President Jair Bolsonaro vetoed a bill on Thursday that earmarked BRL 3 billion (USD 602 million) in financial aid for Brazil’s culture sector. He claimed the bill goes against the public interest and is “unconstitutional,” as it is not in line with fiscal responsibility principles.
The aid fund for cultural projects drew inspiration from an emergency plan for the sector passed by Congress in 2020. “That law was a landmark in Brazil’s cultural policies and should become permanent,” said Congresswoman Jandira Feghali, who authored the bill.
In April, Mr. Bolsonaro vetoed another proposal that would give BRL 3.86 billion to states and municipalities to support the culture sector. Congress could strike that veto down in the coming weeks.
The Bolsonaro administration’s approach to culture has been highly criticized. He downgraded the Culture Ministry to a secretariat under the umbrella of the Tourism Ministry, slashed budgets, used red tape to keep left-leaning movies from reaching theaters, and has actively worked to censor politically charged forms of art.