Frei Betto: Ein internationaler Aufruf gegen Bolsonaros Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit

Aqui vai a tradução alemã da denúncia internacional de Frei Betto contra os crimes de Bolsonaro contra a Humanidade.

Frei Betto: Ein internationaler Aufruf gegen Bolsonaros Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit

Liebe Freunde,

in Brasilien findet gerade ein Völkermord statt!  Zum Zeitpunkt, an dem ich schreibe, dem 16. Juli 2020, hat COVID-19, das hier im Februar dieses Jahres zum ersten Mal entdeckt wurde, bereits 76.000 Menschen getötet.  Es gibt bereits fast zwei Millionen Betroffene.  Bis Sonntag, 19. Juli, werden wir insgesamt 80.000 auf Todesopfer kommen. Es ist möglich, dass wir, wenn Sie diesen dramatischen Appell lesen, bereits die Zahl 100.000 erreicht haben

Wenn ich bedenke, dass im Vietnamkrieg über zwanzig Jahre hinweg 58.000 Menschenleben von US-amerikanischen Militärangehörigen geopfert wurden, begreife ich das Ausmaß und die Ernsthaftigkeit dessen, was in meinem Land geschieht. Dieser Horror verursacht Wut und Abscheu. Und wir alle wissen, dass vorsorgliche und restriktive Maßnahmen, wie sie in so vielen anderen Ländern ergriffen wurden, ein Abschlachten in einem solchen Ausmaß hätten verhindern können.

 

Dieser Völkermord ist nicht das Ergebnis der Gleichgültigkeit der Regierung Bolsonaros.  Er ist gewollt. Bolsonaro freut sich über den Tod anderer.  Als er Mitglied des Kongresses war, sagte er 1999 in einem Fernsehinterview: “Wahlen werden in diesem Land nichts ändern, nichts, absolut nichts! Veränderungen werden leider nur dann kommen, wenn wir eines Tages hier in Brasilien einen Bürgerkrieg führen und die Arbeit leisten, die das Militärregime nicht getan hat: 30.000 Menschen töten.”

 

Als er für die Amtsenthebung von Präsidentin Dilma Rousseff stimmte, widmete er seine Stimme dem Gedenken an den berüchtigtsten Folterer der brasilianischen Armee, Oberst Brilhante Ustra.

 

Aufgrund dieser großen Todesbesessenheit ist eine seiner wichtigsten Regierungsmaßnahmen die Zulassung des Verkaufs von Waffen und Munition.  Auf die Frage am Eingang des Präsidentenpalastes, ob er nicht betroffen sei wegen der Opfer der Pandemie, antwortete er: “Ich glaube nicht an diese Zahlen (27. März, 92 Tote). Wir werden alle eines Tages sterben” (29. März, 136 Tote). “Also was? Was soll ich tun?’ (28. April, 5.017 Tote).

 

Warum diese nekrophile Politik? Von Anfang an erklärte er, dass es nicht darauf ankomme, Leben zu retten, sondern die Wirtschaft zu retten. Darum weigert er sich, ein Lockdown anzuordnen, den Anweisungen der WHO zu folgen und Atemschutzgeräte und persönliche Schutzausrüstungen zu importieren. Der Oberste Gerichtshof musste diese Verantwortung an die Gouverneure und Bürgermeister der Städte delegieren.

 

Bolsonaro respektierte nicht einmal die Autorität seiner eigenen Gesundheitsminister.  Seit Februar wurden in Brasilien zwei entlassen, weil sie sich weigerten, dieselbe Haltung wie der Präsident einzunehmen.  Jetzt wird das Ministerium von General Pazuello geleitet, der keinerlei Kenntnis von Gesundheitsfragen hat; er hatte versucht, die Daten über die steigende Zahl von Opfern zu verheimlichen; er hat 1.249 Militärangehörige in wichtigen Positionen im Ministerium angestellt, ohne dass sie die erforderlichen Qualifikationen hätten; und er hat die täglichen Interviews abgesagt, von denen die Bevölkerung Orientierung erhalten hatte.

