Brazilian elections and Jair Bolsonaro - is he really "a Hitler"?


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Being half Brazilian, sharing borders with Brazil and just knowing that Brazil has a very important impact in what happens in Latin America and also the rest of the world, I’m trying to understand what’s happening there with this "Bolosonaro phenomenon", and I thought that it would be good to open up a discussion here on the forum.

People has been calling this man the “tropical Trump”, and it’s interesting that one of the questions most people have in mind is: is he really leading the country to hard-core fascism? Or is that just too much lefty hysteria being propagated everywhere about him? This is similar to what we were wondering before the US presidential elections about Trump.

In order to try to get a better a picture of who this man is without so much noise from LGBTI+ and far-left people yelling all over the net, I've been watching more videos and reading about him. I was particularly interested in watching him speak, so I watched interviews, short exchanges with the press, etc., comparing them with what they say about him in newspapers and all that. The truth is, I don't like the guy at all, but that's a pretty subjective opinion that is like saying “I don’t like Trump. I don’t like the way he speaks, etc…” Bolsonaro is always yelling and ranting, much like Alex Jones in a way, and he's very rude too, those aren’t fake news. Yet, is that enough to say he’s “a Hitler”, “a fascist” or a “future dictator”? I don’t think so. It does speak about a really bad character probably, but that doesn’t mean he will become a blood-thirsty dictator, like some are claiming.

Nevertheless, I finally did find some interesting videos:
  • In one video he said he is in favour of torture and that the only way of changing things isn't through votes but waging a civil war in which they’d do "what the military regime didn't accomplish during the dictatorship, killing 40 thousand people". He added, “some innocent people might die, yes, and that’s OK”.
  • On these lines, during a speech, he honoured a General who was well-known for being a torturer and was even on trial for that.
  • In what seemed like a parliamentary session some time ago, he said that the police should be able to get into the favelas (marginal places well-known in Brazil where crime is generalized, as well as poverty) and kill the criminals there. I totally understand that the situation in the favelas isn’t simple and unfortunately some violence may be required (it's still hard for me to accept this) to deal with drug dealers and all that. But, generally speaking the real big fishes aren’t even there and Brazil is known for these operations where the police just goes into the favelas and kills a bunch of people. I know, policemen get killed too because some people are heavily armed in some of these places, and that’s tragic, true. But I don’t really hear him addressing all the complexity of that situation. He even said that he won’t support ANY human rights organisation operating in these places because they condemn the police’s rightful work, which to him seems to be only through violence, no negotiation is possible.
  • Related to this, he said that when fighting “vagabundos”, which is a pejorative way of calling homeless people, the police should have a hard line strategy. He ranted about people complaining because 60 thousand homeless were killed and then yelled: “I wish they were 200 thousand”.
  • He appeared in a video holding a microphone like a machine gun and saying that that’s what he would do to “-homies-” (just trying to use a word similar to what he said in Portuguese).
  • He said that NOT a centimetre of land would be given as protection areas for indigenous people.
  • etc...
So these are just some samples of what this man says (apart from all the other rants about homosexuality for which he's more known), and this is also why I understand that people like some members of my family who live there and aren’t leftists and never supported the Worker’s Party, are now supporting it because they are scared of what may come with Bolsonaro.

True, the videos I watched can be fake too, that I’ll probably never know… but they seem pretty genuine to me and I can’t ignore them. Most of them are from before he started the presidency course, so also before his campaign, which means they aren’t merely controversy lines to fire up the media and get more attention either (IMO), as some have been suggesting he’s been doing.

What I do notice as a "before and after campaign" contrast is that he became a bit more moderate, actually. I can even sympathise with some of what he says in some of his most recent appearances. I can say that he might look like an idiot sometimes, but certainly isn’t one when you hear him more… he’s clever in a sense that many reporters are left speechless with his rants and can’t reply. But I think it’s mostly due to fallacies such as straw man arguments which leave people unable to answer. In other occasions, he just rants and rants and leaves no space for others to continue the interview. But, he’s more moderate, that’s true. He speaks of democracy and human rights even, using a speech that seems to be scripted from an alt-right YouTube channel (not saying that’s a bad thing, just trying to describe what his most recent rhetoric sounds like) –and it makes sense now that we know that Steve Bannon has been helping him with his campaign.

He differs a lot from Trump in the economic aspect. He basically says that people should have work and the country needs development and all that, but his idea is that the country’s resources should be exploited by powerful nations who have the technology to do it. So he isn’t a nationalist in this aspect.

He just LOVES the US (and Israel) and doesn't seem to want to hide it. He doesn’t like China (which might be one reason he gets along well with Bannon), and he’s completely against regional alliances such as the MERCOSUR (Common South Market, in South America) and abhors the Venezuelan government. Last week, Spanish SOTT published an article saying that his possible chancellor actually thinks a “humanitarian” military intervention could be a possibility. According to Sputnik, he said:

"There is a neighbouring dictatorship and we are doing absolutely nothing politically, we are not positioning ourselves against it (...) we have to act with principles, we cannot tolerate a dictatorship in Latin America, I do not discard a military intervention".
Others have been speculating that this is an option too.

I’ve been also watching some interviews that Pepe Escobar has given in Portuguese. He suggested that there’s a possibility that even the elites from Wall Street aren’t so happy about the prospects of this man now because he seems to be too “hard-core” and that's not very good for business nowadays... I'm not so sure, but it’s interesting to notice that prior to the second round yesterday WhatsApp decided to block hundreds of Brazilian accounts because they were spreading “fake news” (with big 'investigations coming out about the fabrication of fake news by Bolsonaro's campaign team), and that the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office started a process over corruption on Bolsonaro’s “economic guru”, who is often portrayed as a “Chicago Boy”, because of his ties to the economists of the Chilean dictatorship.

All in all, then, I can't say I'm not somewhat worried about what this man can do. I wouldn’t say he’s “a Hitler”, but if he truly follows what seemed to be his own beliefs previous to his “moderation” during his campaign, he doesn't seem to bring many positive things, IMHO, even if he does fight against "cultural Marxism" and all that. (And even this we don't know... to me it seems more that he took that speech in order to resonate with people. And maybe we need another discussion here about how this somehow represents a "bad response" to all the craziness that postmodernism has injected into movements that were more concerned about worker's rights, sovereignty over national resources and economy, etc. and which represented "the left" in Latin America)

Finally, considering how the war drums are being heard more and more in South America lately, with more militarisation in Argentina, lots of supposed “terrorist groups” operating in the border between Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil, plus calls from many countries in the region against Venezuela who ask for more “participation” in “helping” the Venezuelan people… things could get pretty dire. Some have been saying that because the US lost in the Middle East, they might now want to move the war to Latin America, because, you know, war is one of their major fuels. I’m not prone to consider this is very likely to happen, I’m usually on the side that thinks that it would be just too much… but seeing all this, I can’t help but wonder and try to read the signs properly.

PS: I’m a bit sorry for the length of this post. I wanted to share all this because it seems important and I would like to know what others see and think as well. Thanks for reading!
PS: I’m a bit sorry for the length of this post. I wanted to share all this because it seems important and I would like to know what others see and think as well. Thanks for reading!
Thanks Yas for this information as we sometimes suffer from the language barrier on YTube. It's certainly not long,you made a good effort in your presentation of the "Tropical Trump". At times though we cannot place much emphasis on these political campaign rhetoric.These men know the art of polarizing the electorate to achieve their goals.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I can't exactly say - that I have kept close ties - on the Brazilian election but here are some recent articles in the American press on the President-elect Jair Bolsonaro ... I am aware, Bolsonaro was stabbed in the abdomen during a rally and needed emergency surgery. Reviewing some video's on Bolsonaro's speeches, he reminds me a lot of the Philippine President Duterte in his mannerisms. Tough talk but he gets the job done?

