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  • Women shout at a protest against Brazil's interim President Michel Temer and in support of suspended President Dilma Rousseff at Paulista Avenue in Sao Paulo.

    Women shout at a protest against Brazil's interim President Michel Temer and in support of suspended President Dilma Rousseff at Paulista Avenue in Sao Paulo. | Photo: Reuters

Published 31 May 2016

By the OAS’s own rules what happened in Brazil is unconstitutional, but OAS head Luis Almagro has decided to go after Venezuela instead.

OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro invoked the body’s Democratic Charter against Venezuela, which could lead to the suspension of the Caribbean nation from the Organization of American States, but took no action on the recent legislative coup in Brazil which placed a right-wing unelected government in power.

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Many observers have already called the suspension of President Dilma Rousseff in Brazil and the takeover of power by unelected and corrupt right-wing leaders a coup, yet the OAS has yet to take any action against the new Brazilian government led by Michel Temer, who has been linked to corruption. Indeed calls for his impeachment had also been made when he was still the vice president.

Renowned U.S. linguist and political commentator Noam Chomsky said earlier this month that Rousseff has been “impeached by a gang of thieves” through a “soft coup” led by the opposition parties in the country.

Several leaked recordings have already suggested that the impeachment process initiated by right-wing lawmakers in the country’s Congress is meant to cover up the opposition figures' involvement in a major corruption scandal, known as Operation Car Wash, within the national petroleum company.

A total of seven of Temer’s interim ministers are implicated in Operation Car Wash, including Planning Minister Romero Juca, who stepped aside this week over a bombshell leak.

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The then-senator was caught secretly on tape saying he was talking to military commanders and the Supreme Court to ensure Rousseff’s ouster as part of a plot to halt the fraud probe targeting him and his allies.

Despite such damning revelations and mounting evidence that opposition lawmakers and elite conspired against the democratically elected government, Almagro opted to take no action and instead invoke his body’s charter against Venezuela upon the request of the Venezuelan opposition, which leads the country’s national assembly.

However, according to the body’s charter and its 28 articles, what has happened in Brazil warrants taking action by the OAS against the coup government.

The new coup-imposed government of Brazil violates the OAS charter’s articles 17,18 and 19 which concern the risks and violations to the democratic political institutional process or its legitimate exercise of power.

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Article 19 of the charter states that “unconstitutional interruption of the democratic order or an unconstitutional alteration of the constitutional regime that seriously impairs the democratic order in a member state” could lead the secretary general to invoke the the Democratic Charter and call for an emergency meeting to assess the situation.

The coup in Brazil also violates articles 1,2,3 and 4 which call for the protection of democracy in member states and the protection of the legitimate exercise of power while protecting the population’s right to choose their government.

The new unelected government also violates Article 28 which states that member states “shall promote the full and equal participation of women in the political structures of their countries as a fundamental element in the promotion and exercise of a democratic culture.”

The new Brazilian Cabinet is all-male and all-white and the trend runs all the way down within ministries and other government officials.

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