The next president, Marshal A. da Costa e Silva, in assuming power (April 15, 1967) provided ample assurances to the poor classes, trade unions, intellectuals and students. He was inclined to choose empirical solutions and measures to reconcile popular sympathy. He managed to contain inflation, blocking price increases while improving wages. I will tolerate a certain political freedom, thanks to which a singular alliance was created between the last three civil presidents, Kubitschek, Quadros and Goulart, promoted by the politician and journalist C. Lacerda, called Frente ampla, whose main demands were: return to constitutional democracy, presidential elections, nationalism, development plan. But the rage of urban guerrilla warfare and student unrest, supported by the clergy, resulted in the backlash of the interdiction of the Frente ampla (April 5, 1968), claimed by the regime’s “hard line”. In the Chamber, two deputies accused the military, who demanded their indictment: the parliamentarians, however, obtained from the Congress, meeting in plenary session, the confirmation of their immunity (December 12). The next day, a new “institutional act” dismissed the Congress indefinitely and deprived a hundred deputies of their mandates: the “hard line” had won in all areas and the old political class was completely subjugated, while their efforts were wrecked. and the good intentions of A. da Costa and Silva. He tried again in 1969, unsuccessfully, to reconstruct the two political parties ARENA and MDB and to pass a constitutional reform capable of bringing the country back to normal:
The reins of the government were then taken over by a military triumvirate, which set aside the vice-president P. Aleixo and promoted the election of a new president. The reduced number of Congress following the purge, called General E. Garrastazu Medici to the top of the state (October 30, 1969) (October 30, 1969; vice president Admiral Rademaker); the new government included some technocrats, while the foreign ministry was entrusted to a career diplomat. The military in power inaugurated a new policy aimed at radically resolving the socio-economic imbalances of the country. However, their governments encountered strong opposition which manifested itself in three distinct ways: student protest, clergy action and armed struggle (guerrilla). Following the dissolution of their national organization, the students fostered violent unrest, sometimes bloody, throughout the country and were severely persecuted by the public forces. The Church of the largest Catholic country in the world, considered reactionary in the past, sided, especially under the influence of the Second Vatican Council, in favor of students and the dispossessed, advocating social reforms; towards the regime he assumed a position of independence, gradually transformed into open protest destined to provoke a series of frictions. The Brazilian clergy inspired by the archbishop of Pernambuco H. Câmara joined the opposition movement “Action, Justice and Peace” founded by 32 bishops. In 1967 priests were arrested accused of connivance with the guerrillas and police searches carried out in convents and religious houses. The divorce between church and state intensified in 1968 and some bishops were accused of subversion, while the tension worsened causing international repercussions. Towards the end of 1970, however, after the government committed itself to recognizing certain rights of the Church, the conflict subsided noticeably.
The most conspicuous part in the framework of the opposition was represented by the armed gangs through rural and urban guerrilla actions. The rural guerrillas were soon eradicated by specially trained army units, while the urban one gave the authorities a lot of trouble; groups of various tendencies, fed by purged soldiers or dissidents, professionals and students, gave life to the guerrilla warfare. The strikes against barracks and prisons and the kidnappings of people (including the ambassador of the USA, Brazil Elbrik, the consul general of Japan in São Paulo, the ambassador of Germany, Von Holleben, the Swiss ambassador E. Bucher, all freed in exchange for hundreds of political prisoners) did not fail to impress international opinion, but aroused harsh repression, the increased penalties and the introduction of the death penalty. The disappearance of the main guerrilla leaders, who fell in actions against the government forces, practically marked the end of the armed opposition to the regime (1971), or a pause from it.
In recent years the Brazil has intensified relations with all the countries of Latin America, assuming a position of pre-eminence in the whole area. In particular, an important agreement was signed (May 22, 1974) with Bolivia, which will supply 7 million cubic meters of natural gas per day for a period of 20 years through a two thousand km long pipeline, while Brazil will provide aid. financial and technical personnel for the construction of a petrochemical and iron and steel complex. Also noteworthy is the agreement concluded in Buenos Aires (12 June 1974) for the strengthening of the Plata basin between Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia. With regard to the new African countries, Brazil tends to strengthen collaborative relationships in all fields. The position reached by Brazil in the desarrolho) has not had appreciable repercussions on the social level so far.
On January 15, 1974, an electoral college appointed gen. E. Geisel and vice president the gen. A. Pereira, solemnly installed on March 15 before the expressly convened National Congress. The legislative elections of November 15, 1974 have somewhat surprised by recording the success of the opposition party MDB (born at the behest of the regime). In particular, in the votes for the Senate, the MDB won in sixteen states (among which the most important) out of twenty-two. An important nuclear agreement has been concluded (June 27, 1975) between Brazil and West Germany which will supply, in exchange for uranium, 8 complete nuclear power plants and a plant for the enrichment of uranium.