 

Es würde zu lange dauern, alle Maßnahmen zur Freigabe von Mitteln zur Unterstützung von Opfern und Familien mit niedrigem Einkommen (über 100 Millionen Brasilianer) aufzulisten, die nie ergriffen wurden.

 

Die Gründe für die kriminellen Entscheidungen der Regierung Bolsonaros liegen auf der Hand.  Wenn ältere Menschen sterben, verschont dies die Ressourcen des Department of National Insurance.  Wer bereits Erkrankte sterben lässt, schont die Ressourcen des nationalen Gesundheitsdienstes, des SUS.  Die Armen sterben zu lassen, schont die Ressourcen des Programms Familienfürsorge und anderer Sozialprogramme, die sich an die 52,5 Millionen Brasilianer richten, die in Armut leben, und die 13,5 Millionen, die in extremer Armut leben (Zahlen der brasilianischen Bundesregierung).

 

Noch nicht zufrieden mit solch tödlichen Maßnahmen, hat der Präsident jetzt, am 3. Juli, sein Veto gegen den Gesetzesabschnitt eingelegt, der zur Verwendung von Masken in Läden, Kultstätten und Bildungseinrichtungen verpflichtet. Er hat ebenfalls gegen die Verhängung von Geldstrafen gegen diejenigen gestimmt, die die Regeln nicht eingehalten haben, und die Verpflichtung der Regierung, Masken an die ärmsten Bevölkerungsschichten, die Hauptopfer von COVID-19, und an Gefangene (750.000) zu verteilen. Diese Vetos kippen jedoch nicht die lokale Gesetzgebung, die die Verwendung von Masken bereits obligatorisch gemacht hat.

 

Am 8. Juli kippte Bolsonaro drei Abschnitte eines vom Senat verabschiedeten Gesetzes, das die Regierung verpflichtete, Trinkwasser und Gesundheits- und Reinigungsmittel zu liefern, Internetanschlüsse zu installieren und Grundnahrungsmittel, Saatgut und landwirtschaftliche Geräte an indigene Dörfer zu verteilen. Er legte auch sein Veto gegen Soforthilfen ein, die für indigene Gesundheitsdienste bestimmt waren, und um indigenen und Mitgliedern afro-brasilianischer Ex-Sklaven-Quilombola-Gemeinschaften für drei Monate Soforthilfe in Höhe von 600 R’ (120 Euro) zu gewähren. Und er legte ebenfalls sein Veto gegen die Verpflichtung der Regierung ein, indigenen und Ex-Sklaven-Gemeinschaften mehr Krankenhausbetten, Beatmungsgeräte und Sauerstoffgeräte zur Verfügung zu stellen.

 

Indigene und Ex-Sklaven-Gemeinschaften wurden durch die zunehmende sozio-ökologische Verwüstung dezimiert, vor allem im Amazonasgebiet.

 

Bitte machen Sie dieses Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit so publik wie möglich. Die Verurteilung der Geschehnisse in Brasilien muss die Medien Ihres Landes, die sozialen Netzwerke, den UN-Menschenrechtsrat in Genf und die Banken und Unternehmen erreichen, welche die Investoren vertreten, die die Regierung Bolsonaro so gierig will.

 

Lange bevor The Economist dies tat, habe ich in den sozialen Medien den Präsidenten BolsoNero genannt – während Rom brannte, spielte er die Geige und warb für Hydroxychloroquin, ein Medikament, von dem wissenschaftlich erwiesen wurde, dass es keine Wirkung auf das neue Coronavirus hat.  Aber seine Hersteller sind politische Verbündete des Präsidenten…

 

Vielen Dank für Ihre Solidarität bei der Veröffentlichung dieses Schreibens.  Nur der Druck aus dem Ausland kann den Völkermord stoppen, der unser liebes, wunderbares Brasilien zerstört.

Mit brüderlichen Grüßen

Frei Betto
16.07.2020

Frei Betto ist ein Dominikaner-Bruder und Schriftsteller, Berater der FAO (Ernährungs- und Landwirtschaftsorganisation der UN) und sozialer Bewegungen.