October 29, 2018 - Brazil Government offers Bolsonaro transparent transition
Brazil government offers Bolsonaro transparent transition | Reuters

Jair Bolsonaro, far-right lawmaker and presidential candidate of the Social Liberal Party (PSL), gestures at a polling station in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil October 28, 2018. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares/File Photo

Brazil's presidential chief of staff Eliseu Padilha promised on Monday a transparent transition to the incoming government of president-elect Jair Bolsonaro, with full access to accounts and information on measures needed to keep the country moving.

Padilha said Brazil needs to balance its budget and must overhaul its costly pension system to do that, which is not expected to happen before the new government takes office on Jan. 1. Bolsonaro has said he will undertake pension reform but has not detailed what he plans to do.

October 29, 2018 - Trump vows close ties with Brazil's Bolsonaro on trade, military
Trump vows close ties with Brazil's Bolsonaro on trade, military | Reuters

The United States will work closely with Brazil on trade and military issues following Jair Bolsonaro’s presidential election victory, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday.

“We agreed that Brazil and the United States will work closely together on Trade, Military and everything else,” Trump, who spoke with far-right firebrand Bolsonaro by telephone on Sunday, wrote on Twitter.

October 29, 2018 - Brazil's far-right President-elect eyes close US ties
Brazil's far-right president-elect eyes close U.S. ties | Reuters

Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right former Army captain who won Brazil’s presidential weekend election, said on Monday he would press ahead with loosening gun laws this year and planned to visit Washington D.C. after a friendly call with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Bolsonaro, who early in his legislative career declared he was “in favor” of dictatorships and demanded that Congress be disbanded,
has vowed to adhere to democratic principles while holding up a copy of the country’s constitution.

Investors were quick to cheer Bolsonaro's victory, sending Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index .BVSP to an all-time high in early trading before stock prices fell as traders booked profits following a sharp rally this month.

Markets had surged on Bolsonaro’s ascent in opinion polls, as he pledged to quickly close Brazil’s gaping budget deficit and privatize state firms. Investors said further gains will hinge on clearer signs he can deliver on a market-friendly agenda.

His election alarmed critics around the globe, however, given his defense of Brazil’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship, vows to sweep away leftist political opponents, and a track record of denigrating comments about gays, women and minorities.

Bolsonaro’s victory brings Brazil’s military back into the political limelight after it spent three decades in the barracks following the country’s return to civilian rule. Several retired generals will serve as ministers and close advisers.

“You are all my witnesses that this government will defend the constitution, of liberty and of God,” Bolsonaro said in a Facebook live video in his first comments after his victory.

The president-elect’s future chief of staff told Reuters his first international trip would be to Chile, another South American nation that swung to the political right in recent elections, and soon after that he hoped to visit the United States.

An outspoken Trump admirer, Bolsonaro also vowed to realign Brazil with more advanced economies, such as the United States, overhauling diplomatic priorities after nearly a decade and a half of leftist party rule.

Bolsonaro won the presidential race handily despite scarce campaign resources and no support from major parties as he tapped into Brazilians’ anger over corruption and crime.

In a Monday night interview with TV Record, Bolsonaro offered some of his first concrete measures on both fronts.

Bolsonaro said he would press Brazil’s Congress to loosen the country’s restrictive gun laws this year, before he even takes office on January 1. He reiterated that more widespread gun ownership would limit crime, although critics worry it could add to Brazil’s tally of nearly 64,000 homicides last year, the highest in the world.

Bolsonaro also said he wants to nominate the crusading anti-corruption judge Sergio Moro to be his justice minister or the newest member of the Supreme Court.

Moro, who has overseen the “Car Wash” trials that sent scores of powerful politicians and businessmen to jail including former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old former paratrooper, joins a list of populist, right-wing figures to win elections in recent years that include Trump, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Trump’s friendly call augurs closer political ties between the two largest economies in the Americas, both now led by conservative populists promising to overturn the political establishment.

In a telephone call on Monday with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Bolsonaro discussed collaboration on priority foreign policy issues, including Venezuela, tackling transnational crime and ways to strengthen economic ties.

Bolsonaro has vowed to increase pressure on Venezuela’s authoritarian leftist government to hold free elections that could stem the flow of refugees into neighboring Brazil and Colombia, also governed by a conservative president.

Mauricio Santoro, a political scientist with Rio de Janeiro State University, said he was concerned that Brazil would not soon dispel the tense and occasionally violent atmosphere that enveloped the polarizing campaign.

“It’s possible that even with his win, we could see a further wave of violence among Bolsonaro’s supporters against those who backed his opponent,” Santoro said.

Bolsonaro supporters carried out physical attacks and organized campaigns of online harassment in the run-up to Sunday’s vote, targeting journalists in particular, according to a tally kept by Abraji, an investigative journalism group.

Bolsonaro himself was stabbed in the abdomen at a rally last month and will need to undergo surgery in mid-December to remove a colostomy bag before he can travel to Santiago and Washington.

Bolsonaro won 55 percent of votes in a run-off election against left-wing hopeful Fernando Haddad of the Workers Party (PT), who got 45 percent, according to electoral authority TSE.

The controversial lawmaker’s rise has been propelled by rejection of the leftist PT that ran Brazil for 13 of the last 15 years and was ousted two years ago in the midst of a deep recession and political graft scandal.

Thousands of Bolsonaro supporters cheered and set off fireworks outside his home in Rio de Janeiro’s beachfront Barra de Tijuca neighborhood as his victory was announced.

“I don’t idolize Bolsonaro and I don’t know if he will govern well, but we are hopeful. People want the PT out, they can’t take any more corruption,” said Tatiana Cunha, a 39-year-old systems analyst during the noisy celebrations.

Investors have been hopeful that Bolsonaro would carry out fiscal reforms proposed by his orthodox economic guru, Paulo Guedes.

Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index .BVSP rose as much as 3.0 percent to an all-time high in opening trade, led higher by shares of state-owned firms and blue-chips, before retreating and closing 2.2 percent down.

Brazil's currency, the real BRL=, has gained around 10 percent against the U.S. dollar this month as Bolsonaro's prospects improved.

Investors have been particularly heartened by Bolsonaro’s choice of Guedes, a Chicago University-trained economist and investment banker, as future economy minister.

Guedes, who wants to privatize an array of state firms, said on Sunday the new government will try to erase Brazil’s budget deficit within a year, simplify and reduce taxes, and create 10 million jobs by cutting payroll taxes. New rules will boost investment in infrastructure, he told reporters.

Still, Fitch Ratings on Monday highlighted the “deep fiscal challenges” confronting Bolsonaro’s team, as weak economic growth and a huge budget deficit leave little room to maneuver.

“The exact details of how his administration plans to achieve (its) objectives are limited,” wrote Fitch analysts led by Shelly Shetty. “The lack of fiscal space, a high unemployment rate and a sluggish economic recovery will also likely limit economic policy options.”

Onyx Lorenzoni, a fellow congressman whom Bolsonaro has tapped as chief of staff, told journalists that Guedes would be responsible for structuring the government’s relationship with an independent, autonomous central bank with targets.

Asked about Brazil’s currency, Lorenzoni said Bolsonaro would offer businesses more predictability, but ruled out an exchange rate target. Lorenzoni reiterated his view that efforts to reform Brazil’s pension system should wait until next year.

In a separate interview with Reuters, he said the president-elect would meet with Guedes and other members of his team on Tuesday. He will oversee the transition from Rio this week and fly to the capital Brasilia next week, Lorenzoni added.

