The superpowers will intervene in ways some may find unnatural.
Hmm, like Biafra unnatural? I doubt France and Britain like the UAR much after the Suez Crisis, and the US would probably want to support Israel to some extent, but aside from that I can’t say I have any idea how this conflict will play out.
Well, while this TTL new and bigger even if more loosely federative UAR aligned with the US, would very well be the DOS 'wet dream'...
So, I think that it probably could put to the US Government and particularly to the Dept of Defense/JCS, through of some kind of a foreign political dilemma between the (at least IOTL) traditional US support for Israel and the due to their new and more important Arabian Ally. Against the Soviet/communist menace and/or influence in the whole Middle East and even in North Africa...
Perhaps, ITTL could be possible that 'd develop, in relation to the US foreign aid and military supply and Arms selling, a situation that I think that, perhaps could lead to a 'formula' more or less similar to the (IIRC) OTL existing between Greece and Turkey...
The federation is much looser ITTL, but it doesn't mean keeping it together will be an easy task, especially since its neighbors - Turkey, Iran, Libya, Saudi Arabia and, of course, tiny little Israel - are, pardon my wording, shitting bricks right now.
I would guess that faced to this situation both Turkey and Israel would start earlier and/or to strengthen/formalize their (OTL) informal strategic agreements... One, that perhaps, could ITTL, include either Iran and/or even to the KSA.
But, I would say that if TTL the events would develop or if the situation would deteriorate enough as for a war against any of the UAR neighbours and especially against Israel, it would require a bigger coordination and centralization, at least in military affairs, than OTL...
Cause, even if the new Arab State would, on paper, at least, be a powerhouse to be reckoned by its neighbours… But, IMO, in any real war the logistics and the size of the Front that would be needed to be defended or attacked, IMO, ITTL still would be factors that would play in favor of either Iran or Israel.
Also, I think that should be taken into account that due to the UAR TTL Western/USA political alignment that following the Cold War logics, that their Armies would be supplied and trained by the US... Thus, the US Government would have a bigger influence in the new Arab State foreign policy decisions and specially would have the power to veto and/or if not making it impossible, at least to greatly difficult, for the new Arab republic to start and develop any kind of offensive war sustained over a long period of time...
Part 8: 1960 Presidential election
Part 8: 1960 Presidential Election

"What goes around, comes around" is a saying that could definitely be used to describe the Brazilian right's predicament in 1960. Having been in government since Getúlio Vargas' suicide in 1954, prominent conservatives such as Carlos Lacerda, Magalhães Pinto and, of course, president Etelvino Lins, were increasingly unpopular, exhausted, and beset by numerous scandals involving misuse of public funds and general sleaze implicating not only themselves, but also several other minor politicians on their end of the political spectrum. The most aggressive headlines were, unsurprisingly, the ones published by Última Hora, which denounced, among other things, the existence of a nefarious far-right deep state operating behind the federal government's back, an accusation that gained a lot of credence after the attempted assassination of João Goulart and the coverup that followed.
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Lacerda's incessant barking came back to bite him.

As the election year dawned, some among the usual suspects, namely the right and the military, were already arguing in secret that said election should be postponed to a later date in the name of national security, lest the "subversives" interfere. Their voices, much like in 1954, went unheeded, and every voter, from the lowliest (literate) peasant to the wealthiest businessman, knew that he or she would cast a ballot on October 3. The only question remaining, of course, was who they were supposed to vote for.

Much like in 1955, the first major politician to officially announce his intention to run for the presidency was PSD's Juscelino Kubitschek. However, the former governor's position in the party was severely weakened: he was out of elective office for five years, which was practically a lifetime considering how fast things were changing. Despite this, his campaign was enthusiastically supported by the Ala Moça, especially his fellow mineiro Tancredo Neves, who hoped to become governor of Minas Gerais the same year. Unfortunately for them, the conservatives, led by Benedito Valadares and José Francisco Bias Fortes - incumbent senator and governor of Minas, respectively - didn't even bother to hide their intentions of forging an alliance with UDN instead.

