October 28 was the long-awaited second round of the presidential elections in Brazil. According to official data released by the Central Election Commission of Brazil, the ultra-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro (in Portuguese – Jair Messias Bolsonaro) enlisted the support of 55% of voters. For his opponent, the candidate of the left “Workers’ Party” Fernando Haddad (in Portuguese – Fernando Haddad) voted 45% of citizens. For what or in spite of what did the Brazilians this time vote? What awaits the “South American giant” in the coming years?
Many political observers say with confidence that after the victory of Bolsonaro, we are talking about an ultra-right turn in Brazil. As experts emphasize, what will happen to this country is still unclear.
The very next day after the election, the authoritative international publication “The Washington Post” noted that Bolsonaro and Trump have a lot in common and it turns out that in both parts of the Americas, leaders will be of similar views. By the way, it is worth remembering that ten years ago Bolsonaro was an outsider of the political elite. Many Brazilian media then called him ‘the king of burlesque” or a simple “clown”, which is now from January 1 of next year will take the chair of the President of Brazil.
The Bolsonaro rating began to rise sharply after an assassination attempt was made on him during the election campaign. It is also worth remembering that the candidacy of the ultra-right politician was actively supported by the military. It was he who participated in the campaign to increase the salaries of the military, for which even for a short time he was sent to prison.
Today the team of the “LACRUS” decided to analyze in detail the main points of the program of the new leader of the largest South American state. It is worth starting with the fact that a retired military man, who was a member of the national parliament for 30 years, came to power, promising to radically “change the fate” of the Brazilian people. Throughout his political career, Bolsonaro treated the period of military dictatorship in the republic (1964–1985), and his sharp and politically incorrect statements against minorities caused a violent wave of protests. Nevertheless, the camp of supporters of “tropical Trump” as Bolsonaro is often called in the Latin American press, was sufficient to guarantee the right-wing politician’s election to the highest state post.
As numerous public opinion polls show, the citizens voted for him precisely for the promised changes. First of all, they are expecting from the new government that it will be able to correct not only the internal course, but also foreign policy guidelines. Initially, the majority of Brazilians did not support either the right-wing candidate Bolsonaro or the candidate from the left-wing camp Fernando Haddad, but in the end they had to decide, and therefore decided to support the “lesser evil”. As regional and international publications point out, corruption and economic catastrophe are what have combined to push the Brazilians “into the arms” of an ultra-right politician. Over the past seven years there has been a slow but sure decline, the situation in the economy has become increasingly difficult. Many financiers have repeatedly pointed out that industrial companies and firms become bankrupt every day. International concerns and transnational corporations were wary of starting a business in Brazil and refused to “enter” to this Latin American country. Most of those who have already worked on the territory of the Brazilian state, decided to leave the country, and all because the degree of uncertainty about the future and the probability of risk became too high.
The new leader of Brazil is in favor of adopting a law on the free acquisition and carrying of weapons, relieving the police of responsibility for abuse of power during special operations, tax cuts and the privatization of state assets. It was these points of his election program that ensured his victory in the electoral race. As in many Latin American countries, when choosing a new president, voters traditionally pay little attention to the main areas of foreign policy. For this reason, until recently, Bolsonaro rather concisely covered this area of public policy and seemed to leave room for speculation and further speculation.
However, it is still worth highlighting the four main foreign policy postulates. The first is a rapprochement with Washington. During the pre-election race, the future leader of Brazil has repeatedly expressed sympathy for the United States, personally for the president Donald Trump, expressing an intention to get close to the White House. Many international experts believe that such a rapprochement will take place.
In contrast to the foreign policy focus on the United States, immediately raises the question of the participation of Brazil in the BRICS block. A number of political analysts believe that the new leader is unlikely to give up work within the framework of the BRICS, although it is still difficult to speculate on his specific steps in foreign policy. However, against the background of the expected rapprochement with the United States, the country’s participation in this union will allow Brazil to preserve the freedom of political maneuver and the level of interaction with global actors of the first echelon.
In addition, the possibility of Brazil’s participation in a hypothetical military operation against the Venezuelan government cannot be completely excluded after the ultra-right politician Jair Bolsonaro takes office as the president of the largest South American country. As Brazilian experts emphasize, Brazil’s military invasion of Venezuela is difficult to implement, it would be an absolutely irrational and erroneous strategy. However, this perspective can be realized with regard to the characteristics of the future government. In addition, we cannot exclude such a disposition, if only because the leader of the United States, Donald Trump, has already announced such a probability several times. And if the Brazilian government follows the White House in everything, such an attempt is possible.
Another interesting point of the election campaign relating to foreign policy guidelines is the intention of the new Brazilian leader to leave the UN. Bolsonaro repeatedly stressed in his statements that if he becomes president, Brazil will leave the UN. In his opinion, this organization has outlived itself and is a place where communists and people gather who have no obligations to South America.
Today, it is difficult to suggest the first steps of the government, which will be headed by Bolsonaro on January 1. However, opponents of the new charismatic leader tend to rely on the potential of democracy and the existing system of checks and balances, on the assumption that this balance of power will not allow him to literally embody all of his often extreme views.