tv Democracy Now LINKTV April 2, 2021 8:00am-9:01am PDT
♪ ♪ >> from new york this is democracy now. >> we are telling them we need justice. will you be on the side of jim crow. you cannot have it both ways. >> calls are growing to boycott georgia and georgia-based companies after republican governor brian kemp signed what many describe as the worst voter
suppression legislation since the jim crow era. delta and coca cola are now speaking out against the restrictions -- but is it too late? we will talk to cliff albright of black voters matter about the fight to preserve voting rights across the country. then to oregon governor kate brown on her efforts to expand vote by mail -- a practice used in oregon for decades. >> two mons after we saw the turnout in the 2020 election republicans are trying to rewrite history by rolling back -- and expanding vote by mail. it is on democratic, it is un-american. and i am taking action. >> plus we look at the political and health crisis in brazil. we will speak to celso amorim who served as brazil's foreign minister under luiz inácio lula da silva. all that and more, coming up.
welcome to democracy now, democracynow. org, the war and peace report. -- the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. in minnesota, the police supervisor of derek chauvin testified thursday that there was no justification for the former minneapolis officer to keep his knee on the neck of george floyd for over nine minutes. sergeant david ploeger is one of -- was called by the prosecution in chauvin's murder trial. >> based on your review of the body worn camera footage, do you have an opinion as to when the restraint should've ended? >> yes. when is it? >> when mr. floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended the restraint. >> and that was after he was handcuffed and on the ground? >> correct. >> prosecutors played a recording of a phone call
chauvin made to sergeant ploeger after floyd's death, in which chauvin made no mention of pressing his knee into floyd's neck for over 9 minutes. a paramedic testified george floyd appeared to be dead when paramedics arrived in the scene with officers still pressing him to the pavement. he had to asked him to get off george floyd neck so the paramedics could check his vitals when they arrive. also testifying thursday was george floyd's girlfriend courteney ross, who described how the pair fell in love in 2017 after they met at a salvation army shelter, where floyd worked as a security guard. ross described their shared struggle with opioid addiction. chauvin's defense is focusing on floyd's past drug use in a bid to imply he died of an overdose, not from derek chauvin's knee. floyd family attorney benjamin crump responded quote “tens of thousands of americans struggle with self-medication and opioid
abuse and are treated with dignity, respect and support, not brutality. we fully expected the defense to put george's character and struggles with addiction on trial because that is the go-to tactic when the facts are not on your side. texas's state senate has passed a voter suppression bill banning drive-through voting; limiting extended early voting hours; and making it illegal for local election officials to send vote-by-mail applications to voters, even if they qualify. the legislation now heads to texas's republican-controlled house of representatives. meanwhile religious leaders in georgia are calling for a boycott of corporations that refused to speak out against the state's sweeping new voter suppression law, which was signed by republican governor brian kemp last week. after headlines we'll have the latest on republican voter suppression efforts with cliff albright, executive director of black voters matter.
in the oregon governor. kate brown. coronavirus cases are continuing an exponential rise across much of the united states, even as the number of u. -- of u.s. residents who've received at least one dose of a vaccine tops 100 million. on thursday the u.s. recorded over 79,000 new cases amid warnings that a sharp drop in testing may be masking an even greater number of infections. more than 1,000 people died of covid-19 on thursday. in washington, d. c., the opening day matchup between the washington nationals and the new york mets was called off after at least three nationals players tested positive for coronavirus. this comes as president biden is criticizing the texas rangers for planning to open its 40,000-seat stadium at full capacity for the team's april 5th home opener against the toronto blue jays. a u.n. official is warning burma could be headed towards civil
war and pealed to the security council to take action to avoid an imminent “bloodbath”. at least43 people ve been killed, including dozens of children, since the brutal crackdown on protests following the february 1 military coup. on thursday, the military junta cut all wireless internet in burma, and charged deposed leader aung san suu kyi with violating the official secrets act. a representative of the ousted civilian government said foreign military intervention was needed. the shadow government has also called for a “revolution” to counter the military junta and said it would work on forming a unity government and drafting a new constitution. on thursday, protesters burned copies of the 2008 military constitution on the streets of rangoon. >> i agree 100% with what the committee representing burma's government is doing right now as we hope to become a federal army. and a members i would like to
join the army. >> in taiwan the high-speed train derailed and crashed in a tunnel killing 51 people and injuring dozens more. many of the passengers were traveling to visit family over the weekends public holiday. it is taiwan's worst rail disaster in decades. in arizona, a new investigation has revealed staff at the privately-run ice jail la palma correctional center violated multiple pandemic protocols, verbally assaulted prisoners, and attacked prisoners with pepper spray during a peaceful protest. the report by the homeland security department's office of inspector general says staff at la palma failed to enforce mask and social distancing protocols, contributing to a massive spread of covid-19 cases. the report also found staff often refused to provide medical attention to prisoners, and in many cases didn't refill their prescriptions, including for a cancer patient who ran out of leukemia medication.
