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Dilma Rousseff calls Brazilian Senate vote for her impeachment ‘coup’

“It’s a coup,” Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Thursday in her first public remarks since senators voted to begin an impeachment trial against her. “My government has been the objective of sabotage.”

Rousseff called the impeachment process against her a “farce.”

“This process is a fragile process. It’s not consistent,” she said. “It’s unjust and started against a person that’s honest and not guilty. It’s a brutality that could be committed against any citizen. … I have made mistakes, but I have not committed any crimes. I am being judged unjustly, because I have followed the law to the letter.”

Rousseff vowed to keep fighting efforts to impeach her, and called for her supporters to join her.

“To all Brazilians who are against the coup, I call on you to keep united and in peace,” she said. “The fight for democracy does not have an end date. It’s a permanent fight and it demands from us total dedication. … I will never give up fighting.”

Cheering crowds of supporters chanted as Rousseff left the presidential palace.

“A hug and a kiss for all of you. Today is a very sad day for me. But you, you managed to diminish my sadness,” Rousseff told the crowd outside.

As she fired up the crowd, she repeated her allegation that the impeachment process is a coup.

“I am the object of a great injustice. I’m the victim of a great injustice,” Rousseff said.

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