João Goulart

Last updated

João Goulart
24th President of Brazil
In office
8 September 1961 2 April 1964
Prime Minister Tancredo Neves (1961–62)
Brochado da Rocha (1962)
Hermes Lima (1962–63)
Vice President None
Preceded by Ranieri Mazzilli
Succeeded byRanieri Mazzilli
14th Vice President of Brazil
In office
31 January 1956 7 September 1961
President Juscelino Kubitschek (1956–61)
Jânio Quadros (Jan–Aug. 1961)
Preceded by Café Filho
Succeeded by José Maria Alkmin
Minister of Labour, Industry and Trade
In office
18 June 1953 23 February 1954
President Getúlio Vargas
Preceded byJosé de Segadas Viana
Succeeded byHugo de Araújo Faria
Federal Deputy for Rio Grande do Sul
In office
1 February 1951 1 February 1955
Leave: 1951–52, 1953–54
State Deputy of Rio Grande do Sul
In office
31 January 1947 31 January 1951
Personal details
João Belchior Marques Goulart

(1918-03-01)1 March 1918
São Borja, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Died6 December 1976(1976-12-06) (aged 58)
Mercedes, Corrientes, Argentina
Cause of death Heart attack (official) [1]
Poisoning (theorized) [2]
Resting placeCemitério Jardim da Paz
São Borja, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil [3]
Political party PTB (1946–66)
Maria Teresa Fontela
(m. 1955;his death 1976)
Children João Vicente Goulart (b. 1956)
Denise Goulart (b. 1957)
ParentsVicente Rodrigues Goulart
Vicentina Marques Goulart
Signature Joao Goulart signature.svg

João Belchior Marques Goulart ( gaúcho Portuguese pronunciation:  [ˈʒu.ɐ̃w bewˈki.ɔɾ ˈmarkis ɡuˈlaɾ] , or [ˈʒwɐ̃w ˈbɛwkjɔʁ ˈmaʁkiʒ ɡuːˈlaʁ] in the standard Fluminense dialect; 1 March 1918 – 6 December 1976) was a Brazilian politician who served as the 24th President of Brazil until a military coup d'état deposed him on 1 April 1964. He is considered the last left-wing President of Brazil until Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took office in 2003. [4]

Gaúcho dialect

Gaúcho, more rarely called sulriograndense, is the Brazilian Portuguese term for the characteristic accent spoken in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil's southernmost state, including its capital, Porto Alegre. It is heavily influenced by Spanish and somewhat influenced by Guarani and other native languages.

Rio de Janeiro (state) State of Brazil

Rio de Janeiro is one of the 27 federative units of Brazil. It has the second largest economy of Brazil, with the largest being that of the state of São Paulo.

President of Brazil Head of state and head of government of Brazil

The President of Brazil, officially the President of the Federative Republic of Brazil or simply the President of the Republic, is both the head of state and the head of government of Brazil. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the Brazilian Armed Forces. The presidential system was established in 1889, upon the proclamation of the republic in a military coup d'état against Emperor Pedro II. Since then, Brazil has had six constitutions, three dictatorships, and three democratic periods. During the democratic periods, voting has always been compulsory. The Constitution of Brazil, along with several constitutional amendments, establishes the requirements, powers, and responsibilities of the president, their term of office and the method of election.



João Goulart was nicknamed "Jango" ( [ˈʒɐ̃ɡu] ). The Jânio Quadros–João Goulart presidential bid was thus called "Jan–Jan" ( [ʒɐ̃.ʒɐ̃] , an amalgamation of Jânio and Jango).

Jânio Quadros Brazilian politician

Jânio da Silva Quadros was a Brazilian lawyer and politician who served as 22nd President of Brazil from January 31 to August 25, 1961, when he resigned from office. He also served as the 24th and 36th mayor of São Paulo, and the 18th governor of the state of São Paulo. Quadros was known for his populist style of government, honesty, and his eccentric behavior. As president, he focused on economic reform and attempted to root out corruption. He also pursued an independent foreign policy, trying to balance relations between the United States and the Eastern Bloc. Although he was elected by a huge margin, his term was marked by uncertainty and political instability culminating in his resignation. This unexpected move caused national chaos, with the presidency being assumed by João Goulart.

His childhood nickname was "Janguinho" (little Jango), after an uncle named Jango. Years later, when he entered politics, he was supported and advised by Getúlio Vargas, and his friends and colleagues started to call him Jango.[ citation needed ]

Getúlio Vargas

Getúlio Dornelles Vargas was a Brazilian lawyer and politician, who served as President during two periods: the first was from 1930 to 1945, when he served as interim president from 1930 to 1934, constitutional president from 1934 to 1937, and dictator from 1937 to 1945. After being overthrown in a 1945 coup, Vargas returned to power as the democratically elected president in 1951, serving until his suicide in 1954. Vargas led Brazil for 18 years, the longest of any President, and second in Brazilian history only to Emperor Pedro II among heads of state. He favored nationalism, industrialization, centralization, social welfare and populism – for the latter, Vargas won the nickname "The Father of the Poor". Vargas is one of a number of populists who arose during the 1930s in Latin America, including Lazaro Cardenas and Juan Perón, who promoted nationalism and pursued social reform. He was a proponent of workers' rights as well as a staunch anti-communist.

His grandfather, Belchior Rodrigues Goulart, descended from Portuguese immigrants from the Azores who arrived in Rio Grande do Sul in the second half of the 18th century. There were at least three immigrants with the surname Govaert (latter adapted to Goulart or Gularte in Portuguese) of Flemish-Azorean origins in the group of first Azoreans established in the state.[ citation needed ]

Azores Portuguese archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean

The Azores, officially the Autonomous Region of the Azores, is one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal. It is an archipelago composed of nine volcanic islands in the North Atlantic Ocean about 1,360 km (850 mi) west of continental Portugal, about 1,643 km (1,021 mi) west of Lisbon, in continental Portugal, about 1,507 km (936 mi) northwest of Morocco, and about 1,925 km (1,196 mi) southeast of Newfoundland, Canada.