in california, border patrol agents deported a honduran asylum seeker to mexico after she went into labor while in custody. the woman had recently crossed into the u.s. with her partner. she was eventually taken to a hospital south of tijuana where she gave birth. president biden held his first cabinet meeting thursday, and named the heads of five departments transportation, housing and urban development, commerce, labor and energy to lead the charge on his recently unveiled $2. 0-- $2.3 trillion infrastructure pl. meanwhile progressives continue to call for an even greater investment in infrastructure projects to respond to the challenges of the climate crisis, healthcare and unemployment. this is new york congressmember alexandria ocasio-cortez speaking on msnbc. >> we are talking about $10 trillion over 10 years. that may be an all popping -- an eye-popping figure.
we are in a designated economic moment. millions of people in united states are unemployed. we have a truly crippled health care system, and a planetary crisis on our hands and we are the wealthiest nation in history of the world. >> another 719,000 people applied for unemployment benefits last week, an increase of 61,000 claims over the previous week. recent unemployment numbers are at least 3 times higher than prepandemic, but economists say they are overall trending downwards as more businesses re-open and more people receive vaccines. former u.s. intelligence analyst daniel hale has pleaded guilty to leaking classified documents about the secretive u. s. drone program. hale will be sentenced on july 13th for violating one count of the world war one-era espionage act. he faces up to 10 years in prison. hale was enlisted in the air force from 2009 to 2013, during which he worked with the national security agency and the joint special operations task force at the bagram air base in
afghanistan, where he helped identify targets for assassination. hale is accused of disclosing 11 top-secret or secret documents to a reporter. the indictment does not name the reporter, but unnamed government sources have told media outlets that the reporter is investigative journalist jeremy scahill of the intercept. new mexico's legislature has passed a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana and expunge the criminal records of some individuals convicted of marijuana possession. governor michelle lujan grisham has promised to sign the bill, which would make new mexico the 16th u.s. state to legalize recreational cannabis. this follows new york governor andrew cuomo's signature wednesday of a similar bill. in virginia, governor ralph northam is urging the state's general assembly to legalize recreational marijuana by july 1st, instead of waiting until 2024. virginia's supreme court ruled thursday the city of charlottesville can take down two statues of confederate generals after some residents sued to stop their removal. the statues are ofthomas
“stonewall” jackson and robert e. lee. lee's statue was at the center of the deadly, white supremacist “unite the right” rally in 2017. more scandals are emerging around florida republican congressmember matt gaetz. cnn is reporting gaetz was known by other lawmakers to regularly boast of his sexual exploits and show nude photos and videos of women he said he slept with. sometimes showing them on the house floor. gaetz is currently facing a justice department sex trafficking investigation, which includes whether he had sex with a 17-year old, and whether he used drugs and cash payments as part of sexual transactions with women and girls. and over 30 lgq students are suing the u.s. education department for discrimination they faced while attending federally-funded christian colleges and universities. students describe homophobic harassment including being forced into so-called conversion therapy. scott mcswain, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, spoke to democracy now! earlier this
week about his experience at the private christian college union university in tennessee. >> three staff members including the dean told me to go to converse in therapy. told me i would be kicked out if i did not. i am hoping that all of this educates people that this sort of thing is still happening today in america. and school should not be allowed to accept federal money and discriminate based off their narrow view -- narrow view of a religious text. and those are some of th headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org. and the quarantine report. a stunning report finds republican state lawmakers have now introduced 361 bills to restrict voting rights across 47 states. restrictive bills are now moving through legislatures in 24 states.
