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OPEN SPACE – Political illiteracy | Newspaper Folha de Londrina



OPEN SPACE - Political illiteracy |  Newspaper Folha de Londrina

We know functional illiteracy: the inability of a person not to understand simple texts, even if they can write. Today in Brazil there is political illiteracy of the whole nation, even among people with higher education. An attempt to explain to such people in general terms that anyone who disapproves of the right is a communist, and anyone who disapproves of the left is a fascist.

The great creator of communism, Karl Marx, was an unfortunate German exiled by three countries because of his ideologies, among which he predicted that: 1) capitalist workers would be increasingly poorer; 2) the middle class will be liquidated and become part of the proletariat; 3) increased mechanization would reduce the profits of capitalism.

Illustrative image of the image OPEN SPACE - Political illiteracy

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Communist Marxists, through their activities, which included propaganda, assassination, terrorism and revolution as a means of coming to power, as well as many brutal repressions and bloody persecutions, have kept the world in turmoil for decades and have caused an estimated 100 million deaths in the past. Easily verified. But in Brazil, socialism is almost always associated with communism.

On the other hand, people who do not belong to the left are called fascists. The regime established in Italy from 1922 to 1945, based on the dictatorship of one party, with nationalist exaltation and with cooperativeism replacing the democratic regime. An absolute dictatorship was formed based on the triple cult of obedience, absolute leader and state.

It is sad to say that the divisions between the parties fighting for power in Brazil have more to do with corruption on the one hand and ignorance on the other than with the right or the left. Meanwhile, the country lost due to lack of education, security, health care and housing. We are floating on a fantastic island of ignorant dreams, and everyone suffers from it.

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It should be remembered that social democracy is increasingly inclined to abandon communism in favor of democratic socialism.

The Scandinavian social democracies, founded in Denmark in 1878, Norway in 1887 and Sweden in 1889, have remained in power almost without interruption since the world crisis between the two wars and are today among the most successful countries in the world.

So one thing is one thing, and another thing is another. Ignorance divides the country into good and evil. But who is good? Who is evil? Are people capable of being judges of this case?

Research confirms the polarization between the two candidates. One of them is a federal deputy with 27 years of experience and had 2 approved projects (two). He submitted 170 proposals, including a proposal to end the use of social names for transvestites and transsexuals.

Another candidate who says: “There is no living soul in this country more honest than me.” Of course, because what he has, he earned it by the work of a metallurgist, and then a politician. The rest, as a reward for his integrity, Jesus sat down beside him and multiplied, as he did with the two fish and the five loaves. According to Mark, Matheus, Joao and Lucas, they fed 5,000 people and left 12 full baskets for the apostles.

As the popular saying goes, in Brazil we have a simple man who talks, a few wise men listen, and many, many fools argue.

Perhaps here I am more among the fools, because my concern is huge, with the upcoming elections, with 4 children, 7 grandchildren, although I already know 25% of the world, seeing that Brazil, for being it, can be the path of progress for Australia and Canada, and we are closer to the suffering of Egypt, the internal divisions of Lebanon and the poverty of expression in Cuba. Like fools we all know, only the wise learn something every day.

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Nelio Roberto dos Reis, university professor.

The published articles, letters and comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Folha de Londrina, who reproduces them in the exercise of their journalistic activities and with due regard for the inherent freedom of expression and communication.

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Selective justice supports Luciano Hanga’s political rights



Selective justice supports Luciano Hanga's political rights

TRE-RS denied a request to strip the owner of Havan of the right to abuse economic power; businessman says he won’t apply

The TRE-RS (Regional Electoral Court of Rio Grande do Sul) rejected this Monday (May 16, 2022) a request to have businessman Luciano Hanga, owner of Havan shops, declared incompetent.

The court ruled on the request of PT, PC do B, PDT and PL. The parties said Hang abused economic power by making statements about the 2020 Santa Rosa (RS) municipal elections. These statements may have influenced the outcome of the election, the parties say.

On this occasion, the businessman said that “PT and the left are champions of bureaucracy”. He also said building a Havan store in Santa Rosa would only be possible if Anderson Mantei, then the PP candidate, won the race for mayor. The politician has been elected.

“Manteil is at the forefront of research. Please upvote. What is a useful vote, Luciano? A useful vote is to vote for who will be the first to defeat the left in their municipality so that this trouble does not return […] On the 15th, vote for Mantei, and then, in the next few months, Havan will be here, I’m sure of it.”Hang said.

7 judges of the TER-RS, responsible for considering the case, considered that there were no violations in the speech of the businessman.

