Lula's Latest Decree Is Death Knell for Free Press
and Private Property
by Janer Cristaldo
30 January 2010 03:13
ask me if I'm not going to comment on the infamous Decree 7,037 establishing
the National Human Rights Program, the last gasp of the Kremlin's widows in a
Brazil where the essence of the air is still red. (Le fond de l'air est rouge, as the 1968 rich
kids used to say in Paris).
To be honest,
I wasn't going to comment. The mainstream media is strongly denouncing the miniconstituent dressed as a decree and it is obvious
that the text as it is is not going to pass. They
couldn't hide their impatience and greediness.
Paulo Vannuchi's plan angered many people and
powerful sectors of the country, starting with the Armed Forces and the
Church. What is not appropriate in an election season, particularly in a year
when the government is betting all its chips in another terrorist.
(Dilma Rousseff, Lula's
pick to succeed him, used to be a member of the Armed Revolutionary Vanguard Palmares, the VAR-Palmares
guerrilla group in the 1960s.)
I like to
denounce what the press doesn't. In any case, since readers insist, I'll do
it. The miniconstituent - or coup, as some
journalists define it - among other fine qualities, abolishes with a stroke
of a pen the right to property, the freedom of education and the freedom of
need a good memory to be aware that we have seen this. USSR, China, North
Korea, Cambodia, Cuba, remember? This is what happens when a country allows
miscreants who should be in jail to take the reins of power.
They say the
military were the winners of 64. Wrongo! The military
were soundly defeated in 64. Their role in history today is that of villains.
The terrorists who were supposedly defeated, who wanted to transform the
country into a Moscow banana republic, have been taken to the heroes podium.
are on top, nothing more natural than to try to make the legal text into what
already exists in embryo in practice. The right to property has been
plundered every day by the so-called landless, with the judiciary's and
executive's consent. Free press, the cornerstone of the 1988 Constitution,
became a joke.
instance small potatoes judge, with a stroke of a pen can forbid any paper
denouncing the government's corruption. As for the schools we've known for
long they are controlled by the former communosaurs.
Universities, today, especially the Catholic ones, are laboratories of
Marxism. The luminaries from the Brasília Plateau might have thought: since
we got there, let's make this thing official.
A dear friend
writes to me: "The insane decree provides, in cases of property
invasion, that the victim should seek a solution to the conflict before a
government committee (formed by some who-knows, "civil society
members.") In case this terrorist attempt succeeds we may not leave our
homes, for example, to travel. For when we come back, we may find the lock
already duly changed by the invaders. Hence, we will only be able to cry in
the ear of a committee, whose decision is not difficult to predict! Only
then, if the ominous committee does not find a solution, at that time only,
the poor plundered citizen may seek judicial assistance provided by the
Federal Constitution. Can this happen?"
It can. This
has been going on for long. Today, if a farmer has its property invaded, he
can no longer call the police and expel the invaders. The judiciary, by
claiming the right to arbitrate a police matter, gave the Catholic guerrilla
on a plate what the bandits most wanted. Indeed, even if a judge grants the
owner the legal possession, depending on the state the Executive may have the
luxury of disobeying the court order.
me in all this is that the so-called homeless haven't yet started to invade
beach houses, which after all lack "social function" most of the
year. But my friend will get it all sooner or later. At the rate we are
going, we will get there rather sooner than later. With or without the Human
Rights Decree. And we'll have enough left-wing judges to recognize the right
of possession of the invader.
In Spain they
are already there. A citizen, I cannot remember now from which city, went on
vacation and when he came back, he found the apartment had been raided and
the lock changed. This happened about 15 months ago. To date, the owner has
not regained possession. If it were I, I'd smash the door, get in by force and
send the bum away.
can break into my house, why can't I, the owner, do the same? It turns out
that the law does not allow it. If I have the property, the villain has the
possession. And if in Spain there have been sentences to that effect, it will
not take long before the fashion gets to us. The Gordian knot of the decree,
however, lies in another item.
It is the
terror's revenge attempt, which wants to send to jail the military that one
day, by common consent, were pardoned. To the left,
amnesty is unilateral. Only the left can be pardoned. It turns out that this
is not the tenor of the institution.
for both sides or it's not amnesty. Vannuchi in his
truculence, is proposing a return to primitive
times, when vendetta was an acceptable way of justice. The notorious decree
is a recurrence of Marxism in the Workers Party (PT).
demolished the party's ideals, some hardliners decided to unfurl again the
old flag. If it catches, it catches. But it won't pass. I would say it is like
a goat in the room. In this case in the presidential office.
goat, everyone will be happy with what they already have. Will remain, of
course, some of the animal excrement. For a country that swallows Lula,
swallowing shit will be quite easy.
Cristaldo - he holds a Ph.D. from University of
Paris, Sorbonne - is an author, translator, lawyer, philosopher and
journalist and lives in São Paulo. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
from the Portuguese by Arlindo Silva.