Elizabeth McKenna examines Brazil's "coup in three acts," which ousted Dilma Rousseff and installed Jair Bolsonaro.
Brazil is not for beginners, the saying goes. This much-repeated turn of phrase implies that a certain insider status is needed to understand the contradictions for which Brazil is famous: the communist party governor who praises capitalism; the women’s party made up of men; inequality levels that increase and decrease simultaneously, depending on how you measure them. After the dramatic arrest of Brazil’s larger-than-life former president Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva on April 7, 2018, journalist Antônio Prata wrote: “The reality is that since [the mass protests in 2013, Brazil] is not even for the initiated. It will take years — perhaps many — to understand the meaning of what is going on.”