29 bills have already been passed by at least one chamber of state legislatures. early on thursday morning the republican-controlled texas senate approved a bill to limit early voting hours, ban ballot drop boxes, end drive-through voting and to allow poll watch to videotape voters. this is one of just 49 bills to restrict the vote being considered in texas. this comes just a week after georgia's republican governor brian kemp signed a sweeping elections bill that adds new voter id requirements, severely limits mail ballot drop boxes and rejects ballots cast in the wrong precinct. one provision would even make it a crime to hand out food or water to voters waiting in line at polling places. governor kemp signed the bill behind closed doors. he was surrounded by six white men. democratic state representative park cannon who is
african-american knocked on cam store saying that the public deserve to witness what was happening. he was then arrested by several georgia state troopers, dragged through the capital and pushed into a patrol car, even as she shouted she was an elected official. >> i am -- >> why are you arresting her? why are you arresting her? why are you arresting her? i'm asking you. why are you arresting her? please. >> civil rights groups blasted
the georgia as the worst voter suppression legislation since the jim crow era and georgia . meanwhile a number of major corporations are finally weighing in against the crackdown on voting rights. on american airlines announced thursday it was “strongly opposed to this bill and others like it. coca-cola and delta, which are both based in georgia, have come out against the georgia law but only after it was signed by the governor. this comes as some are calling for a boycott of the state of georgia and companies based there. even president joe biden has weighed in saying he would strongly support major league baseball players if they decide to move the upcoming all-star game from atlanta to protest . we go now to atlanta where we are joined by cliff albright, cofounder and executive director of black voters matter. talk about the significance of this building movement after the bill was signed.
talk about what you are calling for. >> thanks for having me. we are still calling for corporate accountability from these georgia's companies that as you said came out too late to oppose the bill here in georgia. but we always say there is never too late to do the right thing. what can these companies do and what are we demanding they still do? first of all, in georgia it is not too late to still do with this bl. we are calling for vote repeal. we're calling for a of this voter suppression law. and we're calling for these companies to divest future support they've given to the people. part othe reason we call these compans out. we talk about coca-cola and delta and ups, because not only are they grgia-based but they have previously given significant resources to the very sponsors of the voter suppression bill. not just to republican party in general, not just to republican
legislators in general but specifically to the big -- who sponsored these voter suppression bills. we are asking them to divest future support. just like there was a call after the capitol riots for some companies that would no longer give to members of congress that voted to overturn the election. so, those are the georgia specific concerns. but we are also very much aware and in partnership with these movements and other states. i was just in texas for the past week. so part of our calls and demands in georgia aer one -- are one that these companies aggressively support with concrete actions the passing of hr 1 and hr 4. if those had been in place before the waiver suppression bills that you talk about, if hr 1 and hr4. the the john lewis voting rights act. if they were in place we would not have this conversation right now. the other thing we are asking in
the spirit of recognizing this is a national movement is that each of the states where we do our work we are asking them that the coalition call for support for the other states. right here in georgia, our demands for coca-cola and delta, and the other companies, is that they also speak out. that they do in the other states with a field, epically failed to do in georgi they actuay speak out ahead of time. they get involved in the texas struggle ahead of time. in the arizona struggle. in the michigan struggle ahead of time. these are national companies. global companies. they are not just restricted to their home state of georgia. they need to speak out against these other bills as well. amy: you have to -- ceo's for delta airlines and coca-cola finally coming out in opposition to the clampdown on voting rights a week after the love the collation was signed amidst mounting threa to boycott the companies over there in action. delta's initial statement read
"the legislation signed this week improved considerably during the legislative process and expands we can voting, codified sunday voting, and protects a voters ability to cast an absentee ballot without providing a reason for the first time drop boxes have also been authorized for all counties and poll workers will be allowed to work across county lines. nonetheless, we understand concerns remain over other provisions of the legislation and there continues to be work ahead in this important effort." but then after massive protests, they actually came out stronger after the passage of the legislation. can you talk about kemp taking them on. the legislature threatening to strip deltas tax per credit -- tax protections. and then the corporate boycott call that would include them. >> yeah. that first statement that you read from delta was actually
right after the bill was signed. it amounted to basically just gas lighting. it sounds like governor kemp's talking points. the second statement which is much stronger. but still they. and now they are facing repercussions. we are saying we want to may pull back on some of the challenges and the calls that we are doing on deltas -- acknowledge the fact that they have, strongly. acknowledge the fact that there was an attempt to pass the legislation. but at the end of the day delta will be ok. the session ended. it ended without them being able toet through both change bs of the legislature and being signed by the governor. it was more signal coming from the rublicans that they were dispased with delta statement. what we are saying is we need delta to go even further. if they do go further we will have their backs.
