Due to the gravity of the possible implications of Brazil’s participation in a US coordinated action in Venezuelan territory under the pretext of “humanitarian aid”, PT Congressional Leader Paulo Pimenta (Rio Grande do Sul), and Congressman Paulo Teixeira (PT – São Paulo) filed orders to Defense Minister General Fernando Azevedo e Silva and Foreign Affairs Minister Ernesto Araújo on February 21st, to explain the initiative to Congress.
In the orders, Pimenta and Teixeira point out that the Brazilian Constitution is clear regarding the self-determination of peoples, non-interference, the defense of peace and peaceful conflict resolution and it is not in the interest of Brazil, “the main beneficiary of South American regional integration, and of the environment of peace and prosperity it has created” to participate in a US-sponsored action in Venezuelan territory.
Hostile US Plans
Congressman Pimenta wants to hold a general plenary session as quickly as possible in Congress, with the presence of both of Bolsonaro’s ministers. He views the cooperation of the Brazilian government with the US task force as a serious issue.
“Brazil’s participation in any bellicose and dangerous plan coordinated by the United States to destabilize Venezuela’s elected government is a strong indicator of interventionist goals that undermine both South American regional integration and peace on the continent,” the lawmakers said.
An announcement made on 9 February by Admiral Craig Faller, chief of the Southern Command, during testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee is also viewed by the PT Congressmen as a serious issue. Faller announced the appointment of Brigadier General Alcides Valeriano de Faria Junior to represent Brazil as Deputy Commander for Interoperability of the US armed forces’ Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) this year.
US Interest in Venezuela’s Oil
SOUTHCOM is made up of US Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard troops and has the task of defending US security policy in Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
For Congressman Pimenta, by engaging in US-designed and US-led military operations, Brazil will voluntarily place itself in a position of military subordination to US actions in South America.
In the opinion of the Congressmen, Donald Trump’s interventionist action in Venezuela is a “direct affront to our country’s interests in the region, which would be much better served with a strategy of peaceful negotiation and respect for Venezuelan national sovereignty.”
In their orders, Pimenta notes that Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves – 298.3 billion barrels – 17.5% of the world’s reserves. During the Hugo Chávez administration Venezuela began to refocus its foreign policy and reduce its economic dependence on the US, with significant investment in regional integration and South-South cooperation, contrary to Washington’s interests.
Pimenta notes that the fourth US fleet – the Southcom naval force – was reestablished in 2008, 58 years after it was deactivated, coincidentally shortly after Brazil announced the discovery of the gigantic pre-salt offshore oil reserves.
In the orders, Pimenta states that, due to this context, the Brazilian Congress and Brazilian society need to know the extent of any military cooperation with the US that has been negotiated by the right wing extremist government of Jair Bolsonaro.
PT in Congress