As Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro endorsed Trump before the US elections, let us look at the similarities between the two and the unusual policies of the former.
Crux of the Matter
Bolsonaro Endorsing Trump
On 20 October 2020, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro endorsed Donald Trump for the 2020 US Elections. Bolsonaro said “God willing I will be able to attend” for Trump’s inauguration. His comments came after Brazil and the US signed a trade agreement for 5G and telecommunications.
Bolsonaro joined Hungary PM Viktor Orban and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte in openly endorsing Trump’s re-election. However, their bid failed as Joe Biden is now the President-elect.
Bolsonaro was elected as the Brazilian President in 2018. He has served in the army as captain. Bolsonaro, a self-declared Trump admirer, has been nicknamed “Trump of the Tropics”. Trump and Bolsonaro are similar in their populist outlook, handling of Covid-19 pandemic and several key issues.
Handling Of Covid-19
- Both Bolsonaro and Trump recovered from Covid-19 after downplaying its severity for months.
- Both rejected Covid-19 threat by comparing it to “flu”.
- The former reportedly claimed that Covid-19 masks are “for fairies”.
Some are going to die, they will die. Sorry, it’s life. You can’t stop a car factory just because you have traffic deaths.Bolsonaro, speaking against lockdowns
Brazil has been severely affected by Covid pandemic. As of 11 November, Brazil had
- 5.68 million cases.
- 163k deaths.
- Death rate: 763 per million people – 6th highest in the world.
Homophobia And Anti-Science Stance
- Bolsonaro openly claimed “I’m homophobic – and very proud of it” in 2013.
- He has also cut down on research funds and has been aggressive towards scientists and doctors.
- He has sacked 2 Health Ministers in pandemic for alleged promotion of social distancing. In a similar manner, Trump called Dr. Fauci (Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) an “idiot” for his cautious Covid pandemic strategy.
Police And Admiration For Dictators
- Bolsonaro is a staunch advocate of ‘stricter’ police. In 2017, he claimed that “a policeman who doesn’t kill isn’t a policeman”.
- He has repeatedly praised the dictator regime of Brazil (between 1964 and 1985). He has claimed that Augusto Pinochet (former dictator of Chile) “should have killed more people”.
If one wants to close the supreme court, you know what you do? You don’t even need to send a jeep. Send two soldiers.Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of Jair Bolsonaro
Dealing With Amazon Forest Fires
- In 2019, 89,178 fires were reported in the Amazon rainforest as per INPE. The numbers showed an increase from 68,345 fires in 2018.
- Increase in deforestation and “clearing of land” by farmers have been cited as the main reasons for such increase.
- Bolsonaro instead blamed “NGOs” for “setting up” fire, and rejected $20 million aid from the G7 summit in August 2019. He cited the “colonialist mindset” of the G7 as the reason for rejection.
Battle With Biden
In the US Presidential debate, Joe Biden expressed concern over Amazon forest fires.
The rainforests of Brazil are being torn down. I would be gathering up and making sure we had the countries of the world coming up with $20 billion, and say, ‘Here’s $20 billion. Stop tearing down the forest. And if you don’t then you’re gonna have significant economic consequencesJoe Biden
In reply, Bolsonaro labelled Biden’s statement “disastrous and unnecessary declaration”. He also accused Biden of being “greedy” towards the Amazon forest.
- The #EleNão (“not him”) movements of 2018 were demonstrations led by women which took place in several regions of Brazil. The main goal was to protest against Bolsonaro and his presidential campaign because of his sexist declarations.
- The 1964 Brazilian coup d’état was a series of events in Brazil from March 31 to April 1 that led to the overthrow of President João Goulart by members of the Brazilian Armed Forces, supported by the United States government. The following day, with the military already in control of the country, the Brazilian Congress came out in support of the coup and endorsed it by declaring the office of the presidency vacant.
- In an interview with Zero Hora in 2015, Bolsonaro argued that men and women should not receive the same salaries, because women get pregnant, adding that he believes federal law mandating paid maternity leave harms work productivity.
- Politico – Brazil’s Bolsonaro endorses Trump’s reelection
- The Conversation – Brazil: Jair Bolsonaro’s strategy of chaos hinders coronavirus response
- Time – Bolsonaro Says He Won’t Accept $20 Million To Fight Amazon Fires Unless Macron Apologizes
- Reuters – Fires in Amazon forest rose 30% in 2019
- AP News – Furor over comments about shutting supreme court in Brazil