Thus, when the PSD convention happened on February 17, 1960, Juscelino, despite receiving the most votes out of every possible candidate by far (his "opponents", who were nothing more than names on a list for his adversaries to vote for, were Ernâni do Amaral Peixoto, Nereu Ramos and Gustavo Capanema), didn't win an absolute majority, and was denied the nomination as a result. The convention dragged on for several days, but the gridlock continued until, finally, after the 20th ballot, the exhausted and infuriated progressive delegates walked out, declaring that Juscelino had been stolen out of the nomination by the party bosses and delivering a mortal blow to what was once Brazil's largest and most powerful political party (1).

While the collapse of PSD was not entirely unexpected, UDN also went through a surprisingly close convention. Carlos Lacerda openly declared that he was interested in running for the presidency as soon as 1958, but only formalized his campaign much later. In the meantime, he used his vast connections both at home and abroad to silently buy off any potential opponents, ensuring that his nomination would be a truly crushing victory. However, finance minister Magalhães Pinto suddenly announced his intention to run for president, quietly backed by the incumbent officeholder, Etelvino Lins, who feared that the Crow's controversial reputation would weaken his chances in the general election and allow a "subversive" to win. Lacerda easily won the nomination anyway, taking the votes of more than 60% of the delegates, but this was nothing like the near unanimous acclamation he desired.

Despite this setback, the odds were still in the Crow's favor, for not only did he enjoy the near unanimous support of the press and was very generously funded by national and foreign businesspeople, his running mate was Jorge Lacerda, the governor of Santa Catarina, who was extremely popular in his home state and the rest of the South. Jorge did have one glaring weakness, however: he was a fascist. In fact, he was so deeply involved in the Brazilian integralist movement that he took part in Plínio Salgado's failed attempt to depose Getúlio Vargas in 1938, something Última Hora would bring up countless times throughout the campaign to great effect.

The UDN ticket: Carlos Lacerda (DF) for president, and Jorge Lacerda (SC) for vice-president, respectively.
PTB, whose bigwigs initially hoped to play second fiddle to PSD, as was tradition, was the last of the three main parties to formally present its ticket. Its most prominent members - among them João Goulart, Leonel Brizola, Lutero Vargas, Fernando Ferrari, Roberto Silveira and Osvaldo Aranha - arranged a meeting to hammer out a consensus on who would be the petebistas' presidential candidate, in order to avoid a contested convention like the one that destroyed Juscelino's candidacy and took PSD along with it. It didn't take long for most of the participants to settle on a name - Goulart. He would certainly be a strong candidate in the general election, since his wealthy background assuaged some of the more progressive members of the bourgeioisie (of course, a great many of them would still think that PTB was nothing more than a bunch of Reds), while his actions as Minister of Labour during Getúlio Vargas' second administration earned him the near unanimous support of the labour unions.

There was only one individual who disagreed with this, and he was, of course, Leonel Brizola, who, intoxicated by his meteoric rise to prominence, wanted to take the top spot of the ticket for himself. The others disagreed, of course, for they considered the man to be too young, too untested in national politics and, most importantly, too incendiary for his own good. But the 38 year old former governor, who had never faced a single defeat since his political career began in 1947, was at this point incapable of taking no for an answer, and to make matters worse, he had many, many supporters among the rank-and-file of the party, especially in the southern sections, which were disproportionately powerful: while a complete split was unlikely, thanks to Jango's popularity, a major disagreement in the convention would cause a lot of damage.

So Goulart - who would later admit that he wasn't that eager to run for president anyway, thanks to his very close brush with death - bit the bullet and declined to lead the ticket, effectively handing it to Brizola (2). However, in exchange for that, the second spot was given to Argemiro de Figueiredo, senator and former governor of Paraíba. The two men couldn't be more different from one another: Argemiro was a generation older, and much more conservative as a result, having run his home state as a dictator during his gubernatorial term (1935-40 (3)). Most damningly, he was a member of UDN - a moderate one, but still - until 1958, when his disagreements with the Banda de Música became too severe to be papered over and he voluntarily left the party since his expulsion was inevitable at that point (4).

