12/13/2018 (Thu) 23:54:34
I'll still use this thread for important historical dates.
Exactly 50 years ago, on the 13th of November, 1968, General Costa e Silva, elected President by Congress two years earlier, decreed the fifth and last of the military regime's Institutional Acts, legally establishing press censorship, arbitrary arrests, federal intervention in state and municipal administration, the temporary dissolution of Congress, a ban on unauthorized political public meetings and a presidential right to sack disloyal public officials.
After four years of dictatorship with most civil liberties intact, this act cemented central power and the position of hardliners.
It was passed amidst a crackdown on a wave of opposition activity. Although most of the population passively endorsed the regime, dissidents were getting very vocal.
What followed was the zenith of military rule: although hundreds (on both sides) died in political violence, hardline dictatorial rule was strong and stable, with a successful propaganda machine and sky-high economic growth. Only by 1974 did this wear off and the existing political and economic model begin to show its contradictions, with the opposition making major gains within elections for the (powerless) Legislative which also shows elections weren't rigged and government victories in 1966 and 1970 were genuine. Moderates won back power in the same year and commenced a very slow thaw, revoking all five Institutional Acts in 1978.
Journalists and intellectuals are all talking unanimously about how this event was a massive setback for the nation and we need to revoke amnesty and hunt down and arrest every senile officer involved in political repression.