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Iran’s War Within

Ebrahim Raisi and the Triumph of the Hard-Liners

By Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar September/October 2021

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a state divided against itself. Since its inception in 1979, it has been defined by tension between the president, who heads its elected government, and the supreme leader, who leads the parallel state institutions that embody modern Iran’s revolutionary Islamist ideals. The current supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, served as president from 1981 to 1989. During his tenure as president, he clashed over matters of policy, personnel, and ideology with the supreme leader at the time, Ruhollah Khomeini, the charismatic cleric who had spearheaded the Iranian Revolution. After Khomeini died, in 1989, Khamenei was appointed supreme leader and went on to do battle with a long line of presidents more moderate than himself. 

Iran’s recent presidents have not been radicals by the standards of the country’s political establishment. But despite their differing worldviews and social bases, all of them pursued domestic and foreign policies that the parallel state labeled as secular, liberal, antirevolutionary, and subversive. In each case, Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which answers directly to the supreme leader, moved aggressively and at times brutally to contain and control the elected government. The battles left the government bureaucracy depleted and paralyzed. 

With the election of Iran’s new president, this struggle may have finally been decided in favor of the parallel state. Ebrahim Raisi, who captured the presidency in a meticulously engineered election in June, is a loyal functionary of Iran’s theocratic system. For decades, he served as a low-profile prosecutor and judge, including two years as the head of Iran’s judiciary. Over the course of his career, Raisi became notorious for his alleged role in the summary execution of thousands of political prisoners and members of leftist armed groups in the late 1980s. His eagerness to stamp out any perceived threat to the parallel state clearly endeared him to Khamenei, and there is little doubt that as president, one of his priorities will be to tighten the supreme leader’s control over the administrative agencies of the elected government. 

The context in which Raisi assumed the presidency will also require a break from the past. Iran has been impoverished by the stranglehold of U.S. sanctions and the toll of the COVID-19 pandemic. The democratic aspirations of the devastated middle class are waning, and a collective sense of isolation and victimhood is rising in their place. The surrounding region remains threatening, strengthening those who pose as guardians of national security. Amid all this turmoil, Iran will soon need a new leader—a transition in which the new president is set to play a critical role, and which could potentially result in his own rise to head of the Islamic Republic. 

These changes promise to usher in a new era in the Islamic Republic’s history. The turmoil created by a divided system could give way to an Iran that is more cohesive and more assertive in trying to shape the region in its own image. As many of the leaders and movements that defined Iranian politics for the past three decades fade away, a faction of right-wing leaders has the opportunity to reshape Iran’s politics and society in ways that will expand the IRGC’s control over the country’s economy, further diminish political freedoms, and yet display limited tolerance on religious and social issues. It will champion Iranian nationalism to widen its popular base domestically, while relying on Shiite and anti-American ideologies to project power regionally.

These changes could also reshape Iran’s relationship with the world, and particularly with the United States. With the backing of a self-assured IRGC and no fear of domestic sabotage, the new government will not shy away from confronting perceived existential threats from the United States. Although it may compromise on the nuclear issue to mitigate mounting economic and environmental crises at home, the incoming foreign policy team will shelve previous presidents’ aspirations of a rapprochement with the West and instead pursue strategic alliances with China and Russia. Its primary focus will be the Middle East, where it will seek bilateral security and trade agreements with its neighbors and double down on strengthening its “axis of resistance,” a sprawling network of proxies in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and the rest of the region. 

U.S.-Iranian relations will be transactional and revolve around immediate security concerns. The alluring promise of a broader rapprochement will no longer find fertile ground in Tehran. The window of opportunity for a “grand bargain” between the two countries has likely closed.

BORN IN STRUGGLE

The political order that Khomeini ushered into being in 1979 emerged in struggle. Removing the shah, the dictator who had ruled Iran since 1941, was a relatively peaceful affair, but the contest between Islamists and their rivals was bloody and protracted. Khomeini’s acolytes battled traditional clergy, nationalists, and Marxists for power. The 1979 takeover of the U.S. embassy by students loyal to Khomeini consolidated the Islamists’ grip on power, as did the war that Iran fought against its neighbor Iraq from 1980 to 1988, which helped expand their paramilitary force, the IRGC, as a counterweight to the U.S.-trained Iranian army. 

The victorious Islamist forces established parallel institutions that collectively they call nezam, or “the system,” which is designed to neuter any threats from the secular state. Iran soon found itself riven by fault lines, however: between the supreme leader and the president, between the commanders of the IRGC and the army, and between the religious jurists of the Guardian Council (the body that holds a veto power over legislation) and members of parliament. The fissures deepened after Khomeini died, when the Islamists’ conservative wing took over and removed its leftist brethren from power. The ruling faction soon split between the parallel state and the government, headed by the new supreme leader and the president, respectively. 

The supreme leader is constitutionally the ultimate decision-maker in Iran, but the president and the government bureaucracy can occasionally exploit popular sentiment to outmaneuver him. Elections have highlighted polarizing issues such as civil rights, mandatory dress codes, corruption, and relations with the United States, spurring social movements and protests that the parallel state cannot ignore. The 1997 presidential election gave birth to a formidable reform movement whose “religious democratic” aspirations altered even the supreme leader’s lexicon. 

But for Iran’s recent presidents, efforts to exploit popular sentiment to push for reform usually ended in frustration and failure. As candidates, all the men who have served as Iran’s president during the past three decades—Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Mohammad Khatami, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Hassan Rouhani—promised to chart an independent course and open the country up to the world. Once in office, however, they inevitably fell short, constrained by the supreme leader’s active opposition. All these men also began their careers as fervent loyalists of the parallel state, and indeed they helped build the foundations of the Islamic Republic. 

Rafsanjani made the first attempt to weaken the parallel state. He was himself one of the founders of the theocratic establishment, as well as an instrumental backer of Khamenei’s appointment as supreme leader. But as Iran’s president from 1989 to 1997, Rafsanjani tried to shepherd the country out of its revolutionary phase and rebuild its fractured economy by strengthening ties with the United States and Europe. Before long, he was locked in a power struggle with Khamenei, as he sought to subsume the IRGC into the army or at least reduce it to a small, elite division. His objective was to centralize decision-making within the government and prevent the parallel state’s interests from determining national security. 

Khamenei foiled that plan and nixed a proposed constitutional amendment that would have allowed Rafsanjani to run for a third consecutive term. But when Rafsanjani left office in 1997, he did not exit the political scene. Instead, the competition between him and Khamenei introduced an element of volatility into Iranian electoral politics that lasted for a quarter century. 

