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Fernando Alcoforado *
Several factors explain the outbreak of the coup ...
became an independent country and able to be allied with the Soviet Union as happened
with Cuba.
Given the major structu...
regional planning and planning of energy systems, is the author of Globalização (Editora Nobel, São
Paulo, 1997), De Col...
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The lessons of the coup d´etat of 1964 in brazil


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The lessons of the coup d´etat of 1964 in brazil

  1. 1. 1 THE LESSONS OF THE COUP D´ETAT OF 1964 IN BRAZIL Fernando Alcoforado * Several factors explain the outbreak of the coup d´etat that deposed in 1964 President João Goulart. The first is related to the decline in the economic growth process inaugurated in Brazil during Juscelino Kubitschek (1955-1960) government which exacerbated social tensions in the Country. The second concerns the increase of existing internal contradictions in Brazil between, on one hand, capital and labor and on the other, between landowners and peasants. The third concerns the conflict between political forces interested in national economic emancipation and forces defending maintaining the subordination of Brazil to international capital. The fourth factor concerns the conflict between the capitalist world system, led by the United States, and the socialist system led by the Soviet Union. Finally, the fifth factor concerns the crisis between the presidency and the Armed Forces not addressed by President Goulart. All these factors contributed to the coup d´etat of 1964 and the deployment of military dictatorship that lasted 21 years in Brazil . It should be noted that in 1961, Brazil had entered a period of recession and stagnation with hyperinflation greatly contributing to rising unemployment and social tensions after Juscelino Kubitschek government (1955-1960) when Brazil achieved high rates of growth of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) that on average was 7.9 % per year in the period, generating at the same time, hyperinflation and bottlenecks in the Brazilian economy. In the brief period in which João Goulart ruled Brazil (1961-1964), political conflicts and social tensions became serious. This is due to the fact that they were already exhausted the possibilities of growth of the Brazilian economy based on the expansion of the consumer durables industry, especially the automotive industry, which a decade earlier had been the main driver of economic growth. During the government of João Goulart, the contradiction between capital and labor greatly increased due to the fall in economic growth, the loss of purchasing power of workers resulting from rising unemployment and hyperinflation and the existence of a working class and labor movement gestated by a process of industrialization increasingly claimant in defending the interests of workers. In turn, in the field, increased tensions between landowners and peasants organized through the peasant leagues claimed the land reform with land expropriation of large estates. Since the beginning of his term, João Goulart lacked legislative support to pass easily their political, economic and social projects that therefore the government stability was compromised. As a solution to resolve the frequent impasses encountered by the lack of political support in Congress, João Goulart adopted the strategy of permanent mobilization of popular sectors in order to get social support for his government. The government of João Goulart allied to current national and reformist who sought national liberation from the yoke of imperialism, especially the United States which have had to cope with political forces interested in maintaining the "status quo" ruling ideas. It is noteworthy that besides the contradiction between the Brazilian nation and imperialism, especially the U.S., the global conflict between the capitalist system led by the United States and the socialist system led by the Soviet Union also contributed to the occurrence of coup d´etat in 1964 because, from the geopolitical point of view, the world was divided between two areas of influence (capitalist and socialist). Brazil in 1964 was considered capitalist influence area under the leadership of the United States. It would be unacceptable to the United States and its local allies admit that Brazil
  2. 2. 2 became an independent country and able to be allied with the Soviet Union as happened with Cuba. Given the major structural problems experienced by Brazil and to cope with the economic, political and social crisis existing in the first years of the 1960s, the government sought to implement Goulart denominated Basic Reform based on the Three-Year Plan which was a restructuring proposal a series of economic and social sectors in Brazil that began to be discussed during the Kubitschek government in 1958. Basic reform became the flag of the Goulart government. Under the name of "basic reforms" were gathered initiatives aimed at the banking, tax, urban, administrative, agrarian reform and university. Also included to provide the right to vote for the illiterates and subordinate patents of Armed Forces. The measures also sought greater involvement of the state in economic affairs, regulating foreign investment in Brazil. Among the changes required by the basic reform was, first, the agrarian reform. The objective was to enable thousands of rural workers had access to land in the hands of the estate. The laws of remittance of profits that sought to reduce the high rate of profits that large foreign companies in Brazil and conquered the freezing of rents had already been approved by Congress. The onslaught of the government for the implementation of basic reforms began on March 13, 1964 through a major rally in Central Brazil Station in Rio de Janeiro in which João Goulart and Brizola announced major changes in Brazil. About 200 thousand people attended that day, which upset more conservative sectors. In this rally, President João Goulart announced the signing of the decree that nationalized private oil refineries and decree that expropriated uncultivated land located on the edge of roads and railways. As the proposals were influenced by leftist thinking, proponents of capitalism, landlordism and members of the feared Brazilian right about the growth of a possible Communist government in the Country. The rally in Central Brazil Staion was the decisive moment to determine the organization of the military to initiate the coup d´etat that was triggered in March 31 / April 1 of 1964 establishing a military dictatorship in Brazil. The Armed Forces were also influenced by ideological bias experienced by the Brazilian company that political situation, causing the breakdown of hierarchy and discipline due to the uprising of subaltern sectors. The students of the subject claim that the breakdown of hierarchy and discipline in the Armed Forces was the main factor that caused the removal of loyalist soldiers who stopped supporting the government of João Goulart, facilitating the coup d´etat movement. One indisputable fact is that the dictatorship implanted in 1964 has no parallel in the history of Brazil. Despite being called a military dictatorship, many civilians cooperated and participated since the outbreak of the coup d´etat until the end of the dictatorship in 1985. Also foreign aid from the government were the soldiers who gave the blow, they chose the presidents, who commanded the repressive apparatus and gave orders to hunt and exterminate leftist groups, but the dictatorship would not be installed if there weren´t civil support and United States under the presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson. The coup d´etat did not tell only supported by tanks and rifles. Had the right political parties, aggressive media, entrepreneurs enemies of workers and trade unions, farmers armed against the Peasant Leagues, anti-religious, among others. They were all adept of the coup d´etat so much military. The dictatorship was therefore as civilian and military. * Alcoforado, Fernando, engineer and doctor of Territorial Planning and Regional Development from the University of Barcelona, a university professor and consultant in strategic planning, business planning,
  3. 3. 3 regional planning and planning of energy systems, is the author of Globalização (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 1997), De Collor a FHC- O Brasil e a Nova (Des)ordem Mundial (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 1998), Um Projeto para o Brasil (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 2000), Os condicionantes do desenvolvimento do Estado da Bahia (Tese de doutorado. Universidade de Barcelona,, 2003), Globalização e Desenvolvimento (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 2006), Bahia- Desenvolvimento do Século XVI ao Século XX e Objetivos Estratégicos na Era Contemporânea (EGBA, Salvador, 2008), The Necessary Conditions of the Economic and Social Development-The Case of the State of Bahia (VDM Verlag Dr. Muller Aktiengesellschaft & Co. KG, Saarbrücken, Germany, 2010), Aquecimento Global e Catástrofe Planetária (P&A Gráfica e Editora, Salvador, 2010), Amazônia Sustentável- Para o progresso do Brasil e combate ao aquecimento global (Viena- Editora e Gráfica, Santa Cruz do Rio Pardo, São Paulo, 2011) and Os Fatores Condicionantes do Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (Editora CRV, Curitiba, 2012), among others.