Ave Império!

  • so… when is part two coming?

  • That picture of the military dictatorship is wrong: that´s Chile´s PINOCHET!!!

  • We understand president Lula is not corrupted but if his some of his Government person is corrupted they should & must be brought to justice.Like India some of the opposition party took huge amount of money & looted the Government join BJP. they are is no charge against them they are patriotic to those parties like BJP..This is democracy ?.

  • 2019 Lula is a political prisoner!
    https://theintercept.com/series/secret-brazil-archive/

  • Good objective video.

  • My god man make some sort of correction on this one, it's on the wrong side of history!

  • in short, the Oligarchs got tired of Democracy and started pushing buttons.

  • world news used to be interesting and thought provoking like this, now mainstream media highlights nothing matters of people being crude in domestic U.S. based political spheres keeping the rest of global politics a mystery leaving the common American unaware of anything beyond what a child could assume from stereotypes. What happened, Im grateful when material like this explaining a deeper narrative that admits things are confusing come to light, but only on the internet without corporate sponsor network bias.

  • Hello Hank from the future. Now you know that Hank from the past was still a beginner about Brazil. Will try understand again? Atention, didn't even Glen Greenwald (who leaves in Rio about 10 years now) was fast enough to follow our swing. Brazil is not for "amateurs".

  • 3:26 A anta do Brasil!
    😂😂😂😂😂

  • Americans have to seriously stop thinking they're experts about countries they've never lived in.

  • This video made Lula seem like an amazing political leader. Yikes.

  • Matéria tendenciosa, paga pelo PT e Partidos de esquerda, sem nenhuma credibilidade.

  • Bolsonaro está acabando com tudo,ontem mesmo o Brasil atendendo a uma sanção do Trump se negou a abastecer os navios iranianos,a Amazônia está sofrendo um impacto irreversível por causa desse governo que apoia os ruralistas,latifundiários e donos de madeireiras criminosas,o povo brasileiro precisa parar esse maluco.

  • why don't you talk about your own country?

  • nobody has asked your opinion.

  • military dictatorship here in brazil was violent and brutal they kidnap people and torture anyone who was agaist them

  • That's nice watching a video about political Brazilian history coming from a foreigner. However, when you said that there were bribaries and corruption during the military regime, there's a mistake in that information: first of all, the military presidents died poor. Second, it wasn't a dictatorship. Brazil was about to become a communist country, so the tradicional Brazilian families asked the military to prevent that from happening.

  • well, now we know.

  • well

  • this video aged like milk. thats all.

  • Yeah….that turned out good. :/ From corruption to fascism in the blink of an eye.

  • https://theintercept.com/2019/07/05/scandal-for-bolsonaros-justice-minister-sergio-moro-grows-as-the-intercept-partners-with-brazils-largest-magazine-for-new-expose/

  • "I steal, but I deliver" hahah onde chegamos pqp

  • So hey… how about you guys look back on this one and check if things worked out for Brazil, eh?

    I'll give you a hint, things are anything but better now.

  • Feke News Bolsonaro is the best

  • Videos that didn't age well.

  • Would LOVE to see you do another Brazil video about Glenn / Intercepts hacking / Moro. And the Bolsonaro elections

  • 8:36 "if that sounds fishy, that's because it is"… made to sound fishy by careful selection of what to leak and what to hide:
    https://www1.folha.uol.com.br/internacional/en/brazil/2019/09/2016-phone-calls-by-lula-weaken-moros-thesis-about-ex-president.shtml

  • Doesn't look like this held up ;')….

  • I come from the future to say that it got waaaaay worse

  • Tudo que foi dicho p'or vos deves sher demasiadamente thantýssimavel olvidado tanto fachilmente p'or nős-outhros hunkky. Entrethanto oxála teňhas ditho umas de halgûmas sucedičiões de nuesthro paýs landhear. Essho realmenthe nem estheja obthener informações sobre o assunto de tuyo lugghar al qüierer-lhês fhallar de nős. Simplesmente devas cuidar de tuya vida primordialmente depoys d'stho puessas dicer-nos halgô para genthe. Whusthed és mucho engraçado em definitivamente estheja assým a splyear-nos chom essho. Poys sý tu esthás chom thuwppes de a situação de tuwa fhorma de worderar acercha de nős-outhros brazilianos.

  • Now our executive branch always ends in pizza

  • Canalha! Esse merda aí se informa através da Globonews. É o Guga chacra dos americanos. Um eterno falador de groselha. Não percam o tempo de vocês. Abs

  • Hey, I really enjoy the way you summarized all those events of this recently Brazil history. I would ask you to continue the history until 2019. Dilma's government fall, Michel Temer (being investigated for corruption) took power . Then days before the elections Lula was arrested based on supppositions and not based on concrete proofs, just to get his out of the electoral dispute. The Moro, the judge, became Minister of Justice. Please tell us this history!

  • 1:04 Pinochet agora é brasileiro

  • Hey man, I would love to see another video about the crazy run that was the last elections. And how is going the new government. You could even mention Bolsonaro cause he was no one that time and now he is in the spot. And maaaan, there is a lot of stuff to be said about it. Hahahaha.
    Cheers, love ur stuff

  • Brazil failed because of Lula and Dilma-socialists.

  • This video is quite erroneous and has a lot of misrepresentations.

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