I am a contemporary of the 1964 Military Coup, the year in which I started working in a newspaper, and I never got used to it.
In 1985, when the dictatorship officially ended, after the Diretas Campaign. In the previous year, we went back to living in a democracy, but in the barracks they continued to celebrate, every March 31st, another anniversary of the coup.
I think that today is the first time in these 59 years that a civilian government has banned these military tricks and threatens to punish anyone who disrespects the order given to the barracks.
It is symbolic that this change occurs in the same year, 2023, in which the previous government tried to strike another blow against democracy, on the last January 8th, which did not get the support of the Armed Forces and was promptly repelled by the democratic forces of the nation sheltered in the three powers.
Therefore, March 31 of this year could be used in schools across the country, to remember what that period was that threw the country into darkness in the long night that lasted 21 years, and left sequels until today, as we have seen recently, with the fronts of the barracks being occupied by coup leaders asking for the intervention of the Armed Forces, with the support of government military sectors in anti-democratic acts that are still being investigated.
Reader of Estadão, the newspaper that actively participated in the preparation of the coup, where I would work three years later, when I went to school that day I knew that something very serious was about to happen in the country. But I had no idea what it would be and that it would have such disastrous and lasting consequences in our lives.
In a very brief summary, we had the following confrontation drawn: on one side, the military, big businessmen, the top of the Catholic Church, almost all the great press and the governors of the three largest states in the country (São Paulo, by Adhemar de Barros; Minas , by Magalhães Pinto and Rio, by Carlos Lacerda), with the support of the American government, were preparing to overthrow President João Goulart, known as Jango; on the other hand, on the side of the elected government, there were minority sectors of nationalist military, peasant, union and student leaders, who were all considered dangerous “communists” in the service of Moscow.
There was not exactly a clash of forces. With no resistance, the “revolutionaries” of General Olimpio Mourão Filho, who called himself a “cow in uniform”, left Minas Gerais with their troops for Rio and, in a few hours, Jango was removed from power by Congress, in Brasília, which enthroned in his place Marshal Castello Branco, the first in the series of military presidents, chosen by indirect vote.
The rest is now in the books, a tragic story that must never be forgotten, never to be repeated, but never to be celebrated.
Life goes on.
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