Retired General Augusto Heleno, slated to become defense minister, told reporters that Bolsonaro has a positive view of a planned $4.75 billion joint venture between Boeing Co (BA.N) and Brazilian planemaker Embraer SA (EMBR3.SA). He said the Temer government may approve the deal before leaving.

Slideshow (10 Images)
Brazil's far-right president-elect eyes close U.S. ties | Reuters

October 29, 2018 - Brazil's Bolsonaro says Country will again lead Ethanol Production
Brazil's Bolsonaro says country will again lead ethanol production | Reuters

Brazil’s president-elect, Jair Bolsonaro, said in a video released on Monday that Brazil would again take the lead in ethanol production globally, after the United States took over a few years ago as top producer.

“In the past, we were leaders on this front and we will once again lead in the short term, most certainly,” Bolsonaro said in the video, recorded before his election win on Sunday. A meeting of sugar and ethanol producers is being held in Sao Paulo.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I’m not sure about this guy being the next hitler.

I think the media in the US used his conservative views as yet another excuse to attack Trump, and Trump likes the guy because he knows which way his bread is buttered, so a lot of what I’ve heard seems to me to be propaganda.

In my view, he’s going to be a Temer 2.0, taking the country in the same direction in a more overt manner, which isn’t good per say. But his attitude towards the western establishment makes me think that all this nonesense about him being the Brazilian Trump will simply die down.

I can see him taking the country further away from BRICS, dismembering Petrobras, growing closer with the US, Argentina, Colombia, and the EU as well as israel (something he’s made clear he intends to do). Perhaps this gives the US a larger base of operations in South America, but that has never not been the case (except perhaps in Venezuela and Bolivia). Maybe even throwing an IMF loan for some reason to further sell away the countries resources to foreign control.

So, perhaps I’m being too optimistic here, but I think it will all die down and he’s going to be another Duterte of sorts: a colorful character that we report on but that we really don’t care about because he plays ball our way. Difference being, Duterte has Russia and China right there and can threaten to strengthen his ties with them, Bolsonaro has no one and has actually announced his intention to strengthen the ties with the West.

His heavy handed militaristic method, well... from my experience and what I’ve observed, people in Latinamerica aren’t too shy welcoming and embracing such tactics. Colombia worships an ex president (Uribe) who had such a method when dealing with the guerrillas, Peru still holds a certain appreciation for Fujimori who had a similar methods. Even in Venezuela and Bolivia with Chavez and Evo Morales, although in an opposite ideological direction, people seem to cheer a heavy had approach (I’m referring to their kicking out of foreign influences from their country). And it may be more archetypical, people look up to a king who has the vision (or the looks of one) to see the enemy of the people, declare it and act steadfastly against it. So I’m not sure that his heavy hand approach will get him into trouble unless he starts rounding up political opposition in truly large numbers as Pinochet would do, for instance.

I do expect him to carry on with the trend of demolishing and incarcerating the progressive government symbols that has been going on in recent years in the region.

I did hear that the stock market in Brazil had an incredible hike in price after his victory, evidently someone is happy that his desire to make government smaller (as far as regulation of the market goes)is now officially elected.

Will this spell trouble for the poor class in Brazil? I unfortunately do think so.

So while a lot of people fell prey to the propaganda of the whole Lava Jato/Odebrecth corruption scandal and sought change by voting the only guy who didn’t have a criminal case against him, I don’t think this will make their lives easier.

There’s a great example of this just across the border in Argentina, people voted out the corrupt left and now can’t pay for electricity or food and hold one of the, if not the, largest IMF loans in history. But the alternative is Venezuela, another country who can’t seem to pay for food or medicine. So the problem isn’t political or ideological.

I hope it was clear, just my two cents here. Let’s wait and see how this evolves.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
With all his admiration for Trump (which may be superficial) - will he be pulling the B out of BRICS?
Just an opinion but Bolsonaro would be wise to work within the BRICS framework - to boost Brazil's economy and financial interests? To drop out would be like financial suicide? Russia, China and to some degree India have been working closely on Trade Agreements.
Brazil has been working through a lot of Political problems, in the last few years, while also trying to keep it's Fiscal obligations afloat.
Russia has just sent (by request of Maduro) a financial advisor team to Venezuela, to help improve it's social and financial interests.
Putin congratulated Bolsonaro on winning the election and is willing to work with Brazil in "constructive cooperation". It's part of the team-work within BRICS.

Jair Bolsonaro said after his victory in the runoff of the election, some countries discussed with him the issue of the crisis in Venezuela.

Oct. 30, 2018 - Brazil’s president-elect says not planning military incursion of Venezuela
Brazil’s president-elect says not planning military incursion of Venezuela

Brazil’s newly elected President Jair Bolsonaro rejected the idea of supporting military intervention in Venezuela in an interview with Record television on Tuesday.

"For our part, we don’t have [the plans for intervention in Venezuela]," Bolsonaro said, stressing that "Brazil will always search for peaceful means of resolving problems."

The president-elect said after his victory in the runoff of the presidential election on Sunday, representatives of some countries discussed with him the issue of the crisis in Venezuela. They voiced hope that Brazil "will take part in resolving this problem in some form," he said.

Bolsonaro emphasized that his country is committed to solving issues through talks, saying that Brazil is interested in cooperation for ending the Venezuelan crisis. "They are our brothers, who are facing very serious problems due to the dictatorship of [Venezuelan President Nicolas] Maduro," he said.

The newly elected president said if Brazil had fulfilled its task when the left-wing Workers’ Party was in power, the crisis in Venezuela would have been resolved. "However, the Workers’ Party has always admired the government of [late Hugo] Chavez and then Maduro. So we have this situation when poor [Venezuelans] suffer and flee even to Brazil as they have nothing to eat in their country," the politician said.

Rumors on intervention in Venezuela
According to Brazil’s Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, a high-ranking official from the Colombian government announced that Bogota had offered Bolsonaro to start a military intervention in Venezuela. However, Colombia’s Foreign Ministry rejected the rumors on the alleged alliance with Brazil aimed at toppling the Venezuelan leader.

Over the past few years, Venezuela has experienced a serious social and economic crisis, accompanied by hyperinflation, depreciation of national currency and shortages of food and medicines. Many citizens have been forced to leave the country amid the difficult situation. According to the United Nations, by this June some 2.3 mln Venezuelans fled the country for Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.

On Sunday, Brazil held the runoff presidential election. With 100% of the ballots counted, Bolsonaro who represents the conservative Social Liberal Party, garnered 55.13% of the vote, while his rival, Fernando Haddad, the candidate from the leftist Workers’ Party, secured 44.87% of the vote.

Oct. 29. 2018 - Putin congratulates Bolsonaro on being elected President of Brazil
Putin congratulates Bolsonaro on being elected President of Brazil

The new leader will be sworn in on January 1, 2019.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin has sent a message to the newly elected Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, congratulating him on winning the presidential race and expressing confidence that bilateral relations will continue to develop, the Kremlin press service said in a statement.

According to the statement, Putin "was confident that ties between Russia and Brazil would grow stronger in all areas and the constructive cooperation between the two countries within the United Nations, the G20 group, BRICS and other on multilateral platforms would continue in the interests of the people of Russia and Brazil."

The Russian head of state "commended the considerable experience of mutually beneficial cooperation in various areas the two countries have gained as strategic partners."

October 30, 2018 - Brazil's Bolsonaro targets 'lying' press, wants crusading Judge as Minister
Brazil's Bolsonaro targets 'lying' press, wants crusading judge as minister | Reuters

A woman takes a t-shirt with the image of Brazil's new president-elect, Jair Bolsonaro, in front of Bolsonaro's condominium at Barra da Tijuca neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil October 29, 2018. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares

Brazilian president-elect Jair Bolsonaro has revisited his most contentious campaign promises, calling for looser gun laws, urging a high-profile anti-corruption judge to join his government and promising to cut government advertising for media that "lie."