the same way we we will call them out with all of these companies when they do wrong. and when they are silent on voter suppression. we will stand by them if they do the right thing. that is what we are asking them and the other companies and not just the georgia companies but the texas companies and others. and by the words that you said in the midst of the summer protest about black lives matter when you had all these glowing statements about racial justice and racial equity. if you said in the summer. now is the time you can put some action behind it. each of these companies did some very concrete actions. imagine if coca-cola and delta had made the statements they came out with the other day. if they had made those statements at the hearings when the bill was being discussed, we would not be having this conversation right now. if they had said what they said and their most recent statement that this law is unacceptable. if they had said that a week ago.
then we would not be sitting here at discussing the fact that bill had actually passed. imagine if every fortune 500 company came out with a statement that was as strong as what the black executives, t 72 black is negative came out on wednesday in their full pd ad, imagine if all fortune 500 companies came out that on, that clear about there is no middle ground -- came out that unequivocally, that clear that there is no middle ground. if they want to squash this legislation it would've been squashed. if they wanted to put their full weight behind hr 1 and hr4, they would already be passed. amy: let's talk about hr1 and 4 r4. there we are talking about in the u.s. congress, federal laws. >> we are talking about h.r.1, the florida people act is basically the act that has a wide range, the most sweeping
voting rights and voting access since the 19 625 voting rights act. it would deal with some of the things that are included in the georgia bill. it would guarantee early voting. it deals with restoration of voting rights. it deals with voter registration processes. basically would create some standards by which we can actually make the 15th amendment means something, right? that we have got this right to vote. and so that is what is included in the florida people act. for h.r.4., the john lewis voting rights advancement act is basically the enforcement part, reestablishing parts of the voting rights act that have been stripped away that happened gutted by the supreme court in the shelby decision in 2012. which, by the way, at the time, justice roberts -- said, the country has changed. we're not seeing the sweeping attacks against voting rights. we have got a black president. and so, here were in 2021
again with all of these bills going across 47 states come over 360 bills. and it inot just like it is th year. this has been happening consistently since the gutting of the voting rights act. that is why we need h.r.4. if those two bills were actually law, right now the vast majority, thbrennan center set this as well, the vast majority of what those bills are trying to do would not be possible. amy: you have the children of three prominent civil rights leader who have condemned georg -- condemn georgia. they are bernice king, the daughter of dr. martin luther king. they are al vivian, son of reverend c.t. vivian.