Khatami owed his stunning landslide electoral victory in 1997 in part to Rafsanjani, who used his control over the political machine to back the unlikely reformist candidate. Khatami’s progressive platform appealed to disgruntled youth, women, and a middle class that had swelled because of Rafsanjani’s economic reforms. As president, Khatami presided over a brief moment of liberalization: hundreds of new media outlets emerged, and intellectuals put forward ideas about religious pluralism that threatened the supreme leader’s monopoly on divine truth. Khamenei and the IRGC moved aggressively to thwart Khatami’s reformist agenda and head off any rapprochement with the United States, arresting hundreds of journalists, intellectuals, and students.

Following this crackdown, the parallel state seemed to be on the verge of winning its power struggle with the government. Ahmadinejad ran a populist campaign in the 2005 election and defeated Rafsanjani, whom he portrayed as the symbol of a corrupt system. Throughout Ahmadinejad’s presidency, the IRGC penetrated state institutions, accelerated the country’s nuclear program, and exploited Iran’s international isolation under sanctions to bolster its own economic activities. When millions of Iranians protested Ahmadinejad’s contested reelection in 2009, the IRGC violently crushed the demonstrations. The parallel state imprisoned many reformist leaders and placed others under house arrest. Among the dead and detained were children and relatives of senior conservative officials. For a moment, even the parallel state cracked: IRGC commanders had to travel around the country to brief rank-and-file members and other conservative figures to justify their excessive use of violence against the protesters.

But even Ahmadinejad eventually clashed with Khamenei and the IRGC. In his second term, he dropped his anti-American stance in favor of overtures toward Washington and replaced his earlier Islamist rhetoric with appeals to Persian nationalism. He accused the IRGC and the intelligence agencies of smuggling luxury commodities such as cigarettes and women’s makeup products (and other goods) disguised as sensitive items into and out of Iran. In an effort to bypass the very religious establishment that had brought him to power, he intimated that he enjoyed a connection of some sort to the “Hidden Imam,” a messianic figure revered by the Shiites. 

After eight years with a loose cannon as president, Iranians began to support reformists who promised a return to normalcy. Rafsanjani was disqualified from running in the 2013 election by the Guardian Council, which is charged with assessing whether candidates hold loyalty to the supreme leader, and so he rallied support for his protégé, Rouhani, a former national security adviser to and nuclear negotiator for Rafsanjani and Khatami. Rouhani campaigned on an ambitious platform, pledging to defend citizens against the militarism of the IRGC and the religious extremism that restricted citizens’ daily lives, secure the release of reformist leaders from house arrest, and improve the economy by resolving the nuclear impasse. He linked economic growth to the nuclear negotiations by declaring, “It’s good to have centrifuges running, but people’s lives also have to run; our factories have to run.” 

With Rafsanjani and the reformists behind him, Rouhani was elected president in 2013 and reelected in 2017. Technocrats returned to senior positions and resumed the nuclear negotiations they had started a decade earlier under Khatami, but this time, they spoke not only with European powers but also directly with the United States. Preliminary nuclear talks between Iran and the United States had started secretly in Oman, with Khamenei’s blessing, a few months before Rouhani’s election. But the new team used its popular mandate to pressure the supreme leader to show more flexibility in the negotiations than he would have liked. After two years, Rouhani’s negotiators concluded an agreement with six world powers, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which offered Iran some relief from sanctions in return for agreeing to allow inspections of its nuclear facilities and to limit its uranium enrichment, at least for a time. 

LEAKED SECRETS

The parallel state struck back hard to dampen the euphoria that greeted the 2015 nuclear deal. In doing so, it provided graphic evidence of the internal struggles within the Iranian state. In April of this year, a three-hour audio file that was part of a classified oral history commissioned by an arm of the president’s office was anonymously leaked to the media. In it, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif can be heard bluntly stating that Iran’s foreign policy has consistently been at the service of the IRGC.

This leak confirms that the Rouhani administration viewed Iran’s nuclear program as an IRGC project not entirely in the interests of the state. In the taped conversation, Zarif says that he told Khatami and Rouhani that “a group [presumably the IRGC] has thrown the country down into a well, and that well is a nuclear well.” 

Zarif even accuses the IRGC of collaborating with Russia to sabotage his diplomatic efforts on the nuclear issue. The Russians feared that a nonproliferation agreement could bring Iran closer to the United States. According to Zarif, immediately after the JCPOA was announced, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force, to discuss the Syrian conflict. Russian missiles and planes then began intentionally flying a longer route through Iranian skies to attack forces battling the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Zarif implies that Putin intended to lock Iran into a collaboration with Russia in a regional battle as a way to keep Tehran in conflict with Washington. 

In the leaked audio, Zarif howls that the parallel state spent the six months before the nuclear agreement went into effect trying to sabotage it. The IRGC’s “firing a missile with ‘Israel must be wiped out’ inscribed on it, those affairs with Russia and the following regional events, raiding the Saudi embassy [in Tehran], seizing U.S. ships—they were all done to prevent the JCPOA from implementation,” he says on the tape. 

In the years after the JCPOA was adopted, Zarif found himself constantly scrambling to repair the IRGC’s damage to his careful diplomacy. Soleimani told Zarif little about his plans. For instance, in January 2016, U.S. sanctions on Iran’s flagship airline, Iran Air, were relaxed as part of the nuclear deal. But five months later, Zarif learned from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that Iran Air not only had resumed the use of putatively civilian flights to funnel weapons to Hezbollah in Syria, the action that had gotten it sanctioned in the first place, but also had increased those flights sixfold on Soleimani’s direct orders. 

The flights put Iran Air’s aging fleet at risk and courted new sanctions. Zarif furiously summarizes the IRGC’s view of the matter—that if using Iran Air for this purpose conferred a two percent advantage over the alternatives, “even if it cost the country’s diplomacy 200 percent, it was worth using it!” (Soleimani’s risk acceptance and willingness to provoke the United States may have contributed to his own demise; in early 2020, he was targeted and killed by an armed U.S. drone in Baghdad.) 

Zarif bemoans the fact that his popularity among Iranians dropped from 88 percent to 60 percent in the years after the JCPOA was finalized. Meanwhile, Soleimani’s approval jumped to 90 percent thanks to his heroic portrayal in the IRGC-backed media.  

