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Comparisons to Donald Trump are usually not meant to be flattering, but the Brazilian President doesn’t take offense when people call him the Trump of the Tropics. In fact, Jair Bolsonaro actually takes pride in it. And he has earned the nickname. Probably no other world leader has emulated the American President as much as he did. From inflammatory statements on social issues, to angry tweets, ‘Make BRAZIL Great Again’ baseball caps, and even a passing interest in golden showers.
After winning the election, Bolsonaro said his priority when it comes to foreign policy was to strengthen ties with the U.S. He wasn’t kidding. For his first official visit to a foreign country, Bolsonaro chose Washington as his destination, breaking with the Brazilian tradition of starting off by visiting Argentina—just across the southern border. On the top of the agenda is Venezuela—a country rich in oil which is undergoing the worst humanitarian crisis in the Western hemisphere—, and China, the Trump’s foe which has managed to become more and more influential in Latin America.
Has Jair Bolsonaro — or most importantly — has Brazil come out stronger from the meeting?
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On this podcast
Gustavo Ribeiro has extensive experience covering Brazilian politics. His work has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets, including Veja, Época, Folha de São Paulo, Médiapart and Radio France Internationale. He is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Abril Prize for outstanding political journalism. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science and Latin American studies from Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris.
Celso Amorim is a Brazilian diplomat who served as Brazil’s Foreign Minister in two different stints: 1993-1994, and 2003-2010, under President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. He was also Brazil’s Minister of Defense between 2011 and 2014, under President Dilma Rousseff. In 2009, Mr. Amorim was named the “world’s best foreign minister” by Foreign Policy magazine blogger David Rothkopf.
Mauricio Santoro holds a Ph.D. in Political Science. He is currently Assistant Professor and Head of the Department of International Relations at the State University of Rio de Janeiro. He also writes op-eds for The Brazilian Report.
This podcast was produced by Maria Martha Bruno. She is a journalist with 14 years of experience in politics, arts, and breaking news. She has collaborated with Al Jazeera, NBC, and CNN, among others, and worked as an international correspondent in Buenos Aires.
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