Brizola accepted this compromise with few, if any, reservations: he had, after all, negotiated with fascists to secure his election as governor of Rio Grande do Sul, and if having a northeastern coronel as a running mate was the price he had to pay to become president, then so be it (5).

The PTB ticket: Leonel Brizola (RS) for president, and Argemiro de Figueiredo (PB) for vice-president.
With the battle lines now clearly drawn, and with both the left and the right having seemingly disposed of their moderates and empowered their loudest radicals, it was, unfortunately, only a matter of time before the race got very ugly and vitriolic. The first clashes took place in the press, where various newspapers published headlines exaggerating their favorite candidates' strengths and underestimating their opponents', while also allowing various cartoons and caricatures mocking one side or the other to circulate freely throughout their papers. As time went by, the articles became increasingly accusatory and slanderous, and the cartoons outright offensive, with Lacerda being depicted as either a Nazi, an American puppet or both, while Brizola was portrayed as a dangerous, sneaky agitator paid by Moscow.

The first serious street battle took place in Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais, on May 1. A group of the PTB supporters, simultaneously campaigning for their candidates and celebrating the International Workers' Day, were attacked by far-right militants belonging to a group that called itself the Comando de Caça aos Comunistas - "Command for Hunting Communists" (6). Police were called to the scene, but they just stood and watched the fight unfold, only intervening with their batons when it seemed that the petebistas were about to turn the tide. Scenes such as this - and local law enforcement's blatant bias - would repeat themselves all over the country throughout the campaign, with petebistas being kept from campaigning in udenista strongholds and vice-versa. It was an ominous sign of what was to come.
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No comment.
A third contender entered the ring the in July, one whose participation, much like in 1955, would decide the election's outcome: the disgraced former governor of São Paulo, Ademar de Barros. With his once mighty political machine reduced to tatters thanks to the actions of the new man in charge of the state, Franco Montoro, Ademar's candidacy was less a genuine shot to get into the Catete Palace and more of a desperate final attempt to remain politically relevant in a political landscape that was becoming increasingly hostile to him. His rhetoric crossed the line separating mere populism from open demagoguery - as was to be expected from a politician already infamous for his corruption - and was dominated by vague, lofty promises of new social programs and pharaonic public works projects such as gigantic new highways, swaying millions of working class people who would've most likely voted for Brizola otherwise.

Smaller parties and informal factions also played a critical part in the presidential race's final result. Regarding the former, PSB and PST supported the petebista candidacy, creating a coalition that was known as the Popular Front, an obvious attempt to compare Brizola's candidacy to that of Salvador Allende in Chile, while PSC allowed its members to endorse whoever they wanted - most of them supported Lacerda, although Montoro, who spent most of the time lambasting his predecessor's doomed campaign, gave an interview in which he stated that Brazil was in urgent need of reforms, something that was seen as a subtle endorsement of Brizola's proposals. As for the latter, nearly all members of the Ala Moça campaigned on Brizola's behalf, with a select few staying neutral, while the bulk of the members of UDN's Bossa Nova, too conservative to openly endorse Brizola but too progressive to campaign on Lacerda's behalf, backed Ademar instead.

Tensions reached a fever pitch in September. With election day just weeks away, any slip up would have catastrophic effects for either of the main candidates, which made the developments that happened in the month, given the very appropriate name of "September surprises", all the more nauseating (7). The first surprise came straight from Moscow: Luís Carlos Prestes, leader of the Brazilian Communist Party and an exile since 1957, issued a statement instructing the hundreds of thousands of communists (a number large enough to swing a close election) scattered throughout Brazil to campaign and vote for Brizola to keep the "fascists" and "wannabe dictators" of the right from scoring another victory (8).

It didn't take long for the conservatives to get their hands on a copy of this letter, and when they did, their reaction was immediate and vicious: in a matter of days, right-wing newspapers such as O Globo, Folha de São Paulo and Tribuna da Imprensa pumped out headlines in which they declared they had finally discovered the "smoking gun" that proved Brizola was nothing more than a conniving Red, one who was ready to plunge Brazil into a bloody revolution on behalf of his shadowy Soviet masters. The general in charge of the Fourth Army (based in Recife), Artur da Costa e Silva, remarked that, if the "subversive elements" won the election after this scandal, the Armed Forces would have no choice but to intervene in order to "preserve democracy and the Constitution" (9). The incumbent vice-president, Bento Munhoz da Rocha, condemned this statement, but his voice was a lonely one. Everyone else in the government either didn't care about what Costa e Silva said or, most likely, agreed with him.

