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Wed Dec 26, 2018, 03:44 PM

Bolsonaro's Brazil: Chicago Boy-style Neoliberalism

DECEMBER 26, 2018

On January 1, 2019, Jair Bolsonaro will begin his four-year term as Brazil’s president. Everyone expects his government to follow a neoliberal path. The only question that seems to remain is how far they can actually go.

When it comes to neoliberal reforms, all eyes are on Paulo Guedes, Brazil’s next minister of the economy, who will head a ‘super-ministry’ that combines finance, industry, trade and planning.

Guedes is a committed neoliberal. He not only earned his PhD at the University of Chicago where he was taught by the extreme right-wing economist Milton Friedman, but he is also a well-known fan of the Chicago boy economists who managed Chile’s economy during the Pinochet dictatorship, turning Chile into the first experiment in neoliberalism in Latin America.

During that time Guedes taught economics at the University of Chile, demonstrating he has no moral objections serving under a right-wing authoritarian, be it General Pinochet of Chile or Brazil’s incoming president Jair Bolsonaro. And when it comes to Brazil, Guedes is set on a “Pinochet-style” fix of the economy: “The Chicago boys saved Chile, fixed Chile, fixed the mess”, he stated in a Financial Times interview. Guedes now has set his sights on ‘fixing’ the Brazilian economy in a similar way.


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Reply Bolsonaro's Brazil: Chicago Boy-style Neoliberalism (Original post)
Judi Lynn Dec 2018 OP
safeinOhio Dec 2018 #1
sandensea Dec 2018 #2
Judi Lynn Dec 2018 #3

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2018, 04:18 PM

1. The Pinochet Affair: I saw them herded to their death. I heard the gunfire as they died'

"THERE WERE two lines. We called them the line of life and the line of death. One line led out, away from the stadium, the other led inside," Adam Schesch, a veteran of the 1973 coup in Chile, recalls.
"The demeanour of people in the one line seemed relaxed. The people in the other line were heavily guarded. They seemed stunned, stolid-faced. We never saw those people again."

In September 1973, Mr Schesch was held prisoner for 10 days in the bowels of Santiago's national stadium as the madness and evil of a military coup played out in front of him.


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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 26, 2018, 05:24 PM

2. To say nothing of neighboring Argentina.

There, the 1976-83 dictatorship wrecked the economy using free trade, financial deregulation, and union-busting (over half the 22,000 disappeared were union members).

It's not mentioned as often as Chile under Pinochet; but it was much worse both in terms of human rights atrocities and the socio-economic disaster they left behind.

Fast forward 40 years, and Argentina's aw-shucks right-wing president, Macri (a personal friend of Cheeto's), has just put them through the very same financial bubble/bad debt/collapse cycle as we speak.

History, it's said, tends to repeat itself. First as tragedy, then as farce.

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 27, 2018, 07:33 PM

3. So glad Mr. Schesch made his statement to someone outside the US media.

I don't believe corporate media sources here would have bothered to publish his words, which should be remembered for their eloquence. From the Independent article you posted:

"It was not genocide but `politicide' what he was doing. He was trying to wipe out the leadership of a whole generation of the working class," he said.

Thank you for sharing this information. It really needs to be seen. At the time this all happened, the U.S., under Nixon was delighted to have placed Pinochet in power, and wanted Chile to stay that way.

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