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Brazil: an Olympic gold medal against a backdrop of political chaos


While Brazil got emotional with its first Olympic gold medal won by a judo champion who grew up in a favela, the Senate in Brasilia approved 59-21 to carry on with the impeachment process against the deposed president Dilma Rousseff — and in the capital, in Rio in the Copacabana beach and near the Maracanã, as well as in in São Paulo, Fortaleza, Curitiba, Belo Horizonte, Goiânia and other cities Rousseff's supporters took to the streets to protest against the institutional "coup".

While Brazil got emotional with its first Olympic gold medal won by a judo champion who grew up in a favela, the Senate in Brasilia approved 59-21 to carry on with the impeachment process against the deposed president Dilma Rousseff — and in the capital, in Rio in the Copacabana beach and near the Maracanã, as well as in in São Paulo, Fortaleza, Curitiba, Belo Horizonte, Goiânia and other cities Rousseff’s supporters took to the streets to protest against the institutional “coup”.

The two worlds — on one side the successful inauguration of the Olympics despite a load of adverse circumstances and political chaos on the other — overlapped briefly on the evening of the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Summer Games. Former Vice President Michel Temer, who will hold the presidency until the final judgment in Rousseff’s trial, and perhaps until the natural end of the mandate in 2018, broke the protocol by appearing only briefly to declare the Games open. Even so, he did not escape a chorus of boos and “Out Temer”. According to the polling institute Vox Populi, 79% of Brazilians want him to step down, up from 62% in just the last ten days coinciding with the onset of the Olympics. The nearly $12.300 billion spent for the Summer Games are a lot to take in for a population enduring ever higher unemployment and larger cuts to health care, education and social spending. A 32% of the population believes the impeachment process to be political maneuvering to install in power a right-wing neoliberal government before the 2018 elections, which Lula and Rousseff’s Workers Party (PT) could win with little effort.

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