While the PTB campaign rejected Prestes' endorsement, and its candidate made a long and aggressive speech condemning the ills of Communism and defending the right to own private property, everyone knew he was preaching to the choir at this point, and a huge part of said choir was now under the sway of Ademar de Barros.

But politics were - and still are, of course - notoriously unpredictable. This was a lesson Lacerda, whose victory now seemed assured, learned years ago. But it seemed that one time wasn't enough. This second lesson took place in Rio de Janeiro - again - and on September 15 - again (10). That day, the local teachers' union, tired of the lack of investments on public education (resources were diverted to private schools instead) and DOPS' heavy-handed practices, went on strike. It was supposed to be a nuisance, a minor scuffle, and the police acted accordingly - or, at least, it was supposed to. The union's headquarters were stormed, its occupants beaten with batons then arrested. The attack left two people dead, both of them from severe head trauma, and many others were wounded.

Outrage followed. Rallies, strikes and marches were organized in several major cities throughout Brazil as a show of solidarity to the martyred teachers, whose names were chanted nonstop, and even the most rabidly conservative newspapers were, for the moment, unable to spin the whole mess in the Crow's favor. Brizola, never a man to mince words on such an occasion, would declare in an interview that the events in the national capital showed "who is the real Red here" - an obvious reference to the blood of the workers metaphorically staining his adversary's clothes.

"The strike continues"
October 3rd - election day - finally arrived. Millions of people - over 13 million, to be exact - urban and rural, rich and poor, went to their respect voting stations to secretly cast their ballots. Party organizers from both sides, who tirelessly campaigned on behalf of their candidates for months on end, reported record breaking turnouts in their respective districts. The only thing they could do now was return to their homes, turn on their radios and wait for the results, which would come in a painfully slow trickle as city after city counted its ballots, to be announced.
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Brizola's surprisingly large margin of victory - almost nine percentage points, which translated into a lead of more than a million votes - was created by more than just Lacerda's last minute scandal. As the opposition candidate, the former governor framed his campaign as one of change, and centered said campaign around a number of bold proposals that became known as the Reformas de Base - the Basic Reforms - which were enthusiastically backed by the urban labour unions and land reform activists throughout the countryside and included measures such as a bonus payment equivalent to an extra wage (the thirteenth salary), the creation of a national healthcare system funded by the government and larger investments in public education.

Lacerda, despite the polishing brought by the millions of foreign dollars were funneled into his campaign, was seen as someone representing a government that had run out of ideas, and the fact most of his speeches, ads and pamphlets were focused on attacking the "communist danger" rather than defend UDN's own proposals certainly didn't help. Nor did the fact that most of Ademar's votes came from the Northeast, as shown by his victories in Alagoas and Maranhão, two states dominated by oligarchs who were, or should've been, loyal to UDN.

The petebistas were, at face value, euphoric. But there was something wrong in the way the celebrated, little traces of fear or anxiety here and there. How could they not manifest these feelings, when they were fully aware of what was about to happen?


(1) PSD was an US-style big tent party in a country whose proportional electoral system encouraged or at least didn't punish splits. I'm sure that, had the coup d'état against Jango not occurred in 1964, PSD would've eventually fallen apart.

(2) While still a polarizing figure ITTL, Brizola isn't as divisive as he was IOTL at this point, since two of his worst scandals - his physical altercation with David Nasser and his verbal attack against army general Antônio Carlos Muricy, which happened during his tenure as a federal deputy after 1962 - were averted. Because of this, as well as his great charisma and personal popularity, the more moderate petebistas tolerate him.

(3) Argemiro's last three years as governor coincided with the rise of the Estado Novo, which gave him sweeping powers to rule Paraíba as he saw fit. Thanks to this, he had political opponents jailed, newspapers censored, and appointed his younger brother to the position of mayor of Campina Grande.

