Since the return of Brazil’s military to government in 2016, it’s objectives, and desire for permanence of its political project far beyond current frontman Bolsonaro, have become increasingly clear. The latest edition of a manifesto “Project of the Nation” which has circulated in military circles for several years, lays out how it foresees the next decade of Brazilian history, and a continuation of its ideological war on socialism, social democracy, and ideas of the wider left.
By Plinio Teodoro. Originally published at Revista Forum.
A 93-page document entitled “Project of the Nation” mobilized a portion of the military – among them the vice president, Hamilton Mourão, and the former commander of the Army, Eduardo Villas Bôas – last Thursday (19th May) in Brasília.
The “study” is under the tutelage of General Luiz Eduardo Rocha Paiva, former president of the Terrorism Never Again (Ternuma) group, the NGO of Colonel Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra, and is endorsed by the Sagres Institute, directed by him, and by the NGO of the former army commander, Instituto General Villas Bôas (IGVB) – the man who threatened the Federal Supreme Court (STF) in 2018 during the habeas corpus trial that would have given Lula his freedom. The so-called Federalist Institute completes the triad.
Surreally, the “study” begins with a “conjuncture report”, showing “political-strategic evolution” dated September 2035, when “so-called globalism prevails — an internationalist movement whose objective is to determine, direct and control relations between nations and among the citizens themselves, through positions, attitudes, interventions and impositions of an authoritarian character, but disguised as socially correct and necessary”.
The document, which is being distributed by the Sagres Institute – an NGO that brings together military and ultraconservatives to provide “consultancy” – and the IGVB, predicts that “Bolsonarismo” will triumph to date and lists 37 themes, divided into seven axes, for the implementation of the “nation project”.
Among the goals are the end of the obligation to free public health system SUS, and the collection of tuition fees at public universities by 2025.
“It is worth noting the efforts undertaken by successive governments, from the beginning of the 2020s, with a view to improving the management and control system of public resources allocated to the SUS. In addition, from 2025, the Public Power began to collect compensation for services rendered”, says the text with a futuristic air.
“As for Higher Education, the picture was not very different. Large sectors of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) – mainly public ones – became centers of ideological struggle and political-party indoctrination”, says the “study” in another passage, emphasizing that “an important milestone for improving the performance of public universities, but which faced strong resistance to take hold, was the decision to charge tuition/annual fees”.
Generals Villas Bôas and Mourão, stars of the event
The launch event of the “nation project” took place in the auditorium of the Army Housing Foundation (FHE), an entity that manages the Savings and Loan Association (Poupex) of the military, and had Villas Bôas and Mourão as stars.
“Certainly, here is an important part of Brazil’s strategic thinking,” said the former army commander in a speech read by the President of the IGVB, Maria Aparecida Villas Bôas, the soldier’s wife.
In his speech, Mourão, who is a pre-candidate for the Senate for the Republicans in Rio Grande do Sul, thanked the “work of giants”.
“I leave here tonight extremely rewarded for everything I have seen and for, once again, believing that the cornerstone is being laid here for what I consider to be the Manifest Destiny of our Country: to be the largest and most prosperous liberal democracy south of the equator,” said the vice president.