Throughout his time in office, Rouhani found himself at war with the parallel state, just like predecessors. Back in the 1980s, Rouhani had helped expand the IRGC from a small volunteer organization into a full-fledged army, with ground, naval, and air forces. Three decades later, he publicly accused the IRGC of sprawling interference. In a 2014 anticorruption conference with the heads of the judiciary and the parliament, he demonstrated his frustration with the IRGC’s nonmilitary activities. Without explicitly naming the IRGC, he stated, “If guns, money, newspapers, and propaganda all gather in one place, one can be confident of corruption there.” 

LEAKED SECRETS

The parallel state struck back hard to dampen the euphoria that greeted the 2015 nuclear deal. In doing so, it provided graphic evidence of the internal struggles within the Iranian state. In April of this year, a three-hour audio file that was part of a classified oral history commissioned by an arm of the president’s office was anonymously leaked to the media. In it, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif can be heard bluntly stating that Iran’s foreign policy has consistently been at the service of the IRGC.

This leak confirms that the Rouhani administration viewed Iran’s nuclear program as an IRGC project not entirely in the interests of the state. In the taped conversation, Zarif says that he told Khatami and Rouhani that “a group [presumably the IRGC] has thrown the country down into a well, and that well is a nuclear well.” 

Zarif even accuses the IRGC of collaborating with Russia to sabotage his diplomatic efforts on the nuclear issue. The Russians feared that a nonproliferation agreement could bring Iran closer to the United States. According to Zarif, immediately after the JCPOA was announced, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force, to discuss the Syrian conflict. Russian missiles and planes then began intentionally flying a longer route through Iranian skies to attack forces battling the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Zarif implies that Putin intended to lock Iran into a collaboration with Russia in a regional battle as a way to keep Tehran in conflict with Washington. 

In the leaked audio, Zarif howls that the parallel state spent the six months before the nuclear agreement went into effect trying to sabotage it. The IRGC’s “firing a missile with ‘Israel must be wiped out’ inscribed on it, those affairs with Russia and the following regional events, raiding the Saudi embassy [in Tehran], seizing U.S. ships—they were all done to prevent the JCPOA from implementation,” he says on the tape. 

In the years after the JCPOA was adopted, Zarif found himself constantly scrambling to repair the IRGC’s damage to his careful diplomacy. Soleimani told Zarif little about his plans. For instance, in January 2016, U.S. sanctions on Iran’s flagship airline, Iran Air, were relaxed as part of the nuclear deal. But five months later, Zarif learned from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that Iran Air not only had resumed the use of putatively civilian flights to funnel weapons to Hezbollah in Syria, the action that had gotten it sanctioned in the first place, but also had increased those flights sixfold on Soleimani’s direct orders. 

The flights put Iran Air’s aging fleet at risk and courted new sanctions. Zarif furiously summarizes the IRGC’s view of the matter—that if using Iran Air for this purpose conferred a two percent advantage over the alternatives, “even if it cost the country’s diplomacy 200 percent, it was worth using it!” (Soleimani’s risk acceptance and willingness to provoke the United States may have contributed to his own demise; in early 2020, he was targeted and killed by an armed U.S. drone in Baghdad.) 

Zarif bemoans the fact that his popularity among Iranians dropped from 88 percent to 60 percent in the years after the JCPOA was finalized. Meanwhile, Soleimani’s approval jumped to 90 percent thanks to his heroic portrayal in the IRGC-backed media.  

Throughout his time in office, Rouhani found himself at war with the parallel state, just like predecessors. Back in the 1980s, Rouhani had helped expand the IRGC from a small volunteer organization into a full-fledged army, with ground, naval, and air forces. Three decades later, he publicly accused the IRGC of sprawling interference. In a 2014 anticorruption conference with the heads of the judiciary and the parliament, he demonstrated his frustration with the IRGC’s nonmilitary activities. Without explicitly naming the IRGC, he stated, “If guns, money, newspapers, and propaganda all gather in one place, one can be confident of corruption there.”

The Trump administration’s insistence that Iran’s elite was monolithic became something like a self-fulfilling prophecy: Trump’s actions pushed Iranian politics in a more extreme direction. Under the existential threat of a draconian U.S. sanctions policy, internal divisions abated. The White House’s policies helped forge a broad agreement among Iran’s elites that the only way to protect the country’s national interests was to secure the regime, which allowed the IRGC to present itself, for the first time in its existence, as the champion of Iranian nationalism. 

The IRGC had long claimed that its advanced ballistic missiles and network of proxies across the Middle East protected Iran’s territorial integrity. In 2019, after it became clear that Iran’s policy of “strategic patience” in upholding the JCPOA was not paying off, the IRGC sprang into action to establish deterrence against further pressure from the United States. It began carrying out brazen attacks, launching a startling, precise drone strike on an oil-processing facility in Saudi Arabia and shooting down a U.S. drone over the Persian Gulf. In January 2020, the IRGC launched ballistic missiles against American forces in Iraq in response to Soleimani’s assassination. These operations also served to silence the IRGC’s opponents within the state and society. 

For decades, the parallel state had feared that Iranian society would unite with the elected government to overpower it. The parallel state had acted, nimbly and often violently, to forestall that possibility. Now it could envision a new future, one in which both Iranian society and the government united behind the parallel state, making the supreme leader and the IRGC the vehicles for their aspirations. 

CO-OPTING THE FIELD

By this year’s election, Iran’s political and social landscape had been transformed. Rafsanjani, for decades a powerful force in elite politics, had died suddenly from a heart attack in 2017. Khatami remains under virtual house arrest, and the government forbids Iranian media from mentioning him or publishing his photograph. Ahmadinejad is still an outspoken critic: former advisers have described in Iranian media how he envisions himself as an Iranian Boris Yeltsin, destined to ride mass protests to power to save the nation. But Ahmadinejad’s faction has been purged from every important institution.

The reformist bloc was the biggest loser of the 2021 campaign, during which its aging leadership failed to present a united front or a coherent plan of action. The movement had once mobilized enough public support to propel Khatami to the presidency and later formed a crucial part of the coalition behind Rouhani. Now, however, it seems out of touch. The inflation rate in Iran soared to 40 percent after Trump withdrew from the JCPOA, and the country is plunging into poverty. According to Iran’s Social Security Organization, the absolute poverty rate doubled within only two years, from 15 percent in 2017 to 30 percent in 2019. The efforts by student groups and women’s organizations to organize protests against political repression and human rights violations have tailed off, replaced by impromptu violent riots over economic grievances, water shortages, and power outages. The rioters’ angry slogan—“Reformists, conservatives, your time is up”—suggests that they view the reformists as accomplices in their misery. 

