Brazil’s interim president Michel Temer reportedly was an informant for US intelligence, according to the latest Wikileaks revelations. Moreover, he doesn’t have much support in his home country where the latest polls show only two percent of the population would vote for him in a presidential election.
RT: What could be the consequences of this leak for the interim President Michel Temer?
Mark Weisbrot: Well, it is hard to say. This is a new government that is going to be or wants to be very close to the US. They want to appoint as Foreign Minister, Jose Serra, who ran for president in 2010 and he lost. But he ran on of the platform that was extremely close to US foreign policy. He criticized all of Brazil’s neighbors; accused Bolivia of encouraging drug trafficking; went after Venezuela. He criticized the previous government, the [Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s] government for trying to trying to arrange the nuclear fuel swap arrangement with Turkey and Iran – that was back in 2010. He was very much in line with US foreign policy in the region. This is the kind of foreign policy they want to put forward.
RT: Do you think the revelations can undermine Temer’s legitimacy?
MW: He doesn’t have a lot of legitimacy to begin with. He’s got something like 2 percent of the people who said they would vote for him. He is under investigation, like most of the members of Congress that are trying to get rid of the president. He is widely disliked and the whole process by which they are trying to remove the president is widely seen as unconstitutional.
RT: Can we expect any reaction from the US on this? Is it likely that Washington will support their former informant and his government?
The US is supporting them, but they are not doing it openly. For example, a few weeks ago the leader of the impeachment in the Senate, Aloysio Nunes, came to the US, met with a top official of the US State Department, Thomas Shannon, who has been involved in helping other coups in the region, including Honduras in 2009, the military coup, was very much involved in helping that coup succeed. He was also involved in the aftermath of the Paraguay coup in 2012, which is very much like this one with the government and the president in less than 48 hours.
Thomas Shannon is a person who is going to recommend to the government what to do. He is the number three person in the US State Department, and is a former Brazilian ambassador. He is definitely going to be deciding. He met with this leader of the impeachment process or the coup, and he didn’t have to do that. He could have said he was busy, anything. So, by meeting with him right in the midst of Dilma [Rousseff’s] impeachment, I think that was a way of showing everybody who is paying close attention that the US basically supports the coup. They are not going to say anything or do anything more than that, because they want to create the appearance of neutrality.
But it is very similar to what they did in Honduras at very first in 2009, when the military coup happened. The White House immediately issued a statement, which didn’t condemn the coup at all, unlike all the other countries. That was their way of telling everybody that they supported it, because in the 21st century they couldn’t say they supported a military coup. I think that they want to have this case to the pretense of neutrality. But everybody who is doing the actual coup knows, including the media – they are of course a big part of this effort – the US is on their side, and the US is going to try and get a government that is more like the governments prior to the Workers’ Party, that is, more subordinate to their interests.