Brazil removes six ministers, three military commanders leave again at the same time

The former Brazilian Defense Minister Silva (left) resigned on March 29, 2021.

Brazil’s President Bolsonaro announced the removal of six ministers, including the defense and foreign ministries, only on the 29th. on the 30th, the defense ministry issued a statement announcing that the commanders of the army, navy and air force would be leaving, but did not specify the reasons for their departure, or who would replace them. This is the first Time since 1985 that all three Brazilian military commanders have left at the same time during a non-regime change.

Bolsonaro (Jair Bolsonaro) announced the removal of six ministers, including the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the 29th. Walter Souza Braga Netto, a general of the reserve forces who was the civilian director of the presidency (equivalent to the executive president), took over as defense minister; Fernando Azevedo e Silva, the former defense minister, resigned on the 29th.

According to Gerson Camarotti, a political columnist for the Brazilian news site G1, Army Commander Edson Pujol, Navy Commander Ilques Barbosa and Air Force Commander Antônio Carlos Moretti Bermudez resigned earlier on the 30th. In the capital city of Brasilia, the meeting with Nieto, intended to submit their resignations together, but Bolsonaro decided one step ahead of them not to let the three remain in office.

The departure of the commander of the three armies caused an uproar in the Brazilian political arena. Camarotti pointed out that Silva’s departure on the 29th has been concerned by the active and reserve forces of the three armies, fearing that this is Bolsonaro’s desire to have greater political influence in the military.

São Paulo Governor João Doria, who is seen as Bolsonaro’s opponent in next year’s presidential election, said that the three military forces are state institutions and are not subordinate to the government.

Brazil’s former House Speaker Rodrigo Maia, on the other hand, sees Bolsonaro as an authoritarian and enlisted him as Nicolas Maduro, the current president of Venezuela.

However, Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco pointed out that Brazil is a civilized, mature and absolutely democratic country that upholds the rule of law, and that the change of the commander of the three armies is a decision of the Ministry of Defense, so there is no need to speculate.

Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourão also stressed that the change of the commander of the three armies does not pose any risk of political institutional breakdowns, “There will be no institutional breakdowns with anyone as commander, and the actions of the three military forces will always be in line with the principle of legality.”

Morao, like Puyo, is a reserve force general and is highly respected in the military. For Morao, the really important matter for Brazil to focus on right now is the fight against the Chinese Communist viral disease (COVID-19, Wuhan pneumonia) pandemic.

The Epidemic has ravaged Brazil and collapsed the health care system, with 3,668 deaths in the past 24 hours, another single-day high, and 86,704 new confirmed cases. Since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 317,936 people have died and 12,664,058 people have been diagnosed.