In the past, reformists succeeded in elections by polarizing the political landscape. Khatami ran on a platform of promoting civil society and democracy, and Rouhani promised the resolution of the nuclear issue and improved ties with the United States. These qualify as wedge issues in Iran, and invoking them transformed those candidates’ campaigns into social movements, thus increasing voter turnout, particularly among women and young people. That strategy doomed Raisi’s first bid for the presidency, in 2017, when he lost badly to Rouhani.

In this year’s election, however, Khamenei and the IRGC found little resistance on their way to choreographing Raisi’s win. The Guardian Council disqualified all the candidates who could have potentially energized the electorate, barring not only all the reformists and Ahmadinejad but also Ali Larijani, a relatively moderate former Speaker of the parliament and chief nuclear negotiator. The only moderate candidate left in the game was Rouhani’s head of the central bank, Hemmati. 

In the end, the reformists’ supporters fractured into three camps: those who boycotted the election, those who cast blank ballots, and those who voted for Hemmati. Turnout came in at 49 percent, the lowest for a presidential election in the Islamic Republic’s history. In the reformist stronghold of Tehran, only 26 percent of eligible voters participated. According to official figures, Raisi won 62 percent of the vote, and Hemmati only eight percent. 

The hard-line campaign succeeded not solely due to repression but also by stealing a page from its opponents’ playbook. Raisi’s background is almost entirely in the theocratic judiciary, but as a presidential candidate, he emphasized security and prosperity rather than religion and ideology. He ran on a platform devoted to building a “strong Iran,” promising to tackle government corruption and neutralize the effect of sanctions by replicating the IRGC’s self-reliance in the defense industry in nonmilitary arenas, too. When he campaigned at bazaars, factories, and Tehran’s stock market, IRGC-affiliated media showed him talking to workers and technocrats about reopening bankrupt businesses and reviving the economy. 

Raisi not only posed as a centrist technocrat but appropriated the reformists’ secular discourse, as well. He promised to fight domestic violence and pledged to discourage the much-despised morality police from harassing ordinary people and to encourage them to instead go after economic and bureaucratic corruption. Images released by his campaign suggested that his supporters included women who did not follow the strict official dress code. 

Other hard-liners have struck a similar tone. In a debate between reformists and hard-liners held on the chat app Clubhouse during the campaign, Masoud Dehnamaki, a notorious vigilante and militia leader who since the 1990s has physically attacked intellectuals, students, and ordinary people for “un-Islamic” behavior, ridiculed the reformists for focusing on social restrictions. In a telling moment, he said that compulsory veiling was no longer a serious concern for the regime.

Raisi has also repeatedly said that he advocates engagement with the world. This represents a significant shift from the confrontational approach that hard-liners have traditionally taken. He also has made clear that he does not object to the nuclear deal as such, only to the specific aspects of the agreement that allowed the United States to violate it with impunity. The most dramatic shift has come among Raisi’s hard-line supporters, who were adamantly opposed to the JCPOA until a few weeks before his campaign began but have since made a U-turn, pledging compliance with the agreement. Mojtaba Zonnour, a senior member of parliament, once led a group of conservatives to the podium and set a copy of the JCPOA on fire after Trump withdrew from the agreement. After criticizing the JCPOA for years, he is now backing Raisi’s adherence to it, as long as the United States honors its obligations. 

THE PARALLEL STATE AS UNITARY STATE

This time, those who anticipate a repetition of the familiar conflict between the president and the supreme leader may be disappointed. The impending transition to the next supreme leader will loom over Raisi’s presidency. There is limited information on the 82-year-old leader’s health, except for a much-publicized prostate surgery in 2014. But it is widely expected that the decision to replace Khamenei will have to be made during the new president’s tenure. 

The forces that engineered Raisi’s victory are purging the highest echelons of the Islamic Republic to smooth this succession process. If he is not himself named Khamenei’s successor, Raisi will play a key role in determining who is. He is thus unlikely to spend his presidency challenging the current occupant of the nation’s highest office.

Raisi is simply part of a larger political project that Khamenei is pursuing in his final years. The new president may tactically moderate his positions, but any real policy shift will occur in close coordination with the supreme leader. The parallel state is widening its social base beyond Islamists to nonreligious nationalists, in an attempt to co-opt the growing influence of those who despise the official and selective imposition of Islamic law. Many veiled women have joined the anti-veiling campaign, since they see the dress code as divisive, generating resentment toward them in the street. Raisi’s selective and reversible appropriation of the reformists’ social and foreign policy agendas is designed to further undermine their ability to return to the political scene at this critical moment in Iranian history.

Despite its smooth start, this high-stakes gambit could quickly fall apart. Raisi and his team of young, right-wing technocrats will need to use state patronage to co-opt resentful elites, particularly the faction of marginalized conservatives. They also must address the needs of the impoverished population, a portion of which backed Raisi because of his economic promises.  

On foreign policy, Raisi will attempt to turn the failed globalist aspirations of his predecessors on their head. Previous presidents came to believe that the best way to forge a safe and secure Iran was to make the country a prosperous part of the global economy. Raisi believes that, on the contrary, only a strong Iran with undisputed regional leverage can deter external forces and achieve economic prosperity. Therefore, he is expected to enhance the IRGC’s military capabilities in order to counter U.S. pressure. That means bolstering the corps’s network of proxies in Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and beyond, all in the service of protecting the original parallel state in Iran.  

The new administration will also deepen Iran’s security and economic ties with both China and Russia. Putin issued one of the first and strongest congratulations to the new president, expressing his confidence that Raisi’s election will lead to “further development of constructive bilateral cooperation between our countries.” Tehran also recently signed a 25-year trade and military partnership with Beijing, which was initially delayed in 2016 because Iran hoped to improve ties with the United States and Europe.

Paradoxically, the elimination of any potential rapprochement with the United States has brought coherence to Iran’s foreign policy. There is now a general consensus across Iran’s political spectrum that their country’s hostile relationship with the United States will persist indefinitely. Consequently, Iran’s competing factions are no longer obsessed with the domestic ramifications of improved ties with Washington. This means that neither the JCPOA’s success nor its failure can dramatically upset the internal balance of power. This new dynamic has reduced the likelihood of domestic sabotage in the event a diplomatic breakthrough is achieved—but it has also hardened Iran’s bargaining position in the ongoing negotiations. 