Although he is eligible, Hang is not expected to run in the 2022 elections. The name was supposed to run for a Senate seat in Santa Catarina. However, in March he announced that he would not run.

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Owner of Havana. said on his Twitter profile what the solution is “victory” freedom of speech. “Congratulations to the members of TRE-RS on the implementation of the Constitution, the protection of the right to freedom of thought.”he said.

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Bolsonarism uses Telegram to destabilize



Bolsonarism uses Telegram to destabilize

One topic that has not come out of the mouth of President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) is the perceived fragility of electronic voting machines as a way to delegitimize the Brazilian electoral process. In the same vein, this issue also dominates far-right Telegram groups.

Leticia Cesarino, Professor of Anthropology and Graduate Program in Social Anthropology (PPGAS) at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), studies Bolsonarist behavior in groups in depth and points out: [assuntos] more generally, the programs and narratives that stand out in the set of groups and channels that we analyze should not necessarily refer to a direct accusation of electoral fraud, but to the delegitimization of institutionality that guarantees the outcome of elections. “.

See also: Heleno, Ramos and Abin have been conducting an attack on electronic voting machines since 2019, notes PF.

:: Deconstructing lies: Electronic voting machines are verifiable and safer than printed ballots ::

“And it is the ultra-right, allies of President Jair Bolsonaro, who dominate this environment. On these more underground platforms like Telegram, the right is completely dominated. The way they market themselves as content producers has to do with revealing the truth that the media is hiding. And that’s how they win the loyalty of their followers,” he adds.

The idea of ​​”revealing the truth” also sets the tone for Bolsonaro’s actions. Last July, the retired captain promised to present evidence of alleged electoral fraud during the 2018 elections. The incumbent then said that he would in fact have won the election in the first round. However, shortly thereafter, the “truth” revealed turned out to be nothing more than old and false claims that electronic voting machines had completed voting for the PT number in absentia at the voters’ choice.

Check out the interview with Leticia Cesarino below.

Brazil de Fato: What has changed since the 2018 presidential election to date regarding the production and dissemination of disinformation on social media in Brazil, especially considering the extreme right?

Letizia Cesarino: The machine runs at full speed but looks different than it did in 2018 when it had an expansive nature. After she hit [a máquina] succeeded in expanding beyond those segmented groups and influencers more rooted in Bolsonaris. Mostly through WhatsApp one can see a very large capillarity of the campaign.

This year, when it comes to re-election, with four years in office, a pandemic, Lula’s return to the race, Bolsonarism is having a hard time. The ecosystem was shrinking in size compared to what it was in the campaign. But apparently, they “replenish” the electoral machine itself, just like in 2018.

Fake news and misinformation reveal how the Bolsonaro government is handling the pandemic / Reproduction Arte IQC

Now this model of using the machine has changed not only to increase the electoral base, but also to destabilize the very legitimacy of the elections. This has always been the case, including with this issue of electoral fraud. That was always one of the narratives, but at that moment it didn’t matter because Bolsonaro won and he had a lot of support.

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This year, the agenda has taken shape and, at least according to the data we work with the Telegram platform, it is undoubtedly the dominant agenda this year. You [assuntos] more generally, the programs and narratives that stand out in the set of groups and channels that we analyze should not necessarily refer to a direct accusation of electoral fraud, but to the delegitimization of institutionality that guarantees the outcome of elections. .

On September 7, for example, the question of a health passport came to the fore, but in a certain way crossover with a program of electoral fraud. There were rumors that unvaccinated people would not be allowed to vote. So even if it’s not their agenda [naquele momento]The topic has been discussed since at least September.

The Internet environment in which fake news is produced and distributed seems to belong to the extreme right. The left, on the other hand, does not seem to have power over this territory. That’s all? Can one also find the industries left behind this production and distribution?

These more underground platforms like Telegram are dominated by the all-out right wing, it’s on a different scale. This is the right niche, and it will remain so, because they operate there. The political left has an interface with the mainstream media that the right, from MPs down, does not. They are nowhere to be found, except on the Internet. The niche belongs to them. So no matter how much the left grows, it remains their niche.

::Polls and Democracy: What Bolsonarist’s Print Vote Demand Shows::

The way they market themselves as content producers, pseudo-journalists, is about revealing the truth that the media is hiding. It makes no sense for them to move away from this, because this is how they attract consumers, declaring that after the Internet, the media will never again be able to hide anything. And that is how they earn the loyalty of their followers. This is typical of the media. On the left, not so much. There is one or another conspiracy channel, but they cannot be compared in scale.

Can the left somehow resist this dominance?