Rio Grande do Sul State of Brazil

Rio Grande do Sul is a state in the southern region of Brazil. It is the fifth-most-populous state and the ninth largest by area. Located in the southernmost part of the country, Rio Grande do Sul is bordered clockwise by Santa Catarina to the north and northeast, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Uruguayan departments of Rocha, Treinta y Tres, Cerro Largo, Rivera and Artigas to the south and southwest, and the Argentine provinces of Corrientes and Misiones to the west and northwest. The capital and largest city is Porto Alegre. The state has the highest life expectancy in Brazil, and the crime rate is relatively low.

Portuguese language Romance language that originated in Portugal

Portuguese is a Western Romance language originating in the Iberian Peninsula. It is the sole official language of Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe. It also has co-official language status in East Timor, Equatorial Guinea and Macau in China. As the result of expansion during colonial times, a cultural presence of Portuguese and Portuguese creole speakers are also found in Goa, Daman and Diu in India; in Batticaloa on the east coast of Sri Lanka; in the Indonesian island of Flores; in the Malacca state of Malaysia; and the ABC islands in the Caribbean where Papiamento is spoken, while Cape Verdean Creole is the most widely spoken Portuguese-based Creole. A Portuguese-speaking person or nation is referred to as "Lusophone" (Lusófono).

Early life

Goulart was born at Yguariaçá Farm, in Itacurubi, São Borja, Rio Grande do Sul, on 1 March 1918. His parents were Vicentina Marques Goulart, housewife, and Vicente Rodrigues Goulart, estancieiro (a rancher who owned large rural properties) and a colonel of the National Guard during the 1923 Revolution who fought on the side of Governor Borges de Medeiros. Most sources indicate that João was born in 1918, but his birth year is actually 1919; his father ordered a second birth certificate adding a year to his son's age so that he could attend the law school at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul. [5]

Itacurubi Municipality in South, Brazil

Itacurubi is a municipality of the western part of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The population is 3,551 in an area of 1,120.87 km². Its elevation is 169 m. The name comes from the Tupi language. It is located 627 km west of the state capital of Porto Alegre, northeast of Alegrete.

Housewife married family member whose main occupation is running or managing the familys home (for unmarried use Q1934684)

A housewife is a woman whose work is running or managing her family's home—caring for her children; buying, cooking, and storing food for the family; buying goods that the family needs for everyday life; housekeeping, cleaning and maintaining the home; and making, buying and/or mending clothes for the family—and who is not employed outside the home. A housewife who has children may be called a stay-at-home mother or mom and a househusband may be called a male homemaker or stay-at-home father.

Estancia is a large, private plot of land used for farming or cattle-raising. Estancias in the southern South American grasslands, the pampas, have historically been estates used to raise livestock, such as cattle or sheep. In Puerto Rico, an estancia was a farm growing "frutos menores", that is, crops for local sale and consumption; the equivalent of a truck farm in the United States. In some areas, they are large rural complexes with similarities to what in the United States is called a ranch.

Yguariaçá Farm was an isolated and his mother had no medical care at his birth, only her mother, Maria Thomaz Vasquez Marques. According to João's sister Yolanda, "my grandmother was the one able to revive little João who, at birth, already looked like dying". Like most Azorean descendants, Maria Thomaz was a devout Catholic. While trying to revive her grandson, warming him, she prayed to John the Baptist, promising that if the newborn survived, he would be his namesake and would not cut his hair until the age of 3, when he would march in the procession of 24 June dressed as the saint.[ citation needed ]

John the Baptist 1st-century Jewish preacher and later Christian saint

John the Baptist was a Jewish itinerant preacher in the early first century AD. Other titles for John include John the Forerunner in Eastern Christianity, John the Immerser in some Baptist traditions and "the prophet John (Yaḥyā)" in Islam. He is sometimes alternatively called John the Baptizer.


A procession is an organized body of people walking in a formal or ceremonial manner.

João grew up as a skinny boy in Yguariaçá, alongside his five sisters: Eufrides, Maria, Yolanda, Cila, and Neuza. Both his younger brothers died prematurely. Rivadávia (born 1920) died six months after birth, and Ivan (born 1925), to whom he was deeply attached, died of leukemia at 33.[ citation needed ]

João left for the nearby town of Itaqui to study, the decision of his father Vicente to form a partnership with Protásio Vargas, brother of Getúlio, after both leased a small refrigerator house in that town from an English businessman. While Vicente ran the business for the following couple of years, João attended the School of the Teresian Sisters of Mary, along with his sisters. Although it was a mixed-sex school during the day, he could not stay the night at the boarding school with his sisters but had to sleep at the house of a friend of his father. It was in Itaqui that João developed a taste for both soccer and swimming.[ citation needed ]

Upon his return to São Borja, ending his experience as a partner in the refrigerator house, Vicente decided to send João to attend the Ginásio Santana, run by the Marist Brothers in Uruguaiana. João attended first to the fourth grade in the Santana boarding school, but failed to be approved for the fifth grade in 1931. Angry with his son's poor achievements at school, Vicente decided to send him to attend the Colégio Anchieta in Porto Alegre. In the state capital, João lived at a pension with friends Almir Palmeiro and Abadé dos Santos Ayub, the latter very attached to him.[ citation needed ]

