Is Brazil still part of the international diplomatic map? It is permissible to doubt it. Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro received just seven of his counterparts, including the Portuguese president, in 2022 as the country celebrates the bicentenary of its independence this year. That is, when the passage through Brasilia, after all the 13th world economy, has become poison for the law firms – and that, all political tendencies together.
Mr Bolsonaro is a president who is ostracized by his peers. It is difficult to imagine that almost ten years ago Brazil organized a summit that brought together the greats of this world on the subject of climate (Rio + 20), thereby making it possible to establish the central position of Brazilian diplomacy in this act that had become international affairs.
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The former soldier has made the Internationale a trademark of his right-wing extremist politics. The original plan was to root out “Marxist and globalist ideology” from Brazil’s foreign ministry, Itamaraty, despite having one of the best diplomatic corps in the world. But in Mr. Bolsonaro’s eyes, it was about going further: in the wake of his mentor Donald Trump, the far-right leader wanted to help build an “ultra-conservative international” that would include everything from M. Salvini to Mr. Orban, based on the virulent criticism at China’s place in the international game, the undiminished support for Israeli politics, the contempt for Europe and international organizations, the fight against the Venezuelan and Cuban regimes and Nicaragua, but also the desire to criminalize migrants and refugees, the fierce resistance to the regulation of the arms shipments and a refusal to decriminalize drugs.
Unfortunately, reality intruded on the Brazilian President. Alongside Donald Trump’s defeat in 2020, which significantly isolated him internationally, some of his supporters, particularly in agribusiness circles, have rebelled against his hostile positions towards China, the country’s main trading partner, Brazil.
Mr Bolsonaro eventually decided to sack his foreign minister, in a broader move to reshuffle his parliamentary majority. In doing so, he avoided his dismissal, even when the Covid 19 pandemic had a devastating impact on the population. Admittedly, the anti-Chinese and anti-Communist diatribes remained a key part of the presidential speech. But when it comes to banning the participation of the Chinese Huawei in the construction of the 5G network, Brasilia hesitates, to the chagrin of Washington.
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