Explaining Brazil #79: Bolsonaro flips off the world

Speaking before representatives of 193 nations—and millions watching at home—Jair Bolsonaro talked at the UN about issues that only really resonated with Brazilians. And not even with all Brazilians.

In fact, his 30-minute speech targeted a specific demographic: his hardcore supporters, a group of 12 percent of the population, give or take, who are on his side no matter what.

This week, we speak to two experts in international relations to discuss what to make of Jair Bolsonaro’s speech at the UN.

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On this episode:

  • Matias Spektor is an Associate Professor of International Relations and runs the Center for International Relations at Fundação Getúlio Vargas in São Paulo, Brazil.
  • 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.

Background reading:

  • Brazil traditionally opens the round of debates at the United Nations General Assembly. But do you know why? Euan Marshall explains.
  • We analyzed Jair Bolsonaro’s 30-minute speech. Disappointing—but not surprising.
  • Back in January, when Mr. Bolsonaro had just taken office, Mauricio Santoro analyzed the three groups clashing for foreign policy control within the administration.

Explaining Brazil is made by:

  • Gustavo Ribeiro, editor in chief of The Brazilian Report. He has extensive experience covering Brazilian politics. His work has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets, including Veja, Época, Folha de S.Paulo, Médiapart, and Radio France Internationale.
  • Euan Marshall, editing. is a journalist and translator who has lived in São Paulo, Brazil since 2011. Specializing in Brazilian soccer, politics and the connection between the two, his work has been published in The Telegraph, Al Jazeera, The Independent, among others.

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