The Brazilian Army lives, after the victory of Lula’s progressive government and the failed coup promoted by Bolsonaro, a complex moment. He is caught between two fires: how to maintain his image of respect for democracy and how to punish those who participated in the attempted military uprising.
And all this while maintaining an internal attitude of defense of the respect that the military had in public opinion since the end of the dictatorship, where in all the polls they always appeared, along with the Church, among the most valued institutions.
The parliamentary investigations into the failed coup d’état and the revelations that the military police are making about the plot hatched by Bolsonaro to prevent Lula’s victory, have made the high command of the Army nervous at the same time that it is placing the Government in a delicate moment.
It must be added that the military leadership is caught between a decrease in popular credibility and the need to have to punish those possibly responsible within the Army for the attempt to annul the result of the 2022 elections.
All this climate of mutual mistrust between the government and the military led Lula, on the eve of his international trip for the BRICS meeting in Johannesburg, to promote an urgent meeting with the three military commanders. As the columnist, Miriam Leitao, tortured during the dictatorship, has written in O Globo: “Only a country in crisis holds a meeting, on Saturday, from six to eight at night, in the presidential palace between the military commanders and the president”.
Skilled in political and union negotiations, Lula took advantage of the meeting to talk about the budget increase for the military who find themselves on a precipice, since this time not only public opinion reveals a sharp drop in respect for them in the polls, but also Bolsonaro’s followers are also revealed in the polls to be upset for not having adhered to the threatened military coup.
The high military commanders have confirmed that those of them who are found guilty in court of the failed coup d’etat will be punished according to the law, at the same time that they try to reassure the troops in general of the arrival of new financial aid from the Government.
All the confusion about the possible support of the military for the attempted coup promoted by Bolsonaro started nothing more and nothing less than in the last century. It was in the Constitution of 1891 when article 142 was included, which is still a matter of discussion. It is what Bolsonaro calls the “four lines of the Constitution” on which he relied to promote a military coup. Said article establishes that the Armed Forces are “the guarantee of constitutional powers.” An article that has continued to amaze since then and that Bolsonaro has used in his four years in office to threaten a military coup.
“We are in the 21st century carrying the same distortion of the 19th century. That the Armed Forces are the guarantee of constitutional powers, despite being the greatest threat to those same powers”, writes Miriam Leitao.
The latest popular polls on the image of the military reveal that they have lost credibility among the Bolsonaro supporters precisely because they have not supported a constitutional rupture until the end, as well as among those who continue to support democracy because they appear directly or indirectly involved in the failed coup attempt.
The military understand that part of them appear today as authors or accomplices of returning to the times of the dictatorship and at the same time they need to pacify the troops inside the barracks that are discredited before the majority of citizens.
The latest meetings between the military commanders and President Lula show that they are trying to achieve pacification based on special economic aid that is being offered to them.
The difficult thing for Lula’s government, which in its past administrations never confronted the military, is how to reconcile an open dialogue with the military today who are caught up in serious accusations of having supported Bolsonaro’s coup airs, and at the same time For some time they do not seem willing to confront the ex-unionist who offers them new economic perks that in the end are the best panacea for pacification.
It was precisely those financial aid that Bolsonaro offered to the military that led to the brink of an institutional rupture to return command of the nation to the military.
Lula knows all this, which is becoming more evident every day, and in order to be able to govern calmly, he tries to calm the spirits of the three military powers with new economic aid while the Government will close its eyes to the possible responsibilities of the Army in the failed coup. military.
The Brazilian Executive tries to close whatever the hindrance of the possible responsibilities of the military in the coup to focus on economic reforms that improve the situation of millions of Brazilians still on the brink of misery, while trying with its international activism to place to Brazil at the top of the limelight as a fundamental piece in the new and difficult international balances with an ongoing war on which no one yet feels capable of predicting its end.
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