Posted by David McCoy
This week, the Brazilian magazine Veja reported on an exchange between the National Truth commission and former military officials over the historical representation of the 1964 military coup in military academies. The debate is representative of the substantial divide in the historical understandings that exist simultaneously in Brazil.
“The military academies continue to live alongside the myth that the coup of 1964 was a democratic revolution to impede communism,” said Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, a sociologist and member of the Truth Commission. “When the whole of society takes a different route, the teaching institutions of the Brazilian Armed Forces cannot continue repeating all of these myths about what happened between 1964 and 1985. This schizophrenia can not exist,” he said.
In response to these comments, the retired general Durval de Andrade Neri, former director of the Military Club of Rio and director of the Association of Graduates of the School of War (ADESG), said, “What we had in 1964 was a counter-coup in defense of democracy, an action by members of the military to avoid a leftist coup that would have brought communism to brazil. This truth is in history, in the documents and courts,” he said.