Trump Embraces Brazil’s Bolsonaro—A Bigoted Far-Right Nationalist

President Trump appears to see himself in President Bolsonaro, and not for reasons that represent American values.
President Trump hands out a personalized jersey to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. (Photo: Isac Nóbrega /PR)

President Trump hands out a personalized jersey to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. (Photo: Isac Nóbrega /PR)

Today, President Trump met with Brazi’s newly elected President Jair Bolsonaro at the White House. The two discussed issues ranging from Venezuela to trade to whether or not Brazil could attain NATO privileges. Bolsonaro is the kind of leader that a traditional American President would condemn, but not this one. Like Trump, Bolsonaro is a far-right nationalist who has expressed bigoted views and authoritarian tendencies.


President Trump praised the Brazilian President on his election victory and for running “one of the incredible campaigns.” Bolsonaro returned the favor:

This is problematic given Bolsonaro’s controversial ideology. Tamir Bar-On touched on some of the views Bolsonaro espouses in his article for Rantt highlighting the radical right in Latin America:

Bolsonaro has defended the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet and suggested that the Brazilian military dictatorship should have tortured less and killed more people. He has made homophobic slurs; attacked same-sex marriage; and advanced anti-immigrant views (especially in relation to Haitians). His campaign slogan was the following: “Brazil above everything and God above everyone.” He has been called a “Trump of the tropics” and even been dubbed a “fascist”…

Becca Warner further expanded on Bolsonaro in her article for Rantt describing the threat he poses to the Amazon rainforest:

Much has been made — and rightly so — of Bolsonaro’s sexism, racism, and homophobia. This is a man who said he wouldn’t rape a particular member of Congress because she is “ugly” and “not [his] type”. He would “prefer [his] son to die in an accident than show up with a man”. He has reportedly described black activists as “animals” who should “go back to the zoo”. He is also pro-torture.

The media have said less of his equally shocking plans for the environment. Which is surprising given that, with the majority of the Amazon rainforest falling within its borders and the sixth largest greenhouse gas emissions in the world, Brazil wields environmental decision-making power that ricochets around the world.

During their press conference in the Rose Garden, President Trump said of President Bolsonaro: “we have many views that are similar.”

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Rundown // Brazil / Donald Trump / Jair Bolsonaro / Nationalism