Thursday, May 12, 2016

Leftist Leaders Leap to Defense of Ousted Brazilian President
Maria Lourdes Hercules
Special for USA TODAY 4:09 p.m. EDT
May 12, 2016

The impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff drew condemnation by fellow leftist leaders in South America, while more conservative leaders endorsed the legal process that led to her ouster.

Rousseff, the first female president of Brazil, was suspended Thursday and replaced by her right-of-center Vice President Michel Temer. Here are reactions from neighboring countries and their government's political leanings:

Venezuela: The Chancellery of the Republic issued a statement rejecting the impeachment of Rousseff. "The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela considers that the coup in development has been forged from the moment of the election of President Dilma Rousseff," the statement from the leftist government said. "The process of Coup in Brazil aims to replace popular sovereignty and ignoring the legitimate will of its people. ... We appeal to the people of the world to remain vigilant and ready to defend democracy, President Dilma Rousseff and processes of unity and integration among our countries."

Argentina: Susana Malcorra, chancellor of Argentina, said in a statement that her right-of-center government respects "the institutional process that is unfolding" and is confident in "the outcome of the situation to consolidate the strength of Brazilian democracy," El Universal reported.

Chile: The leftist government expressed "concern" at the events of its "sister nation." The Chilean foreign minister, Heraldo Munoz, highlighted the "excellent relations" they have had with Rousseff and that they rely on the strength of democracy in Brazil to resolve internal affairs, according to El Universal.

Colombia: "The stability of Brazil is very important for the region because of its influence and leadership," the Foreign Ministry of the right-of-center government said in a statement. Colombia said it relied on the preservation of "democratic institutions" as "indispensable foundations of rule of law," the AFP reported.

Bolivia: President Evo Morales expressed support for Rousseff and suggested that the country had faced a "coup." "Our solidarity with the companion Dilma [sic]. There (in Brazil) are plotting judicially. Before there were military coups, now they make them anti-imperialist presidents or congressional judicial coup," the leader of the leftist government said on Bolivian state television.

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