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Joao Goulart

Joao Goulart was the last freely-elected left-wing president of Brazil (1961-March 31, 1964) until the October 6, 2002 election of Luiz Inacio da Silva. In 1964 his government was overthrown by a major military coup that installed successive right-wing hardliners as head of state, and suspended many liberties and rights of the Brazilian people, including the disappearance, torture and/or exile of many writers, singers, painters, filmmakers and other artists. The military claimed that Goulart was responsible for high inflation (which he had inherited from his predecessor) and that his plans to redistribute wealth to resolve the country's economic crisis were part a Marxist attempt on the part of Goulart to establish himself as dictator. According to the American ambassador, the coup was a "democratic rebellion," despite the fact that the right-wing regime it ushered in was one of the most brutal in the country's history. It is now believed that the CIA and American government was behind the coup, feating that Goulart would install a Communist government in the most populous country in Latin America.

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