Bolsonaro Is in Moscow Precisely Because the White House Told Him Not to Go
"Bolsonaro has a well-documented obsession with protecting Brazil’s national sovereignty"
Editor’s note: As you can see above, he’s even wearing the face diaper for the Russian Faucis that he wouldn’t wear at the G20 in Rome last November. He also got the red carpet reception that was denied to Macron. (Unclear if Scholz got it, but seems not.)
Putin and Bolsonaro have long enjoyed warm relations. At a 2020 summit of the BRICS countries, Putin praised Bolsonaro for his pandemic leadership—which included flouting social distancing rules and refusing offers by vaccine manufacturers. “The gentleman expressed the best qualities,” the Russian president said in a video shared on Twitter by Bolsonaro, “Masculinity and determination.”
Putin has in recent months stepped up diplomatic outreach to Latin American leaders. He has made a series of phone calls to leaders not only in countries like Venezuela and Cuba, which have had links to Russia since the Soviet era, but also those, like Brazil and Argentina, which have normally pursued closer ties with Washington and Europe.
Brazilian politicians and media have warned that going ahead with the Russia trip will put those Western relationships at risk. “The presence of the Brazilian [president] in the midst of the crisis, without a visit to Kiev, tends to be read as tacit support for Russian demands to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO,” wrote a columnist for the Folha de São Paulo, the country’s largest daily, dubbing the visit “the most dangerous trip of Bolsonaro’s presidency.”
A deliberate snub
Brazilian media reported in late January that White House representatives had asked their counterparts in Bolsonaro’s Administration to cancel or delay the trip. U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken expressed concern over the message it could send to Putin and the rest of the world about Brazil’s allegiances on a call with Brazil’s foreign minister in late January, according to the reports.
But that diplomatic push against the trip probably backfired, says Thomas Traumann, a political consultant and columnist for Brazilian magazine Veja. Bolsonaro has a well-documented obsession with protecting Brazil’s national sovereignty, visible in spats with European leaders over their attempts to stop deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. “The fact that the Americans were so furious with him, that’s what made Bolsonaro want to do it,” Traumann says, “to show that he is independent from Biden and nobody tells him what to do.”
Traumann says it’s unlikely, though, that Bolsonaro’s trip will lead to more explicit moves in support of Putin, such as voting with Russia on the U.N. security council, where Brazil is a non-permanent member. On Jan. 31, Brazil voted in favor of a U.S. motion to discuss the Ukraine situation, which Russia opposed.
Speaking to supporters outside his official residence on Monday, Bolsonaro said he hopes for a peaceful resolution of the Ukraine crisis, but suggested it was none of his business. “The whole world has its problems. If you start wanting to fix other people’s problems….,” he said. “We want peace but we have to understand that everyone is human. Let’s hope it works out. If it depended on a word from me, the world would have peace.”
> “Brazilian politicians and media have warned that going ahead with the Russia trip will put those Western relationships at risk. ”
oh no! the relationship with the parasitic poisonous rat at risk! It would be a tragic loss.
Bolsonaro might get the JFK treatment, if he keeps that up.
Good for him! Anything done against the rapacious warmongers of the western MIC is always progress.