In interviews with TV stations and on social media, Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old former Army captain, who won 55 percent of Sunday’s vote and will be sworn in on Jan. 1, made clear he would not waste time in pushing through his conservative agenda.

Bolsonaro, who ran on a law-and-order platform, said he wants Sergio Moro, the judge who has overseen the sprawling “Car Wash” corruption trials and convicted former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of graft, to join his government as justice minister.

Barring that, he said he would nominate him to the Supreme Court. The next vacancy on the court is expected in 2020.

Moro did not respond to requests for comment.

But Ascânio Seleme, editor in chief for the O Globo newspaper, wrote in a Tuesday blog post on the publication’s website that Moro should not accept the offer to become justice minister. He has too much work to do on pending corruption trials, Seleme wrote.

Seleme added it would also bolster accusations from the Workers Party (PT), whose candidate Fernando Haddad lost to Bolsonaro in Sunday’s vote, that Moro has a vendetta against the PT and worked to keep it from power.

The PT accuses Moro of finding da Silva, its founder, guilty of graft to block him from making a presidential run.

The guilty verdict was upheld on appeal and Brazil’s Supreme Court has rejected numerous requests to free the former president, universally known as Lula.

The Globo newspaper, in a separate article citing unnamed sources close to the judge, reported on Tuesday that Moro was weighing Bolsonaro’s offer, feeling that he could reassure citizens concerned the president-elect will not govern democratically.

Late on Monday, Bolsonaro said in an interview with Globo TV that he would cut government advertising funds that flow to any “lying” media outlets.

During his campaign, the right-winger imitated U.S. President Donald Trump’s strategy of aggressively confronting the media. In particular, he took aim at Globo TV and especially Brazil’s biggest newspaper, the Folha de S.Paulo.

“I am totally in favor of freedom of the press,” Bolsonaro told Globo TV. “But if it’s up to me, press that shamelessly lies will not have any government support.”

Bolsonaro was referring to the hundreds of millions of reais the Brazilian government spends in advertising each year in local media outlets, mainly for promotions of state-run firms.

The UOL news portal, owned by the Grupo Folha, which also controls the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, used Brazil’s freedom of information act as the basis for a 2015 article that showed Globo received 565 million reais in federal government spending in 2014. Folha got 14.6 million reais that year.

The federal government’s secretariat for communication, which tracks the figures, did not immediately reply for a request on how much money the government has spent on media advertising since 2014.

Neither Grupo Globo nor Grupo Folha replied to requests for comment.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thank you all for sharing your insights on the political developments in Brazil.

With all his admiration for Trump (which may be superficial) - will he be pulling the B out of BRICS?
Well that’s yet to happen, however it isn’t hard to see that it may be the case considering where the B for BRICS cane from. And I may be wrong in some details here.

But it was an initiative set in motion by Lula and his predecesor Dilma, the country has a more progressive outlook and a thriving economy with the majority of its resources under the control of the state. There was also a recognition of the influence Washington had on Latinamerica and the nescesity to steer away from it. This meant that Russia and China were the best thing for Brazil to associate with and create something with.

Bolsonaro and his professed love for Washington and everything West, spells a lower integration with the BRICS block, even if it’s not done officially, the writing is on the wall in my opinion.


FOTCM Member
I think you made excellent points, Yas and alejo. Thanks! It helps to have a better clue as to who this guy is. And one thing that comes to mind is:

- They didn't get their way when Dulma got re-elected, so she's gone. And the whole campaign against Lula, same thing.

- Now they need a puppet in a key BRICS player, but they don't have a big choice. So, he's there, ready to be the next lap dog of the US and Israel, to sew more discord in South America, and to hinder BRICS even if in small ways only. That's "good enough". Probably psychopathic enough, but also malleable for whoever wants to control him, give him a bunch of weapons to make him happy, or simply feed his ego to make him do their bidding. He doesn't strike me as a person who would think long-term, so creating tension, and messing up with BRICS may not be a big deal for him, and it plays to the advantage of the controllers.

-Latin America is, and has been for a long time the "back patio" of the US. In that sense, there isn't probably a lot of strategizing going on, other than making sure the whole continent is chaotic, and that they can have a foot on some countries and a constant flow of drugs for the CIA, plus a bunch of stolen ressources. Apart from the usual obedient countries like Paraguay, Argentina is obeying quite well now, so why not add Brazil to the mix as well? That's probably enough for whoever wants to prevent any good alliances with Russia and China, or any "independent" Latin America.

-He doesn't need to be a new Hitler, and that may be propaganda. All they need is a pawn. If he goes nuts, they wouldn't care too much either way, but it may not be to their advantage, as Pepe Escobar explained.

My 2 cents, FWIW!

Windmill knight

FOTCM Member
Good points guys. I don't think we can say much more for now. We'll have to 'wait and see'.

One thing I'd like to add is that the guy may be crazy in his support for dictatorships, torture and civil wars, but once in power, the reality of the situation is that you can't just become president and start killing people. It's like when a candidate says wonderful thinks on campaign (like closing Guantanamo, Obama?), and when he walks into office, he is told he can't just do that, so he changes his tune. Except that in this case he wasn't saying many wonderful things.

He will still do terrible things, for sure (like selling the rainforest to foreign companies or dismantling whatever government aid the poorest and indigenous tribes had, or something along those neoliberal lines), but I would be really surprised if he went 'full Hitler'. I don't think the context allows for that, and that's probably why he has moderated his tone lately. But we'll see!


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thanks for adding up to the conversation! All very good points too.

In my view, he’s going to be a Temer 2.0, taking the country in the same direction in a more overt manner, which isn’t good per say. But his attitude towards the western establishment makes me think that all this nonesense about him being the Brazilian Trump will simply die down.

I can see him taking the country further away from BRICS, dismembering Petrobras, growing closer with the US, Argentina, Colombia, and the EU as well as israel (something he’s made clear he intends to do). Perhaps this gives the US a larger base of operations in South America, but that has never not been the case (except perhaps in Venezuela and Bolivia). Maybe even throwing an IMF loan for some reason to further sell away the countries resources to foreign control.
Yeah, I certainly hope that you are right in this, because even though that's not very good, it isn't as bad as some people are expecting it to be. Just what we've seen already, with a different face.

With all his admiration for Trump (which may be superficial) - will he be pulling the B out of BRICS?
But it was an initiative set in motion by Lula and his predecesor Dilma, the country has a more progressive outlook and a thriving economy with the majority of its resources under the control of the state. There was also a recognition of the influence Washington had on Latinamerica and the nescesity to steer away from it. This meant that Russia and China were the best thing for Brazil to associate with and create something with.
I wanted to add something here. Even though Temer hasn't done anything good in Brazil, during his mandate, he continued the relationships with BRICS countries and I've seen many reports talking about an increase of bilateral cooperation in different areas with Russia too. So when I see this, I think that it could be just for the show, or, it could be that some people in the government (or in some industries) know that it isn't a good idea to completely cut relations with Russia nowadays, even if it is just for self-serving purposes. By that I mean that to many people in those places, it might be somewhat evident that the US is losing its privileged position globally, so even though they keep their alliances to the US, they might also want to "play safe" and keep relationships with Russia, just in case.

Also, Lula never closed relations with Wall Street either. As far as I understand, part of his success was that he managed to keep the channels open with Wall Street and the Brazilian corporate world, making alliances such as the public-private alliance which protected national resources while giving a portion to international companies to exploit. The thing is that it wasn't enough for some, probably. And that a growing country like that joined with the the other BRICS countries would pose a threat to US hegemony.

