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Brazil May Revise Textbooks to Eliminate Mention of 'Coup'

Government says military's ouster of president was merely an 'institutional shift'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2019 11:00 AM CDT
Demonstrators hold photos of persons who were killed during Brazil's 20-year dictatorship during a protest in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

(Newser) – In 1964, the military in Brazil ousted President Joao Goulart, setting up a dictatorship infamous for its brutality that would rule for the next two decades. The ouster may sound like the very definition of a coup, but the current government of Brazil thinks otherwise. The education minister plans to revise school textbooks to ditch references to the word "coup," reports the BBC. It was "an institutional shift, not a coup against the constitution at the time," Ricardo Velez told a local news outlet. And the subsequent dictatorship was, in fact, "a democratic regime by force which was necessary at the time," he maintains.

Velez says students need a "true and real idea" of what transpired, jibing with comments a general made about how left-wing "indoctrination" must be rooted out of schools, reports the New Statesman. The latter site presents this in the context of similar pushes throughout Latin America, with classrooms "becoming a battleground for revising history." In a Washington Post op-ed, a Brazilian anthropologist sees a dangerous movement afoot under far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. "Celebrating 1964 could eventually catalyze a wave of violence against progressive and left-wing activists, who have become increasingly vulnerable as Bolsonaro's platform has gained attention," writes Rosana Pinheiro-Machado. (Read more Brazil stories.)

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