You can greatly increase the occupancy, but it is difficult to reach their level without crossing certain ethical and even legal boundaries. They will always be at the forefront, because there is no limit to distortion and sensationalism, because it is based on efficiency. If the media goes viral, the content will follow suit and the trend is for the sensation to go viral. This is the differential of these media in relation to the mainstream media.

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But it is important to fight at least to take advantage of this advantage that the far right has. The left is improving, but it’s a matter of organicity. The left needs organic channels. It doesn’t make sense for PT to have a great communications strategy to speak the language of the internet if it doesn’t have an organic network of creators.

Bolsonaro is strictly following the strategy adopted by the American far right, insisting on charges of voter fraud that resulted in his election as president in 2018 / Antonio Augusto/Ascom/TSE

The organic web got its right thanks to this normal circulation. The issue of threats is very important because it keeps people connected beyond the issue of information disclosure. Now it’s possible to have it on the left, and it should be too. This disclosure bias can be exploited further.

In 2018, WhatsApp was a very important platform for the dissemination of fake political and election news. Has it changed somehow? Can we name important new platforms for this network of production and dissemination of disinformation?

Changed, changed a lot. The platforms that were important in 2018, WhatsApp and Facebook, remain important, but the ecosystem as a whole has diversified. We have, for example, TikTok, which, although not big, has investments from Bolsonaro. Instagram itself, which is not often used for political purposes, is associated with bolsonarism, with misinformation about early treatment, alternative sciences and anti-vaccination programs.

See also: Understand why Bolsonarism is trying to feed the contest to electronic voting machines

Bolsonarism has diversified into different platforms. For example, Telegram is one of the most underground, with very closed and radical groups. We are trying to consider the relationship between these more closed segments, which we call refracted, with a more superficial segment, such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, which, by all indications, are more important than Telegram in terms of capillarity.

This investment by Bolsonaro in TikTok is clear. Youtube has the nature of producing fake news, while WhatsApp has the nature of broadcasting. Come to think of it, what is the role of TikTok?

TikTok already has specialized content. But it’s usually disguised content that sits in that gray area between entertainment and political propaganda. The network has this profile, but quantitatively it is still not important. Now TikTok videos are also being distributed on WhatsApp, so there is traffic too.

What about other more alternative platforms used by the extreme right?

This is another clearer pattern that didn’t exist in 2018: alternative platforms like Gettr, Rumble, BitChute and others that are copying other platforms.”inclusion” [dominantes] how they began to tighten content moderation, ban channels, ban content from Twitter itself. So they started moving to these alternative platforms, which they didn’t have in 2018.

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Blogger Allan dos Santos, an ally of President Bolsonaro, is under investigation in Brazil for spreading fake news / Reproduction

One thing that has changed is that the content feels more spontaneous, in the sense that in 2018 this style of campaign or this language for politics was new. So, at first, the content was closely related to what the press called the “hate office”, which we still don’t know exactly who is behind it. Four years later, the president’s own supporters organically included this working modecopying yourself.

And then there is another model that already existed in 2018 but is becoming more and more obvious, and that is the monetization issue, mostly related to YouTube. So for many of these activists, it really became a kind of entrepreneurship. There is even a certainmainstreamingfrom this right. They are already colonizing media niches within the public sphere itself.

You were talking about YouTube. What is the size and importance of Youtube today in creating and spreading misinformation?

Telegram circulates a lot of links to YouTube video channels. YouTube assumes it has control over the platform, which it doesn’t because it’s connected to everyone else. Bolsonarism takes advantage of this.

See also: Eduardo Bolsonaro and the Bolsonarists lead fake news against the elections

We see that the number of Youtube in Telegram is five to six times greater than on the second platform, which is Telegram itself. In other words, the second most common platform is Telegram itself, and Youtube is the first, only it is far ahead. There are relationships there that are structural even between the two of them. So the role of YouTube is very big because YouTube monetizes it.

What is a long tail and what does it mean?

The long tail is small. This is a very fragmented network structure, consisting of many small ones and a few large ones. [produtores de conteúdo, sejam grupos ou indivíduos] there. On YouTube, we see the same pattern, with the three or four large Bolsonarismo channels getting the most links, with 60% to 70% scattered across small to medium channels that are trying to gain attention and scale within an extreme ecosystem. is their medium to eventually become one of those big channels for monetization.

What is the interface between Telegram and Youtube? Out of 100 channels, 10 are large channels with hundreds of thousands of views, and the vast majority, the long tail, are smaller channels that don’t yet have that scale to monetize, but are trying that scale.