In this respect, I agree with Chu that Bolsonaro doesn't seem to be the type that would consider long-term goals like these, even if it is only for self-preservation, as I said. He seem like a fanatic in many aspects. And he's fanatic of USrael and the Evangelical Church, so I have this hunch that when given the choice, he'll choose whatever seems superficially aligned with these groups. Maybe I'm wrong and he's more clever, we'll have to see what happens.

- Now they need a puppet in a key BRICS player, but they don't have a big choice. So, he's there, ready to be the next lap dog of the US and Israel, to sew more discord in South America, and to hinder BRICS even if in small ways only. That's "good enough". Probably psychopathic enough, but also malleable for whoever wants to control him, give him a bunch of weapons to make him happy, or simply feed his ego to make him do their bidding. He doesn't strike me as a person who would think long-term, so creating tension, and messing up with BRICS may not be a big deal for him, and it plays to the advantage of the controllers.
Yeah, I think that's a good way of looking at it. This is the guy they have to just keep the mess. Creating a huge mess isn't profitable either, at least not at this point. They just want to keep the region chaotic enough but still functioning so that they can still benefit from it.

I'm thinking that in this case we can speculate that maybe this is why we've seen all the big global media peddling some propaganda against him, which is why Pepe Escobar said that maybe even Wall Street thought he was too much of hard-liner. Apart from being a good opportunity to use him as propaganda against Trump, they could be setting the line for him, with cues on where he should be more moderate and not so crazy-like.

-Latin America is, and has been for a long time the "back patio" of the US. In that sense, there isn't probably a lot of strategizing going on, other than making sure the whole continent is chaotic, and that they can have a foot on some countries and a constant flow of drugs for the CIA, plus a bunch of stolen ressources. Apart from the usual obedient countries like Paraguay, Argentina is obeying quite well now, so why not add Brazil to the mix as well? That's probably enough for whoever wants to prevent any good alliances with Russia and China, or any "independent" Latin America.
Yeah, that's right. Something that's interesting though is how Paraguay has been changing a bit in this aspect, with all the diplomatic issue with Israel they had after moving back their Embassy to Tel Aviv. I still don't know what is behind that, if there's something more than a rational decision, but that's been quite something for a country which was always obedient and very friendly to USrael. The new president was also VERY friendly with Putin and is talking a lot about increasing cooperation with Russia. Interesting times indeed!

He will still do terrible things, for sure (like selling the rainforest to foreign companies or dismantling whatever government aid the poorest and indigenous tribes had, or something along those neoliberal lines), but I would be really surprised if he went 'full Hitler'. I don't think the context allows for that, and that's probably why he has moderated his tone lately. But we'll see!
Yes! We'll have to wait and see for sure. So far, Bolsonaro already said he's not considering a military operation in Venezuela. Here's a report:

The Brazilian president-elect, Jair Bolsonaro, defends the peaceful way and rules out the military option to solve the "crisis" in Venezuela.

"On our part, there is no such (interest), Brazil is always going to look for a peaceful way to solve this problem," Bolsonaro, who has a marked right-wing tendency, said in an interview with a local television channel on Monday.

The Brazilian Army reserve captain said he had addressed the Venezuelan crisis and its migratory effect with leaders from several countries who called him to congratulate him on his victory in Sunday's ballot.

"I had conversations with authorities from other countries and the subject of Venezuela was touched upon. They are asking us that Brazil participate in one way or another in the solution of this problem," said the president-elect, without identifying any ruler.

Translated with DeepL
There have been some worrisome reports coming Brazil. I can't confirm these aren't fake news, I've been asking around and people claim it's all true, but still, they also get their news from the same place, right? So I don't know.

Here is one report I could find in English:

Brazilian media report that police are entering university classrooms to interrogate professors

In advance of this Sunday’s second-round presidential election between far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro and center-left candidate Fernando Haddad, Brazilian media are reporting that Brazilian police have been staging raids, at times without warrants, in universities across the country this week. In these raids, police have been questioning professors and confiscating materials belonging to students and professors.

The raids are part a supposed attempt to stop illegal electoral advertising. Brazilian election law prohibits electoral publicity in public spaces. However, many of the confiscated materials do not mention candidates. Among such confiscated materials are a flag for the Universidade Federal Fluminense reading “UFF School of Law - Anti-Fascist” and flyers titled “Manifest in Defense of Democracy and Public Universities.”

For those worrying about Brazilian democracy, these raids are some of the most troubling signs yet of the problems the country faces. They indicate the extremes of Brazilian political polarization: Anti-fascist and pro-democracy speech is now interpreted as illegal advertising in favor of one candidate (Fernando Haddad) and against another (Jair Bolsonaro). In the long run, the politicization of these two terms will hurt support for the idea of democracy, and bolster support for the idea of fascism.

In the short run, the raids have even more troublesome implications. Warrantless police raids in university classrooms to monitor professor speech have worrisome echoes of Brazil’s 1964-1985 military regime — particularly when the speech the raids are seeking to stop is not actually illegal.

Perhaps the most concerning point of all is that these raids are happening before Bolsonaro takes office. They have often been initiated by complaints from Bolsonaro supporters. All of this suggests that if Bolsonaro wins the election — as is widely expected — and seeks to suppress the speech of his opponents, whom he has called “red [i.e., Communist] criminals,” he may have plenty of willing helpers.

Update: On Friday, Brazil’s Attorney General of the Republic said she will bring the matter to the Supreme Court, seeking to guarantee freedom of expression in universities. Members of the Supreme Court also expressed concern about the raids on Friday.
The reports in Portuguese specified some cases where some of the students who support Bolsonaro called the police because their professor was speaking of "fake news" and things like that. So the police came over and threatened the professor. Again, some people are telling me that this is true, I don't know, but that's very bad if is true.

Today another person living there sent me a news story about a group of students that entered the University of Sao Paulo with guns, announcing "the new era" and threatening the other students. That's also crazy if it is true. But it wouldn't speak so much about Bolsonaro himself, but about how dangerously polarized the society has become there and that, even if it doesn't become a State policy of some sort, we might still see some of these things happening in the civil society as a consequence of his polarizing campaign and all the previous propaganda the Brazilian people received...


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Just to add, I saw a report today in which his Vice President elect said something along the lines of “Brazil would support a U.N. intervention in Venezuela”

So it’s probably a “we won’t do it without approval, but we’d definitely do it! Just not alone”


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thank you all for sharing your insights on the political developments in Brazil.

With all his admiration for Trump (which may be superficial) - will he be pulling the B out of BRICS?
Sat, Nov 10, 2018 - BRICS After Bolsonaro Will Be Much Like BRICS Before Bolsonaro
BRICS After Bolsonaro Will Be Much Like BRICS Before Bolsonaro

"In reality -- and with all due respect to Brazil and South Africa -- BRICS is all about the RIC"
  • Bolsonaro isn't key here one way or the other, the more important challenges facing it are the India-China divide and the lack of a Statement of Purpose.

BRICS is the acronym of the “alliance” that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

In reality, and with all due respect to Brazil and South Africa, BRICS is about RIC.

With Russia, India and China, in any order, there lies the future of Eurasia; the virtually unchartered quarter that houses over one third of the entire world population; a huge chunk of landmass, rich in resources, not only human resources, and just waiting for the right moment to make its mark in history.

The so-called “Silk Road”, or in reality silk roads, was historically the network of caravan paths that ancient traders took on their journeys from east to west, inking worlds largely unknown to each other, long before Vasco da Gama’s highly documented trips.

And whilst the ancient cultures of India and China flourished in their own right, apart from Alexander’s conquest, the Muslim and subsequent Mongol conquests, there was little historic geopolitical interaction between that far Far East and the Middle East; let alone Europe. The long icy and hard terrain made it very difficult, even for the brave at heart, to take the journey from Beijing to Vienna. The temptations to make that trip did not match the hardship of the journey for the averagely motivated traveler.

