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  • President Jair Bolsonaro (L) and Augusto Heleno, Minister of institutional security, in Brasilia, Brazil Jan. 3, 2019.

    President Jair Bolsonaro (L) and Augusto Heleno, Minister of institutional security, in Brasilia, Brazil Jan. 3, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 4 January 2019

Far-right Brazilian President Bolsonaro remarked that Russia's support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has significantly increased regional tensions.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said, in a television interview Thursday, that he is willing to negotiate the possibility of hosting a United States military base in the country. This decision, if achieved, would imply an unprecedented change in the foreign policy of Brazil, a country that consolidated regional power - during the 20th century - without compromising territorial sovereignty.

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"Depending on what happens in the world, who knows if we would not have to discuss that issue in the future," Bolsonaro declared, emphasizing that Brazil seeks to have "the supremacy here in South America."

Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old retired army captain - who took office on Jan. 1, also remarked that Russia's support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has significantly increased regional tensions, and is a worrying development.

"Russia has made a maneuver in Venezuela. We know the intention of Maduro's Government... and Brazil has to worry about it. Over the last 25 years, our Armed Forces have been abandoned because of a political issue, because we, the Armed Forces, are the last obstacle to socialism," Bolsonaro said, adding that "my approach to the U.S. is an economic issue, but it can be military as well."

Bolsonaro, who is a confessed admirer of Donald Trump, has been working to consolidate a conservative alliance not only with the United States, but also Israel.

The Brazilian head of state's national security adviser, retired army General Augusto Heleno, confirmed Thursday, that Bolsonaro wants to move the Brazilian embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, but that logistical considerations stand in the way.

Heleno did not elaborate, but the country's powerful agricultural sector opposes moving the embassy from Tel Aviv, which would anger Arab nations that buy billions of dollars worth of Brazilian meat each year.

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