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News > Latin America

Brazilian Coup Leader Attacks Ecuador, Venezuela and Bolivia

  • Brazil's coup president Michel Temer (C) stands near Foreign Minister Jose Serra (L) at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, May 12, 2016.

    Brazil's coup president Michel Temer (C) stands near Foreign Minister Jose Serra (L) at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, May 12, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Published 4 September 2016

Foreign Affairs Minister Jose Serra tried to suggest that leftist governments in the region had something to learn from the coup in Brazil.

Jose Serra, minister of foreign affairs for the coup regime in Brazil, used undiplomatic language to criticize the decision of Ecuador, Venezuela and Bolivia to withdraw their ambassadors after the Brazilian Congress voted to oust Dilma Rousseff from power in a parliamentary coup.

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“I hope (Ecuador, Venezuela and Bolivia) have the maturity to learn from the Brazilian democratic experience,” said Serra from China, where he is accompanying coup leader Michel Temer.

The platform given to Serra to make these comments as foreign minister comes only as a result of a successful right-wing effort by elites to reach the highest levels of power in Brazil despite their repeated losses in elections. 

Serra himself ran for president on behalf of right-wing coalitions and was soundly rejected by the Brazilian people twice. He also played a key role in mobilizing support within his Social Democratic Party for the coup against Dilma.

The foreign minister was more cautious about his criticism toward Uruguay, which also condemned the coup in Brazil.

 “I am sure our relations with Uruguay will improve,” said Serra.

However, the coup government's democratic credentials, when it comes to relations with Uruguay are also in disrepute. 

Uruguayan Foreign Minister Rodolfo Novoa had previously accused Brazil's coup regime of trying to prevent the transmission of the temporary presidency of Mercosur from Uruguay to Venezuela through a bribe.

Serra also tried to suggest Venezuela was not a member of Merocur, the South American trade bloc that also includes Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina. Bolivia is in the process of becoming a full member.

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Serra is an influential politician within Temer's coup government and is widely perceived as a right-wing voice within the regime.

In a 2009 diplomatic cable leaked by WikiLeaks Serra is said to have told foreign oil companies that the framework for offshore oil exploration, designed by then President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of the Workers' Party, could easily be reversed. 

The offshore oil exploration framework was explicitly designed to favor the state's interests via the state-run oil company Petrobras, to the disappointment of multinational oil companies.

Serra, who was then seeking the presidency, told Chevron that he would work to change the framework to suit the oil giant's interests. 

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