Raisi needs a diplomatic success on the nuclear front to deal with a sea of internal problems. But unlike Rouhani, he is not betting his political fortune on it. His hawkish foreign policy team perceives the United States as ideologically committed to destroying the Islamic Republic. Its assumption is that Washington will attempt to renege on any agreement either bluntly, as Trump did, or subtly, as the Obama administration did, by not properly removing financial sanctions on Iran. The political forces that propelled Raisi to the presidency are therefore preparing step-by-step retaliatory measures in case a revived JCPOA falters. They are also committed to preserving Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, to maintain the option to weaponize the program rapidly if the agreement falls apart. At the same time, the signing of a new nuclear deal could inadvertently create a more combustible region: Tehran fears that it would give the United States a free hand to go after its regional influence, and Tehran’s enemies are concerned that it would provide Iran with more resources to bolster its proxies and missile program. 

The resulting security dilemma appears poised to escalate tensions between Iran and the United States. The two countries are already embroiled in a low-level but continuous conflict in Iraq, where U.S. forces and pro-Iranian militias clash sporadically. Although Raisi has held out the prospect of talks with regional powers to lower tensions, the emerging unified leadership in Iran sees itself in a win-win position. It is confident in its military and has long known how to thrive on conflicts and expand its nonstate allies. Thanks to the new domestic political transformation, it can also make tactical compromises with its adversaries without the risk of exacerbating internal divisions. As a new era of the Islamic Republic begins, Iran and the United States are on a collision course.


Da necessidade do Estado

O Estado não existe à-priori. Resultou, paradoxalmente, de uma consciência de limitação da liberdade impossível de forma a concretizar a liberdade possível. O Estado é a convenção à-posteriori que previne a arbitrariedade enquanto assegura a liberdade.

Reencontrei hoje esta relíquia. Fazia parte das notas de pesquisa para um trabalho de investigação académica que fiz na altura. As coisas que se escrevem aos 20 anos.

Acabei por também a incluir nesta colectânea de pensamentos:
VFS, Livro dos Pensares e das Tormentas, 57, 1987.


E o futuro do socialismo democrático?

Que irá acontecer ao PS? Mais radicalização?


Dissonância(S)

Esta afirmação, dita por um elemento da elite socialista que nos tem governado, traduz o reconhecimento de um falhanço, ou melhor, de um enorme falhanço relativamente à gestão dos fundos europeus. Sim. Passados tantos anos e tantos apoios, Portugal ainda não é um pais coeso e cada vez se atrasa mais face aos seus parceiros europeus.

Elisa Ferreira considera que será muito bom se o nosso país conseguir deixar de receber fundos de coesão após 2027, uma vez que isso significa que ultrapassou o limiar dos 90% de rendimento nacional bruto.

Eu não tenho tanta certeza acerca disso. Dependerá muito da estrutura dessa capacidade. A disparidade regional para a soma do rendimento nacional bruto é inquestionável. Ultrapassar esse critério sustentados em substanciais assimetrias revelar-se-á danoso para o país.

E o pior é que, tendo em conta o centralismo imposto pelos socialistas, aliado à deficiente descentralização a que assistimos, tudo indica que caminhamos para o desastre. Mais uma vez.


Paguem mais impostos. O Louçã precisa.

Francisco, tele-evangelista, Louçã não consegue esconder o que deseja. Prestem atenção. Prestem bem atenção.

Desenganem-se aqueles que acreditam no BE. Louçã, e as acólitas, não quer que vocês decidam. O que quer são servos e obediência cega.


A esquerda combate a corrupção

Retirado da capa do Público 12/05/2021

Depois das críticas que a Estratégia Nacional de Combate à Corrupção 2020-2024 foi alvo, principalmente por não considerar o enriquecimento ilícito e por ter deixado cair as mudanças no Tribunal Central de Instrução Criminal, o Governo disse que daria atenção as observações públicas de desagrado por estar comprometido com o objectivo de mais transparência e com as práticas de boa governança.

Não tenho a menor dúvida que é por essa razão que o regime de prevenção da corrupção isenta políticos e órgãos de soberania.

É inquestionável que a opinião de Cândida Almeida – “Portugal não é um país corrupto” -, em que os conceitos conceito sociológico, ético-político e as coisas afins não têm materialização ou aplicação jurídica, principalmente quando enquadradas e praticadas pelos decisores públicos ou, se preferirem, pelos decisores políticos eleitos e/ou nomeados, opinião que foi apoiada e suportada pelos actos de Pinto Monteiro e Noronha do Nascimento, é hoje doutrina oficial dos governos socialistas.

Posso estar enganado, mas parece-me que estas opções pouco diferem daquilo que era a postura característíca do Estado Novo relativamente à corrupção e que a esquerda portuguesa, incluindo o PS, tanto criticou.

Post-Scriptum: Espero, sinceramente, que a notícia do Público não se venha a confirmar.


Image

Evidência


Salário(s) mínimo(s)

Aprendam.

Olhem para a história. Vejam o presente. Em Portugal não será diferente.

Só o liberalismo conseguirá um futuro melhor.

#PortugalMaisLiberal


Doses socialistas


Quem nos livra do socialismo do PSD?

No universo físico, tudo é uma questão de escala; no universo humano, tudo é uma questão de opção. A política não é excepção.

Na vida não é possível agradar a gregos e a troiamos. E mesmo que fosse, alguém perguntaria pelos persas. Também aqui a política não é excepção.

Note-se igualmente que nunca na III República, tanto o PS (de António Costa) como o PSD (de Rui Rio) estiveram tão à esquerda.

O PSD é um partido que se afirma reformista, mas quais foram as reformas defendidas por Rui Rio? Acabar com os debates quinzenais? Promover alterações à lei para prejudicar a participação dos cidadãos às autarquias? Apoiar as restrições do Estado de Emergência? E que dizer da posição do PSD na questão das CCDRs? Em boa verdade, o PSD também é um partido estatista.

Nada disto é consistente com o que defende um liberal.
Quem nos livra do socialismo do PSD?

Tentam sumarizar a questão ao afastamento de Medina. Mas, Carlos Moedas não é um candidato independente. É o candidato do PSD. Reduzir a IL ao papel de um mero instrumento de conveniência do PSD é algo com que estou em profundo desacordo.

A IL tomou a decisão acertada. Esta decisão terá consequências? Certamente. Veremos o que o futuro reserva. Até lá, e seja como for, a IL deve seguir o seu caminho.

Que não haja enganos e, para o efeito, reafirmo o que há dias expresso no meu mural facebookiano: Sou contrário a entendimentos pré-eleitorais com o PSD. Na minha opinião, a IL não pode perder a identidade. A possibilidade de acordos pós-eleitorais é outra história. E acordos idênticos ao dos Açores não são de descurar.

