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News > Latin America

Brazil: Presidential Candidate Bolsonaro Meets US Ambassador

  • Brazil's far right-wing presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro.

    Brazil's far right-wing presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 July 2018

The U.S. embassy in Brazil informed that its officials have convened with Brazil's main presidential candidates without specifically naming who.

After much speculation about his alliances, it has been revealed that far right-wing Brazilian presidential candidate and current Rio de Janeiro congressman, Jair Bolsonaro, of the Social Liberal Party (PSL), met with U.S. ambassador to Brazil, Peter Michael McKinley.

Brazil: Lula Absolved of Obstruction of Justice Charges, but Kept in Prison

The meeting, which occurred two weeks ago, comes as relatives of the lawmaker attempt to schedule a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, according to Brasil 24/7

The U.S. embassy in Brazil informed that it respects the sovereign and independent process of Brazil's upcoming general elections, scheduled to take place in October. At the same time, it also admitted that embassy officials have convened with the main presidential candidates, without specifically naming who.

No other candidate has gained more support since Brazil's national football team was eliminated from the World Cup than Bolsonaro, according to the website Pragmatismo Politico.

Luiz Antonio Nabhan Garcia estimated that Bolsonaro has secured “more than 90 percent” of support from the rural business sector.

During a speech delivered to 2,000 members and supporters of the National Confederation of Industries, on Wednesday, Bolsonaro was applauded on no less than six different occasions. An ovation from the crowd came after the lawmaker said, “Workers will have to decide if they want fewer rights and employment, or the maximum degree of rights and unemployment.”

Neither option has been possible under the senate-imposed presidency of Michel Temer, where the degrading combination of fewer rights and less work prevail, according to Pragmatismo Politico.

Bolsonaro is no stranger to expressing his far right-wing views and what direction he will take the country if elected president.

In November 2017, he told the Financial Times that Brazilians enjoyed "total freedom" during the military dictatorship of 1964 to 1984, and that many traveled "to Disneyland and returned home."

Last year, during former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's impeachment vote, Bolsonaro used his congressional speaking time not only to rally in favor of her ouster, but also to praise Carlos Brilhante Ustra, the colonel who headed the dictatorship's notorious torture program in the 1970s.

He cited Ustra as "the source of Dilma Rousseff's dread," referring to the fact that, as a young woman, she had been imprisoned for three years for being a leftist guerrilla and was tortured, including being electrocuted, under his watch.

Bolsonaro has also proposed restoring military rule and has been quoted as saying that Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet "should have killed more people." 

Though former Brazilian Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has topped every 2018 electoral poll conducted by Vox Populi, Ibope, Datafolha, Data Poder 360, Instituto Parana, the National Confederation of Transportation/MDA and Ipsos, Bolsonaro has often come in at a distant second place.

Lula, however, remains in prison, an event many jurists and observers attribute to lawfare and a salacious mainstream media campaign, leaving a more open path to a Bolsonaro presidency.

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