(4) Keep in mind that I'm pulling all of this information straight out of my head. However, Argemiro's OTL record, both as a governor and a senator, indicate to me that he was at least open to nationalistic and developmentalist ideas. He helped create Sudene, for example.

(5) Brizoa's career before the dictatorship strikes me as less of a dogmatic, close-minded radical (something he's often framed as) and more of a power-hungry pot-stirrer who was willing to cause a lot of trouble to get what he wanted.

(6) IOTL, the CCC was created in 1964 and operated intermittently during the military dictatorship, terrorizing students, clergymen and intellectuals who happened to be political dissidents.

(7) An obvious reference to the US' October surprise.

(8) This isn't as crazy as it sounds: during the period their political activities were prohibited (so after 1948), the communists openly endorsed and campaigned for whoever was least likely to persecute them. As a result, they endorsed Getúlio Vargas in 1950, Juscelino Kubitschek in 1955 and Henrique Lott in 1960.

(9) I'm sure you all know what that really means.

(10) Flashbacks to ITTL's 1958 Senate election, when a scandal involving a death squad operating within the DF police crippled Lacerda's image and led to the downfall of his candidate, Afonso Arinos.
I really want to see a Industrialized and assertive Brasil in the international stage. Your work is the smallest (in size, not quality) out of the 3 that I am following but it's the one I'm most invested on because hits close to home.
O dear, is there an attempted coup coming? That ending sounded ominous.
If so, I hope it fails.
So do I, But Brizola probaly can't trust the armed forces which means purge time.
Not to spoil things too much, but stuff's about to go down.

I really want to see a Industrialized and assertive Brasil in the international stage. Your work is the smallest (in size, not quality) out of the 3 that I am following but it's the one I'm most invested on because hits close to home.
Oh, I'm very flattered!
Damm this is a good chapter, political combat, intrigue and just general unrest, really look forward for what's gonna happen in Brazil, civil war? Some sort of tension and confrontation at least, whatever it is, I really want to see it.
Part 9: On the Edge of the Abyss, Part One
Part 9: On the Edge of the Abyss, Part One

Brazil was no stranger to coups. Ever since the Proclamation of the Republic, itself a military takeover, in 1889, the country suffered three more coups (the 1930 Revolution, 1937 and 1945) as well as multiple other failed uprisings, and it was only thanks to Getúlio Vargas' suicide in 1954 that a fourth unlawful seizure of power was averted. It was, therefore, not a surprise that, from 1959 onward, as unrest became increasingly difficult to put under control within the boundaries established by rule of law, that some of the higher ups in the military, especially the Army, began to consider the idea of taking power for themselves in order to silence the "subversive threat" for good. This was, for the moment, merely a hypothesis, since president Etelvino Lins was a reliable, conservative administrator: it was the legislature, especially the Chamber of Deputies, littered with people such as Sérgio Magalhães (PTB-DF), that was the real issue in their eyes.

Leonel Brizola's presidential candidacy in April 1960 turned what was until then only a subject of theoretical discussions into a true conspiracy, but even so most active generals chose to wait and see what would happen later in the year, since there was still a strong chance Carlos Lacerda could win in October. Of course, the September surprises and their consequences handed the victory to PTB, and it became clear that the only way to preserve the status quo and keep Brazil from "falling under the terrible grip of Communism and its fellow travelers" was by "temporarily" suspending democracy. Many prominent civilians (along with Lacerda, of course, who was very displeased with his electoral defeat to put it mildly), the most important of them being Juracy Magalhães and José Francisco Bias Fortes, governors of Bahia and Minas Gerais respectively, agreed with the plotters' ideas and promised to help them as best as they could when the time was right.

By early November the conspiracy was fairly organized, with networks and cells throughout the country constantly giving new updates and developments to its leaders, and had the support of the generals who commanded of the four field armies - Aurélio de Lira Tavares, Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco, Antônio Carlos da Silva Muricy and, finally, Artur da Costa e Silva. Their cooperation was of the utmost importance, for they were the ones in charge of the soldiers who would ultimately impose the plotters' will on the streets and repress their opposition.