Foi esta posição que defendi internamente.


O regresso da censura?

Não é compreensível que um documento com um artigo destes esteja a ser discutido no Parlamento. E vai ser aprovado.


A TAP é do Pedro Nuno Santos

Pode ser uma imagem de texto que diz "EMPRESAS PÚBLICAS Depois dos acordos de emergência, TAP segue para a redução do número de trabalhadores Esta sexta-feira, a empresa viu serem validados os dois últimos acordos de emergência que estavam em aberto. Falta agora fechar o pacote de medidas voluntárias e dehnir se avança para um despedimento colectivo, e qual será a sua dimensão. Luís Villalobos 28 de Fevereiro de 2021, 6:08 Recebernotificações"

Pedro Nuno Santos, o guru do neo-socialismo, depois de desperdiçar mais dinheiro na TAP, vai despedir trabalhadores. Porquê?
Porque pode e por se estar a lixar para eles.

No neo-socialismo, os empregos são do governo e os trabalhadores não bufam.


Quem pagou os custos da EMPORDEF?

Resultado líquido consolidado: 57,2 milhões de euros negativos; capital próprio consolidado: 73,9 milhões de euros negativos; passivo consolidado: cerca de 827 milhões de euros. Accountability? Zero!

Texto publicado n’ Observador – 26 de Fevereiro 2021

Programa do XIX Governo previa a reestruturação das indústrias da defesa, visando a sua sustentabilidade e privatização. Este propósito já constava no Programa de Estabilidade e Crescimento (PEC) 2010-2013 que, para esse fim, preconizava quatro processos de alienação, a saber: Estaleiros Navais de Viana do Castelo, S.A. (ENVC), EDISOFT – Empresa de Serviços e Desenvolvimento de Software, S.A., EMPORDEF — Tecnologias de Informação, S.A e EID – Empresa de investigação e Desenvolvimento de Eletrónica, S.A.

No contexto da conclusão do ciclo de privatizações, que conduziu à alienação parcial de participações sociais na EDISOFT e EID – que passaram a ser empresas privadas com capitais públicos (e onde o Estado passou a ser minoritário, sem funções de gestão corrente) –, à subconcessão dos ENVC, e não tendo havido interessados na aquisição da EMPORDEF TI, em 2014, deu-se início à liquidação da holding das indústrias da Defesa, EMPORDEF, S.G.P.S., S.A., cuja atividade consistia na gestão das participações sociais detidas pelo Estado em sociedades ligadas direta ou indiretamente às atividades da Defesa.

Importa recordar que as decisões de privatização das participações sociais detidas pela EMPORDEF e sua subsequente liquidação, resultaram do acordo feito com a Troika e, para tal, através da Resolução do Conselho de Ministros (RCM) n.º 42/2014, que expunha a situação calamitosa da empresa – um resultado líquido consolidado de 57,2 milhões negativos, um total de capital próprio consolidado de 73,9 milhões de euros negativos e um passivo consolidado total de cerca de 827 milhões de euros, nos quais se incluíam 200 milhões de euros de financiamento obtido de curto prazo – situação que foi determinante para o início do processo conducente à dissolução e liquidação da empresa.

Por sua vez, a RCM n.º 50/2015, de 17 de julho, para além de indicar um prazo de 120 dias para a liquidação e que os direitos e responsabilidades remanescentes da EMPORDEF seriam transferidas para o Estado, via Direção-Geral do Tesouro e Finanças (DGTF), também determinou um prazo de 15 dias para a dissolução da EMPORDEF e que na sua liquidação e extinção fossem seguidas estas linhas de orientação:

  • Promover a dissolução da DEFLOC – Locação de Equipamentos de Defesa, S.A., e da DEFAERLOC – Locação de Aeronaves Militares, S.A., no prazo máximo de 30 dias;
  • Proceder à reorganização das participações do núcleo naval, mediante a transferência para a Arsenal do Alfeite, S.A., da participação no capital social da Navalrocha – Sociedade de Construção e Reparações Navais, S.A.;
  • Proceder à transferência para o Estado, através da Direção-Geral do Tesouro e Finanças, da participação no capital social da IDD – Plataformas das Indústrias de Defesa Nacionais, S.A.;
  • Concluir o processo de venda da participação na EID, S.A., cujas receitas seriam afectas ao reembolso das dívidas da EMPORDEF, nomeadamente perante a Arsenal do Alfeite, S.A.;
  • Concluir o processo de liquidação e extinção da ENVC, S.A., no prazo de 90 dias, a contar da data da publicação da presente resolução, prorrogável nos termos legais;
  • Promover a alienação dos imóveis disponíveis para venda.

Ora, a 30 de dezembro de 2019, quatro anos, cinco meses, uma semana e seis dias depois, já sob a égide do governo de António Costa, a EMPORDEF continuava em processo de liquidação, conforme é exposto no Despacho n.º 786/2020. Neste despacho também se definiu a reestruturação da IDD – Plataforma das Indústrias de Defesa Nacionais, S.A. (desde 29 de junho de 2020, IdD – Portugal Defence, S.A.) que na prática passou a ser uma holding, tendo assumido, entre outras, todas as participações da EMPORDEF que deveriam ter sido objecto de dissolução, liquidação, extinção e/ou venda. Miraculosamente, em 24 horas, foi registado o encerramento da liquidação da EMPORDEF [verificável no anexo 2 do relatório e contas da IdD, SA, 2019 (na página 84)].

É muito provável que tenha sido a DGTF, como acionista, a assumir todos os encargos financeiros, mas o montante dos mesmos é desconhecido. Isto é o que se sabe:

  1. Apesar da liquidação da holding EMPORDEF ter sido iniciada em 2014, em 2019 continuava por concretizar;
  2. Em 2020, foi criada uma  nova holding IdD – Portugal Defence, S.A., que passou a deter, através de aumento de capital em espécie, as seguintes participações detidas pelo Estado, algumas minoritárias, no sector da Defesa:
    1. OGMA – Indústria Aeronáutica de Portugal, S.A.;
    2. Arsenal do Alfeite, S.A.;
    3. Navalrocha – Sociedade de Construção e Reparações Navais, S.A.;
    4. EEN – EMPORDEF Engenharia Naval, S.A.;
    5. EID, S.A.;
    6. EMPORDEF TI, S.A.;
    7. EDISOFT, S.A.;
    8. Extra – Explosivos da Trafaria, S.A.;
  3. Do conjunto das participações sociais que migraram para a nova holding, encontram-se as detidas pela EMPORDEF, designadamente, as empresas cujos processos de privatização estiveram previstos no PEC 2010-2013 e no Programa do XIX Governo, mas que acabaram por não se concretizar.
  4. Tudo indica que o aumento de capital em espécie seja equivalente a 104 milhões 450 mil euros porque o capital social da IdD, S.A., aumentou de 50.000,00 € para 104.500.000,00 €.

