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A former estancieiro (farmer with huge properties of land), Goulart (nicknamed "Jango") was elected to the Rio Grande do Sul state legislature in 1946 and later became minister of justice and the interior. In 1953 he was appointed by President Getúlio Vargas as minister of labour, industry, and commerce. Despite being rich, Goulart was very popular among low classes and made connections with labour unions. Vargas took advantage of that just when the left wing sectors were deviating from his government. As minister of labour, Goulart proposed an increase of 100% in minimum wages.
In 1956, Jango was elected Vice President, as the running mate of President Juscelino Kubitschek. Goulart was again elected Vice President in 1960. This time, however, the president was Jânio Quadros, a member of a different party. (At the time, Brazilians could vote for a ticket that had candidates for president and vice president from different parties.) Quadros resigned in 1961. According to some chroniclers, this was an attempt to promote a coup d'etat. After this alleged coup failed, Goulart assumed the presidency after a ten-day-long crisis. Congress was reticent to give him the mandate, because of his left-wing tendencies. As a compromise solution, Brazil adopted Parliamentarism for the first time.
The Goulart years were marked by reform, in almost every sector of society.
In 1964 his government was overthrown by a major military coup, whose main figures were Gen. Olímpio Mourão Filho , Gen. Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco and Minas Gerais' governor Magalhães Pinto . The coup installed successive right-wing hardliners as heads of state who suspended several rights and liberties of the Brazilian people. Their rule was marked by the widespread disappearance, torture, and exile of many writers, singers, painters, filmmakers and other artists. The military claimed that Goulart was responsible for the high inflation that had begun to occur under his predecessor's tenure, and that his plans to redistribute wealth to resolve the country's economic crisis were part of a Communist attempt on Goulart's part to establish himself as dictator. Also, members of congress resented their loss of power and also resented the pressure Goulart put on them on some occasions (like the "Comício das Reformas", Rally of reforms). The coup was described as a "democratic rebellion" by the U.S. ambassador, despite its authoritarian and violent characteristics. He also deemed Brazil the "China of the 1960s."
Jango fled to Rio Grande do Sul and tried to resist the coup, but was soon declared out of the presidency by senator Auro de Moura Andrade , and exiled in Uruguay. In Montevideo, the former president of Brazil was hesitant as taking part in political acts relating to Brazil. He became an administrator of agricultural bussiness. In 1973 Jango participated in Argentine foreign affairs as a consultant.
When the plans for his return to Brazil started to take form, João Belchior Marques Goulart died in Mercedes, a city in Argentina, 1976.
The military coup and CIA support
In recent years it has been revealed that the CIA and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson actively supported the coup, fearing that Goulart would install a Communist government in the most populous country of Latin America.
|President of Brazil||Succeeded by:|
Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco
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