Temer becomes Brazil’s president amid rift in Latin America

Michel Temer has been sworn in as Brazil's new president amid a diplomatic rift in Latin America as Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia recall their ambassadors to protest the dismissal of Dilma Rousseff.

Courtesy of: AFP
Courtesy of: AFP

President Michel Temer waves as he takes office before the plenary of the Brazilian Senate in Brasilia, on August 31, 2016.

Brazil's new leader Michel Temer officially began his presidency on Thursday amid a diplomatic rift in Latin America as Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia have recalled their ambassadors to protest the dismissal of Dilma Rousseff.

Leftist leaders in Caracas, Quito, La Paz and San Salvador have been consistent allies of Rousseff and her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, including Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who said the United States was behind the impeachment push.

'Coup d'etat'

Madura in a televised speech said, "This coup d'etat isn't just against Dilma. It is against Latin America and the Caribbean. It is against us."

"This is an attack against the popular, progressive, leftist movement," he added.

Defending the constitutionality of Rousseff's impeachment, Brazilian Foreign Minister Jose Serra questioned the legitimacy of Maduro's government.

"The Venezuelan government has no moral standing to talk about democracy, since they don't have a democratic regime," he said in comments posted to a government website, in which he accused Venezuela of holding political prisoners.

Adding its voice to the criticisms, the leftist government of El Salvador said in a statement that Rousseff's removal "represented a serious threat for Latin America's democracy, peace, justice, development and integration."

However, it did not say it would recall its ambassador.

Earlier, Temer, 75, was sworn in shortly after a majority of senators voted Wednesday in a highly charged session to remove the leftist Rousseff, 68, on grounds that she illegally manipulated the state budget.

Temer shrugged off Rousseff’s claims that he had led a "coup" to seize power from her Workers' Party government, which has ruled Brazil for 13 years.

Sworn in to serve out the remainder of Rousseff's four-year presidential term up to the end of 2018, Temer vowed to create jobs in the recession-stricken country and guarantee "political stability" to lure investors.

"My only interest is in handing over to my successor a country that is reconciled, pacified and growing economically," he said in a pre-recorded television address, aired as he headed off to China for a G20 summit.



TRTWorld and agencies