President Jair Bolsonaro’s (non-party) participation in the UN General Assembly this Tuesday (21) reinforces Brazil’s isolation, overturns the thesis of a supposed moderation of the new foreign minister and demonstrates the use of religion as a political weapon , say international relations professors heard by the Brazil in fact.
Upon opening the 76th United Nations General Assembly in New York, Bolsonaro said he “does not understand” why other countries do not support “early treatment” against covid-19, he said he believes in God and distorted data on the Brazilian economic reality and your government’s environmental policy.
The Brazilian president said he will offer humanitarian visas to “Afghan Christians, women, children and judges” in Afghanistan. The country is going through a turbulent period after the end of the US invasion and the resumption of power by the Taliban fundamentalist group.
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For Roberto Goulart Menezes, professor at the Institute of International Relations at the University of Brasília (UnB), the proposal reinforces Bolsonaro’s ideological affinity with Steve Bannon, campaign strategist for former US president Donald Trump and articulator of the global extreme right.
In 2020, Bannon’s Twitter account was suspended after he suggested the beheading of Anthony Fauci, an infectious disease specialist in the United States.
Bolsonaro follows the “logic of Steve Bannon’s primer, in such a way that he wants to dispute religious values around the world. The idea that the Afghans he will receive first have to show that they are not living or suffering a regrettable humanitarian situation, first which it is the faith that he propagates”, evaluates Menezes.
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The professor of international relations at the São Paulo State University (Unesp), Luís Alexandre Fuccille, highlights the Islamophobia of the PocketNA proposal.
“What can be seen in this speech, in relation to Afghanistan specifically, is the Islamophobia of President Bolsonaro, that is, what is present there is that Muslims are terrorists, so Muslims are not welcome in Brazil, Christians would be, in quotes , good people. So women, judges, as long as they are Christians, could ask for refuge in this wonderful tropical country”, analyzes the professor at Unesp.
The two analysts agree that Brazil’s participation in the UN General Assembly reinforces the national diplomatic isolation.
Discourse on the environment does not convince
Bolsonaro also tried to paint Brazil as an example of preserving the Amazon, saying the country has “modern and sustainable low-carbon agriculture” while defending its environmental policy.
Despite Bolsonaro’s talk about a supposed conservation of the Amazon, destruction is advancing in this important global climate biome. According to data compiled by the Climate Observatory, deforestation has grown for two consecutive years in the current administration and should register a new annual increase.
“In the five years prior to the Bolsonaro government, the average deforestation in the Amazon was 6,719 kmtwo, according to Inpe. In the first two years of the current administration, the average was 10,490 kmtwo, an increase of 56%. The 2021 data will only be released at the end of the year, but should again be around 10,000 kmtwo, as vice-president Hamilton Mourão has already admitted”, registers the Climate Observatory.
For Menezes, Bolsonaro continues to be “perceived internationally as an enemy of the environment”, after all the Brazilian president considered taking Brazil out of the Paris Agreement and the Amazon Fund is suspended.
“Once again, Brazil wastes the opportunity to open the UN General Assembly, to have a world audience to simply affirm what the whole world already knows: Bolsonaro is a liar”, evaluates the professor at UnB.
Edition: Arturo Hartmann