Aware of João's skills in soccer at school, where he played in the right back position, Almir and Abadé convinced him to take a test for Sport Club Internacional. João was selected for the club's juvenile team. In 1932, he became a juvenile state champion. That same year he finished the third grade of the ginásio (high school) at Colégio Anchieta, with an irregular academic achievement, which would be repeated when he attended the Law School at Rio Grande do Sul Federal University. João graduated from high school at Ginásio Santana after being sent back to Uruguaiana.[ citation needed ]

Political career

Sent back to Porto Alegre after graduating from high school, Jango attended law school to satisfy his father, who desired to see him earn a degree.[ citation needed ] While there Jango restored contact with his youth friends Abadé Ayub and Salvador Arísio, and made new friends and explored the state capital's nightlife. It was during that time of a bohemian lifestyle that Jango acquired a venereal disease, [6] which paralyzed his left knee almost entirely. His family paid for expensive medical treatment, including a trip to São Paulo, but he expected that he would never walk normally again.[ citation needed ] Because of the paralysis of his knee, Jango graduated separately from the rest of his class in 1939. He would never really practice law.

After graduating, Jango returned to São Borja. His depression because of the leg problem was visible.[ according to whom? ] He isolated himself at Yguariaçá Farm. According to his sister Yolanda, his depression did not last long. In the early 1940s he decided to make fun of his own walking disability in the Carnival, participating in the parade of the block Comigo Ninguém Pode (With me no one can).[ citation needed ]

Beginning at PTB

His father died in 1943, leaving the rural properties to Jango, who became one of the most influential estancieiros of the region. Upon the resignation of President Getúlio Vargas and his return to São Borja in October 1945, Jango was already a wealthy man. He did not need to enter politics to rise socially, but the frequent meetings with Vargas, a close friend of his father, were decisive in Jango's pursuit of a public life.[ citation needed ]

The first invitation Jango received to enter a political party was made by Protásio Vargas, Getúlio's brother, who was in charge of organizing the Social Democratic Party (Partido Social Democrático – PSD) in São Borja. Jango declined but later accepted Getúlio's invitation to join the Brazilian Labour Party (Partido Trabalhista Brasileiro – PTB). He was the first president of the local PTB, and would later become the statewide then national president of that party.[ citation needed ]

In 1947, Getúlio convinced Jango to run for a seat in the State Assembly. He was elected with 4,150 votes, becoming the fifth-most of 23 deputies. He received more votes than his future brother-in-law Leonel Brizola, another rising star of the PTB, who was married to his sister Neusa until her death in 1993. Jango was not an active member of the Assembly, but fought for the right of the needy to buy cheaper food.[ clarification needed ] He soon became a confidant and political protégé of Vargas, becoming one of the party members who most insistently urged him to launch a presidential candidacy for the 1950 elections. On 19 April 1949 Jango launched Getúlio's candidacy for President at a birthday party held for the former President at Granja São Vicente, owned by Goulart.[ citation needed ]

In 1950, Goulart was elected to the Chamber of Deputies. He received 39,832 votes, second-most in PTB in Rio Grande do Sul, and took office as a Deputy on February 1951. He soon became Secretary of the Interior and Justice in the administration of Governor Ernesto Dornelles. During his time as Secretary, which lasted until 24 March 1952, Jango restructured the prison system, to improve the living conditions of prisoners. He later resigned his job as Secretary, at the request of Vargas, to help the President with a political deadlock at the Ministry of Labor, using his influence on the labor union movement.[ citation needed ]

Minister of Labor

In 1953, after becoming aggravated with the deadlock, Vargas appointed Jango minister of labor. The Vargas administration was in a deep crisis: the workers, unsatisfied with their low wages, were promoting strikes, and the right-wing party National Democratic Union (União Democrática Nacional – UDN) was mobilizing a coup d'état among the mass media, the upper middle class and the Military forces. As he took office, Jango had to reply to accusations from several newspapers, including The New York Times . As Minister of Labor, Goulart held the 1st Brazilian Congress of Social Security. He signed a series of decrees favoring the social security, such as housing financing, regulation of loans by the Institute of Retirement and Pensions of Bank Employees (Instituto de Aposentadoria e Pensões dos Bancários – IAPB), and recognizing the employees of the Audit Committee of the Institute of Retirement and Pensions of Industry Employees (Conselho Fiscal do Instituto de Aposentadoria e Pensões dos Industriários).[ citation needed ]

In January 1954, Jango began studies for the review of the minimum wage, facing two types of pressure: on the one hand, the mobilization of workers in larger cities to claim a readjustment of 100% that would increase the minimum wage from Cr$ 1,200.00 to Cr$2,400.00, and, on the other hand, the rejection by entrepreneurs of the policy of reviewing the wage since the Eurico Gaspar Dutra administration, which contributed to the impoverishment of several segments of the Brazilian society. The business community said it would agree with a 42% raise on the minimum wage, a measure according to them, that would match the cost of living in 1951. On May Day, Vargas signed into law the new minimum wage – a 100% increase as demanded by the working class.[ citation needed ]

Jango resigned as Minister of Labor on February 1954, passing the job to his legal substitute[ clarification needed ] Hugo de Faria, and resumed his term as a deputy, due to the strong reaction of the media and military against the new minimum wage.[ citation needed ]

The political crisis of the Vargas administration deepened after one of his bodyguards was involved in an assassination attempt against UDN leader Carlos Lacerda on 5 August 1954. Vargas was put under pressure by the media, which demanded his resignation. The pro-coup movement at the Military was public. On 24 August 1954, at 1 am, Vargas called Jango to Catete Palace and handed him a document to be read only after he arrived back in Rio Grande do Sul. It was his suicide letter.[ citation needed ]

Vice President

Vice President Goulart (right) at the inauguration of Juscelino Kubitschek on 31 January 1956. Posse de Juscelino Kubitschek como Presidente da Republica e de Joao Goulart como Vice.tif
Vice President Goulart (right) at the inauguration of Juscelino Kubitschek on 31 January 1956.