Editing: Felipe Mendez

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Opposition businessmen and politicians call on the US to end



Opposition businessmen and politicians call on the US to end

The US sanctions against Venezuela, constantly condemned by the Venezuelan government, are one of the main elements explaining the causes and consequences of the economic crisis that the Latin American country has been facing since 2014, when the first actions of this kind were taken. from Casa White. Whether they affect the economy or diplomatic relations, the set of these coercive measures, constituting a financial and commercial blockade, was demanded and encouraged by the Venezuelan opposition, especially the one that gained strength in 2019, after the self-declaration of Juan Guaidó “interim president”.

However, after nearly eight years of a blockade that has cost the country billions of dollars, some Venezuelan businessmen, researchers and political activists opposed to the government of President Nicolás Maduro have begun to gather to call for an end to the sanctions and denounce the damage. what such measures caused to the society.

Since the first decrees issued by the US government against Venezuela, researchers have drawn attention to the fact that the blockade is part of a strategy called “hybrid war” that uses unconventional methods, in addition to military conflicts and direct actions aimed at destabilizing and overthrowing governments. opposed to US interests in the region.

In a narrative crafted by the local opposition and amplified largely during the reign of former President Donald Trump, when sanctions were tightened, the measures were meant to serve as a “punishment” for the Venezuelan government’s “lack of democratic conditions”, thereby forcing regime change.

Venezuelan businessmen and academics who are now calling for an end to the blockade argue that these strategies promoted by Washington “have not achieved their goals” and that “they have seriously worsened the plight of Venezuelan citizens.” These statements were made in magna charter addressed to US President Joe Biden in early April and signed by a group of 25 Venezuelans who oppose the Chavista government but call for the lifting of “economic sanctions and a policy of maximum pressure.”

In an interview with Brazil de factoEconomist Victor Alvarez, former Minister of Basic Industries, former director of Hugo Chávez’s state oil company PDVSA and one of the letter’s signatories, says the group that led the document is diverse, consisting of “voices that have already warned that sanctions won’t work.” , as well as figures who supported the blockade in the past but changed their minds.

“There are voices in this group who really believed that the tightening of sanctions could provoke a change of power in the country, but it turns out that years passed, the sanctions did not give the expected results, and finally, the facts themselves, so obvious, showed that the sanctions actually gave rise to undesirable side effects for private companies and that it is time to move on to a strategy review,” he says.

Also, according to Alvarez, opponents who are now calling for an end to the blockade and condemning the damage it has done to the country’s economy have no ties to a group associated with “self-proclaimed president” Juan Guaidó, a figure, supported by the United States, which defends the current blockade and control several Venezuelan state assets abroad because some countries recognize them as “legitimate authority”.

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“The Guaido Group depends on these assets, it depends on direct financial assistance from the US. Of course, the lifting of sanctions would mean the removal from this group of these privileges and control over these assets, on which their remuneration and wages depend, since these assets will again be in the management of the republic, ”he argues.

:: Juan Guaido used Venezuelan public money to pay lawyers in England ::

In addition to Alvarez, the letter was signed by Jorge Botti, a businessman and former president of the country’s largest employer Fedecamaras, José Antonio Yepes, director of research and statistics company Datanalisis, and Reinaldo Quintero, president of the Venezuelan Chamber of Petroleum.

Calls for lifting the blockade were also made US Chamber of Commerce in September 2021, when the organization asked President Biden to reconsider the current sanctions imposed on the Latin American country, given that the strategy “has only harmed North American businesses.”

The latest call for an end to sanctions was made on Tuesday (05.10) by a group of Congressmen from the US Democratic Party in magna charter sent to Biden. The document, signed by lawmakers such as Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, said that “the suffering of Venezuelans is a tragedy” and that “several studies show that US sanctions are one of the main reasons.”

“President Nicolas Maduro seems determined to resume negotiations with opposition forces. […] we ask you [Biden] suspend all financial and sectoral sanctions that aggravate the humanitarian situation,” the congressmen said.

How do sanctions affect the economy?

Nearly 8 years later, the list of sanctions imposed by the US government against Venezuela is long and includes government agencies and companies, vehicles such as planes and ships, and even citizens accused of “appropriating Venezuela’s wealth for their own corrupt purposes.”

The country’s main source of foreign exchange, the oil industry was one of the sectors hardest hit by the sanctions, which make it difficult to purchase parts to maintain the infrastructure and resources needed for production. In 2019, the US government, under the chairmanship of Donald Trump, tightened the blockade of PDVSA and froze the assets of the $7 billion subsidiary Citgo, owned by the Venezuelan state but now controlled by figures appointed by the former MP. , Juan Guaidó with permission from the White House.

