The arrival of Jair Bolsonaro to power in Brazil is a profound change at the internal level he is the first president of the extreme right in a democracy but he also anticipates radical changes in foreign policy. To the evident approach to the United States and Israel, there is the distancing of Venezuela, with whose governments the PT governments maintained a close relationship despite the growing authoritarian drift.
The new president and US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, spoke on Wednesday in Brasilia on how to collaborate to “restore democratic governance and human rights” of the citizens of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, as reported by a spokesman for the US diplomacy Since the electoral campaign, Venezuela has been one of the issues on which the growing bilateral approach is based.
Pompeo appeared before the press in Brasilia with his recently released counterpart, Ernesto Araujo, an anti-globalization trump who has a popular blog and is a declared enemy of multilateralism. Pompeo said that both countries intend to “work together against authoritarian governments” and affirmed that there is a “deep desire to return democracy to the people of Venezuela.”
The effects of the economic, political and social crisis that is crumbling Venezuela are evident in the region – especially in neighboring countries, not so much in the US or Brazil – with the arrival of Venezuelans. Some three million have fled their country according to the UN in a phenomenon that has no sign of remitting and that the regime of Nicolás Maduro underestimates.
Pompeo assured Bolsonaro that his government “accompanies the concern (of Brazil) with the serious crisis suffered by Venezuela and has asked the president (Bolsonaro) to cooperate actively with the solution of this issue,” according to a spokesman for the Brazilian president. The Brazilian leader said he was concerned about the stability of South America and considers the Venezuelan situation as serious.
Pompeo, who was the US representative in the inauguration of the ultra-rightist president, transmitted to Bolsonaro an invitation to visit Donald Trump. Both leaders have never met but frequent winks on Twitter – the last in the swearing-in – and one of the Brazilian’s sons, Eduardo, the closest to the father and deputy, visited the White House after the election victory to meet with Jared Kushner.
Pompeo and Bolsonaro also talked about business. The second would like to strengthen relations in that area with the United States but it runs the risk of inconveniencing China, the main trading partner of the South American giant.
The coming to power of Bolsonaro culminates a remarkable turn to the right in Latin America after a period in which the continent was governed by governments of the left. Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua have been notably isolated among their neighbors. And Bolsonaro considers his ruler’s enemies declared. In fact, the three countries had been invited to take office by the outgoing president, Michel Temer, but the far right withdrew the invitations.