É indesmentível que o XXI Governo não deu continuidade aos processos de privatização do sector da Defesa, previstos or José Sócrates e encetados por Pedro Passos Coelho, processos esses que poderiam ter minorado o impacto de encargos financeiros para o Estado.

Aliás, na linha da experiência passada, o que se verifica é que a “nova” holding mantém os maus hábitos herdados, sendo impossível ignorar que as empresas entretanto privatizadas apresentam uma situação estável, ao mesmo tempo que as empresas que se mantiveram sob gestão estatal, exibem significativas fragilidades, como é notícia, no caso do Arsenal do Alfeite, onde a tesouraria e a falta de encomendas fazem perigar o pagamento de salários e de fornecedores.

Acresce que o escrutínio sobre a liquidação da EMPORDEF continua a exibir elevada opacidade. Aos dias de hoje, não é possível saber qual o prejuízo que o Estado assumiu com a liquidação da EMPORDEF. O apoio técnico da função acionista do Estado (DGTF-UTAM) não divulga a informação sobre estes processos, nem sobre o Sector Empresarial do Estado, datando de 2015 a última informação disponívelEstranhamente, também a instituição superior de controlo, o Tribunal de Contas, que zela pela boa gestão dos dinheiros públicos, não tem apresentado qualquer resultado de auditorias sobre a dissolução e liquidação de empresas públicas, remontando a março de 2005 (relatório n.º 13/2005 – 2ª secção) o último trabalho feito a este nível.

Porém, isto é apenas uma parte do labirinto – um sinuoso e opaco labirinto deliberadamente construído para dificultar a accountability do Estado. Tudo isto está a ser conseguido com a complacência das “pessoas de confiança”, nomeadas e colocadas pelo Governo, nas entidades reguladoras e controladoras do Estado. O Governo chama a isto transparência. Eu classifico como obscurantismo ou capitalismo de compadrio.

Transparência é permitir que qualquer informação sobre a gestão do Estado esteja acessível a qualquer cidadão a qualquer momento.

Por essa razão é imperioso que o governo responda a estas questões:

  • A EMPORDEF foi ou não liquidada?
  • Há um registo de liquidação. Foi executado?
  • Tendo sido, quanto custou ao Estado?
  • Se não foi concluída a liquidação, qual o valor do passivo actual da EMPORDEF?
  • Quem são os seus credores, e qual o montante em dívida aos bancos?
  • Por curiosidade, de todas as empresas referidas, a única que se manteve sob gestão pública foi a Arsenal do Alfeite, S.A. Qual é situação actual desta empresa?

Antes & Depois

Pode ser uma imagem de 3 pessoas, pessoas em pé e texto que diz "SLC Antes VACINAÇÃO CONTRA A COVID-19 COVID EDIÇÃO NOITE GOVERNO MANTÉM OBJETIVOS DO PLANO SIC nOTIGI 13:01 REPÚBLICA PORTUGUESA TEGMBND.COMSCON शOग. Depois SAÚDE SAUD MÚDE HIORANA AUDL TESTAGEM EM MASSA NÃO AVANÇA .Primelro, imeiro Jornal ALTERAÇÃO DO CRITÉRIO FOI ANUNCIADA HÁ SEMANAS Não há antes nem depois. Nunca houve. Ο governo nunca teve qualquer plano para testagem em massa!"

A opção do governo pela mentira é recorrente e inegável. Também é cada vez mais indisfarçável.

Lamento profundamente que o Primeiro-ministro e os seus colegas de governo sejam incapazes de demonstrar humildade, de reconhecer as suas limitações e os seus erros de gestão, preferindo a arrogância e o alimentar da ilusão.

Mas não me surpreende que o façam. Mais. Vão continuar a mentir aos portugueses.

É preciso mudança.


A esquerda apela à censura

O esquerda veio a “Público” exigir respeito pela democracia. Para o efeito, defendem a censura às posições com as quais não concordem. Para os signatários desta carta, não existe democracia com liberdade de expressão. Aliás, é inaceitável que seja permitido às pessoas pensarem pelas suas cabeças. As pessoas são estúpidas e necessitam de ser doutrinadas pelo Estado. Mas não pode ser como acontecia no Estado Novo. Não. O ideal é que seja como foi feito no regime comunista leninista-estalinista da ex-URSS.

Vejamos alguns dos subscritores:

Eduardo Paz Ferreira, marido de Francisca Van Dunem, é um dos ComPrimos. Só em contratos com entidades públicas controladas por socialistas, a Eduardo Paz Ferreira & Associados – Sociedade de Advogados, RL já facturou mais de 620.500,00 €.

Isabel do Carmo, fundadora das Brigadas Revolucionárias, uma organização terrorista que defendia um diálogo explosivo, foi recentemente reabilitada.  Admitiu o transporte de explosivos sem nunca os ter deflagrado. Algo de que se arrepende.

Rita Rato é uma licenciada em Ciência Política e Relações Internacionais que foi incapaz de dizer o que era um Gulag. É preciso mais?

Tiago Rodrigues faz parte da vaga de bloquistas que se infiltrou no PS. Encenador, é o autor da peça “Catarina e a beleza de matar fascistas”, expressão que assumiu não ser figurada, e que se traduziu num mero incentivo ao ódio. Tudo pago com o dinheiro dos contribuintes.

Vasco Lourenço, um dinossáurio que ainda suspira por uma ditadura de esquerda em Portugal, não surpreende. Estamos a falar de alguém que queria substituir os censores da comunicação social por militares armados.


Respeito e memória

Pode ser uma imagem de 1 pessoa e texto

Lucidez e distanciamento.
Duas coisas essenciais.


PRR – Draft.

Resultado de imagem para prr

Não é possível deixar de notar que só depois de ter sido obrigado pela Comissão Europeia, e mesmo assim a muito custo, é que o Governo partilhou o PRR para a devida consulta pública. Sabemos que a verdadeira intenção é apenas cumprir um formalismo, porque se o Governo estivesse realmente interessado em contributos não o teria feito só agora.

