Marina Silva is a presidential hopeful running on the Socialist Party ticket. Her personality attracted the attention of CIA in the mid-1980s when she was attending the Federal University of Acre. Back then she was taking great interest in the theory of Marxism and became a member of clandestine Revolutionary Communist Party.
Soon her infatuation with leftist views was over as she switched to fighting for environment protection in the Amazon region. The US special services have always been interested in this part of the continent hoping to control it in case of geopolitical emergency.
Thus, the Brazilian environmental activist was noted by the CIA and some smiling guys established contact with her. It was not an occasion that in 1985 she joined the Workers’ Party (PT – Partido dos Trabalhadores) that opened new prospects for her political rise. In 1994 Marina Silva was elected to the federal Senate with the reputation of ardent environment protection activist.
That’s when the information on her ties with the CIA started to go around. In 1996 she received the Goldman Environmental Prize. She has got other prestigious decorations for environment protection as well. CIA curators did their best to raise her rating. For five years she served as a member of cabinet under Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva changing her party allegiance.
In 2009 Silva announced her switch from the Workers’ Party to the Green Party primarily in protest against the environmental policies endorsed by the PT. Ms. Silva really shook up Brazilian politics by announcing her intention after nearly three decades. She had polled nearly 20 million votes in the 2010 election as a Green Party candidate and accepted a role as Campos’ vice-presidential candidate when attempts to found her own Sustainability Network party foundered. Dilma Rousseff, the PT candidate, wanted to continue independent policies practiced by her predecessor Lula da Silva. It did not suit Washington.
The US relationship with Brazil has worsened recently as a result of eavesdropping scandal. The US National Security Agency (NSA) spied on Dilma Rousseff and the members of her cabinet. The Brazilian President has even suspended her official visit to the United States as a sign of protest. She never got apologies or promises to stop spying activities. So she started to act. The President has condemned the NSA and CIA activities in Latin America and taken steps to enhance communications safety and tighten control over US representatives working in the country. It provoked exasperation on the part of Barack Obama.
The presidential election in Brazil is slated for October 5. Washington wants to make Dilma Rousseff a one term president. US special services launched a campaign aimed at getting rid of the current Brazilian leader. At first they provoked allegedly spontaneous street protests calling for changes and leaving the «old policies» behind. There were youth groups raising voices against political parties’ propaganda and symbols, especially the Workers’ Party.
Marina Silva formed the Sustainability Network Party. It is still a mystery where she got funds from. The new organization was to take the place of the old parties that allegedly became relics and over the hill. The 2014 presidential election is supposed to make Marina and her Network Party become a wisp of fresh air shaking the political landscape of Brazil and removing «archaic» political forces.
Having come third with 19 million votes in the last election, she was initially denied another opportunity to run on the top of presidential ticket after failing to get the signatures needed to get her Sustainability Network party on the ballot.
But the tragedy that killed Campos and six others near São Paulo last month gave Silva an unexpected second chance to fulfill her presidential ambitions.
To become the country’s first black President, she will have to defeat the first female President, Rousseff of the Workers’ Party (PT), as well as the pro-business Aécio Neves of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), who is now running in third place. The White House is frustrated. Campos had no chances, but he was adamant to stay in race no matter the Brazilian media accused him of involvement in corruption schemes. Dilma Rousseff and her team went under strong attacks too.
On August 13 the Brazil’s presidential election campaign was thrown into uncertainty when a private jet carrying the socialist party candidate Eduardo Campos crashed into a residential area near São Paulo. Campos and the six other crew and passengers were killed in the accident, which occurred in bad weather as the Cessna plane was preparing to land.
The deaths prompted a wave of mourning across the country, which is likely to be followed by speculation about the effect on the presidential vote on 5 October. President Dilma Rousseff declared three days of official mourning for Campos who she served alongside in the Lula government. The aircraft had gone through regular technical service with no glitches ever found.
The Cessna recorder in the cabin happened to be out of order. It raises questions. It had worked smoothly before but failed to record the conversations on the day of the tragedy. The plane used to often change owners (US and Brazilian businessmen representing companies with dubious reputation). Some Brazilian commentators believe that it was an assassination.
Before the tragedy the aircraft had been used by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). People sent by former owners could get access to the plane under different pretexts. It makes one wonder. Could the United States be behind the tragedy? Who exactly did it?
The aircraft took off in Rio de Janeiro where a CIA station functions on the territory of US consulate. No doubt the office is used by the Agency. Perhaps the Brazilian special services should pay attention on those who speedily left the country right after the plane crash in Santos.
The death of Eduardo Campos spurred the Silva’s rating as she was running on the Socialist Party’s ballot. If Campos never gathered more than 9-10% she scored 34-35% in the first round. The predictions say the support is to increase in the run-off election.
Marina Silva is painted as a staunch fighter against corruption and a person who could assuage internal confrontations. She promises to work with everyone: all groups, parties and coalitions, no matter the existing differences. It’s hard to say what her real intentions are. It’s always hard to say something definite when talking about the people supported by the United States.
Too often Silva switched sides. For instance, joining Campos she supported the idea of keeping the ideas of Chavez (Hugo Chavez – late President of Venezuela known for his socialist convictions and left wing policy) away from Brazil. Today she says the President Lula’s team that she worked with was too much Chavista (pro-Chavez). Now what about her proclaimed readiness to work with everyone?
No doubt the Brazilian Workers’ Party enjoys wide support but it can hardly be compared with the ruling party in Venezuela. Perhaps the Central Intelligence Agency wants to use Silva for the implementation of its old plan to create an «alternative left wing belt» in Latin America to oppose the authoritarian, populist and archaic regimes in Venezuela and Cuba.
Silva is becoming more neo-liberal as the campaign proceeds. She says there is no need to make BRICS another «center of power» and speed up the implementation of the bloc’s recent decisions to establish a development bank, a reserve fund etc.
Silva has doubts about the South American Defense Council. In half-muted voice she calls for paying less attention to MERCOSUR (from Spanish Mercado Común del Sur, a sub-regional bloc comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela) and UNASUR (The Union of South American Nations, Spanish: Unión de Naciones Suramericanas, an intergovernmental union integrating two existing customs unions – Mercosur and the Andean Community of Nations – as part of a continuing process of South American integration). According to her, the development of bilateral relations should be given a priority. These views run counter to the process of Latin America integration.
How will Brazilians react to neoliberal turn in the country’s policy in case she wins? There is a big chance it will end up in social unrest. They have become accustomed to social progress in the country. The people are listened to, reforms are brought into life, and the country is stable and making progress.
If Silva becomes President (George Soros, an American business magnate, investor and philanthropist, provided her campaign with significant funds) there will be a great possibility of having many social and economic programs suspended to evoke wide discontent. To achieve this goal the American offices in Brazil are being filled with special agents tasked to spur civil protests.
Nil NIKANDROV | SCF