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The Political Situation in Brazil During The Cold War

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The Cold War was a susceptible, yet secured rivalry between the army of United States, Soviet Union and their allies. It devoted itself upon political, economic and propaganda fronts. Brazil was an US ally during the war, however when the US responded radically to the Cuban Revolution, Brazil was vulnerable and saw danger everywhere. When Kubitschek introduced his plan to restore relationships with the US, everything settled back. An exclusionary political system before 1954 was interrupted when Juscelino Kubitschek, by 1955, became Brazil’s twenty-first President. Kubitschek main motto was fifty years in five. It was a moment of social stability and farther industrialization which resulted in great outcomes for Brazil, such as Brasilia itself. Brasilia was a perfectly built city to become the new capital of Brazil, accommodating the congress better, as well as being centralized, thus making it easier for international affairs . Subsequently Kubitschek´s ceased presidency,

Jânio Quadros, the former mayor of São Paulo, commanded Brazil during 7 months through 1961. Quadros was known for his populist style of government, honesty and arbitrary behaviour that spot Brazil into the map. Brazil became internationally significant as Quadros’ foreign policy of uniting and balancing the Eastern Bloc and United States was popularized. Furthermore, Quadros agreed to a parliamentary regime due to confrontation with the military. Nonetheless by 1963 a plebiscite was held that restored the presidency era again. Yet, he indeed ended his career when he did not have reliable governmental projects to grow Brazil in any ways. Unusual measures, such as bikinis being unacceptable in beaches, “Lanca-Perfume”’s prohibition & more, were introduced. After suffering from months of unpopularity, likewise hatred, he decided to resign.

As João Goulart rose to power, by 1963, his ‘Three-year Plan’ was initiated, devoting itself towards establishing socio-economic developments. To accomplish this plan, Goulart began undergoing his Structural Reforms. Jango’s Structural Reforms divided Brazil’s society into 2: left-wings parties, such as student organisations, and right-wing parties, such as high-ranking military officials. This huge political radicalisation generated disagreement between these two halves of Brazil’s society. After numerous protests against the ideologies presented, military action was desperately desired to reestablish everything. As soon as the Minister of the Navy, Sílvio Motta, ordered the arrest of Sailors, a military coup d’etat was soon put into ambulation. By the 31st – 1st of April 1964, the Armed Forces took control over the government and Joao Goulart’ s regime officially ended.

The 1964 military coup d’etat was a result of beliefs that Joao Goulart was leading Brazil towards a communist fate. According to the National Security Doctrine, that established firmly that the Armed Forces were entirely responsible for the stability of the state, supervision of political, economic & social systems and integrate international capitalist systems, the soldiers had rights to make a move. Throughout the period of 1964-1968, chaos and strifes were flourished, thus portraying controversial judgements on behalf of the military dictatorship. Many believed the soldiers were amiss towards their treatment to those who opposed their views, and others agreed with such a behaviour.

The media has always been a great influential medium used to escalate news and information throughout the world. With the technological advancements, data was even faster to reach people’s attention. However with these facts, there came also rumors and cautioning news that could possibly abuse and displease the one reading it. During the 1960s and 1970s, Brazilian citizens provoked artistics movements that protested against the regime. Those that were politically engrossed, supported the need for social change, and hence acted as mouthpieces for social evolution through their lyrics. Separately, others generated their acts against the cultural criterions. The government could not accommodate everyone, thus different and unequal beliefs were introduced, which later resulted in conflict of interests.

The media, as means of mass communication, was extremely endangering for the government. Through their rapid influential power, opposing ideologies could threaten the governmental beliefs and their positions. Therefore censorship was imposed, restraining artists from publishing their original pieces if it could possibly offend or harm the authority. The military government applied censorship, financing and regulation towards the media. Censorship controlled the content of the media, and ensured that this particular piece would certainly obey definite demands created by the regime. As for regulation, every piece had to go through the government scrutiny. It even reached the point in which people, artists, journalists and more disappeared or were forced to exile the country due to their disapproval of the way things used to run during the dictatorship. Lastely, financing media served as a way to systematically create the wiping out of any other voice.

During the period of the 1964 squadron coup d’etat, Brazilian citizens fought over their rights through rebellions to convey their enlightening messages. Streets were occupied with angry crowds fighting for their beliefs. On the 28th March 1968, military bureaucrats invaded the Calabouço restaurant, where students gathered themselves. The police assured that communists were reuning themselves at the location, thus invaded. A violent repression with approximately six hundred students occurred, and resulted on the death of student Edson de Santos.

Additionally, on the 29th March 1968, fifty thousand people gathered together, which later resulted in a movement with one hundred thousand people reunited to fight against the incident occurred with the students. This movement was known as the “March of One Hundred Thousand”. There, people who prior supported the “Family`s March with God for Freedom” and “Victorious March” were situated, amongst mothers, priests, children, elder people, artists and more. A great variety of cultures was focused for an equivalent goal: stop the military madness.