and john miles lewis, the son of john lewis. they said the failure of corporate leaders across our state to live up to their racial equity commitments made in the last year disregards and disrespects our fathers tireless work and jeopardizes the soul of georgia and the promise of democracy. if you can talk about the significance of this and then is black voters -- matter supporting the boycott? there is a dimension -- a division stating we are not yet therefore calling for the corporate and state boycott but religious leaders yesterday holding a news conference yesterday and atlanta calling for corporate boycotts. >> i am glad you read that letter that you put it together with that question about boycotts because iis important to note the role that those leaders, the role that the spiritual community in our church community plays in the
previous iteration of the civil rights movement. previous boycotts. we are familiar with them on, a bus boycott and connecting this to the current question of boycotts. at the e of the day, there is something to be said about boycotts require sacrifice. any of our friends in the labor movement can tell us about that. that is the end of the day we are already experiencing the economic consequences. we are already experiencing the economic repercussions of jim crow, of structural racism. and so the question is not whether or not we are going to face some kind of consequences or there will be some kind of backlash in terms of jobs and economic growth. we already experiencing that so we are already in his situation of having to choose between do we take the sacrific, even wheyou look at the protest of the summer, the question was, do we risk our
lives by going out and doing protest against police violence in the midst of a pandemic, or do we sit back and not do anything and we just continue to suffer the pain, the trauma and the death that comes from police violence? even during the election season we face the same choice. do we risk our lives in the mist a pandemic in order to go out and vote in the face of all this voter suppression, or do we take these chances and we wait in the long lines. in georgia voters did that and literally shocked the country but we had to make the choice. we always have these choices to make because at the end of the day, our daily lives are facing the economic consequences of jim crow and structural racism. we make the case, or i'm making the case that we are not calling our coalition has not called for a boycott. but nor are we saying, except for the clergy which are part of the coalition, they said, no, we want to boycott.
we support them. we are there with them. we are not going to tell it -- to tell anybody to not boycott. that is the difference in the debate you raise speed we are not calling for but we are not standing in the way of it. if our friends and colleagues or individuals do it, we support that. we support the major league baseball players association in a debate about whether or not the all-star game should be moved from georgia. we will be reaching out to other sports leagues and conferences in organizations that are traveling to states like georgia and texas and reaching out and saying, look, you see what is going on. yes, there is a debate. at the heart of the debate what we all have in common. this is important because it is not a thing where there is a major fight going on. because what we all have in common is that however we structure a boycott or however we structure calls for companies or leagues to not travel to georgia or texas or someplace else, that we have to do it in a way where we are aware and
thinking about what the repercussions can be. we believe you can have the best of both worlds. we believe that the all-star game -- if the all-star game does not come to georgia, guess what? some of those resources they consented georgia to support getting voter i.d.'s to support some of the mobilization that will need to take place. it is not saying you're not going to travel here. it means you are not going to support those marginalized and vulnerable communities at the end of the day that are going to be most impacted by the voter suppression. amy: cliff albright. thank you so much for being with us. cofounder and executive director of black voters matter. coming up, oregon voter kate brown on her efforts to expand vote by mail, the practice used in oregon for decades. stay with us. . ♪
this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i am amy goodman. we turn to the fight over voting by mail. republicans are moving to make it harder to cast ballots by mail even though some states safely conducted elections by mail for years. on thursday, texas's state senate passed a sweeping bill that includes a provision to make it illegal for local election officials to send vote by mail applications to voters even if they qualify. joining us now is oregon's democratic governor kate brown. she is the national chair of vote from home. she has served as governor since 2015. oregon was first state in the country to institute voting by mail and to establish automatic voter registration. 92 percent of eligible oregonians are now registered to vote. governor brown, welcome to democracy now.
can you talk about what oregon has done all of these years, the safety of voting from home in terms of voter fraud, and the attack on itow? governor brown: thanks, amy. i so appreciate the effort opportunity to be on the program oregon led the country with the passage of an itiative to enable oregon voters to vote by mail, vote from home. we have been voting by home, by mail since the late 1990's. it's extremely successful. it's ccessful because oren voters find it convenient and in this -- state, we believe your te is your voice and every single voice matters. so, our efforts both from the democratic and republican side have been to ensure access to this very fundamental right. because we believe that
democracy works better when every eligible american, every eligible oregonian can participate. oregon led the way wither autotic restrati bill. we n have er 92% of oregonians registered which is extraordinary. and oregon is frankly the most accessible state to vote in in the country. the automatic voter registration is really groundbreaking. and over 17 states have followed our lead. but the goal here is to make it as accessible to register as possible. and you get your drivers license in the state. and you are autatically regiered to vote. you can certainly decline if you choose to, but it puts the buen on oregonian that dos not wish to participate. and that is how it should be in
a democracy. but it has been a paradigm shift. all of the organizations from the league of women voters to our student association groups students organizations like th bus project, all of these organizations are now spending their time to educate, to engage, and to empower voters across the state. all of the resources that went i nto voter registration are now being used to engaged voters. and that is the right radigm shift. amy: arizona, iowa. can you talk about the efforts to suppress voting by mail there? governor brown: these are efforts in states like iowa, states like georgia and states like arizona to shut out voices ofligible voters.
