Since the beginning of his first official visit to Washington on Monday, Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has shown himself to be an "unconditional admirer" of the United States and its foreign policies, and Brazilians are making it clear they do not agree with such a view.
Far-Right Homage: Bolsonaro Visits CIA Before Meeting Trump on First US Visit
"The United States and its people have always inspired in large part the decisions I made," Bolsonaro said and pointed out that "I am here extending my hands and I am certain that Trump will do the same...We want a big Brazil, just like you want a big United States."
The far-right Brazilian president’s statements, however, sparked a wave of shame and indignation in Brazil, so much so that #BolsonaroEmbarassesBrazil (#BolsonaroEnvergonhaOBrasil) became one of the world’s most commented Twitter subjects on Tuesday.
Among the most criticized issues were the end of visa requirement for U.S. citizens and the handing over of Alcantara military base to the United States.
"Bolsonaro embarrasses Brazil: Love defines."
During an interview with Fox News, the content of which was quickly republished by the Brazilian media, President Bolsonaro also endorsed the conservative and racist view of migrants.
"The vast majority of migrants do not have good intentions and do not want to do good to the U.S. people," Bolsonaro said, adding that “I would very much like the U.S. to push forward its current immigration policy because, to a large extent, we owe our democracy in the Southern Hemisphere to the U.S."
Brasil 247, a local media, also echoed comments from angry Brazilians who recalled that there are millions of Brazilian migrants living in the United States.
"Bolsonaros father and son share a totally wrong view about who leaves their own home, family and country to seek opportunities elsewhere," Alessandro Moron said in a tweet and added that "such view proves they do not know the Brazilian people."
"Summary of Bolsonaro in the United States."
O Globo, a mainstream Brazilian media, could not help but report on Bolsonaro's most surprising statements.
"Hailed by Fox News as ‘Trump of the Tropics,’ Bolsonaro said [the U.S. President] is battling socialism and ‘could not agree more with him’,” O Globo, a local media, reported and added that, when asked about the growing positive view that U.S. youth has of socialism, Bolsonaro said that “France is a negative example of the evils of such political system.”
During the second day of his official visit to the U.S., however, the outspoken President tried to avoid detailed answers to questions about his links with the Brazilian paramilitary militias or about Marielle Franco, a human rights defender who was murdered in 2018.
Shortly after arriving in the U.S. capital Monday, Bolsonaro visited the headquarters of the CIA, the first-ever Brazilian president to do so, drawing criticisms from Brazilians who pointed out the dirty history of such an organization that supported brutal military dictatorships in Brazil and Latin America.