After Vargas' suicide, Jango thought about leaving politics forever. However, at the President's burial on 26 August 1954, he seemed to have given up the idea, declaring that "we, within the law and order, we'll know how to fight with patriotism and dignity, inspired by the example that you [Vargas] left us."[ citation needed ]

In October 1954, there were elections for the Federal Senate, the Chamber of Deputies, state governments, and State Assemblies. The second half of the year started off with uncertainties for the PTB and its allies. Emotionally and politically shaken by attacks made by Vargas' rivals, Jango departed from political activities for a few weeks. He only returned after a series of meetings with PTB leaders in Rio Grande do Sul. By the end of these meetings, it was decided that Jango would run for the Senate. However, both Jango and fellow PTB leader Ruy Ramos (two seats were being contested) were defeated. The PTB also lost the gubernatorial election in Rio Grande do Sul, although it was able to elect a large number of deputies in both the State Assembly and Chamber of Deputies.[ citation needed ]

On November 1954, the PTB and PSD began to discuss an electoral coalition for the 1955 elections. Minas Gerais Governor Juscelino Kubitschek was PSD's big bet for the Presidency. On 7 November, Kubitschek gave an interview suggesting a coalition between the two parties. His candidacy was approved by the Minas Gerais branch of the party at the end of November. After this, the discussions began as to who would run as his Vice Presidential candidate. After troubled negotiations, João Goulart, whom he had initially proposed,[ clarification needed ] was chosen. The PSD National Convention was held on 10 February 1955, with the confirmation of Kubitschek as the party's presidential candidate.[ citation needed ]

Meanwhile, Vargas' Vice President Café Filho formed a government with several UDN Ministers, which impeded governance, and proved himself uncommitted with the latter President's[ clarification needed ] government plans. On December 1954 Juarez Távora, his Chief of Military Staff, threatened to veto Jango as a Vice Presidential candidate. In April 1955, the National Directory of PSD accepted the nomination of Jango, and in the same month, the alliance was approved by the PTB National Convention. The candidacy was ready but vulnerable to new vetoes of Jango in the military and among dissident leaders of PSD.[ clarification needed ][ citation needed ]

After the PTB National Convention, a letter from Brazilian Communist Party (Partido Comunista Brasileiro – PCB) leader Luiz Carlos Prestes to Jango was published in the press. In the letter, Prestes suggested that PTB and PCB could work together for the benefit of the Brazilian population. That was enough to intensify the actions of those plotting a coup. In addition to the smear campaign run by Carlos Lacerda in his newspaper Tribuna da Imprensa and the usual plotting inside the Military, April ended with a statement by former President Dutra in O Globo that he personally opposed Jango's candidacy. From the institutional point of view, the crisis did not have major repercussions, and the PSD, ratified its support for João Goulart as running mate of Juscelino Kubitschek in a convention in June, even with the dissent of the party in Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, and Pernambuco.

In 1956, Goulart was elected Vice President, as the running mate of President Juscelino Kubitschek. Goulart was again elected Vice President in 1960. As Vice President, he also served as the President of the Senate. [7] This time, however, the president was Jânio Quadros, a member of a different party. At the time, Brazilians could vote for different tickets for president and vice president. Quadros resigned in 1961, because he no longer had a majority in the National Congress of Brazil.

The Goulart administration

Goulart with U.S. President John F. Kennedy during a visit to the United States in April 1962. Kennedy and Goulart review troops 1962.jpg
Goulart with U.S. President John F. Kennedy during a visit to the United States in April 1962.

Goulart was out of the country on a state visit to China when Quadros resigned. Several political and military elements thought Goulart was too radical for the presidency. They objected to his left-wing tendencies, his nationalist policies, and his willingness to seek closer relations with Communist countries. These elements called for the vice presidency to be declared vacant so new elections could be held.[ citation needed ]

Congress was initially reluctant to recognize Goulart as president. He returned to Brazil a few days after Quadros' resignation, insisting he was already president. A compromise was agreed upon, thanks to Leonel Brizola and the "cadeia de legalidade" (chain of legality), and Goulart was able to take the presidency, but with his powers constrained by a parliamentary system of government.[ citation needed ]

A constitutional amendment was accordingly passed which transferred most of the president's powers to the newly created post of prime minister. Only after this amendment was Goulart allowed to take the oath of office as President, to serve as head of state only. Goulart nominated Tancredo Neves for appointment as prime minister.[ citation needed ]

During this period Goulart and his prime minister chose the three-year plan as the economic plan of his government under the advisement of Celso Furtado, his Minister of Planning. In order to strengthen the energy sector and to foster Brazilian development, Eletrobrás, Latin America's largest power utility company, was created in 1962.[ citation needed ]

As part of the compromise that installed a parliamentary system of government in 1961, a plebiscite was set for 1963 to confirm or reverse the changes made to the Constitution. The parliamentary system of government was overwhelmingly rejected in the referendum, and Goulart assumed full presidential powers.[ citation needed ]

The presidential government of Goulart initiated in 1963 was marked politically by the administration's closer ties to center-left political groups, and conflict with more conservative sectors of the society, specifically the National Democratic Union .[ citation needed ]

Goulart also led Brazil in the drive for a nuclear-free Latin America, providing the impetus for the Five Presidents' Declaration and the Treaty of Tlatelolco. Brazil's leadership on nuclear disarmament was a casualty of the military coup, and Mexico eventually stepped in to continue to drive for a nuclear-free region. [8]

Goulart during a ticker tape parade in New York City, 1962. Joao Goulart NYWTS.jpg
Goulart during a ticker tape parade in New York City, 1962.

