By Nate Allen.
Bolsonaro’s team appears to have already sold out Brazil’s foreign policy to Trump, without the White House lifting a finger. If you’re a US imperialist, Americas Quarterly is your news source on Latin America. Their editor-in-chief touts how Trump will dominate Brazil’s foreign policy if Bolsonaro is elected, with phrases like “near-total alignment with Trump Administration…US has become a kind of North Star for Bolsonaro…Bolsonaro’s team has held meetings with US and made clear he’ll be exceptionally loyal ally on foreign policy…it’s like (Washington) made a list of what it wants from Brazil, and they read that list back word for word.”
His article only gets better for the US Imperialism, or worse for Brazilian sovereignty. In return for his submissiveness, Bolsonaro benefits because “Cozying up to Washington has provided effective political and diplomatic cover for regimes such as Guatemala that have flouted democratic norms.” Great, so those of us who live here in Brazil now know that the US will help cover up his future abuse here. It’s Plan Condor 2.0!!
When it comes to Africa, Bolsonaro referred to it as the ‘scum of the world’ (escória do mundo), I $hithole you not. Maybe ‘Baby Trump’ could be an add-on description. His Vice-President candidate Mourão recently criticized Brazil’s relationship with Africa as a costly association with dirty (mulambada) countries, which didn’t yield returns. I mean ‘Wow Mourão, how low can you go?’ But somehow he does, digging deeper into stupidity by attacking the South-South alliance under PT. He blames part of Brazil’s debt on Africa, despite Brazil having a trade surplus with much of Africa. Yet somehow, Africa is partly responsible for Brazil’s gross debt of R$5 trillion. I don’t remember him talking much about the abusive interest rates that annually cost Brazil R$400 billion! It should be noted that neither Bolsonaro nor Mourão speak much on the economy, but both are great with the Africa-Venezuela blame game and finger guns.
As far as Asia, Bolsonaro complained that China is buying up Brazil, which is partly true, as Temer has been selling out as much as he can for the price of a banana. However, over the last 5 years, the US has had the highest number of transactions (75), more than triple China (23), which is second. Also, US-based Exxon oil has got massive amounts of oil exploration rights under Temer, becoming likely the largest foreign holders of oil exploration rights in Brazil. Most importantly, it’s US-based Boeing that’s about to buy Brazil’s crown industrial jewel (Embraer) at half-price. China also provided a third of Brazil’s trade surplus ($20b) in 2017. So when Bolsonaro made a trip to Asia this year that skipped China yet went to Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, he was indirectly putting up his middle finger to China. Don’t worry though, because Bolsonaro will somehow make that up with the President of the Philippines, where they will jointly fight a globally destructive and unwinnable War on (certain) Drugs, which most now know is a big lie. While Canada legalizes pot and people fly out of Los Angeles Airport with weed in their pockets, here in Brazil, there will be massive amounts of blood spilled over this plant yet Canada will get to drill more in the Amazon and Hollywood will still have their movies shown in more than two-thirds of the cinema space.
Then there’s the Middle East. If USA is #1, then Israel is just behind at number two. Bolsonaro has pledged to follow Trump in moving Brazil’s embassy to Jerusalem, which would wreck any chance of Brazil playing a role in peace talks within the Middle East. Basically, Brazil’s renowned diplomacy is done if Bolsonaro becomes President. Economically, Brazil has a massive trade deficit ~$500m with Israel, whereas it exports $2,500m to Iran and imports only $40m! Bolsonaro’s son also wears a Mossad shirt, so between his son’s shirt & Bolsonaro himself saluting the US flag, their Brazilian nationalism mantra is actually Vira-lata all the way, as they step on China, Africa and Middle East in order to bow down to US and Israel.
In Europe, a majority will view Bolsonaro as a low-grade wannabe Trump. Already Far-right French Le Pen distanced herself from Bolsonaro who says ‘extremely unpleasant things you couldn’t get away with in France.’ He also scared the hell out of well-respected Stephen Fry, who said his meeting with Bolsonaro was ‘one of the most chilling confrontations I’ve ever had with a human being.’ In Italy, Bolsonaro’s adored by the Trump-aligned far-right, which is not so adored by the rest of Europe. Italy’s far-right is partially in power (125 of 630 Dep., 58 of 315 Sen.) because of an awkward alliance with the anti-corruption 5Star Movement, which has twice as many seats (221 Dep/109 Sen).
Ironically, the founder of 5Star Movement, Beppe Grillo, has publicly stated that Lula is the target of a political prosecution. Grillo also criticized Temer for privatizing all that’s possible, including the pre-salt oil fields, which is a real treasure for Brazil. Yet few know about Grillo’s comments because the Brazilian media and elites have kept it out of the debate, since it would make a mockery of the man who arrested Lula, Judge Moro. Moro used the Italian corruption investigation (Clean Hands) as a reference for Car Wash. Thus, he’s being blasted by the founder of the anti-corruption party from the country where his case is based on…Ouch! Wearing the Brazilian national jersey around Europe for many usually garners respect beyond football, especially for global diplomacy, where now, it’ll likely symbolize South American fascism that’s submissive to Trump. That sucks.
If Haddad does win, he’ll quickly gain global respect, especially among mayors from all political backgrounds. He could push forward a global cycling revolution while supporting serious urban and regional planning efforts at the global level, all which is desperately needed! He’d happily reforest the Amazon as well, which would obviously require international financial support and other changes to the current world economic system. He’d honestly attempt to stop deforestation and who knows, he may even agree start to reforest 13 million hectares within his term. By the way, the Amazon could be close to its tipping point within five years, as deforestation is at 17% and some say 20% could turn it into a Savannah. Some predict a Bolsonaro presidency will lead to an annual deforestation of 2.5 million hectares. If this does happen, then a 5-year tipping point isn’t an exaggeration. Thus, voting #13 (Haddad’s voting number) wouldn’t just help save the rainforest, but may help save the planet. If Amazon tips over into a savannah, the world is in deep trouble.
Further, Haddad may likely appoint Celso Amorim as his Foreign Minister. Amorim is globally respected and would walk into the United Nations with over half the world backing him over Trump. Amorim is that talented. Noam Chomsky has repeatedly praised Amorim as the man who helped Brazil become the most respected nation in terms of diplomacy. The world needs an alternative to Trumpism. Haddad could do just that through Amorim, along with the support of Jose Mujica and his dream of Latin American integration. Regardless if Haddad wins, we will continue to fight for Lula’s freedom and his political powers to be restored. #Vote13