The commanders of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Armies respectively - Lira Tavares, Castelo Branco, Antônio Carlos Muricy and Costa e Silva.

By mid November they were almost ready to make their move. The plan the conspirators came up with was fairly simple: first, they would convince president Etelvino to declare a state of siege. Then, the field armies would use this excuse to depose the governors most likely to mount a resistance to the coup, and once this task was dealt with they would begin to purge Brazil of "subversive elements".

The governors meant be deposed were:​
  • Roberto Silveira (RJ), who would be dealt with by Lira Tavares;​
  • André Franco Montoro (SP), who would be seen off by Castelo Branco;​
  • José Loureiro da Silva (RS), who would be handled by Muricy;​
  • Cid Sampaio (PE) and Muniz Falcão (AL), both of whom would be arrested on Costa e Silva's command.​
Of these five, the one expected to be the most difficult to remove was Loureiro da Silva, since PTB's control over Rio Grande do Sul was so complete at this point that many soldiers agreed with the party's ideas, and if something went wrong they could very well desert, with potentially disastrous consequences.

On the afternoon of November 23, the day the plotters agreed to set their plan in motion, Carlos Lacerda, who was alone so as to not arouse any suspicion, silently made his way to the Catete Palace, intent on talking with the president, inform him of the conspiracy and finally convince him to declare the state of siege that would give his allies the air of legality needed to decrease resistance to their imminent ultraconservative crusade. But Etelvino was not some pawn whose moves could be easily predicted. No, he was a man, an exhausted man who was forced to deal with the Crow's bullshit for almost five years, and the news of a shadowy plot developing behind his back - just like Última Hora said over and over since the attack against João Goulart - finally broke his patience.

So instead of declaring a state of siege, the president flat out told Lacerda to take that meticulous plan he came up with and shove it up his ass (1). The Crow, stunned, left the palace, leaving Etelvino alone in his office for a precious few minutes that would decide the fate of Brazil's democracy. In the short amount of time he had left before Lacerda or whoever else was in on this whole thing barged in with more than enough guns to back up their words, he made two telephone calls: first, he contacted Osvino Ferreira Alves, a fiery nationalist who was known as "the people's general", and told him he was to take over Muricy's post as commander of the 3rd Army. Once that was done, Etelvino contacted vice-president Bento Munhoz da Rocha, warned him of the imminent coup and instructed him to go somewhere safe before it was too late.

The president was in the middle of this second call when Lira Tavares' troops took over the palace. Surrendering himself without any resistance and signing his resignation, he was escorted out and put under house arrest, while a military junta led by Osvaldo Cordeiro de Farias, the Minister of War, took over as Brazil's chief executive. It was him, and not Etelvino as was originally intended, who declared the state of siege and ordered the field armies to execute their part of the plot.
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A headline from O Globo supporting the coup. It reads: "We are at a crossroads: Democracy or Communism"
A wave of repression ensured in the capital, with thousands of leftists, trade unionists and people who just looked suspicious being arrested, while the legislature was shut down and Última Hora's headquarters were ransacked. Barely half an hour later, Munhoz da Rocha was caught while attempting to escape to São Paulo, while in Niterói Roberto Silveira was deposed before he could do so much as issue a statement about the ongoing developments. As the sun set, thousands of soldiers, backed up by tanks and other military vehicles, patrolled the streets of Rio de Janeiro, an eerie sign that a long and grim night was about to begin for its inhabitants.

The situation was completely different in São Paulo. Whether by chance or fate, Franco Montoro was inside the gubernatorial palace when the coup took place, and was therefore capable of organizing a response that kept him from suffering Silveira's fate. Minutes after the state of siege was declared, the governor ordered the military police to be mobilized, ostensibly to maintain public order, and soon enough multiple strategic locations in multiple cities throughout the state were occupied, including several radio stations. The gubernatorial residence, meanwhile, was turned into a fortress, surrounded by sandbags and machine gun nests, and it was from this "citadel of freedom and civilization" that Montoro issued a lengthy statement announcing his intention to resist the coup in every possible way. An excerpt can be read below:

"If minister Cordeiro de Farias' words are genuine, and the president has truly resigned on his own volition, then he ought to be succeeded by the vice-president, as stated in the Constitution. Anything else is a coup, and the state of São Paulo, no matter the cost, will not stand by passively while our people's freedoms are violated by a government they did not vote for."

