Power

A putschist meeting shows up Bolsonaro’s erratic foreign policy

The guest list for President Bolsonaro’s July 18 meeting with foreign diplomats lays bare the Brazilian president’s erratic approach to foreign policy, and highlights how he shuns key partners such as Argentina and China

putschist Bolsonaro erratic diplomacy
On July 18, President Bolsonaro hosted dozens of foreign ambassadors in Brasília to sow distrust about Brazil’s voting system. Photo: Clauber Cleber Caetano/PR

Before taking office, President Jair Bolsonaro promised to conduct “ideology-free” diplomacy. His three and a half years as head of state show he has done anything but. His administration has belittled Mercosur (Brazil’s trade alliance with neighboring nations), created spats with China (Brazil’s main trading partner), and he has personally insulted the presidents of France and the U.S.

Mr. Bolsonaro’s July 18 meeting with foreign ambassadors — when he attacked the integrity of Brazil’s electronic voting system and all but threatened to stage a power grab —, gave another example of how his foreign policy can be erratic.

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