Bolsonaro sides with Trump as mob storms U.S. Capitol

. Jan 07, 2021
Supporters of President Trump storming the U.S. Capitol building in Washington on Wednesday Supporters of President Trump storming the U.S. Capitol building in Washington on Wednesday. Photo: Vasilis Asvestas/Shutterstock

This newsletter is for PREMIUM subscribers only. Become one now!

Today, how Bolsonaro sided with Trump and the mob that stormed the Capitol. The latest vaccine news. And Brazilian companies’ migration to the cloud.

After Capitol insurrection, Bolsonaro reaffirms Trump ties

The world watched live as an angry mob — instigated by outgoing President Donald Trump — stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to prevent Congress from formally declaring the victory of President-elect Joe Biden. Many saw the images of mayhem in Washington as a warning to global democracies, and even ultranationalist leaders such as Italy’s Matteo Salvini and India’s Narendra Modi condemned the use of violence.

</p> <p>The <a href="">Center for Systemic Peace&#8217;s Polity V score</a>, one of the most common measures of democracy, downgraded the U.S. to an &#8220;anocracy&#8221; (not a democracy) and noted yesterday&#8217;s events as an &#8220;attempted (presidential) coup.&#8221;</p> <ul><li>In Brazil, however, President Jair Bolsonaro chose to reiterate his support for Mr. Trump, and once again voiced unproven claims of voter fraud in the U.S. election.</li></ul> <p><strong>What he said.</strong> When asked by a supporter to comment on the insurrection in Washington, Mr. Bolsonaro answered: &#8220;I followed everything today. You know I’m connected to Trump, right? So you already know my answer.&#8221; He added that &#8220;there were a lot of reports of fraud&#8221; in the U.S. vote.</p> <ul><li>The president also revived unfounded allegations that Brazil&#8217;s electoral system is vulnerable to manipulation, claiming that he should have won the 2018 race without the need for a runoff vote.</li></ul> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img loading="lazy" width="1000" height="621" src="" alt="bolsonaro trump capitol insurrection" class="wp-image-54667" srcset=" 1000w, 300w, 768w, 560w, 600w" sizes="(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px" /><figcaption>The Center for Systemic Peace rated the invasion of the U.S. Capitol as an &#8220;attempted (presidential) coup.&#8221; Photo: Vasilis Asvestas/Shutterstock</figcaption></figure> <p><strong>Why it matters.</strong> Many political observers fear that the Brazilian president may <a href="">use Donald Trump&#8217;s actions as a blueprint in the near future</a>, should he suffer an impeachment attempt or lose re-election in 2022.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Red flags.</strong> These assumptions appear to be well-founded when we remember that back in May 2020, Mr. Bolsonaro <a href="">threatened to launch a self-coup by closing Brazil’s Supreme Court</a> and replacing all 11 of its justices.</p> <ul><li>In Brazil&#8217;s case, there is one additional element of distress: the uncertain role of the Armed Forces and military police vis-à-vis the government.&nbsp;</li><li>Rafael Alcadipani, a member of the Brazilian Public Security Forum and a professor at think tank Fundação Getulio Vargas, told <strong>The Brazilian Report</strong> that Brazil’s 27 military police forces <a href="">have more combined troops than the Army and more than any armed group in South America</a>.</li><li>“The big question is: if [Mr.] Bolsonaro tries to launch a coup, how will the military police react?” says Mr. Alcadipani. “I think it will depend a lot on the occasion and the situation, and I don’t think the response will be unanimous. But my impression is that the police will tend to remain within constitutional laws.”&nbsp;</li></ul> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>Health Minister says Brazil is ready to vaccinate, but gives no timetable</h2> <p>Hours after São Paulo announced its own statewide vaccination program set to start on January 25, Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello addressed the nation in a televised speech saying that the federal government is ready to begin inoculations &#8220;later this month&#8221; — but failed to give a definitive date.</p> <ul><li>Mr. Pazuello said Brazil has secured 354 million vaccine shots for 2021, mentioning that the country could become a vaccine exporter, despite not a single Brazilian citizen having been inoculated so far.&nbsp;</li></ul> <p><strong>Regulations. </strong>President Bolsonaro also signed a <a href="">provisional decree</a> authorizing governments to purchase vaccine doses and inputs without the need for a bidding process and even before regulatory approval from federal bodies.</p> <p><strong>A new looming war.</strong> Besides the vaccine war between nations and even within Brazil — with states trying to secure their own doses amid a lack of federal guidance — syringes are set to be the next point of contention in Brazil. States are trying to stock them on their own, and the Foreign Trade Chamber lifted all import fees on such products. Meanwhile, however, Mr. Bolsonaro has suspended all federal purchases, claiming prices are too high.