But this is all about to change. The new “Silk Road”, the network of super highways that the “RIC” nations are intent to build is going to change this status quo and shorten land distances.

The Trans-Siberian railway is a Russian route and constructing it linked Vladivostok with Moscow, but it was not intended to link China with Europe. If anything, it helped bolster the isolation of the USSR. But the new “Silk Road” project will change the transportation map of the world upside down once and for ever.

The determination to build this massive road network does not need either Brazil or South Africa; again with all due respect to both nations.

By taking many considerations into account, we must be realistic and say that the electoral win of Brazilian candidate Bolsonaro will not affect the prospect of the “Silk Road” one way or the other. The repercussions of his election will affect Brazil more than any other country. Purportedly, his policies will affect global climate, but this is another issue. His fiscal and international policy making decisions may put Brazil under the American sphere of influence, and this unfortunately can and will affect Brazil very adversely, but the damage is likely to be restricted to Brazil only.

With or without Brazil, BRICS can survive, but for it to survive and make a difference, it will need to become more serious about conducting its business.

The first step towards becoming more proactive is best done by establishing proper trust and conciliation between the three major players; Russia, China and India.

The love-hate relationship that marred the Soviet-Maoist era took a while to heal. The Russians and the Chinese seem to have gone many steps ahead towards establishing trust and confidence in each other. But China and India continue to have serious problems, and for as long as they have border and sovereignty disputes, this hinders them from becoming effective partners in every way.

Furthermore, BRICS needs a preamble and a Statement of Purpose. At the moment, it doesn’t have one. With all of its hypocrisies, the Western alliance camouflages itself behind the veil of Christian values, democracy and the “free world” slogans. Thus far, the only undeclared statement of purpose for BRICS seems to be that of defiance to the Western alliance.

The BRICS alliance will face a struggle founding an attractive preamble. Orthodox Christian Russia, predominantly Hindu India and Communist/Taoist/Buddhist China have little in common religiously speaking. Perhaps the BRICS leaders should be using common political grounds instead. They certainly cannot use democracy; not only because such an adoption would make them look as copycats, but also because they have different ideas about democracy, and Russia and China definitely do not endorse Western-style democracy.

In reality however, BRICS can use abstract lofty principles as their preamble; principles such as morality, honesty, and if they want to be less “theological” as it were, they could use principles such as “International law”, “International equality” and the like.

Apart from accumulating gold, building bridges and super road networks, planning fiscal measures to cushion the effects of a possible collapse of the Western economy on their own economies, developing state-of-the-art hypersonic weaponry and giving a clear message announcing that the world is no longer unipolar, the BRICS alliance ought to make clear statements about what kind of alternative world it envisions.

This is very important, because a significant percentage of the world population does not know what to expect if the BRICS alliance becomes the new dominant financial and military power. They have special concerns about China because they don’t know much about China, and they worry not only about whether or not China will be a new colonial super power, but they also worry about one day waking up and seeing traffic signals in Mandarin; so to speak.

To many people across the globe, the Chinese culture, language and modus operandi look like something from another planet.

The Cyrillic Russian and the Devanagari Indian scripts are no less daunting than the Mandarin script, but many Indians and Russians speak English and the West has had much more cultural interaction with both Russia and India than it ever did with China.

Furthermore, for the BRICS alliance to become more viable, it will need to develop a military alliance akin to that of NATO. When and if such an alliance is forged, then members will be protected as any attack on one will be considered as an attack on the whole coalition. Such an alliance will not increase the chances of war. Quite the contrary in fact, as it can lead to much needed stability. If for argument sake North Korea were a member, it would not be in a situation where it can claim that it needs nuclear weapons for self-defense, and secondly, the West would not be threatening to attack for fear of a major global escalation. The Cold-War, costly and potentially disastrous as it was, presents a successful model of nuclear deterrence. And in retrospect, had Vietnam been a member of the Warsaw Pact (or a similar one that included the USSR), it is possible that America’s war on Vietnam would have been averted. A more realistically plausible scenario is the case of former Yugoslavia. Had the Warsaw Pact been still standing, NATO would have never attacked Serbia back in 1999.

To be able to afford a more effective military deterrent, be a viable stand-alone economic power and to be attractive to the rest of the world, the BRICS coalition will ultimately need more member nations. Ideally, it would be of huge significance if Japan could be convinced to join it. The inclusion of Japan will not only add a huge financial power to the group, but it will also generate an in-house regional security to the China Sea region. Baby steps have been recently made between China and Japan towards conciliation, and much more needs to be done. It will take a lot of work and good intentions on both sides to undo a long history of hostilities and distrust.

Other nations that can and arguably should enter the coalition are; Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and post Erdogan Turkey. Why post Erdogan? Because Erdogan’s Turkey can turn BRICS into a bag of TRICS.

Resource-rich Australia has much to gain in joining such an alliance as this will not only bolster its own security, but it will also secure economic stability and on-going trade.

Thus far, all the official visits that the RIC leaders have exchanged, all the business deals they made, all the projects they are embarking on, huge as they are, are only baby steps towards turning their alliance into one that can lead the world and establish the necessary moral, financial and security foundations that are capable of underpinning it.

Over and above establishing a new world reserve currency, setting up an alternative to the US-based Internet and WWW, SWIFT, etc, the brave new world will need hope, trust, morality and concrete assurances for a long-awaited change for the better. These are the real challenges facing the BRICS alliance now; not the Bolsonaro win.

Source: The Saker


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
11.26.2018 - Brazil's outgoing President hikes Judges' Pay in setback for Bolsonaro
Brazil's outgoing president hikes judges' pay in setback for Bolsonaro | Reuters

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's President Michel Temer is seen before signing a trade agreement with Chile's President Sebastian (not pictured) at the government house in Santiago, Chile, November 21, 2018. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

Brazil's exiting President Michel Temer signed into law a 16 percent pay rise for Supreme Court justices on Monday, disregarding a request from his President-elect Jair Bolsonaro that he veto the bill to avoid increasing next year's budget deficit.

The top court salaries serve as a benchmark for other public sector pay and the hike will add an estimated 4 billion reais ($1 billion) to the deficit that Bolsonaro’s economic team has promised to balance in one year.

Bolsonaro, who will inherit a gaping deficit when he takes office on Jan. 1, said earlier this month that this was “not the moment” to approve public sector pay increases.

Bolsonaro’s economic team, led by University of Chicago-trained economist Paulo Guedes, plans to make a new proposal for overhauling the costly pension system, one of the main causes of the deficit that is driving up the country’s public debt. Temer failed to get pension reform through Congress.

11.26.2018 - Brazilian President-elect adds fifth Military man to Cabinet
Brazilian president-elect adds fifth military man to cabinet | Reuters

Brazil's President-elect Jair Bolsonaro arrives to a meeting in Brasilia, Brazil November 20, 2018. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

Brazil's right-wing president-elect Jair Bolsonaro on Monday picked retired General Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz as his minister in charge of political relations with Congress, adding a fifth military man to his cabinet.

Bolsonaro, a former army captain turned politician who surged to victory on a pledge to end years of corruption and rising violence, made the announcement in a Twitter post.

Moving to deliver on his law-and-order platform, Bolsonaro’s choice for justice and public security, former anti-corruption judge Sergio Moro, said he would coordinate federal and state police forces to better fight organized crime and slow the growth of Brazil’s powerful drug gangs that control swaths of cities.

Some Brazilians are concerned that the appointment of Santos Cruz, who led United Nations peacekeepers in Haiti and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and other current or former military officials marks a return to a militarized government. Bolsonaro takes office on Jan. 1.

