Brazil-US turbulence ahead in case of Biden victory
via France24 - 09/10/2020
Brasília (AFP) Diplomatic relations between Brazil and the United States are likely to become more turbulent in the event of a Joe Biden victory in the US presidential election, as far-right President Jair Bolsonaro is a fervent admirer of Donald Trump.
Nicknamed the "Tropical Trump," Bolsonaro lashed out last week when the Democratic candidate threatened his country with economic sanctions over deforestation in the Amazon.
The Brazilian leader described Biden's remarks as "disastrous and unnecessary" and said they threatened "cordial relations" between the two countries.
However, he has previously expressed a willingness to adopt a "pragmatic" attitude in the event of a Biden victory.
As soon as he came to power in January 2019, Bolsonaro broke with Brazil's tradition of multilateralism to forge ever closer ties with the Trump administration.
And when the Republican president was infected with Covid-19, the Brazilian wished him a rapid recovery so that "his re-election campaign won't be affected."
"You will win and you will be stronger, for the good of the United States and for the world," said Bolsonaro.
His son, Eduardo, came in for sharp criticism from US Democrats in July after he shared a pro-Trump video on his Twitter account.
China and 5G ...
'He became a hero': Bolsonaro sees popularity surge as Covid-19 spreads
Emergency aid payments have helped Brazil’s president win support despite the virus raging. But things could soon change
Dom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro, The Guardia
10 Oct 2020
Brazil’s hard-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, dismissed Covid-19 as a “little flu”, and said it should be faced “like a man, not a boy”.
He sneered that self-isolating was “for the weak” and raged against lockdown measures. He clashed with state governors, and his own former health minister savaged his handling of the pandemic.
But as Brazil counts nearly 5 million Covid-19 cases and more than 147,000 dead, Bolsonaro is more popular than ever.
Like his idol Donald Trump, the populist Brazilian leader caught the virus and emerged apparently unscathed. But while the US president trails Joe Biden in the polls, Bolsonaro’s government has hit a record 40% approval rating.
Much of that popularity is down to monthly emergency aid payments of £83 ($108) – or £166 ($217) for single mothers – that about 67 million Brazilians began receiving in April.
Giselly Andrade, 34, worked as a cashier until her second child, Gabriel, five, was born with microcephaly. She lives in Recife, in the state of Pernambuco – the poor north-east region that has traditionally been the electoral heartland of the leftwing Workers’ party, which ruled Brazil from 2003-2016. Now, however, support for Bolsonaro is growing in the region, where 65% have received emergency aid.
Andrade is one of them – and the payments helped change her view of the president.
“I didn’t expect this of him,” she said. “People said he only thought about himself [but] he’s shown the opposite.” Andrade spoiled her vote in 2018 but said she would now vote for Bolsonaro when he runs for re-election in 2022. “He’s been working, thinking of the people,” she said.
“He became a hero,” said Ricardo Fernandes, 31, an actor from Rio’s City of God favela who organized food deliveries to the community. Fernandes said Bolsonaro’s social media propaganda persuaded people he was behind the payments – when actually the government originally proposed a much lower value before congress forced an increase.
But Bolsonaro’s rising popularity has come at a price Brazil may not be able to afford for much longer. The emergency aid payments were halved last month and are due to end in December, potentially leaving nearly 40 million people adrift, according to a new study from the Getúlio Vargas Foundation, a leading business school.
According to research by Renato Meirelles at Locomotiva, a research institute specialising in low-income Brazilians...
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