Basic reforms

Goulart's Basic Reforms plan (Reformas de Base) was a group of social and economic measures of nationalist character that predicted a greater state intervention in the economy.[ citation needed ] Among the reforms were:

The military coup

In the early hours of 31 March 1964, General Olímpio Mourão Filho, in charge of the 4th Military Region, headquartered in Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, ordered his troops to start moving towards Rio de Janeiro, to depose Goulart. [9]

On 1 April, at 12:45 pm, João Goulart left Rio for the capital, Brasília, in an attempt to stop the coup politically. [10]

When he reached Brasília, Goulart realized he lacked any political support. The Senate president, Auro Moura Andrade, was already calling for congressional support of the coup. Goulart stayed for a short time in Brasília, gathering his wife and two children, and flying to Porto Alegre in an Air Force Avro 748 aircraft. Soon after Goulart's plane took off, Auro Moura Andrade declared the position of President of Brazil "vacant". [11]

In the first hours of 2 April, Auro Moura de Andrade, along with the president of the Supreme Federal Court, swore in Pascoal Ranieri Mazzilli, the speaker of the house, as president. This move was arguably unconstitutional at the time, as João Goulart was still in the country. [12]

At the same time, Goulart, now in the headquarters of the 3rd Army in Porto Alegre, still loyal to him at the time, contemplated resistance and counter-moves with Leonel Brizola, who argued for armed resistance. In the morning, General Floriano Machado informed the president that troops loyal to the coup were moving from Curitiba to Porto Alegre, and that he had to leave the country, otherwise risking arrest. At 11:45 am, Goulart boarded a Douglas C-47 transport for his farm bordering Uruguay. Goulart would stay on his farmland until 4 April, when he finally boarded the plane for the last time, heading for Montevideo. [13]

The coup installed successive right-wing hardliners as heads of state who suspended civil rights and liberties of the Brazilian people. [14] They abolished all political parties and replaced them with only two, the military government's party called the National Renewal Alliance Party (Aliança Renovadora Nacional – ARENA) and the consented opposition Brazilian Democratic Movement (Movimento Democrático Brasileiro – MDB). The MDB, however, had no real power, and the military rule was marked by widespread disappearance, torture, and exile of many politicians, university students, writers, singers, painters, filmmakers, and other artists.

President João Goulart was not favorably viewed in Washington. He took an independent stand in foreign policy, resuming relations with socialist countries and opposing sanctions against Cuba; his administration passed a law limiting the amount of profits multinationals could transmit outside the country; a subsidiary of ITT was nationalized; he promoted economic and social reforms.

Lincoln Gordon served as U.S. Ambassador to Brazil (1961–66), where he played a major role for the support of the opposition against the government of President João Goulart and during the 1964 Brazilian coup d'état. On 27 March 1964, he wrote a top secret cable to the US government, urging it to support the coup of Humberto de Alencar Castello Branco with a "clandestine delivery of arms" and shipments of gas and oil, to possibly be supplemented by CIA covert operations. Gordon believed that Goulart, wanting to "seize dictatorial power," was working with the Brazilian Communist Party. Gordon wrote: "If our influence is to be brought to bear to help avert a major disaster here--which might make Brazil the China of the 1960s--this is where both I and all my senior advisors believe our support should be placed." In the years after the coup, Gordon, Gordon's staff, and the CIA repeatedly denied that they had been involved, and President Lyndon B. Johnson praised Gordon's service in Brazil as "a rare combination of experience and scholarship, idealism and practical judgment." In 1976, Gordon stated that the Johnson Administration "had been prepared to intervene militarily to prevent a leftist takeover of the government," but did not directly state that it had or had not intervened.

Circa 2004 many documents were declassified and placed online at the GWU National Security Archive, indicating the involvement of Johnson, McNamara, Gordon, and others. In 2005, Stansfield Turner's book described the involvement of ITT Corporation president Harold Geneen and CIA Director John McCone. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy was uneasy about Goulart allowing "communists" to hold positions in government agencies. US President Lyndon Johnson and his Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara were also worried. [15] Kennedy, who had made plans for the coup when his brother John was President, characterized Goulart as a "wily" politician in a White House tape. [16]

The president of ITT, Harold Geneen, was friends with the Director of Central Intelligence, John McCone. Between 1961 and 1964, [16] the CIA performed psyops against Goulart, performed character assassination, pumped money into opposition groups, and enlisted the help of the Agency for International Development and the AFL-CIO. [15] It has also been acknowledged that the Kennedy Administration was the architect of the coup and that President Johnson inherited plans for it. [16] US President John F. Kennedy had discussed options on how to deal with Goulart with Gordon and his chief Latin America advisor Richard N. Goodwin in July 1962 and determined in December 1962 that the coup was necessary in order to advance US interests. [16]

Life in exile

Joao Goulart in 1964 Joao Goulart 1964.jpg
João Goulart in 1964

On 4 April 1964, Jango and his family landed in Uruguay seeking political asylum. After his first years in Montevideo, he bought a farm in the Uruguay-Brazil border, where he devoted himself to farming cattle. On 1966 he took part in Frente Ampla (Broad Front) political movement, which aimed to fight for the full restoration of democratic rule in Brazil through peaceful means. The end of Frente Ampla also resulted in the end of Jango's political activity. He decided to focus in managing his farms located in Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil.[ citation needed ]

In late 1973, then Argentine President Juan Domingo Perón invited Jango to live in Buenos Aires and asked him to collaborate on a plan to expand Argentine meat exports to Europe and other markets which would not traditionally buy the Argentine commodity. However, Perón's then Minister of Social Welfare and private secretary José López Rega opposed the designation. Nevertheless, Jango decided to stay in Buenos Aires.[ citation needed ]

In March 1976 in the town of La Plata, the Argentine Army dismantled a group of right-wing terrorists planning to kidnap Jango's son and demand a high ransom in cash. With his personal security compromised, the former president distanced himself from Buenos Aires. This experience led Jango to arrange new steps for his safe return to Brazil. This was, however, delayed because of the proximity of the electoral campaign in November of that year.[ citation needed ]