it is both racist and un-american. andndemocratic and it should be unacceptable. that is why am supporting h.r.1 and h.r.4 in th u.s. congress. e it is quickly important that our federal elected officials take actions to preserve the very fundamental right to vote. but these actions are because conservatives, because republicans do not want to hear voices. they do not want to hear black voices. they do not want to hear brown voices. they do not want to hear indigenous voices. they do not want to hear women's vote -- voices. we have to do everything we can. we have to hold these legislators who voted for these racist policies. we have to hold them accountable. and i am so delighted to be participating in our vote from home organization because we will do exactly that. and we will continue to engage and empower voters in the
states. and make sure their voices can be heard. amy: before we go, kate brown, i wanted to ask you about the significance of this week. it is the first wake of the derek chauvin trial. accused of murdering george floyd. protesters in porand took to the streets for more than three straight months following his death. and in response to the protests last year, donald trump tweeted " anarchists who vandalize or damage our federal courthouse in portland or any federal buildings in any of our cities or states will be prosecuted under our recently reenacted statutes and monuments act minimum 10 years in prison. don't do it." he tweeted. contrast this response to how he and the republicans have responded to the insurrection at the u.s. on january 6.
governor brown: shame on him. it is appalling the hypocrisy, the corruption and, of course they chaos of the trump administration. in oregon we support the rht ofolks to peacefully protest. and honestly given what is happening in legislatures across the country, we have to use every tool we can to hold legislators accountable. i also, working with my local elected officials to make sure that folks who do not ptest peacefully, who commit arson or property damage are held accountable as well. shame on donald trump. amy: this past summer in portland, oregon, 100 day protests we saw against the racist and the police brutality that culminated in a death squad style of fascination by u.s. marshals of the anti-fascist
activist michael -- can you talk about this? governor brown: absolutely. the actions of the trump administration were absolutely abhorrent in this state. and we worked with our local law enforcent to eradicate these forces from our state. we want to make sure that oregoniansan continually, to peacully protest, to hold hold-- to uphold those voices that asked for change and we will continue to support those efforts to eradicate racism from our institutions, from our structures and from our systems. amy: do you condemn that death squad style fascination of this man, and have you call for an investigatn? governor brown: look, what happened last summer was abhorrent.
we are continuing to work to hold federal officials accountable. i expect you will see changes in leadership of local and federal officials in the state of oregon. that is appropriate. and we are glad to be rid of donald trump's chaos, corruption and incompetent governance. amy: kate brown paradigm want to thank you for being with us, governor of oregon -- i want to thank you for being with us. we come back we look at the political and pandemic crisis in brazil. we will speak with celso amorim who served as foreign minister under lula. ♪
>> here on democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i am amy goodman. we end today's show brazil where the death toll from covid-19 has topped 325,000 with over 66,00 deaths in the month of march. on wednesday brazil reported nearly 3900 new covid-19 deaths breaking the record set one day earlier. in são paulo, brazil's largest city, gravediggers have been speeding up efforts to empty old graves to make room for the soaring number of covid-19 deaths. as the number of covid-19 cases sore, brazil is also facing a major crisis on the political front. earlier this week, the heads of brazil's army, navy and air force all quit in an unprecedented move, a day after brazil's far right president jair bolsonaro ousted his
defense minister as part of a broader cabinet shake-up. the developments have alarmed many in brazil who believe bolsonaro, who is a former army captain, will install ultra-loyalists to the military posts to consolidate his power ahead of next year's election, when he is expected to be challenged by former president luiz inácio lula da silva. of the left-wing workers party. lula had been expected to defeat bolsonaro back in 2018 but during the campaign he was arrested and jailed for nearly 600 days under disputed charges filed by a judge sergio moro who later become bolsonaro's justice minister. last month a brazilian judge annulled all convictions against lula paving the way for him to run again. brazil's supreme court has also ruled sergio moro was biased in convicting lula.