Seeking to defuse those concerns, Bolsonaro, a fan of the 1964-85 military dictatorship, has vowed to adhere to Brazil’s constitution and has moderated some of his more extreme views expressed during almost three decades as a federal congressman.

Bolsonaro, who has long been a critic of the socialist government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, again appeared to tone down his strident views on regional migration, saying that Venezuelans fleeing to Brazil could not be returned to their country “because they are not merchandise.”

In comments to reporters on the weekend, he also floated the idea of creating a refugee camp for Venezuelans in the northern border state of Roraima, while defending strict checks on who enters “because there are some people we don’t want in Brazil.”

A nongovernmental organization working on the Venezuelan exodus into Brazil said refugee camps were an “extreme option” for war zone areas and would worsen the plight of the immigrants.

“The camps would be far from urban areas and the Venezuelans want to be in urban areas to be able to rebuild their lives,” said Camila Asano of Conectas rights group.

She said the crisis has subsided in Roraima where there are 6,000 Venezuelans in shelters and the number living on the streets was down to 600.

Asano said, however, that a Brazilian Air Force airlift to move Venezuelans out of Roraima and to larger cities appeared to have slowed down.

In Brasilia, where Bolsonaro’s transition team is preparing to govern, Moro told reporters that he will create a secretariat of police operations to coordinate all Brazil’s security efforts by federal and state police forces to curb violence in the country that has more murders than any other.

Brazilian states have control over nearly all the police forces in the country, and Moro underscored he would respect their sovereignty.

But he said federal coordination was badly needed to improve street policing across Brazil and to tame the country’s overcrowded prisons, which are under the control of drug gangs who recruit from jail and where bloody uprisings are rampant.

11.26.2018 - Brazil's Moro will coordinate Police to improve Security
Brazil's Moro will coordinate police to improve security | Reuters

Brazil's incoming justice minister Sergio Moro attends an anti-corruption event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil November 23, 2018. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

Brazil's incoming justice minister Sergio Moro said on Monday that he will create a secretariat to coordinate all security efforts by federal and state police forces to fight violent crime in the country that has more murders than any other.

Brazilian states have control over nearly all police forces in the country, and Moro underscored he would respect their sovereignty. But he said federal coordination was badly needed to improve street policing across Brazil and to tame the country’s prisons, which are under the control of drug gangs who recruit from the jails and where violent uprisings are rampant.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
11.28.2018 - Brazil's Bolsonaro nixes plans to host U.N. Climate Event
Brazil's Bolsonaro nixes plans to host U.N. climate event | Reuters

FILE PHOTO: Skyline of Rio De Janeiro is pictured at sunset June 28, 2014. In a project called 'On The Sidelines' Reuters photographers share pictures showing their own quirky and creative view of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Far-right president-elect Jair Bolsonaro said on Wednesday that he pushed the Brazilian government to withdraw its offer to host the United Nations climate conference next year, maintaining that Brazil's sovereignty over the Amazon was at stake.

Bolsonaro, in Brasilia planning his government’s transition for when he takes power on Jan. 1, told reporters that “I participated in the decision” - announced earlier Wednesday by the Foreign Ministry, which cited high costs.

“I told my future foreign minister to avoid hosting this event here in Brazil,” Bolsonaro said. The next foreign minister, Ernesto Araújo, has said climate change was part of a plot against western economic growth.

Bolsonaro has threatened to follow the lead of U.S. President Donald Trump and yank Brazil out of the Paris climate agreement, which was the reason, along with high cost, Bolsonaro gave for not wanting to host the November 2019 conference.

“The ‘Triple A’ is at play in that accord,” Bolsonaro said. “What is the ‘Triple A’? It’s a big strip between the Andes, Amazon and Atlantic ... that could result in our losing sovereignty over the area. The idea is to turn it into a ecological corridor.”

Last month, the Foreign Ministry announced Brazil’s offer to host the event in a press release, saying the meeting would work out final details of the Paris agreement and for signatory countries to fully implement its demands by 2020.

Hosting the event would have confirmed Brazil’s “role as a world leader on sustainable development issues, especially in relation to climate change.”

Brazil, which has 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest within its borders, a biome scientists consider one of nature’s best defenses against global warming as it acts as a giant carbon sink, has made significant strides in the past 15 years to curtail destruction of the jungle.

However, Brazil’s government reported last week that annual deforestation levels had hit their highest level in a decade.

The environmental group Observatorio da Clima said on its website that the decision to withdraw its offer to host the event is “not the first and will not be the last awful news from Jair Bolsonaro on this theme.”

Bolsonaro had also sought to combine the environmental and agricultural ministries but later retreated from that proposal.
  • Like
Reactions: Yas


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
It seems - Bolsonaro is planning to clean up "Brazil's gangs and drugs" much like President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines?

11.29.2018 - General behind deadly Haiti raid takes aim at Brazil's Gangs
General behind deadly Haiti raid takes aim at Brazil's gangs | Reuters

FILE PHOTO: Brazilian General Augusto Heleno Periera (L) talks to the leader of a group of supporters of former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide about the route they should take before a demonstration by several thousand Arsitide supporters held on March 29, 2005, the 18th anniversary of the country's constitution, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti REUTERS/Daniel Morel/File photo

Thirteen years ago, a Brazilian general named Augusto Heleno led hundreds of United Nations troops into a Haitian slum to bring a powerful gangster to heel. Over the course of a seven-hour gun battle, the peacekeepers sprayed more than 22,000 bullets into the impoverished Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Cite Soleil. Their target, a warlord known as Dread Wilme, was killed.

The operation, dubbed “Iron Fist,” was the capstone of Heleno’s mission to restore order in Haiti after its president was ousted by insurgents. Heleno declared the raid a success.

But various human rights groups called it a “massacre,” alleging dozens of bystanders were killed in the crossfire, many of them women and children.

The episode, largely forgotten outside Haiti, may provide a road map for the security strategy of Brazil’s next president, far-right former army captain Jair Bolsonaro. He has tapped Heleno to be his top national security advisor and wants the former general and other ex-Haiti hands to tame Brazil’s favelas using methods employed in the slums of Port-au-Prince.

Brazil suffered a record 64,000 murders last year, the most in the world. Bolsonaro has promised no mercy for lawbreakers.

“We are at war. Haiti was also at war,” Bolsonaro said in a recent TV interview. “(In Haiti), the rule was, you found an element with a firearm, you shoot, and then you see what happened. You solve the problem.”

Haiti looms large in Bolsonaro’s cabinet.

His proposed defense minister, former Gen. Fernando Azevedo e Silva, served there under Heleno as an operations chief. Bolsonaro’s incoming infrastructure minister, Tarcisio Freitas, was a senior U.N. military engineer in Haiti, arriving shortly after Heleno left in 2005. Retired Gen. Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz, Brazil’s next government minister, led U.N. troops in the Caribbean nation in 2007.

Neither Heleno nor Azevedo e Silva responded to requests for comment about the Cite Soleil raid.

It remains to be seen just how heavy-handed Heleno’s approach might be in Brazil, particularly in crime-ridden Rio de Janeiro state. But other crackdowns there have not produced lasting results.

Those efforts include a massive security push in some of the city’s favelas ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games, and a more recent state-wide military intervention launched in February. In Rio state, violent deaths are up 1.3 percent during the first nine months of the latest occupation compared with the same period last year; the number of people killed by security forces jumped more than 40 percent, with about four people slain daily.

Rio’s current intervention is slated to finish just before Bolsonaro takes office on January 1. Neither Heleno nor Azevedo e Silva have ruled out extending it.

