Business

What Elon Musk wants from Brazil

Reports that Elon Musk aims to provide internet to the Amazon may miss the deeper story: the tech mogul’s potential designs on Brazilian nickel

President Jair Bolsonaro, Elon Musk, and Communications Minister Fábio Faria. Photo: Cleverson Oliveira/MCom
President Jair Bolsonaro, Elon Musk, and Communications Minister Fábio Faria. Photo: Cleverson Oliveira/MCom

It was an irresistible photo-op for President Jair Bolsonaro: shaking hands with Elon Musk, the eccentric billionaire who had just launched a bid to buy Twitter.

The two met on May 20 at the upscale Fasano Hotel in Porto Feliz, roughly 100 kilometers from the city of São Paulo. But handshakes aside, Mr. Musk left Brazil empty-handed – unless you count the Defense Order of Merit medal he received from the president, an honor usually reserved for those who have served in the Armed Forces.

Mr. Musk did announce, however, that Starlink, one of his companies, would provide internet...

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