I can't wait to see the junta being destroyed, also what about the navy and air force?
They are currently loyal to the junta, not that they have much of a choice considering how dominant the army is.
Damm you begin this awesome plotline and leave it like this?! YOU TEARING ME APART VINIZATION!
I did originally intend to wrap this whole thing up in a single chapter, but the end product would be way too big and I was getting tired. Sorry! 😆
Fascinating update! It really hammers home how much these types of things depend on split-second decisions, random chance, and the personalities of the players involved.
Part 9: On the Edge of the Abyss, Part Two
Part 9: On the Edge of the Abyss, Part Two

An eerie lull reigned over Brazil as November 24 dawned, both sides' leaders still resting after the hurricane of activity and split-second decisions that dominated the previous day, and even the chaotic streets of Maceió were quiet. Of course, the calm was nothing more than a mirage, one that would soon be replaced by the crushing, nerve-wracking reality that the country was in the brink of a civil war.

Things heated up once more early in the morning, when the plane carrying Osvino Alves, who the now former president Etelvino Lins designated as the new commander of the 3rd Army just minutes before his overthrow, landed in Porto Alegre. The incumbent commander, general Muricy, immediately had him arrested, of course, but this event made his position as the leader of the tens of thousands of troops stationed in the country's three southern states even more unstable. Although mostly subdued by now, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul chafed under the junta's occupation, and the loyalists were still on the loose in Santa Maria, where they spent the last few hours working almost nonstop contacting as many potential allies as possible, from people who held merely symbolic positions to genuine heavyweights like Franco Montoro in São Paulo.

It didn't take long for the two states' governments to reach an agreement and form an united front, the Campanha da Legalidade - Campaign for Legality - whose purpose was to unite all those who opposed the junta. The radio stations under their control were also unified so as to send as coherent a message and maximize their range as much as possible, with several leaders and personalities, from politicians to journalists and even a few businessmen, giving speeches urging the people to protest and denouncing the coup as an unacceptable breach of the Constitution. The arrest of general Alves, greatly respected by the gaúchos thanks to his handling of a strike that happened in Santa Maria, of all places, in 1952, provided a welcome amount of fuel to the narrative that the putschists were the real subversives.

brizola 1961.jpg

Brizola giving the first radio address of the newly founded Campanha da Legalidade.

As the hours passed, the airwaves were flooded first by impassioned speeches and proclamations of resistance, then by patriotic songs and marches. By midday it seemed that a popular rebellion was about to erupt in Porto Alegre, even as news came from Maceió saying that its uprising was finally crushed, a putschist victory that came at the cost of almost a hundred dead (according to official accounts at least, the real number was likely much higher), many more wounded and thousands of arrests, among them that of governor Muniz Falcão. Muricy had to act quickly, and so he did, by ordering the garrisons scattered throughout Rio Grande do Sul to converge upon Santa Maria and brush the loyalists aside with their overwhelming superiority in numbers and weaponry.

There was only one problem, though: the generals in charge of those garrisons refused to obey him. One of them, Pery Bevilacqua, met with Brizola, governor Loureiro da Silva and other leading gaúcho loyalists, proclaiming that he would only obey to orders given to him by the contitutional president, Etelvino Lins, or his rightful successor, Bento Munhoz da Rocha - an open declaration of rebellion against his superior. Other generals followed suit with similar statements, and by the afternoon the forces loyal to the junta were now confined to Porto Alegre, whose streets were now full of protesters carrying posters condemning the coup and demanding Alves' release. Not willing to turn the state capital into a second Maceió, one that would likely end with a defeat anyway, Muricy surrendered peacefully and, in exchange for that, was allowed to go into exile in Uruguay.

Alves was released and made commander of the 3rd Army, which was immediately ordered to march northward, into Santa Catarina, Paraná and the latter state's border with São Paulo, while the democrats returned to Porto Alegre in triumph. They had scored a decisive victory, and it wouldn't be their last.
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A headline from Última Hora celebrating the 3rd Army's change of allegiance.
The developments in the south made the situation in the real front line - São Paulo - all the more delicate. Montoro, still holed up in his fortress of a palace and emboldened by his allies' success, ordered the police to distribute weapons to sympathetic sectors of the population, mostly local committees and trade unions, while the junta in Rio de Janeiro demanded that Castelo Branco deal with the governor at once, with bullets and bombs if necessary. Secretly, the commander of the 2nd Army was beginning to doubt the morality of his fellow conspirators' cause: he had sworn an oath to protect his nation's Constitution, and besides, wasn't the whole idea behind this mess - overturning the result of a free and democratic election - a subversive act, one that was plunging Brazil into the exact kind of turmoil he was supposed to fight against? It didn't help that marshal Henrique Lott, his mentor, was among the people who were arrested in the immediate aftermath of the coup in the Brazilian capital (1).

