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Image of Brazil in the world is ‘horrible’, says researcher



São Paulo – The image of Brazil under the government of Jair Bolsonaro, abroad, is “horrible”. “Not only for the pandemic issue, but also for the Amazon, the environmental issue, human rights.” The finding is by Miriam Gomes Saraiva, from the Department of International Relations at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (Uerj). “There is a dilemma in the world: whether it is better to wait for Bolsonaro to end his government, to normalize relations with Brazil, or to maintain good relations would be an incentive for Bolsonaro to improve,” he says.

According to her, there may even be a positive view of the Brazilian president, “perhaps, in the United States, in Hungary, countries whose governments are right-wing or ultra-right”. “But, apart from these, the image is very bad. In South America, it is very negative. ”

Miriam cites article by Oliver Stuenkel, columnist for the Americas Quarterly, American publication on politics, business and culture, and professor of International Relations at Fundação Getulio Vargas, in São Paulo. “The debates in Berlin about Brazil reveal a broad dilemma, as economic and geopolitical interests clash with the growing public concern for the environment. Should Bolsonaro be treated as a temporary irritant for a long-standing partnership or as a more fundamental obstacle to deepening ties? ”Says the writer in the text.

In late May, says Stuenkel, German congressman Uwe Kekeritz of the Green Party questioned a plan by the German government to finance a Brazilian environmental protection program. The German parliamentarian mentioned “an episode that recently shook Brazilian politics”, in reference to the famous ministerial meeting on April 22.

According to Stuenkel, at the meeting, Brazilian Environment Minister Ricardo Salles “suggested that the pandemic was an opportunity to weaken environmental regulations, since public opinion was‘ distracted ’”. In Berlin, Congressman Kekeritz referred to the episode to argue against supporting the project “supervised” by Salles.

China again

This Friday (31), Jair Bolsonaro again showed aggressiveness towards China, this time with irony. “There is a lot of talk about the covid-19 vaccine. We joined that consortium there in Oxford, ”he said of the British vaccine against the new coronavirus from the AstraZeneca laboratory, in tests in Brazil.

Bolsonaro did not say, however, that, so far, the Brazilian government has not signed the contract with the pharmaceutical company and the University of Oxford. According to Folha de S. Paulo, Fiocruz informed that “the expectation is that the subscription will occur during the month of August”.

“It’s not from that other country, okay, guys? It’s from Oxford over there. Anyone who hasn’t contracted the virus by then… I don’t need to take it because I’m already safe ”, he said, without mentioning China. The Chinese company Sinovac is also testing its coronavirus vaccine in Brazil, in partnership with the Butantã Institute, of the São Paulo State government.

“Bolsonaro and his surroundings have already made several very negative comments about China. He, Ernesto Araújo (Minister of Foreign Affairs, (Deputy) Eduardo Bolsonaro (PSL-SP) and (Abraham Weintraub), when he was Minister of Education. China is a pragmatic country and is touching the economic issue with Brazil. the image for them is also bad ”, says Miriam Saraiva.

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‘Hypocrite’, Bolsonaro at UN blames victims of agribusiness and mining




São Paulo – The “hypocritical” speech with which President Jair Bolsonaro opened, this Tuesday (22), the 75th United Nations General Assembly (UN), seems to have been made to the internal public of Brazil, its voters. And not for other heads of state and external actors, as expected at the UN ”. The opinion is of Professor Miriam Gomes Saraiva, from the Department of International Relations of the State University of Rio de Janeiro (Uerj). “It looks like a speech to then take a piece and put it on a blog. For external effects, the impact is very bad, because, with regard to the environment and the pandemic, any head of government needs to ask its ambassador in Brazil. ”

For the teacher, Bolsonaro’s “hypocritical” speech at the UN is “disconcerting”. “It is difficult to even talk about it, because it is shocking. The military, in the past, tried to talk about the development of the Amazon, with Transamazônica, Zona Franca, a series of items that, although predatory, are even pointed out as development. But, Bolsonaro, not even that defends. He simply lies. It does not defend anything whatsoever. ”


In his speech, the head of state of the largest country in South America stated: “As happened in much of the world, a portion of the Brazilian press also politicized the virus (which causes covid-19), spreading panic among the population, under the motto ‘stay home and see the economy later’ ”. According to him, “they almost brought social chaos to the country”.

Indifferent to the environmental tragedy that befalls the Amazon and the Pantanal, Bolsonaro said that forest fires occur “where the caboclo and the indigenous people burn their gardens in search of their survival”, and that in Mato Grosso the cause is the “high temperature”.

He also said that the emergency aid paid in Brazil to the neediest in the context of the pandemic is one thousand dollars. The benefit amount, R $ 600, in today’s values, does not reach 110 dollars, and the last four installments, of R $ 300, will be R $ 55.

“The speech reveals a cold and persistent liar. It is an extremely unfair, aggressive speech that blames the victims of invasions (indigenous lands) and covers up the guilt of those responsible for the attacks on native peoples, their rights, their ways of existence, the environment and forests in Brazil, says Cleber Buzatto, deputy secretary of the Indian Missionary Council (Cimi). “We absolutely repudiate this disastrous attempt by President Bolsonaro to hold the original peoples responsible for what they are being victims of, the interests of agribusiness and mining, which he tries to protect,” he adds.

Economic causes

The only alternative for countries that care about the environment
environment, human and indigenous rights is to stop buying
products of mineral and agricultural origin from Brazil, believes Buzatto. “While
there is demand there will be violence and aggression on the part of these sectors and protection
them by the Bolsonaro government. ”

In the opinion of Gilberto Maringoni, professor of International Relations at the Federal University of ABC (UFABC), in his second appearance at the UN General Assembly, Bolsonaro expressed himself in a more moderate tone than in 2019. Last year, he still represented a novelty on the international scene, a scenario in which President Donald “Trump was surfing in popularity”.

In 2019, Bolsonaro stated that he took over a country “on the verge of socialism” and made reference to the Mais Médicos program. He cited the program implemented in Dilma Rousseff’s first term as “an agreement between the PT government and the Cuban dictatorship”. For Maringoni, in view of Trump’s likely defeat to Joe Biden in the American elections, Bolsonaro adopted a more moderate speech.

Bolsonaro’s “hypocritical” side at the UN was also exposed when mentioning the trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union (EU) and with the European Free Trade Association. “These agreements have important clauses that reinforce our commitments to environmental protection,” he said. In reality, the deal is in check in Europe precisely because of the environmental “policy” of his government in Brazil.

European pressure

Social pressures against the agreement are increasing in Europe. On Friday (18), the French government strongly spoke against the trade agreement between the EU and Mercosur. The agreement has not yet been ratified, due to serious environmental problems in the countries of the South American bloc, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Last year, with Decree No. 10,084, the president released sugarcane planting in the Amazon, the Pantanal and the Upper Paraguay Basin. Read the decree here.

But Bolsonaro continues to try to capitalize on the deal that has not yet been finalized, which is of more interest to European capitalism than, for example, to the industry of South American countries. “Most likely, he will continue to repeat this, that he managed to sign the agreement. It is possible that it will be ratified at some point, including after the end of the Bolsonaro government, ”says Miriam Gomes Saraiva.

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