Left: Montoro reading his manifesto. Right: A strongpoint in the neighborhood of Campos Elíseos.
The governor's call to resistance was heeded by thousands of students, trade unionists and other sympathizers, who rallied by the tens of thousands on Princess Isabel Square, right next to the gubernatorial palace in a show of solidarity, while local committees were formed, mostly in the working-class neighborhoods. This put Castelo Branco in a bind: he had been ordered to arrest Montoro right away, but not only would this bring about a tremendous amount of unnecessary bloodshed, attacking an entrenched opponent, even one who was severely outnumbered and outgunned, would turn what was meant to be a swift victory into a civil war. Because of this, he, to the consternation of his superiors, ordered his troops to stand by and wait for further developments.

Meanwhile, in the Northeast, things went along nicely for Costa e Silva at first. Cid Sampaio was deposed without much trouble, as was the mayor of Recife, Miguel Arraes, an icon of the radical left who was despised by Pernambuco's traditional oligarchs almost as much as the Tribuna da Imprensa despised Brizola. Much like in Rio de Janeiro, the military takeover was followed by a wave of arrests in the capital and throughout the countryside, the main targets being local progressive politicians and activists for land reform. However, things took a darker turn on multiple occasions, since the coronéis, no longer restrained by the reformist state government that existed since 1955, used their hired thugs to terrorise all those who dared to defy their authority in the last few years, with several instances of torture and murder being reported.
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Arraes is taken to prison.
However, this was nothing compared to the sickening spectacle that took place in Alagoas. The state was already infamous for its extremely high levels of political violence, with blood feuds that were generations old causing numerous attacks and assassinations every year, the most scandalous of these being the shootout that took place in the Legislative Assembly in September 13, 1957. As the Fourth Army's troops marched into Maceió, seeking to depose the incumbent progressive governor Muniz Falcão, his enraged supporters formed barricades on the streets, grabbed as many weapons as they could (some of them decades old) and, with the assistance of the local police, fought the incoming soldiers with everything they had. It was a long, brutal, unequal and grotesquely confusing battle, one that was dominated by extrajudicial executions, torture, forced disappearances and all the other ugly aspects that marked a true civil war.

In Rio Grande do Sul, the state that was (wrongly) predicted to become the nerve center of those who intended to push back against the coup, things went off the rails from almost the very beginning. Muricy's Third Army, hampered by a population that was fanatically loyal to PTB, attempted and failed to arrest governor Loureiro da Silva, who fled to the city of Santa Maria, almost three hundred kilometers away from Porto Alegre, set up his government there and enacted measures identical to those Montoro took in São Paulo, such as mobilizing the police and sending a message urging the people to resist. President-elect Leonel Brizola, another major target of the putschists, escaped along with him, as did his close friend and ally Sereno Chaise, mayor of Porto Alegre.

November 23 gave way to 24, and those select few Brazilians who weren't aware of what was going on woke up to a divided country. For the junta, the situation was less than ideal, but they had a good reason to believe their side would win in the end: though they didn't score the quick victory they wanted, the Federal District, the state of Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and most of the Northeast were under their control, and it was only a matter of time before Alagoas' unexpected resistance was worn down. Nevertheless, the same thing could be said for the loyalists: Montoro was firmly entrenched in São Paulo, Brazil's richest state, while Loureiro da Silva, despite being forced to abandon Porto Alegre, still controlled most of Rio Grande do Sul.

Both sides prepared their forces for round two. The struggle had only begun, and it was far from over.


(1) The ironic thing is that, considering Etelvino Lins' very authoritarian record IOTL - he wanted to make AI-5 a permanent part of the Constitution, for example - he would've almost certainly agreed with the plan, had he been aware of it from the start.
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