 

Post-covid-19: what to include in cosmology and ethics (III)

Let’s complete the thought provoking commentary of the text of the Earthcharter affirming that we must seek a new start in order to forge a sustainable mode of living on planet Earth.
To that end, “a new sense of global interdependence is required.” The relationship of everything with everything, and consequently, global interdependence, represents a cosmological constant.  Everything in the universe is relationship. It is also a quantum physics axiom, according to which all beings are inter-retro-related. We ourselves, human beings, are a rhizome (bulb of roots) of relationships that extend in every direction. This implies understanding that all problems:  ecological, economic, political and spiritual, are interrelated. We will only save life if we align ourselves with this universal logic  the logic of the universe and nature.
The Earthcharter continues: “universal responsibility is required.” Responsibility means being aware of the consequences of our actions, whether they are beneficial or hurtful to other beings. Hans Jonas wrote a classic book about The Principle of Responsibility, that includes the principles of prevention and precaution. Through prevention we can calculate the effects when we intervene in nature. The principle of precaution tells us that if we cannot measure the consequences we must not risk taking certain actions and interventions, because they may produce highly harmful effects for life.
We can see the lack of such collective responsibility in the current pandemic. It demands strict social isolation in order to avoid community spread, but the great majority of people do not abide by that principle. It must be universal.
Moreover, the Earthcharter calls on us: “to creatively develop and apply the vision” (of a sustainable mode of life). Nothing great is accomplished on Earth without imagining and creating the new societies and forms of being that have been envisioned. This is the function of viable utopias.  All utopias broaden our horizons and call on our creativity.  In the cheerful expression of Eduardo Galeano, “utopia takes us from horizon to horizon always making us walk.”
To overcome the habitual means of inhabiting the Common Home, which is a utilitarian relationship, we must dream of our planet as the great Mother, “The Earth of the Good Hope”, (Ignace Sachs and Ladislau Dowbor). Humanity can realize this utopia when it wakes up to the urgency of the need for a different world.
A sustainable mode of life
The Earthcharter also affirms “a vision of a sustainable mode of life”. We are used to the expression, “sustainable development.”  It is in all the official documents and on the lips of the dominant ecology. All serious analyses have shown that our form of production, distribution and consumption is unsustainable, because it is impossible to maintain an equilibrium between what we take from nature and what we leave, such that nature may always reproduce and continuously evolve. Our voracity has made the planet unsustainable, because even if the rich countries wanted to extend their well being to all of humanity, it would require at least three Earths like the one we have, which is clearly impossible.
Current development, that measures economic growth by the Gross National Product, GNP, reveals astonishing inequalities, to the point that the NGO Oxfam, in its 2019 report, notes that 1% of humanity owns half of the wealth of the world, and that 20% controls 95% of that wealth, while the remaining 80% must get by with only 5% of the wealth. These data reveal the totally untenable world in which we live.
The Earthcharter is guided, not by profit, but by life. This is why the great challenge is to create a sustainable mode of living in all aspects of life: the personal, family, social, national and international.
The importance of bio-regionalism
Finally, this sustainable mode of living must be realized at local, national, regional and world levels. Of course, it is about a world project that must be realized through a process. Today, the more advanced portion of this search takes place at the local and regional levels, such that bio-regionalism is seen as the truly viable form of realizing sustainability. We take the region as a reference, not according the arbitrary divisions that still persist, but the one created by nature herself, with her rivers, mountains, jungles, woods, and everything that makes up a regional ecosystem. In this framework, an authentic sustainability can be achieved, including the natural goods, culture and local traditions, the personalities that have marked that history, favoring small enterprises and organic agriculture, with the broadest participation possible, in a democratic spirit. This way a “good living and good life” (the Andean ecological ideal) will happen, sufficient, decent and sustainable with the diminution of inequalities.
This vision, formulated by the Earthcharter, is both grandiose and feasible. What we need is more good will, the only virtue that for Kant has neither defects nor limitations, because if it did, it would not be good. This good will would motivate the communities and, in the end, all of humanity, to really accomplish “a new beginning” (To be continued).
*Leonardo Boff is an ecotheologian and philosopher who has written, To Protect the Earth-Care for Life: How to Avoid the End of the World, Record, Rio, 2010.