On 6 December 1976 João Goulart died in his apartment La Villa, in the Argentine municipality of Mercedes, province of Corrientes, supposedly of a heart attack. Since Goulart's body was not submitted to an autopsy, the cause of his death is unconfirmed. Around 30,000 people attended his funeral service, which was censored from press coverage by the military dictatorship.[ citation needed ]

On 26 April 2000, the former governor of Rio Grande do Sul and Rio de Janeiro, Leonel Brizola, said that the former presidents João Goulart and Juscelino Kubitschek were assassinated in the frame of Operation Condor and requested the opening of investigations of their deaths. They were said to have died of a heart attack and a car accident, respectively. [17] [18]

Goulart's remains arrive in Brasilia for exhumation, almost 40 years after his death, 14 November 2013. Transporte dos despojos do ex-presidente Joao Goulart (10858776605).jpg
Goulart's remains arrive in Brasília for exhumation, almost 40 years after his death, 14 November 2013.

On 27 January 2008, the newspaper Folha de S.Paulo printed a story with a statement from Mario Neira Barreiro, a former intelligence service member under Uruguay's dictatorship. Barreiro said that Goulart was poisoned, confirming Brizola's allegations. Barreiro also said that the order to assassinate Goulart came from Sérgio Paranhos Fleury, head of the Departamento de Ordem Política e Social (Department of Political and Social Order) and the licence to kill came from president Ernesto Geisel. [19] [20] In July 2008, a special commission of the Legislative Assembly of Rio Grande do Sul, Goulart's home state, concluded that "the evidence that Jango was willfully assassinated, with knowledge of the Geisel government, is strong." [21]

In March 2009, the magazine CartaCapital published previously unreleased documents of the National Intelligence Service created by an undercover agent who was present at Jango's properties in Uruguay. This revelation reinforces the theory that the former president was poisoned. The Goulart family has not yet identified who could be the "B Agent," as he is referred in the documents. The agent acted as a close friend to Jango, and described in detail an argument during the former president's 56th birthday party with his son because of a fight between two employees. [22] As a result of the story, the Human Rights Commission of the Chamber of Deputies decided to investigate Jango's death. [23]

Later, CartaCapital published an interview with Jango's widow, Maria Teresa Fontela Goulart, who revealed documents from the Uruguayan government that documented her complaints that her family was being monitored. The Uruguayan government was monitoring Jango's travel, his business, and his political activities. These files were from 1965, a year after the coup in Brazil, and suggest that he could have been deliberately attacked. – say that he could have been the victim of an attack. The Movement for Justice and Human Rights and the President João Goulart Institute have requested a document referring to the Uruguayan Interior Ministry saying that "serious and responsible Brazilian sources" talked about an "alleged plot against the former Brazilian president." [24]

Political views


Closeness to poor people, especially Afro-Brazilians, was a normal behavior for the young Jango. The main leader of his Carnival block Comigo Ninguém Pode, mãe-de-santo Jorgina Vieira, declared in an interview to the newspaper Zero Hora that Jango was one of the only white boys of São Borja to be a member of the block. In a particular Carnival celebration in the 1940s, he broke the high society rules and led the block inside the aristocratic Clube Comercial, which would not allow blacks in their halls until the late 1960s.[ citation needed ]


Like many other leftist politicians of the Cold War era, Jango was accused of being a communist more than once. As a response to Carlos Lacerda, his most frequent accuser, he cited right-wing politicians also supported by the Brazilian Communist Party which the latter[ clarification needed ] would not criticize. In an interview to the newspaper O Jornal, Jango declared: "regarding the communists, they have supported indistinctly candidates of several political affiliations, conservatives or populists. I do not wish to distinguish such support, but I will only allow myself this question: is perhaps Colonel Virgílio Távora a communist, just because, ostensibly, he accepts the support of communists in Ceará? How to say that the illustrious patriot of UDN Milton Campos is communist, for accepting, as he did in Minas, the same votes requested by Mr. Afonso Arinos here in Rio?"[ citation needed ]

Tributes and amnesty

In 1984, exactly twenty years after the coup, filmmaker Sílvio Tendler directed a documentary rebuilding Jango's political career through archive footage and interviews with influential politicians. Jango was viewed in theaters by over half a million people, becoming the sixth largest grossing documentary of Brazil. It was also critically acclaimed, receiving three awards at the Gramado Film Festival and one at the Havana Film Festival, beside the Silver Daisy, given by the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops (Conferência Nacional dos Bispos do Brasil – CNBB).[ citation needed ]

There are at least ten schools all over Brazil named after João Goulart, according to Google Maps.[ citation needed ] Most of them are located on Rio Grande do Sul, on the municipalities of Alvorada, Ijuí, Novo Hamburgo, Porto Alegre, Viamão, and Jango's native São Borja. There are three schools named after Jango in Rio de Janeiro, in Balneário Camboriú, Santa Catarina and another in São João de Meriti in Rio de Janeiro. On 6 December 2007, exactly 31 years after the death of the President, a monument was inaugurated in Balneário Camboriú of Jango sitting on a bench of the Avenida Atlântica (in front to the Atlantic Ocean) with his two children. It was designed by artist Jorge Schroder upon the request of mayor Rubens Spernau.[ citation needed ]

On 28 June 2008, the Avenida Presidente João Goulart (President João Goulart Avenue) in Osasco was inaugurated in São Paulo. [25] The boulevard is about 760 meters long and is the first of the city with a bicycle path. Other cities, like Canoas, Caxias do Sul, Cuiabá, Lages, Pelotas, Porto Alegre, Porto Velho, Ribeirão Preto, Rio de Janeiro, Rondonópolis, São Borja, São Leopoldo, São Paulo, and Sobral already have roads honoring Jango, according to Google Maps.[ citation needed ]

