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Thousands Of Brazilians Protest In The Streets Less Than One Week Before Olympics

REUTERS/Nacho Doce

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter

Crowds of angry Brazilians protested in the streets Sunday, demanding suspended President Dilma Rousseff not attend the Olympics because of her impeachment trial.

Thousands of protesters dominated Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the biggest cities in Brazil Sunday. Rio is also the host of the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics, which kick off August 5 and run through August 21.

Brazilians demand a quick solution to the country’s long-running national political drama over corruption involving state oil firm Petrobras. Protesters want Rousseff’s immediate impeachment and former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, known as Lula, to be prosecuted for corruption.

Rousseff was suspended from her elected role as Brazilian president after the Brazilian Lower House and the Senate recommended she be impeached. The Brazilian Supreme Court could oust her from office. Court documents revealed Friday that Lula will be tried for his ties to the wide-ranging Petrobras corruption scandal, which has engulfed much of Brazil’s political and business elite.

Interim President Michel Temer is not much better than his predecessors when it comes to corruption — several cabinet members resigned over corruption allegations.

Aside from its political troubles, Brazil has money woes, including an almost $1 billion federal bailout of Rio de Janeiro State, home to the city of Rio de Janeiro. This has caused much unease if Brazil can properly fund the Olympics.

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