 

Frei Betto: a international Call against the Bolsonaro’s humanitarian crimes

                                LETTER TO OUR FRIENDS ABROAD

Frei Betto

Dear Friends,

A genocide is taking place in Brazil!  As I write, on 16 July 2020, COVID-19, first detected here in February this year, has already killed 76,000 people.  There are already almost two million people affected.  By Sunday 19 July we shall reach a total of 80,000 fatalities. It is possible that when you read this dramatic appeal, we shall already have reached 100,000.

When I think that in the Vietnam war, over twenty years, 58,000 lives of US-American military personnel were sacrificed, I grasp the scale and seriousness of what is taking place in my country.  This horror causes anger and revulsion. And we all know that precautionary and restrictive measures that have been adopted in so many other countries could have avoided slaughter on such a scale.

This genocide is not the result of the Bolsonaro government’s indifference.  It is intentional. Bolsonaro delights in the deaths of others.  When he was a member of Congress, he said in a TV interview in 1999: ‘Voting won’t change anything in this country, nothing, absolutely nothing! Change will only come, unfortunately, if one day we engage in a civil war here in Brazil, and do the work the military regime didn’t do:  kill 30,000.’

When he voted for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, he dedicated his vote to the memory of the Brazilian army’s most notorious torturer, Colonel Brilhante Ustra.

Because of this great obsession with death, one of his main government policies is allowing the sale of weapons and ammunition.  When asked at the entrance to the presidential palace if he wasn’t concerned about the victims of the pandemic, he replied, ‘I don’t believe in these figures (27 March, 92 deaths);  ‘We’re all going to die one day’ (29 March, 136 deaths); ‘So what? What do you want me to do?’ (28 April, 5,017 deaths).

Why this necrophiliac policy? From the beginning he stated that the important thing was not to save lives, but to save the economy. That is why he refuses to order a lockdown, follow the guidance of the World Health Organisation and import respirators and personal protection equipment. The Supreme Court had to delegate this responsibility to state governors and city mayors.

Bolsonaro did not even respect the authority of his own ministers of health.  Since February Brazil has had two, both sacked for refusing to take the same attitude as the President.  Now the ministry is headed by General Pazuello, who has no knowledge of health matters; he had tried to hide the data about the increasing numbers of victims; he has employed 1.249 military personnel in important posts in the ministry, without the necessary qualifications; and he has cancelled the daily interviews from which the population received guidance.

It would take too long to list all the measures to release resources to aid low-income victims and families (over 100 million Brazilians) that were never taken.

The reasons behind the criminal decisions of the Bolsonaro government are clear.  Letting the elderly die saves the resources of the Department of National Insurance.  Letting those with pre-existing conditions die saves the resources of the national health service, the SUS.  Letting the poor die saves the resources of the Family Welfare programme and other social programmes targeting the 52.5 million Brazilians who live in poverty and the 13.5 million that live in extreme poverty (Federal government figures).

Not satisfied with such lethal measures, now, on 3 July the President has vetoed the section of a law that made obligatory the use of masks in shops, places of worship and educational institutions. He has also vetoed the imposition of fines on those who failed to keep the rules and the government’s obligation to distribute masks to the poorest sections of the population, the main victims of COVID-19, and prisoners (750,000). These vetoes, however, do not overturn local legislation that has already made the use of masks obligatory.

On 8 July Bolsonaro overturned three sections of a law approved by the Senate, that obliged the government to supply drinking water and health and cleaning materials, to install internet connections and distribute basic food supplies, seeds and agricultural implements to indigenous villages. He also vetoed emergency funds intended for indigenous health services, and to give indigenous and members of Afro-Brazilian ex-slave quilombola communities emergency aid of R$600 (120 Euros or US$120) for three months. He also vetoed the obligation on the government to provide more hospital beds, ventilators and oxygenation machines to indigenous and ex-slave communities.

Indigenous and ex-slave communities have been decimated by the increasing socio-environmental devastation, especially in the Amazon region.

Please give as much publicity as possible to this crime against humanity.  Condemnation of what is happening in Brazil must reach your country’s media, social networks,  the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, and the banks and companies that represent the investors the Bolsonaro government so greedily wants.