go now go to rio de janeiro where we are joined by longtime brazilian diplomat celso amorim. he served as brazil's foreign minister under lula as well as defense minister under dilma roussef. welcome back to democracy now. thanks so much for being with us. if you can start by talking about these twin, the turmoil in brazil right now. the ouster of the various heads of the army, of the air force, and the pandemic that is raging through brazil right now. >> i think you described very well the pandemic is the biggest threat brazil has ever faced. we never were involved in big wars. we, the last war we ha was more than 150 years ago in th region. this is the biggest struggle brazil has ever faced.
it has affected the popular bolsonaro on the same day he was -- he sacked the ministry of defense which led to the dismissal of the army chiefs. the same day he had already been forced -- to dismiss the foreign minister because -- revolted against the foreign ministry. the actions were done for mental to the vaccines and things like this. we are facing in enormous crisis of bolsonaro's popularity is fading to although we have some fanatical support not unlike what happened to trump. he did that because of course this military top brass were not willing to follow on some authoritarian measures like declaring state of emergency or state of seige, which would be the preamble to some sort of.
dictatorship. to some sort of coup d'état. i think in a word, i think bolsonaro needs to show his authority. but he increase the tension of th military. and a way although he gained sometimes in terms of public opinion which might even lead to his impeachment -- although he gained some time, i think it's every small -- ever smaller. in terms of support. at the same time it becomes more dangerous. so that is the situation we are living. in contrast with that, as it was pointed out. we have good news that the supreme court canceled all the charges against present lula. who has a role not only
nationally but internationally and he is of course a great leader that will either be a candidate himself or have a big influence in the elections next year. so, this is the situation we are living now in the midst of the political feud and of course some very big tragedy in the health area and some fear also because of this turmoil as you described it. amy: you have the fourth health minister that bolsonaro has appointed during the pandemic. and also, of course, bolsonaro as you said very much seen as the trump of the tropics really pushing hydrochloric and. really denigrating face masks and calling covid a little flu. >> that's true. of course, at the beginning, may be some people were hesitating to be sure. how that woodworker but now it is absolutely clear what
happened -- how that would work. but now it is absolutely clear. he denied signs but he did so in a more militant way pic confronting governors. one of the possible reasons of the disposal bolsona with his military chiefs was precisely the resistance to some actions that related to the governors. because some governors had declared curfew and taken other measures of social distancing, some form of lkdown. and bolsoro, he spoke publicly about the possibility of having -- as if you were in a civil war to confront the authorities of the state governors. this, of course, is a very serious problem in brazil. not only last week, some of them are left or on the right. but he is obsessed with the possibility of his impeachment on the one hand. with declining popularity
on the other hand. amy: i wanted to turn to former president lula. speaking last month, speaking about bolsonaro's response to covid-19. >> many of the deaths could have been avoided if there were a government who did their job. this country is disorganized and falling apart because it has no government. if there was a president who invented hydrochloric and, a person who said those who are scared covid are sissies that covid was something for coward that he was a former athlete it would not affe him. that is not the role of the president of a republic in a civilized country. amy: lula went on to say the brazil is falling apart under bolsonaro's government. >> this country is disorganized and falling apart because no government.
i repeat. this country has no government. with fake news, the world elected former president donald trump. with fake news the world elected bolsonaro. amy: now a judge has cleared their convictions against him. he served hundreds of days imprison. talk about the significance of lula now out. will he be running for president? where you see brazil needs to go right now? >> well, you know, even lula himself is concentrating his attention in the present situation that you describe from the health point of view. also big unemployment. brazil is a poor country. much poorer thanhe unite states. you can imagine what happens to people. they do not kn where to go. so the need for emergency help for workersr informal workers is one of the main ints that
lula has been insisting. i think, -- a bit far away in some respects, not chronologically but the hurdles we have to surmount in terms of the health tragedy we are going through, in terms of unemployment, in terms of the lack of income for the poor people, all of these other priorities for lula now. of course, it is impossible to escape from the realities of politics. i think from our point of view, as we say from the point of view of democratic forces in brazil to have this election on the horizon is of energy. i have to say also that i was worried -- i think it never happened to have the dense ministry and the three chiefs of the army sacked in the same day, and the same to the foreign minister was also sacked.
