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News > Brazil

Bolsonaro's Cabinet Meets For 1st Time, Agenda Remains Secret

  • Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro reacts after being stabbed during a campaign rally in Minas Gerais state, Brazil, Sep. 6, 2018

    Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro reacts after being stabbed during a campaign rally in Minas Gerais state, Brazil, Sep. 6, 2018 | Photo: Reuters

Published 19 December 2018

Bolsonaro will meet with his 22-member cabinet in Brasilia Wednesday while security costs for inauguration expected to double.

Brazil’s President-elect Jair Bolsonaro is holding his first cabinet meeting Wednesday. 22 newly-appointed ministers will convene with Bolsonaro at his farm in Brasilia. The agenda for the right-wing head of state and his executive team was not disclosed to the public.

Brazil's Bolsonaro Says He Will Target Venezuela, Cuba

Bolsonaro will be inaugurated on Jan. 1 in the midst of “unprecedented” security measures, promised his named Security Minister General Sergio Etchegoyen.

"We have never had a presidential candidate suffer an assassination attempt, which justifies the security scheme" on Jan. 1 Etchegoyen told the press.

On the campaign trail, someone attacked Bolsonaro with a knife which sent him to the hospital for weeks last September in Minas Gerais. He chose to boycott televised presidential debates in light of the injuries.

Etchegoyen said the president-elect is "still receiving threats." According to a Chilean newspaper, La Tercera, Brazilian police arrested two people in Rio de Janeiro and Recife under suspicion of sending death threats to Bolsonaro and Vice President-elect, General Hamilton Mourão.

The general, one of five in the Bolsonaro cabinet, says the Esplanade of Ministries, the avenue in Brasilia where the Parliament and presidential palace are housed, will be reinforced with security agents for 80 hours surrounding the swearing-in — from Dec. 30 until Jan. 2 — according to O Globo newspaper.

Elite shooters are also expected to line the buildings along the Esplanade, a large contingent of plain-clothed security agents will remain within the area along with some 12,000 military members and national and local police forces.

Because of the added security measures, this inauguration will cost around one million reais (US$258,000), Brazil’s highest in history, says O Globo.

The public won’t be able to enter the area with bottles, bags, animals, masks, umbrellas, among other prohibited objects. There will be no street vendors during the inauguration. The government will also be blocking certain radio frequencies in the area.

Despite the agenda of the cabinet meeting not having been disclosed to the public, his selected members have been vocal about their policy preferences. Bolsonaro, a former army capital himself, picked retired General Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz as his minister of Congressional relations. His Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo has come out strongly against climate change science, calling it a “cultural Marxists” plot to asphyxiate Western economies and promote China’s growth.

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