Long before The Economist did so, on social media I have been calling the President BolsoNero – while Rome burned he played the fiddle and promoted hydrochloroquine, a drug scientifically shown to have no effect on the new coronavirus.  But its manufacturers are political allies of the President…

Thank you for your solidarity in publicising this letter.  Only pressure from abroad can halt the genocide that is devastating our dear, wonderful Brazil.

Yours fraternally

Frei Betto

 

Frei Betto is a Dominican brother and writer, an adviser to the FAO and to social movements.

 

Post-covid-19: what cosmology and ethics to incorporate (II)

Many analysts predict that the post-pandemic could usher in an extreme radicalization of the previous situation, a return to the system of capital and neo-liberalism, which seeks to dominate the world through electronic surveillance (big data) of every person in the planet, which is already being done in China and the United States. We then would enter an era of darkness, risking our own destruction, as suggested by Rachel Carson in her famous book, “Silent Spring”. Hence the demand for a radical ecological conversion, whose centrality must consist of the Earth, life and human civilization: a bio-civilization.

               The possible risks in the post-covid-19 period:

We must not, however, underestimate the power of systemic violence. Sigmund Freud, replying to a 1932 letter by Albert Einstein in which Einstein asked if it was possible to overcome violence and war, left an aporia. Freud replied that he could not say which tendency would prevail: the instinct of death (Thanatos) or the instinct of life (Eros). They are always in tension and we cannot be sure which will triumph in the end. And he concluded, resigned: “Starving, we think of the windmill that grinds so slowly that we can die of hunger before we get the flour”.

There is the non optimistic opinion of Noam Chomsky, one of the greatest Northamerican intellectuals and a severe critic of the imperialist system, who says: «The coronavirus is very grave indeed, but it is worth remembering that something even more terrible is near. We are headed towards disaster, something worse than anything that has ever happened in human history, and Trump and his lackeys are leading us towards the abyss. We are facing two immense threats. One is the ever growing threat of nuclear war, exacerbated by the tension of the military regimes; and the other, of course, is global warming. The two threats could be resolved, but there is not enough time; the coronavirus is terrible and can have terrible consequences, but it will be overcome, while the others will not. If we do not resolve them, we are condemned».

Chomsky has affirmed that President Trump is insane enough as to unleash a nuclear war, without caring what would happen to all of humanity.

Notwithstanding this dramatic vision of the prestigious linguist and thinker, our hope is that if humanity were to run a truly grave danger of self destruction, the life instinct would prevail. But that presumes that we had constructed a new form of inhabiting the Common Home, on bases that are neither those of the past, nor of the present.

         Some good lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic

In any event, the coronavirus has shown us that we are not the “little gods” who claim to be able to do anything; it has shown us that we are fragile and limited; that the accumulation of material goods does not save life; that financial globalization alone, in the competitive mold of capitalism, precludes the creation, as the Chinese propose, of “a community of common destiny for the whole humanity”; that we must create a global a pluralistic center to discuss world problems; that cooperation and solidarity of one an all rather than individualism are the central values of a geosociety.

The limits of the Earth-System which does not tolerate a project of unlimited growth must be recognized and respected; we must take as good care of nature as of ourselves, because we are part of nature and she gives us all the goods and services needed for life. We must seek a circular economy that fulfills the famous “3-Rs”; reduce, reuse, and recycle everything that has entered into the process of production.

The economy must be one of dignified and universal subsistence and not of accumulation by some at the expense of everyone else and of nature. An economy of subsistence reduces our needs and leads to sobriety, and thus in great measure reduces social inequalities. The new economic order will not be ruled by profit but by economic rationality with ecological and social sensitivity.

It would be highly rational and humanitarian to create a minimum universal income; for medical attention to be a universal human right (One World-One Health) that should not be left unattended. It is important to ensure that the state regulates the market, to promote the necessary development and satisfy collective demands, be they of health or natural disasters.

We must encourage human-spiritual capital, always unlimited, based on love, solidarity, the search for the just measure, fraternity, compassion, feeling the enchantment of the world and the tireless search for peace.