On 15 November 2008, Jango and his widow Maria Teresa received political amnesty from the Federal Government at the 20th National Congress of Lawyers in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte. The former First Lady received a restitution of R$ 644,000 (around US$322,000) to be paid in pensions of R$5,425 (around US$2,712) per month for Jango being restrained from practicing as a lawyer. She also received a restitution of R$100,000 (around US$50,000) for the 15 years in which her family was forbidden to return to Brazil. [26] [ citation needed ]

It will never be enough emphasize the heroic role of Jango to the Brazilian people, given that he represents as few do the ideal of a fairer, more egalitarian, and more democratic Brazil. (...) The government recognizes its mistakes of the past and apologizes to a man who defended the nation and its people; a man whom we could not have done without.

Letter by Lula da Silva to the Amnesty Commission. [27]

See also

Related Research Articles

Plínio Salgado Brazilian politician

Plínio Salgado was a Brazilian politician, writer, journalist, and theologian. He founded and led Brazilian Integralist Action, a political party inspired by the Fascist regimes of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler.

Luís Carlos Prestes Brazilian politician

Luís Carlos Prestes was a lieutenant, later communist militant and Brazilian politician. He was one of the organizers of the 1920s tenente revolts and the communist opposition to the Vargas Era in Brazil. He was also the general-secretary of the Brazilian Communist Party.

Fourth Brazilian Republic 1946-1964 federal republic in South America

Fourth Brazilian Republic is the period of Brazilian history between 1946 and 1964 also known as the "Republic of 46". It was marked by political instability and military's pressure on civilian politicians which ended with the 1964 Brazilian coup d'état and establishment of Brazilian military government.

São Borja, Rio Grande do Sul Place in South, Brazil

São Borja is a city in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. São Borja is the oldest municipality in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul and was founded in 1682 by the Jesuits as the first of the Seven Points of the Missions, and named São Francisco de Borja, in honor of Saint Francis Borgia. It is situated on the Western Frontier of Rio Grande do Sul on the border with Argentina which is defined by the Uruguai river.

Leonel Brizola Brazilian politician

Leonel de Moura Brizola was a Brazilian politician. Launched in politics by Getúlio Vargas, Brizola was the only politician to serve as elected governor of two Brazilian states, before and after the 1964-1985 military dictatorship. In 1958 he was elected governor of Rio Grande do Sul, and in 1982 and 1990 he was elected governor of Rio de Janeiro. He was also vice-president of the Socialist International and served as Honorary President of that organization from October 2003 until his death in June 2004. One of the few Brazilian major political figures able to overcome the dictatorship's twenty-years ban on his political activity, Brizola was a non-Marxist Left nationalist who successfully recycled his political agenda to cope with a post-Cold War setting. His later party, the Democratic Labour Party, practiced a form of social democratic, left-wing politics based on a form of populism derived from earlier Varguism, a highly nationalistic social democratic mass movement.

Brazilian Integralist Action

Brazilian Integralist Action was an integralist/fascist political party in Brazil. It was based upon the ideology of Brazilian Integralism as developed by its leader Plínio Salgado. Brazilian Integralism supported a revival of spirituality in Brazil in the form of Brazilian nationalism to form a shared identity between Brazilians. It denounced materialism, liberalism, and Marxism. It was violently opposed to the Brazilian Communist Party and competed with the Communists for the working class vote.

Brazilian Revolution of 1930 October 1930 government overthrow in Brazil

The Revolution of 1930, also known as the 1930coup d'état or coup of 1930 was an armed movement in Brazil led by the states of Minas Gerais, Paraíba and Rio Grande do Sul, culminating in a coup. The revolution ousted President Washington Luís on October 24, 1930, prevented the inauguration of President-elect Júlio Prestes, and ended the Old Republic.

The 1964 Brazilian coup d'état was a series of events in Brazil from March 31 to April 1 that led to the overthrow of President João Goulart by members of the Brazilian Armed Forces, supported by the United States government. The following day, with the military already in control of the country, the Brazilian Congress came out in support of the coup and endorsed it by declaring vacant the office of the presidency. The coup put an end to the government of Goulart, also known as Jango, a member of the Brazilian Labour Party, who had been democratically elected Vice President in the same election in which conservative Jânio Quadros, from the National Labor Party and backed by the National Democratic Union, won the presidency.

The South is My Country

The South is My Country is a separatist movement that claims the independence of Brazil's South Region, formed by the states of Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. The group claims the region is under-represented by Brasilia.

Maria Teresa Fontela Goulart 25th First Lady of Brazil

Maria Teresa Fontela Goulart is the widow of the 24th president of Brazil, João Goulart, and served as First Lady during his presidency from 1961 until 1964, when he was deposed by a military-led coup d'état.

1945 Brazilian general election

General elections were held in Brazil on 2 December 1945, the first since the establishment of Getúlio Vargas' Estado Novo. The presidential elections were won by Eurico Gaspar Dutra of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), whilst the PSD also won a majority of seats in both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. Voter turnout was 83.1% in the presidential election, 83.5% in the Chamber elections and 76.7% in the Senate elections.

1950 Brazilian general election

General elections were held in Brazil on 3 October 1950. The presidential elections were won by Getúlio Vargas of the Brazilian Labour Party, whilst the Social Democratic Party remained the largest party in both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, although they lost their majority in the former. Voter turnout was 72.1% in the presidential election, 72.0% in the Chamber elections and 77.7% in the Senate elections.

1955 Brazilian presidential election

Presidential elections were held in Brazil on 3 October 1955. The result was a victory for Juscelino Kubitschek, who received 35.7% of the vote. Voter turnout was 59.7%.

