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Bolsonaro is trying to promote aid as Brazil’s Covid crisis worsens

Bolsonaro is trying to promote aid as Brazil’s Covid crisis worsens

Brazilian far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has tried to assert his authority in the face of the biggest political and public health crisis to date. remodeling cabinet and changing military leaders, but the changes have only underscored his low support.

Bolsonaro has come under a lot of pressure political and business elite to sidestep the stance against vaccines, blockades and masked clothing, as coronavirus deaths are on the rise in a country where inoculations have been slow-paced.

Brazil is reporting more new cases of coronavirus than any other country in the world. The U.S. alone has surpassed the death toll of more than 310,000 people, and on Tuesday the Covid-19 deaths hit a new record of 3,780 days. The country has administered only 17.7 million vaccine doses, which is 8.4 per 100 people, so far.

After escalating criticism of the virus’s strategy, Bolsonaro’s first move on Monday was to sacrifice Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo. A close ideological ally, favoring a stance against the “narcosocialism” of previous Brazilian governments and in favor of traditional Christian values, Araújo was replaced by a more discreet and discreet diplomat Carlos Alberto Franco França.

“Araújo was the main indicator of the conservative ideology against globalization in government,” said Elena Lazarou, an associate member of the Chatham House. “But since the election of Joe Biden more and more, it didn’t make any sense and has been a problem for Brazil’s foreign relations with the US and China, as well as globally. [vaccine] supply chains “.

Deepening the government crisis, the head of the army, General Edson Leal Pujol and the head of the navy and air force resigned on Tuesday, media reports said they disagreed with Bolsonaro on the role of health policy and the armed forces.

Pujol angered the president, stressing how successful the military had been in having the coronavirus inside him – a stark contrast to what Bolsonaro was doing against the closures.

A day earlier, Bolsonaro had accidentally released Defense Minister Fernando Azevedo e Silva. Previously seen as an ally, the minister abruptly stepped down to report growing tensions with the president, and was replaced by another general, Walter Braga Netto, who was Bolsonaro’s chief of staff.

“Bolsonaro is cornered and wants people with 100 percent loyalty,” said Oliver Stuenkel, an associate professor of international relations at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation in Sao Paulo. “Names [of the replacements] they are close to the president. All of these are people who will end up with the president. “

Azevedo stated in his resignation letter that he kept “the armed forces as a state institution,” and stressed his difference with Bolsonaro. President, a former army captain who praised the 1964-85 military dictatorship in Brazil last year he spoke at a demonstration in which participants demanded a state of emergency and the closure of the Supreme Court.

Bolsonaro has piled up his government with servants and retired military men, down from his vice-president General Hamilton Mourão. The conservative position on homosexuality from violent crime has coincided with active functioning, but generals are concerned about the growing association with a lesser-known government.

“Bolsonaro almost wanted to become a Praetorian army guard,” said Vinicius de Carvalho, a Brazilian military expert at King’s College London. “But the army didn’t want that. They are already very concerned about the damage done to their image. “

When he left the government, Azevedo privately assured the Supreme Court chief Luiz Fux that the army has a continued commitment to respect democratic institutions, a forensic source said.

Another goal Bolsonaro had with this renewal, analysts said, was to strengthen his political support in Congress with a view to his offer. re-election Next year. The key position of government secretary, who coordinates relations between the presidency and the legislature, has been for a politician from the “Centrão” bloc who has sided with Bolsonaro in recent months.

Given Bolsonaro’s commercial nature and open contempt for democratic institutions, some analysts are concerned about the dangers of a Capitol Hill-style confrontation after the October 2022 election.

FGV’s Stuenkel said Bolsonaro, a big admirer of Donald Trump, if he lost the election, he might try to block the transition of power with the help of the military.

“That’s what worries me the most,” he said. “It is setting the stage for next year’s presidential election and potential problems.”

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