              A road map to rescue life: The Earthcharter

These are, among others, some of the lessons we can draw from the coronavirus. Quoting the Earthcharter, (UNESCO), one of the most inspiring official documents for the transformation of our form of being on planet Earth, «fundamental changes are needed in our values, institutions and forms of life… Our environmental, economic, political, social and spiritual challenges are interconnected and together we can forge inclusive solutions» (Preamble c).

What world vision and which values should be included?

To know and have knowledge of information about reality is not yet to act. What moves us to act? What world vision (cosmology) and which values (ethics) we should include? An important text in the final part of the Earthcharter, in whose editing I also took part, can guide us.

“As never before in history, the common destiny calls us to search for a new beginning. This requires a change of mind and heart. It demands a new sense of global interdependence and universal responsibility. We must develop and apply with imagination the vision of a mode of sustainable life at a local, national, regional and world levels” (The path ahead).

Let us note that it is not just about improving the path we have taken. This would lead us to the cyclical crises that we already know, and eventually to disaster. It is about “searching for a new beginning”. We are called to rebuild the “Earth, our home, that is alive with a unique community of life” (Earthcharter, Preamble a). It would be deceitful to cover the wounds of the Earth with bandages, thinking that we could cure her that way. We must revive her and remake her so that she may be our Common Home.

“This requires a change of mind”. A change of mind means a new way of looking at the Earth, according to the new cosmology and biology. She is at a moment of the process of evolution that is 13.7 billion years old, and for the Earth, 4.3 billion years. After the big bang, all the physical-chemical elements were forged over more than three billion years, in the heart of the big red stars. On exploding, they launched in every direction the elements that formed the galaxies, the stars like the Sun, the planets and the Earth.

The Earth is teeming with life that began some 3.8 billion years ago, a continuously self creating and self organizing systemic super-organism. In an advanced moment of her complexity, some 8-10 million years ago, a part of the Earth began to feel, to think, to love and to worship. The human being emerged, man and woman. They are Earth, conscious and intelligent, that’s why they are called homo, made of humus.

This cosmovision changes our conception of the Earth. The UN, on April 22, 2009, officially recognized her as Mother Earth, because she creates and gives us everything. This is why the Earthcharter calls us: “To respect the Earth and life in all its diversity and to take care of the community of life with understanding, compassion and love” (Earthcharter 1 and 2). We can buy and sell the Earth as land. However, as Suquamish-Duwamish Grandfather Sealth, a.k.a., Seattle, stated, “we neither buy nor sell our Mother; we love and venerate her”. This attitude must be restored to the Earth, our Mother. This is the new mindset that we must make our own.

“It requires a change of heart”. The heart is the dimension of profound feelings (pathos), of sensibility, love, compassion and the values that guide our life. Especially in the heart is found caring, the friendly and affectionate form of relating with nature and her beings. It has to do with the sensible or cordial reason, with the limbic brain, that arose some 220 million years ago when mammals emerged in evolution. All of them, like the human being, have feelings, they love and care for their offspring. That is pathos, the capacity of affecting and of being affected, the human beings’ most profound dimension.

Reason (logos), the mind we have referred before, appeared only some 8-10 million years ago, with the neo-cortical brain, and in an advanced form as homo sapiens (present day humans) about a hundred thousand years ago. In modern times, it has developed exponentially, dominating our societies and creating techno-science, the great instruments of domination and the transformation of the face of the Earth, including a death machine in the form of nuclear weapons and other things that can end human life and the life of nature

The elevation of reason, rationalism, has created a kind of lobotomy: the human being has difficulty feeling the other and its suffering. We need to complete the rational intelligence, necessary to solve the needs of survival of our life, but we must to complement it with emotional and sensible intelligence. so that we may be more complete and we undertake with passion the defense of the Earth and of life.

We need the heart to make us hear both the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor, and to forge, as the Prime Minister of China, Xi Jinping, says: “a society moderately supplied” or as we say: a society with sober, frugal and solidarian consumption. (to be continued).

*Leonardo Boff is an ecotheologian and philosopher that has written: The Human Being, Satan or the Good Angel. Record,Rio 2008.