it was a cabinet reform of sorts. because really his intention, the foreign nister was a fanatic of the extreme right. ande decided to dismiss the army chiefs. the three chiefs of the armed forces. this is in itself a crisis. but apparently what i think his main objective was to gain time to continue in the race. what will be his next step we never know. because bolsonaro is totally unprintable. one days -- is totally unpredictable. the other day he is asking his general to criticize the decision of this from court. -- of the supreme court. so we never know. he has said, we are on the verge of -- which president in the world says that we are on the verge of chaos except if he himself wants
to create chaos? this is the situation. it is a very difficult situation. but there is a broader consciousness in society, including the economic sectors, bankers and financial sectors who support bolsonaro or at ast some of them support him but some of them -- and they are now more critical. we never know what kind of action he can take. >> you are the former foreign secretary under lula. can you talk about the biden administration. joe biden's approach to foreign policy in latin america. already, he seems to be following when it comes to brazil very much so he is different in many ways the same track as trump, promoting heavy
u.s. intervention in the region. has also backed venezuelan opposition leader as the president of venezuela rather than the democratically elected nicolas maduro. what is your response to that >> i can tell you one thing. we took biden's election with a sigh of relief. that wasery important. i still think in many rpects this is the kind of influence that goes beyond what they do in foreigpolitics. it relates to combating racism. it is very much what we like to see happening brazil. this is a positive sign. because united state does have influence beyond what it actually does in terms of foreign policy.
as it relates to latin america i must say i am a bit disappointed. of course, the united states, the biden administration may have other things to concentrate on. i was disappointed with the declaration of the foreign secretary inelation -- in a way, to question the philippian judicial system to defend -- t bolivian judicial system to defend an impostor who violated human rights. in the strong as possible way. the obsession with the influence of china and russia. it obscures the view of what is democracy. i amot saying that he should -- with venezuela and cuba. but at least take some humanitarian actions bears something that shows that they are not can -- pursuing the same line of sanctions would be good.
this statement that was only a statement but the secretary of state takes a lot of weight in latin america. the statement about bolivia was really incredible. i think change that came to the united states and many respected not come yet to the diplomacy relations to latin america. amy: what do you want to see him doing, whether it comes to cuba, to bolivia, to brazil, your n country? >> brazil is a very special case now. very difficu. i would hope that we can support human rights in brazil. support the state -- sustainable develop and in brazil. -- development in brazil. i think it is important that if brazil was to have a good and constructive dialogue with united states it would have to behave according to civilization norms that are played ever. >> and blank recognizi juan
guaido as the president who was not elected? >> it's -- it's silly, too. cause it has no future. it did not have any future with trump. it will not have any future now. unless some kind of violt overthrow of majuro. they will have to dialogue -- back into 2003 with full support of the republicans. you talk about the group of friends venezuela. in relation to cuba, the sanctions are something totally obscured. it is still the cold war mentality which has nothing to do. it doesn't need to be friends with ca but i mean just respecting the national law. t have unateral sanctio. e declaration on bivia was very mucworrying because it points to the wrong direction. what should he do in latin america? obama in some respects try t
wo in a better way in relati to cuba. even with venezuela they had indirect dialogues and certainly - asking f a diogue with the organization of south american countries. i think respect, i think what the united states -- there is diversity in latin america. and plurality. and, of course, desire to work independently and to work in cooperation with the united states. he shouldhange the chairman of the inter-american -- inter-development bank. someone o is a hawk. put there by trump. i don't know for what. extreme right wing. we have never had. more important than being in latin america or being a u.s. citizen is the question of understanding latin america, not -- making latin america stage
for a new cold war we do not want to be in. >> finally, your comment on the u.s. and other wealthy members of the wto blocking a push by developing countries to waive patent rights in an effort to boost the ability get vaccines out to the world. >> well, i was very much involved in a some 15 years ago. at was a republican government. and we were able to discuss -- the declaration on freed -on health, which is part of the united nations i really regret this sitionf the united states. you can't be looking for social justice in the international center. i think the pandemic is a world problem. i think we have to facilitate the actions for vaccines above all.