Guedes: “We cannot risk becoming Venezuela or Argentina”

supreme court bolsonaro
Photo: Facebook/Jair Bolsonaro

In an unusual move, President Jair Bolsonaro, joined by Economy Minister Paulo Guedes and major business owners, walked to the Supreme Court this afternoon to demand the loosening of quarantine rules in Brazil. For nearly an hour, Mr. Bolsonaro met with Chief Justice Dias Toffoli, to whom he said he will extend the number of activities considered as essential. In response to that, Mr. Toffoli indicated that economic reopening must be planned and coordinated with states and municipalities.

During the meeting with the Supreme Court chief justice, Economy Minister Paulo Guedes argued once more in favor of reopening the country’s economy. The minister indicated that the government is able to guarantee the protection of Brazil’s vital signs for the next quarter, but that could change in the near future. “The economy is starting to collapse,” Mr. Guedes said, adding that “we do not want to risk becoming a Venezuela or an Argentina.”

In response to that, Mr. Bolsonaro said Mr. Guedes’ remarks about Venezuela were “about the economy, not the regime.”

“The country is rich in oil and gold, but the population lives in misery,” the president said. “They got to a point from which they cannot recover. I want to avoid the country falling into an economic crisis it cannot recover from.”