</p> <p><strong>New lockdowns.</strong> Without a <a href="">defined vaccine plan</a> and with death and infection curves spiking, local administrations are beginning to re-implement lockdowns. In Belo Horizonte, the sixth-largest Brazilian city in population terms, officials say hospitals &#8220;have reached their limit&#8221; and will <a href="">enact strict restriction measures starting on Monday</a>. The state of São Paulo will reassess its reopening plan today, and multiple regions could be put under tighter restrictions.</p> <ul><li>When announcing the São Paulo vaccination plan, Governor João Doria said cities which fail to enforce restrictions will be placed <a href="">&#8220;at the end of the vaccine line.&#8221;</a></li></ul> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>Brazilian companies migrating to the cloud</h2> <p>The pandemic has forced companies around the world to accelerate their processes of digital transformation, which in Brazil has sparked a boom of investment in cloud computing. A survey by Dell and Intel with 200 major companies shows that cloud migration is among the top five priorities for businesses in 2021.</p> <ul><li>Rushed processes, however, could be a problem. A recent study shows that 49 percent of companies adopting hybrid cloud solutions — combining a private cloud with one or more public cloud services — have no clear approach to modernizing their systems. Meanwhile, 22 percent plan to migrate systems to the cloud without making any adaptations, which is not recommended by experts.</li></ul> <p><strong>What to look for.</strong> Companies still do not give cybersecurity the importance it demands. Brazil currently ranks 70th in the United Nations’ Global Cybersecurity Index — and is only Latin America&#8217;s sixth-best equipped country against hackers, behind much poorer nations such as Paraguay.</p> <p><strong>Labor.</strong> Another bottleneck for companies&#8217; digital transition is the lack of skilled workers in Brazil. The country currently has the biggest gap between job openings and available workers for the IT sector — and the labor deficit could reach 300,000 professionals by 2024.</p> <ul><li>The issue is mainly caused by school evasion, the high costs of an IT-based education, and restricted access to technology in the country.</li></ul> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>What else you need to know today</h2> <ul><li><strong>Taxes.</strong> After being put under pressure by rural producers, São Paulo Governor João Doria backpedaled on his decision to cut state tax exemptions on food products and medicines. Disgruntled producers still plan on holding a tractor motorcade to protest against the state government, claiming that dairy, poultry, and fruit and vegetable farmers will continue to lose their <a href="">tax benefits</a>.</li><li><strong>Cash transfers.</strong> At the launch of his candidacy for the House Speaker position, Congressman Baleia Rossi argued in favor of expanding Brazil&#8217;s flagship cash-transfer program Bolsa Família, or recreating the coronavirus emergency salary to help lower-income families during the <a href="">second wave of infections and deaths</a>. The aid program expired at the end of 2020 and economists warn of a possible ensuing poverty crisis.&nbsp;</li><li><strong>Congress. </strong>House Speaker Rodrigo Maia said on Wednesday that the <a href="">election for his successor</a> will be postponed by one day to February 2. Meanwhile, the House has yet to decide whether or not the election will take place in person or through a remote system. In the latter case, logistics could be an issue, as 513 members of Congress will vote in a secret ballot that could last for two rounds.</li><li><strong>Labor.</strong> Sectors still struggling to recover from the 2020 crisis are putting pressure on the Economy Minister to extend the program allowing companies to suspend or reduce workers&#8217; contracts during the pandemic, which expired in December. The outcry comes especially from the tourism, private security, and restaurant industries — who say they will otherwise be forced to <a href="">carry out massive layoffs</a>.</li><li><strong>ESG.</strong> Paper producer Klabin has become the second Brazilian company to issue a 10-year sustainability-linked bond at a rate of 3.2 percent a year — the lowest for a company with Klabin&#8217;s rating (BB+, one step below investment grade). With the operation, the paper producer raised USD 500 million.&nbsp;</li><li><strong>Human rights.</strong> The Brazilian government has been denounced in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for the 1982 murder of Gabriel Sales Pimenta, a lawyer who fought for labor rights in the Amazon region. The government is accused of failing to protect Mr. Pimenta and not making efforts to successfully investigate the case and prosecute the perpetrators. In 1982, Brazil was living through the <a href="">final years of its military dictatorship</a>.

Read the full story NOW!

Our content is protected by copyright. Want to republish The Brazilian Report? Email us at