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New leaders reject criticism of coup against Rousseff

BRAZIL’S new senate-imposed leadership lashed out at neighbouring countries’ left-wing governments and regional body Unasur at the weekend for their criticism of the ousting of democratically elected President Dilma Rousseff.
Foreign Minister Jose Serra declared that President Michel Temer’s administration “emphatically rejects the statements of the governments of Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua.”
These countries were first to speak out against the parliamentary coup that removed Ms Rousseff from power via a sham impeachment process.
Only the government of right-wing Argentinian President Mauricio Macri has backed the coup government.
Mr Serra also criticised Union of South American Nations (Unasur) secretary-general Ernesto Samper, who told regional TV network Telesur that Ms Rousseff remained “the legitimate leader” of the Brazilian people and retained “democratic legitimacy” by virtue of having been re-elected in 2014.
“Such judgments and interpretations of the secretary-general are incompatible with the functions he exercises and with the mandate given to him from South American countries as a whole,” said Mr Serra. He claimed that the impeachment process was proceeding “within the framework of absolute respect for democratic institutions and the federal constitution.”
Ms Rousseff’s impeachment trial is based on allegations that she manipulated budget accounts, but she has not been found guilty of any crime and the constitution says that a president can only be impeached if found guilty of a “high crime.”
Former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva spent Friday with leaders of social movement and trade union organisations seeking to create a new “broad front” to resist the parliamentary coup .
Two political fronts, People Without Fear and Popular Brazil, already exist in the country, but while they occasionally hold joint events, they do not organise together due to political differences.
However, the post-coup climate may lead them to set their disagreements aside.
Mr da Silva also held meetings with leaders of major trade union confederations the CUT and CTB.
He will travel across the country over the coming weeks to speak out against Ms Rousseff’s removal.
Close ally Gilberto Carvalho said the Workers’ Party “understood that it cannot act alone nor be the driver of the struggle” against the coup.

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