During the Cold War era, the United States exerted its influence by supporting military dictators in various regions including Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Examples of such dictators include Augusto Pinochet in Chile, Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines, and Mobutu Sese Seko in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Under these repressive regimes, many individuals, including women, were subjected to torture. Some of these women later emerged as influential figures in their respective countries. One notable example is Dilma Rousseff, who went on to become the President of Brazil.
Rousseff grew up in an affluent family in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. She embraced socialism at a young age and, following the coup d’état in 1964, she joined various leftist and Marxist urban guerrilla organizations that opposed the military dictatorship. Rousseff was subsequently captured, subjected to torture, and imprisoned between 1970 and 1972. She was elected president of Brazil on 31 October 2010, beating Brazilian Social Democracy Party candidate, José Serra.
During Dilma Rousseff’s presidency in Brazil, reports emerged that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) had conducted surveillance on her. These reports were based on leaked documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden, who had previously worked for the NSA.
One of the leaked documents, published by WikiLeaks in 2013, revealed that the NSA had intercepted communications from Rousseff and her advisors. The document suggested that the surveillance was carried out under a program called PRISM, which involved the collection of internet data from various companies. ALSO READ: BREAKING: BRICS announces new members
Further revelations came in 2015 when another leaked document indicated that the NSA had monitored phone calls between Rousseff and other Brazilian officials. This led to strained relations between Brazil and the United States, with Rousseff publicly expressing her outrage and demanding explanations from the U.S. government.
Meanwhile, the U.S. government neither confirmed nor denied the revelations, only maintaining that its intelligence activities are focused on matters of national security and terrorism prevention.
Rousseff was impeached on August 31, 2016. The process was initiated in the Chamber of Deputies on December 3, 2015. The Brazilian Senate first suspended President Rousseff from her powers and responsibilities for a period of up to six months, or until the Senate made a decision to remove her from office or acquit her. Vice President Michel Temer assumed the role of acting president of Brazil during Rousseff’s suspension. Eventually, the Senate found Rousseff guilty of violating budgetary laws, resulting in her removal from office.
“Today is the day that 61 men, many of them charged and corrupt, threw 54 million Brazilian votes in the garbage,” Rousseff tweeted minutes after the Senate voted 61-20 to force her out of office.
Interestingly, the BRICS astonished the world when it announced Rousseff as the President of the BRICS Bank, which has its headquarters in Shanghai.
“The Board of Governors unanimously elected H.E. Mrs. Dilma Vana Rousseff as the President of the Bank, effective immediately, in full accordance with the Articles of Agreement of the New Development Bank and the procedures of the President election,” the bank said in a statement in March 2023.ALSO READ: JUST IN: 19 countries submit requests to join BRICS
This historic development illustrates a significant shift in power dynamics and highlights anti-Western imperialist involvement in a multinational institution focused on fostering economic cooperation among the BRICS nations.