Moreover, on December 1968, the first artistic movement happened. The show “Opinião”, where major artists, including Nara Leão and Zé Keti, portrayed their disagreement. From there on, vast amounts of rebellions through the media materialized, one being in 1965 where Globo TV expressed how dark times were during the military dictatorship and how voidness filled people’s souls. Nonetheless, in the end of the 1960s and beginning of 1970s, the “Movimento Tropicalista”, a cultural movement mixing manifestations with new esthetic innovations, took place.

This was basically a musical genre that was predominant in the 1960s that great artists such as, Caetano Veloso and Chico Buarque, used to pursue. Songs, poems, newsletters, and more were strongly utilized to make a firm stand against the military coup d’etat. With the technological advancements and expansion, television and radio were extremely common within the population, therefore social and cultural stands were fiercely shared with the audience. As time passed, the government began realising how threatening this artistic movements came to become, thus measures should be taken.

An example of how the media successfully opposed the military system is for instance Chico Buarque ‘s song- “Despite you”, published in 1970. The first verses express how arduous it was to live during the dictatorship. It shows how they had no say. How their lives was controlled and espied. How “ Talking sideways and looking towards the floor” demonstrated that the freedom of speech was non existent, that they had literally no voice. Citizens were afraid of speaking up and thus looked down, oppressing themselves towards the conditions presented, had no identity, nothing.

It also states that the one who supposedly created the state, the same who created the sins, forgot to create the forgiveness. Notwithstanding, Buarque clearly reinforces that despite the fact that all this misery is occurring towards the Brazilian citizens, tomorrow is a bright new day, and there is still hope left. He asks the “One”, possibly the military itself, how he will control the happiness and joy of those willing to fight and stand up for themselves. Chico Buarque states that the people will join forces to combat the military system through love and union. As he says “ You will pay for this, every single tear dropped” and “ all this love suppressed, this contained sadness, cry” he clearly indicates revenge will indeed be issued, and all the lives and lost hopes will eventually be regained. Chico Buarque explains how the people, how everyone united as one will end this disgrace, end this emptiness.

Howbeit, the government could not admit such a thing. They could certainly not accept such a revolt against their system with no consequences. Thereupon, they applied censorship to the media released, blocking people’s messages with firm stand, for instance, torture, kidnap, homicide, assassinations and more. Many newspapers and reports were censured for being too sensationalists and perhaps threatening for the government. Others, like songs and poems were also censured for expressing ideas against the principles of the ministry.

These artistic pieces provoked cultural atrocities that could devote into further contemporary revolutionary movements, hence the military civil servants were concerned of this intimidation. The media as a vehicle for communications indeed had significant power over the information unleashed in the country, the government consequently had to contain as much as possible, before their duties could be risked.

During the period of 1968-78, many Institutional Acts (AI), being norms created especially for the military regime, were issued. The government stated that their role was simply to culminate subversion. However, a specific act, called AI-5, generated even more chaos for Brazil’s population. The AI-5, released on the 13th of December 1968, allowed the government to cease mandates and suspend each and every political rights any citizen had for ten years. It also stated that the one to be imprisoned, could have his belongings taken from him and finally, that Habeas Corpus, legal right for freedom- until proven guilty, the person is treated as free and innocent, lost it´s legal application over prisoners.

Withal, as the media was released closer to 1968, where the AI-5 was launched, more difficult it was for the one printing it to escape from the government ambushes. Those who published their works during this period of time did not have any aegis against the actions the government pursued on them. When the people’s rights were taken, many decided to stop protesting and adhere to, as they saw that their lives and loved ones were being threatened and harmed, but others, like famous singers such as Elis Regina, decided to continue, and vasts amounts of civilians were exiled, killed or even disappeared ever to be found again. The chorus might contrastingly experience how the government impacted on the media release, through this second source.

A newspaper article, from the ” São Paulo State Newsletter” on the 1974, portrays clearly how the containment of information occurred. There are abundant amounts of blank squares covering some of the information presented, exceeding the columns’ spaces. This indicates it is the government securing its image and reputation, avoiding this perchance threatening fact to reach Brazilians and generate more confusion and opposition towards their regime.

This assumption is concluded as it is indeed recognized that newspaper articles cover the entire paper in columns, and suddenly according to the source, blank spaces are provided. Withal, readers might also see that from this source, the censorship may be said as political, as blocking the columns leads to inconclusive critical thinking. Likewise it may be expressed as an entrepreneurial way. The politician’s pressed the newspaper into publishing their own version of the occurrence, and forced them to do it against their wills.

Audience might thus conclude that the media was drastically affected by government decisions and ideologies. This medium, which served as though young and prosperate souls could speak as freely and deranged as they desired, unleashing their most legitimate secrets, was censored and banned. Provoking despair and numerous consequences which until nowadays there are no such explanations for one’s disappearance or treatment. Therefore, i certainly do agree that the military dictatorship censored to a certain extent that the population became entirely incoherent, hence no identities… This however, indeed generated strength and made them realise a change was needed in order for peace to be encountered. How the government controlled and censored the media is thereupon as significant, in the eyes of many, as any other aspect of the Brazilian dictatorship of 1968 to 1978.

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