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Brazilian President Ousted

Apr. 1, 1964 - Brazilian rebel forces drove leftist President Joao Goulart out of Rio de Janeiro today, but he scoffed at their victory claims and vowed a fight to the death.

Goulart, accused by rebel leaders of planning to turn Latin America’s largest country into a Cuban-type Communist satellite, fled to Brasilia, the inland capital 600 miles northwest of Rio de Janeiro. “I’m determined to defend my constitutional rights and believe the people will support me, and I believe in the victory of our cause,” Goulart said on a pre-recorded radio broadcast from a loyal radio station in Brasilia.

Goulart’s dramatic flight and vow to wage a last-ditch warfare climaxed a day in which rebel chiefs claimed Goulart’s fall and proclaimed a new president, Paschoal Ranieri Mazzilli, president of the Chamber of Deputies and Goulart’s constitutional successor.

Despite this proclamation, until Goulart resigns or leaves Brazil, he is the constitutional and legal president. Mazzilli, who was in Brasilia, had not been sworn in or assumed the presidency early today. A Port Alegre broadcast heard in Buenos Aires said Brazilian navy ships with a destroyer in the lead had left Rio for Porto Alegre with “orders to mobilize,” presumably in support of Goulart. Sao Paulo’s Radio Liberty, however, which has been broadcasting anti-Goulart reports, announced the ships might bombard Porto Alegre to further the rebellion.

“One small salvo from the destroyer is enough to destroy a 20-story building,” the broadcast said.


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