The history of the socialist movement in Brazil is generally thought to trace back to the first half of the 19th century. There are documents evidencing the diffusion of socialist ideas since then, but these were, however, individual initiatives with no ability to form groups with actual political activism.

The Brazilian Labour Party was a centre-left populist political party in Brazil founded in 1945 by supporters of President Getúlio Vargas. It was dismantled by the military after 1964 coup d'état.

Antônio de Barros Carvalho, better known as Barros Carvalho was a landowner and Brazilian politician. He was congressman and senator for the state of Pernambuco.

Auro Soares de Moura Andrade, commonly known as Auro de Moura Andrade or Moura Andrade, was a Brazilian lawyer and politician. Was born in a wealthy family of farmers from the countryside, son of the cattle rancher Antônio Joaquim de Moura Andrade, known as "The King of the Cattle".

Isidoro Dias Lopes Brazilian politician

Isidoro Dias Lopes (Dom Pedrito, 30 June 1865 — Rio de Janeiro, 27 May 1949) was a Brigadier General of the Brazilian army, often styled the "Marshal of the Revolution of 1924".

João Goulart Filho

João Vicente Fontella Goulart, also known as João Goulart Filho, is a Brazilian philosopher and politician.


  1. "Jango teve morte natural, mas envenenamento não está descartado" (in Portuguese). O Dia. 1 December 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  2. "Goulart foi morto a pedido do Brasil, diz ex-agente uruguaio" (in Portuguese). Folha de S. Paulo. 27 January 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  3. "Atrações Turísticas". Prefeitura de São Borja.
  4. Morton, David. "Looking at Lula: Brazil's Amazon deforestation worsens—despite a "Green" president", E Magazine, 1 September 2005.
  5. Michael Newton (2014). Famous Assassinations in World History: An Encyclopedia [2 volumes]. ABC-CLIO. p. 185. ISBN   1610692861 via Google Books.
  6. Jango em 3 atos (first part) on YouTube. Documentary by João Vicente Goulart aired on TV Senado.
  7. "Pós-1930 - Senado Federal".
  8. Hugh B. Stinson and James D. Cochrane, "The Movement for Regional Arms Control in Latin America", Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs, Vol. 13, No. 1 (1971): 1–17.
  9. Olímpio Mourão Filho Archived 17 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine Fundação Getúlio Vargas: Centro de Pesquisa e Documentação de História Contemporânea do Brasil. Retrieved on 20 August 2007.
  10. Gaspari, Elio (2002). A Ditadura Envergonhada. São Paulo: Cia. das Letras. p. 103. ISBN   85-359-0277-5.
  11. Gaspari, Elio (2002). A Ditadura Envergonhada. São Paulo: Cia. das Letras. p. 111. ISBN   85-359-0277-5.
  12. Gaspari, Elio (2002). A Ditadura Envergonhada. São Paulo: Cia. das Letras. p. 112. ISBN   85-359-0277-5.
  13. Gaspari, Elio (2002). A Ditadura Envergonhada. São Paulo: Cia. das Letras. p. 113. ISBN   85-359-0277-5.
  14. Gaspari, Elio (2002). A Ditadura Envergonhada. São Paulo: Cia. das Letras. ISBN   85-359-0277-5.
  15. 1 2 Burn Before Reading, Admiral Stansfield Turner, 2005, Hyperion, pg. 99. Also see the article on Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco. Also see BRAZIL MARKS 40th ANNIVERSARY OF MILITARY COUP, National Security Archive, George Washington University. Edited by Peter Kornbluh, 2004.
  16. 1 2 3 4
  17. Brasil examina su pasado represivo en la Operación Cóndor Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine , El Mostrador, 11 May 2000
  18. Operación Cóndor: presión de Brizola sobre la Argentina, El Clarín, 6 May 2000
  19. Há fortes indícios de que Jango foi assassinado com conhecimento de Geisel Archived 2 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine . Carta Maior. Retrieved on 24 May 2014.
  21. "Há fortes indícios de que Jango foi assassinado com conhecimento de Geisel" Archived 2 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine , Carta Maior, 17 July 2008.
  22. NASCIMENTO, Gilberto. "Jango assassinado?". CartaCapital, 18 March 2009.
  23. FORTES, Leandro. "Corrêa à luz do dia – A revista serve de base para outras decisões," CartaCapital, 3 April 2009
  24. NASCIMENTO, Gilberto. "Jango monitorado", CartaCapital, 18 June 2009.
  25. "Avenida Presidente João Goulart projeta Osasco para o futuro" (in Portuguese), Osasco Agora, 2 July 2008.
  26. Aquino, Yara. "Jango recebe anistia quase meio século depois de derrubado pela ditadura militar" (in Portuguese), Agência Brasil, 15 November 2008.
  27. Globo News, Evandro Éboli, and Agência Brasil. "Governo concede anistia política a João Goulart. Lula chama ex-presidente de herói" (in Portuguese), O Globo , 15 November 2008.


Political offices
Preceded by
Jânio Quadros
President of Brazil
Succeeded by
Ranieri Mazzilli
Preceded by
Café Filho
Vice President of Brazil
Succeeded by
José Maria Alkmin
Preceded by
Café Filho
President of the Federal Senate
Served alongside: Apolônio Sales
Succeeded by
Auro de Moura Andrade
Government offices
Preceded by
José de Segadas Viana
Minister of Labor, Industry and Trade
Succeeded by
Hugo de Araújo Faria
Party political offices
Preceded by
Dinarte Dornelles
National President of the Brazilian Labor Party
Succeeded by
José Ermínio de Moraes
New political party PTB nominee for Vice President of Brazil
1955, 1960
Succeeded by
Luiz Gonzaga de Paiva Muniz (1989)