So he hesitated, unwilling to follow an order that would plunge São Paulo into a catastrophe that would make what happened in Maceió look like a small riot, but still skeptical of Montoro and especially Brizola's intentions. As a result, the stalemate continued into November 25, when one radio message changed everything: the junta, having had enough of Castelo Branco's inaction, bypassed him and directly ordered the Air Force jets - Gloster Meteors, each one of them armed with a pair of 250 pound bombs - stationed within the Cumbica airbase to attack the gubernatorial palace and not stop until Montoro was buried under a pile of rubble, with no regard whatsoever for the thousands of civilian lives which would be caught in the bombing (2).

The contents of this monstrous order were leaked to the public by a pirate radio station, and outrage ensued. In a dramatic speech which he stated that could've been his last, Montoro urged the crowd surrounding the palace to disperse and return to their homes before the attack began, while also declaring that he and his government would resist "until blood no longer flows in our veins and our voices are silenced. Let the bombs come, for even if we fall and a dictatorship is forced down the throats of the Brazilian people, we will fight to uphold our Constitution to the bitter end, for that is our duty as free and law-abiding men!"

A Gloster Meteor that belonged to FAB.
An infuriated Castelo Branco ordered his soldiers to occupy the airbase and seize the jets before they could carry out their mission, saving São Paulo from what would've been a bloodbath of unprecedented proportions. Once that was done, he contacted Montoro by phone and, less than an hour later, despite still being eyed with much suspicion by the police and trade unionists, personally entered the gubernatorial palace, announcing that he and, consequentially, the 2nd Army were now on the side of the Campanha da Legalidade. In response to this statement, Osvino Alves ordered his troops to advance from Paraná to meet up with their new allies and prepare for a final offensive against Rio de Janeiro, one which would end the crisis once and for all. By nightfall the democrats were in control of Resende, whose garrison surrendered without any resistance, and it was obvious to everyone that the capital would be taken the next day.

So obvious, in fact, that the junta's allies, military men and civilians alike, deserted them. Lira Tavares, whose men were outnumbered and outgunned by the combined armies of Castelo Branco and Osvino Alves, met up with the generals in question early in the morning of November 26 in the Military Academy of Agulhas Negras. There, he negotiated a surrender and let the loyalist forces march into Rio de Janeiro unopposed. As their tanks and other vehicles loudly lumbered through the streets of the Brazilian capital, those who were still loyal to the putschist cause either surrendered, like Cordeiro de Farias did, or hurriedly fled into exile, like Carlos Lacerda, who would spend the rest of his life cowering under the protection of Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner, did. Far up in the Northeast, in Recife, Costa e Silva also chose the second option.

The jig was up.

Tanks occupying the Central do Brasil, in Rio de Janeiro.
All of those who were imprisoned during the junta's brief reign were freed, and the deposed governors returned to their posts. Etelvino Lins, released from his house arrest, declined to return to the presidency, so the office was occupied by vice-president Bento Munhoz da Rocha, who served as little more than a caretaker from November 26 until Leonel Brizola's inauguration as president of Brazil in January 31, 1961.

The people could breathe a sigh of relief, for their nation had avoided falling into the abyss.


(1) IOTL, Castelo Branco supported Lott's coup in November 1955, which thwarted an attempt by UDN to overturn that year's presidential election.

(2) Think of it as the Brazilian version of the
Bombing of the Plaza de Mayo. Fun fact: during the OTL Campanha da Legalidade, which happened in 1961 and ensured that João Goulart became president after Jânio Quadros' resignation, there was a plan to bomb the Piratini Palace (the RS gubernatorial residence) and kill Brizola. The plot only failed because the junior officers of the Canoas airbase slashed the Meteors' tires, preventing them from taking flight and delivering their payload.
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*tearing up* It's beautiful, is so beautiful. Purge time? Also I can't remember but was Brasília build? Please tell me Brizola is going to industrialize the commodities out of Brazil.
Beautiful, I really wish this was the real world, we would be much richer and stable now, besides having less inequality.
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I ignored this guy for long enough, so it's about time he and his country got some attention. Stay tuned!

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It's a big new country which controls one of the world's most important waterways as well as a lot of oil, so it's going to affect developments everywhere, whether directly or not.
I was talking about influencing in the sense of inspiring further third-world pan-nationalist movements. A stronger Mercorsur or Unasur, for example.