Brazil’s education minister said that school textbooks will be revised to deny the 1964 coup as it was a “democratic regime by force.”
Brazil’s education Minister Ricardo Velez said Wednesday that school textbooks will be revised to deny the 1964 coup.
According to Velez, Brazil will teach the children “a wider version of history.” Velez said that the 1964 military ousting of the democratically elected President Joao Goulart was not a coup and the following 21 years of military rule was "a democratic regime by force.”
Velez told local media that the textbooks should "rescue the vision" of the events in 1964 so students could develop "true and real idea" of events.
The comments of the minister came just days after the far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said that the coup’s anniversary will be celebrated in the country.
"Brazilian history shows that what happened on 31 March 1964 was a sovereign decision by Brazilian society," he told local media.
On March 1964, the democratically elected President Goulart was ousted without bloodshed but what ensued was a brutal and repressive administration for 21 years.
Before democracy was restored in the South American country, almost 500 were victims of enforced disappearance or murder, and thousands were tortured and detained.
However, for the education minister, the military rule was "a democratic regime by force which was necessary at the time" and the unseating of President Goulart was "an institutional shift, not a coup against the constitution at the time.”
The change in textbooks will be “progressive shift.”
The president of the Brazilian Association of Textbooks, Candido Grangeiro criticized Velez’s plan saying that the changes should be based on academic research and not on opinions.
The association is "opposed to any type of revisionism based on opinions,” said Grangeiro.