In recent weeks, Heleno has expressed support for a radical crime-fighting strategy promoted by Rio state’s incoming right-wing governor, Wilson Witzel. That plan would put snipers in helicopters to take out favela gangsters.

Heleno said in a recent radio interview that his rules of engagement in Haiti were similar to those proposed by Witzel, adding that key parts of the Rio military intervention “can serve as a model for the rest of the country.”

Those views alarm some members of the armed forces, who fear protracted urban warfare could sap troop morale and stoke public resentment against one of Brazil’s most respected institutions.

And some public safety experts worry Brazil’s new leaders will double down on a failed strategy.

“Rio is a laboratory which illustrates that these types of policies do not work,” said Ignacio Cano, a Rio de Janeiro State University professor who has written extensively on security issues.

Brazil assumed military control of the U.N.’s mission to stabilize Haiti, known as MINUSTAH, in mid-2004. Heleno, Brazil’s first MINUSTAH military commander, arrived shortly after the ouster and exile of then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The general was tasked with stabilizing the country to allow for peaceful elections.

Standing in his way were powerful criminal gangs operating violent kidnapping, carjacking and extortion rackets. As months passed, the United States, in particular, expressed impatience with Heleno’s progress.

“MINUSTAH has failed to establish security and stability here,” James B. Foley, then-U.S. ambassador to Haiti, wrote in a June 1, 2005 cable to Washington. “As much as we may pressure the UN and Brazilians to take the more forceful approach that is needed, I do not believe ultimately they will be up to the task.”

Five weeks later, Heleno ordered 440 U.N. troops, supported by 41 armored vehicles and helicopters, into Cite Soleil to detain Wilme, whom U.S. cables described as Haiti’s most powerful gangster.

Heleno’s team initially said Wilme and a few henchman had died, resulting in five or six fatalities tops, according to press accounts. But reports of civilian injuries and deaths quickly surfaced.

“We have credible information that U.N. troops, accompanied by Haitian police, killed an undetermined number of unarmed residents of Cite Soleil, including several babies and women,” Renan Hedouville, the head of a local nonprofit, Lawyers Committee for the Respect of Individual Rights, said at the time.

The then-head of Medecins Sans Frontiers’ mission in Haiti told reporters that its doctors treated 27 people with gunshot wounds, most of them women and children.

U.S. diplomats also cast doubt on MINUSTAH’s version of events. A July 26, 2005 cable said “22,000 rounds is a large amount of ammunition to have killed only six people,” and noted some local human rights groups had put the estimated death toll as high as 70.

A spokesman for Haiti’s current government did not respond to a request for comment about the raid or the Brazilian leadership of MINUSTAH troops.

But some Cite Soleil residents cannot shake the memory of that day. Street vendor Anol Pierre said she was at home when the firefight began.

“I hid under the bed with my children as the bullets flew through the walls,” she said. “We just prayed to Jesus. I remember a pregnant woman, with two kids, who died. Lots of families were victims.”

Juan Gabriel Valdes, MINUSTAH’s civilian chief in Haiti at the time, said Heleno’s soldiers were permitted by U.N peacekeeping rules to return fire after they came under attack. MINUSTAH said Cite Soleil remained so volatile that it was impossible to conduct a full investigation to ascertain the death toll.

Responding to allegations of excessive force, a U.N. Special Rapporteur asked MINUSTAH for clarification on what happened. The Rapporteur’s report found MINUSTAH’s explanation for its actions “largely satisfactory.”

Heleno expressed disdain for those who questioned his actions, according to Seth Donnelly, a human rights worker in Haiti at the time. In a written report about the assault, Donnelly said Heleno told him and his fellow activists that they “only seemed to care about the rights of the ‘outlaws.’”

Heleno’s views on public security have not softened since leaving Haiti. In 2008, while still in uniform, he publicly criticized Brazilian policies granting indigenous tribes autonomy over ancestral lands as a threat to national sovereignty.

When he retired in 2011, Heleno defended Brazil’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship as a bulwark against “the communization of the country.”

In a radio interview earlier this month, Heleno said human rights should be reserved for “righteous humans.” He said criminal gangs are transforming Brazil into a “narco country” and that aggressive measures must be employed to stop them.

“It is absurd to treat this as a normal situation,” he said. “It is an exceptional situation that requires exceptional treatment.”

11.29.2018 - Trump Adviser Bolton meets far-right Brazilian Leader Bolsonaro
Trump adviser Bolton meets far-right Brazilian leader Bolsonaro | Reuters

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 27, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton met Brazil's far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday to discuss regional security issues and build on the ideological affinity between the two leaders.

Bolsonaro is an admirer of the U.S. president and, like Trump, took the political establishment by surprise when he won office in October, riding a wave of anger against traditional politicians.

He has vowed to sweep out corruption, crack down on crime and align Brazil closely with the United States in a shift towards conservative nationalism.

A Brazilian Army helicopter hovered offshore as Bolton arrived for the one-hour visit with Bolsonaro at his beachside gated community on the south side of Rio de Janeiro.

Bolsonaro said it was “very productive” in a Twitter post.

The meeting was attended by Bolsonaro’s future national security adviser General Augusto Heleno and future defense minister General Fernando Azevedo, both retired Army officers, and incoming foreign minister Ernesto Araujo, an anti-globalist who believes climate change theory is a Marxist invention.

Bolsonaro has threatened to follow Trump’s lead and pull Brazil out of the Paris climate agreement, despite having the world’s biggest rain forest in the Amazon.

On Wednesday, he said he pushed the government to withdraw Brazil’s offer to host the U.N. climate conference next year, maintaining that Brazil’s sovereignty over the Amazon was at stake.

Bolton told reporters on Tuesday in Washington that Bolsonaro’s election was a “historic opportunity” for Brazil and the United States to work together on security, economics and other issues. Thursday’s meeting would prepare the ground for Trump and Bolsonaro to “get off to a running start”, he said.

Bolton is expected to seek Brazilian support to apply pressure to Venezuela’s left-wing government, which he describes as part of “the troika of tyranny” in the Americas, alongside Cuba and Nicaragua.

In another step following Trump, Bolsonaro plans to move the Brazilian embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, despite angering Arab countries that are big buyers of Brazilian meat.

After visiting Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner at the White House on Tuesday, his son Eduardo Bolsonaro told reporters the move was “not a question of if, but of when”.

There is speculation Bolsonaro’s team will seek to bring Trump to the presidential inauguration in Brasilia on Jan. 1.

While Trump’s attendance would be a major validation for Bolsonaro, Thiago de Aragao, a risk analyst and partner at Brasilia consultancy ARKO, said it is unlikely to happen.

“Ideological affinity is not enough to have the level of relationship Bolsonaro seeks. Trump has made it clear that he wants direct commercial benefits for the United States in its foreign ties,” he said.

Battling a wide budget deficit as it recovers from a deep recession, Brazil cannot afford to buy billions of dollars in U.S.-made arms, for example.

There could be convergence on Venezuela, but Brazil would never agree to military action against its neighbor and could at most agree to apply sanctions, Aragao said.

11.29.2018 - Brazil's Bolsonaro says he discussed Cuba, Israel, Trade with Bolton
Brazil's Bolsonaro says he discussed Cuba, Israel, trade with Bolton | Reuters

RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday that he and U.S. national security adviser John Bolton talked about improving trade ties between the two most populous countries in the Americas, as well as discussing Cuba and Israel during a one-hour meeting in Rio de Janeiro.

Bolsonaro said he would take up an offer to visit the United States that was made by Bolton on behalf of U.S. President Donald Trump. Bolsonaro, who takes office on Jan. 1, has said he plans to align his country’s policies with those of the United States, a sharp break with leftist governments that ruled Brazil for much of the last two decades.
Top Bottom