US backs Brazil coup, LA left gov'ts protest

Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador have withdrawn their ambassadors in protest at the institutional coup in Brazil.

United States State Department spokesperson John Kirby said on August 31 that Brazil's democratic institutions had acted within the country's constitutional framework when the Senate voted to oust elected president Dilma Rousseff and install Michel Temer as the new leader.

The US defence of the process that removed Brazil's elected president stands in contrast to many critics, including several Latin American governments, who have labelled it an institutional coup.

Kirby said the US expects to continue having good relations with Brazil after the Senate vote that day installed former vice-president Michel Temer as president until December 2018.

Meanwhile, the governments of Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela recalled their ambassadors to Brazil in protest at the Senate's imposition of a new government.

Venezuela said it had decided “to freeze all political and diplomatic relations with a government that emerged from a parliamentary coup”.

The Ecuadorian government condemned the Senate decision to oust Rousseff, who was elected president to a second term with a popular mandate of 54 million votes in 2014. Ecuador's government said it “cannot ignore the fact that many of the decision-makers in Rousseff's impeachment are being investigated for serious acts of corruption”.

Temer, new foreign minister Jose Serra, chief impeachment leader Eduardo Cunha and several other high-profile figures behind Rousseff's ouster are embroiled in huge corruption scandals.

“These unfortunate events, unacceptable in the 21st century, pose a serious risk to the stability of our region and constitute a grave setback in the consolidation of democracy,” said Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa on Twitter.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro tweeted: “All solidarity with @dilma and the people of Brazil, we condemn the right-wing oligarchic coup, those who fight will prevail!”

“Never again will we lend legitimacy to these practices, which remind us of the darkest hours of our America,” he wrote. “All of our solidarity goes out to our comrade Dilma, with Lula, and all of the Brazilian people.”

The Ecuadorian government statement also warned that the widely condemned “soft coup” signals a threat to regional integration. It comes amid the reconsolidation of the right-wing with underhanded tactics after the left-wing “pink tide” swept South America over a decade ago.

Ahead of the final impeachment vote, Bolivian President Evo Morales tweeted: “We defend democracy and peace.”

[Compiled from TeleSUR English.]

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