Seja como for, fizemos um esforço para fazer uma leitura do documento. Gostamos especialmente desta parte: “O presente documento constitui uma síntese da versão atual do PRR e tem como principal objetivo servir de suporte a uma nova audição pública e dos principais stakeholders, previamente à submissão formal do Plano à Comissão Europeia. Esta síntese contempla a globalidade dos elementos da versão mais atual do PRR com exclusão de alguns elementos técnicos ainda em elaboração, nomeadamente os relativos aos custos e a alguns marcos e metas”.

Estamos, portanto, perante um upgrade incompleto do plano Costa e Silva com alguns números e gráficos que não correspondem ao que será feito, pois os custos, marcos e metas ainda estão a ser elaborados.
É isto que o Senhor Primeiro-ministro quer colocar à consulta pública? Um plano sem metas definidas?

De qualquer maneira, após a leitura do documento, fiquei com a ideia que finalmente o PS vai dar cumprimento às promessas eleitorais das legislativas de 2009, 2011, 2015 e 2019.

Mas, e o Portugal de 2021?
Vivemos noutro tempo e as necessidades são outras. A economia não interessa? Os agentes privados não interessam?

Não precisamos de mais um orçamento para a administração pública, especialmente um que comtempla medidas que já deviam estar realizadas.

Não é difícil perceber o que vai acontecer à bazuca. Nem que não será o país a ganhar com a mesma.

O PRR é uma mão cheia de mais Estado. Não passa disso.


Marcelino da Mata

Foto Alfredo Cunha

7 de maio de 1940 – 21 de fevereiro de 2021


Plano de vacinação costiniano

Mais ou menos isto. Oxalá passe a ser diferente…


Das eminências pardas – Pacheco Pereira

Quando as eminências pardas deste regime – regime que já não é completamente democrático – especialmente aquelas, como José Pacheco Pereira, que, aguardando ansiosamente pelo regresso do bloco central, se movem nas tenebrosas zonas cinzentas do pântano e, esquecendo-se das suas próprias palavras, fazem uso das tácticas da esquerda (talvez um regresso ao passado?) para atacar a Iniciativa Liberal, dizendo que o ataque não é um ataque, só provam que estamos no caminho certo.

Que não haja engano. Não estamos disponíveis para pactuar com as políticas e os compromissos que arruinaram Portugal e que continuam a aumentar a pobreza.


Da desonestidade socialista

A propaganda socialista está em pleno vapor. A falta de rigor também.

Reparem nisto. Entre 3,44 e 3,21 a diferença é de 0,23. Porém, se olharmos para o efeito visual parece que estamos a ver uma diferença duas vezes superior.

Para além disso, como é apenas indicada a média da UE, quantos Estados-Membros estão com performances acima da nossa?

Finalmente, imaginem onde estaríamos sem as vacinas às Begonhas, às Natividades, às Isildas, aos Calixtos e afins socialistas?

São incapazes de serem rigorosos e verdadeiros. A mentira é integralmente compulsiva.

Post-Scriptum: a este ritmo, quanto tempo é necessário para que Portugal esteja imunizado?


Mais Democracia, Mais Liberdade

Pode ser uma imagem de 2 pessoas e texto que diz "IL AVISOU: UM ANO DE ATAQUES À DEMOCRACIA Portugal desceu de "país totalmente democrático" para 'democracia com falhas"* Restrições inconstitucionais no combate à pandemia Substituição do Presidente do Tribunal de Contas Nomeação de Centeno para ဝ Banco de Portugal Diretiva da PGR sobre subordinação hierárquica Escolha do candidato a Procurador Europeu Fim dos debates quinzenais na AR iniciativa Liberal Jornalistas vigiados a mando do MP Acusações de anti-patriotismo à oposição política democrática *Fonte: Democracy Index, The Economist Intelligence Unit Recebe os nossos conteúdos no WhatsApp: Receber para 920 563 111 iniciativa liberal"

Portugal é hoje um país menos democrático. Mas esta perversão não se deve apenas ao PS. Sem o apoio do PSD e a passividade, que pode ser confundida com obediência, do Presidente da República seria muito difícil concretizar algumas destas medidas.

Há anos que era notório que o nível de pluralismo estava a diminuir na sociedade portuguesa. A causa identifica-se facilmente. O fenómeno grassava no interior dos partidos políticos portugueses democráticos (PS, PSD e CDS-PP). Salvo algumas excepções, as aclamações passaram a caracterizar a eleição dos respectivos líderes. A troca de ideias passou a ser secundária e aqueles que disputavam as eleições internas, após a derrota viam os seus apoiantes ser ostracizados e as suas bandeiras atomizadas. E não haveria qualquer vestígio de posições contrárias nas listas às eleições. Pelo menos, em lugares elegíveis.

Esta foi uma das razões que me fez estar na fundação da Iniciativa Liberal. E continua a ser um dos motivos para que a minha militância seja activa. Não pactuo com demagogias e não estou disponível para permitir que o nosso país ceda ao conformismo. Não aceito limitações às liberdades do cidadão, nem a infalibilidade dos líderes providenciais, especialmente quando estes não aceitam assumir a responsabilidade pelas suas decisões.

Vai levar tempo, mas iremos alterar esta cultura não democrática que tomou conta de Portugal. Não duvidem da nossa resolução. Não duvidem da nossa determinação.


Cristina Gatões e a odisseia SEFiana

Cristina Gatões, a ex-Directora Nacional do SEF, apesar de ter aguentado 9 meses no cargo, acabou por não resistiu ao caso Ihor Homeniuk. Ainda bem. A morte deste ucraniano é um dos episódios mais tristes e sórdidos da história da III República Portuguesa, apenas comparável aos relatos dos procedimentos que eram utilizados pela PIDE-DGS.

Note-se que no meio de todas as rocambolescas fases deste caso, Cristina Gatões acabou por não esclarecer cabalmente o que se passou. Agora, num passe de mágica, está de volta ao SEF para, aparentemente, gerir o dossier dos vistos gold.

Eis o que penso sobre o assunto.

Eduardo Cabrita não queria demitir Cristina Gatões (não vou especular sobre as razões). Foi obrigado a fazê-lo. Entretanto, arranjou forma de a manter no SEF, agora como assessora do novo Director-Geral. Porém, na prática, quem continua a gerir o SEF é Cristina Gatões. O tenente-general Botelho Miguel, que a substituiu, é que faz a assessoria.

Duas curiosidades deste caso: Primeiro, 9 meses para despedir a Gatões, 1 mês para voltar a contratá-la; Segundo, é no dia que os 3 inspectores do SEF foram acusados por homicídio qualificado que se sabe que Cristina Gatões tinha voltado ao SEF.