US and Brazil recognize Guaido as President of Venezuela / Yuri Cortez / AFP

The tightening of sanctions against the Venezuelan oil industry caused the sector’s productivity to drop by more than 41% in 2019 compared to 2018, according to the non-governmental organization Sures, the worst performance in a decade. In addition, sales of Venezuelan oil to the US were completely halted in May of that year, causing exports of the product, which in 2016 accounted for 95% of the country’s total income, to fall to 71% in 2019.

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According to sociologist Eleazar Mujica, the recovery of any sector of the country’s economy, whether oil or not, will depend on negotiations to lift the blockade, which “affects all productive sectors” of the economy.

“To achieve a full recovery of the Venezuelan economy, the first requirement will be the restoration of the oil industry, but this fundamentally requires an end to US sanctions. Without the lifting of sanctions, or at least without their easing, it will be very difficult to achieve the recovery that is predicted for 2022, ”Mujica estimates in an interview with the publication Brazil de facto.

The US coercive measures against Venezuela not only deal a blow to the country’s main raw materials, but also limit the ability of the Venezuelan government and companies to carry out financial transactions. The country has billions of dollars locked up in banks like Citibank, North Capital and Sumitomo, as well as $2 billion in public gold held at the Bank of England.

More according to ONG SuresBy the end of 2021, seven executive orders had been issued against Venezuela, Congress passed two laws, 173 sanctions affecting citizens, 161 sanctions against public and private companies, 56 sanctions against aircraft, and 65 sanctions against ships. “It is worth noting that among individuals there are several leaders of the Venezuelan political opposition, as well as many private entrepreneurs,” the organization’s study notes.

“Most private companies have closed their US bank accounts, making it difficult to pay suppliers and receive payments from their customers. Funding has been cut, suppliers have also cut lines of credit, meaning Venezuelan companies that could previously buy raw materials, spare parts and equipment with loans up to 90 and 120 days have lost those opportunities because no one wants to do business anymore. with Venezuela,” says Alvarez.

The Economist also explains that with the Anti-Lockout Act’s import incentives to combat product shortages and circumvent the US blockade, national companies, already weakened by the crisis generated by sanctions, are not able to compete favorably with imported goods.

“Agriculture and domestic industry suffer not only from the severity of the sanctions, but also from this competition from imported products that come from China, Iran, Russia, that is, from competing countries in the United States. I am saying that the problem is also geopolitical, since the void created by the sanctions is being filled by the rivals of the country that applies the same sanctions,” the former minister defends.

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End of blockade and political dialogue

The suspension of the coercive measures imposed by Washington was one of the main topics advocated by the Venezuelan government during negotiations with the far-right opposition held in 2021 in Mexico. While the parties have reached certain agreements, dialogues have been suspended Caracas after the extradition of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab to the United States.

For Alvarez, the current political climate in the country is conducive to dialogue, as “the extremist opposition is considering negotiating with the government” – the only way, according to the economist, to achieve an end to the sanctions.

“We are getting closer and closer to a process of dialogue that can end in a political solution, an electoral solution and, above all, a peaceful solution. It was a negotiation process with successes and failures, with ups and downs, which was very often interrupted, but this option remains the most convenient for national interests,” he says.

In March of this year, Maduro announced the resumption of dialogue with opponents of the so-called G4, a group that unites the far-right parties Ação Democrática, First Justice, A New Time and Popular Will. The move came after a meeting between Venezuelan government officials and a US delegation sent by Biden to Caracas to discuss the lifting of sanctions and possible energy deals in the oil sector. It was the first public meeting between the two countries since the U.S. recognized Guaidó as the “legitimate authority” of Venezuela.

The decision to end the blockade, defends Mujica, lies in the future of dialogues between the government and the opposition, even if the actions of the right-wing parties that unite the negotiating tables are guided by the interests of the White House.

“I am fully convinced that the path of dialogue is the right path to resolve political differences that will lead to the lifting of sanctions in the future. However, we must be aware of the fact that there are sectors of the opposition that are fully in the interests of the United States and in this sense will demand and defend interests that are convenient for the government of President Biden, ”says the sociologist.

Even with most of the sanctions imposed over the past eight years, Venezuela is showing strong economic performance, with institutions predicting strong growth. In January of this year, the country abandoned a four-year hyperinflation cycle, in addition to recording eight consecutive months of single-digit monthly inflation readings. The Venezuelan economy is expected to grow by 5% in 2022, the highest in South America and the third highest in all of Latin America, according to ECLAC.

Editing: Thales Schmidt

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