Brazil’s Lula and Bolsonaro are about to face off again. What you need to know about the first confrontation
If Donald J. Trump were to meet the Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, they would probably have a long, loud discussion about the relative merits and deficiencies of democracy in the United States and Brazil. The United States is hardly a democratic country, and Brazil is hardly a democracy. That said, it is hard to imagine how Trump could have such an audience for such a discussion. Bolsonaro is a man of the extreme right that has little in common with the American president, whose administration is known for its willingness to listen to dissenting voices, and to whom he reportedly once gave advice on how to run his country and his administration.
The Trump-Bolsonaro conflict is already in full swing. The United States is backing the right-wing government in Brazil in its anti-LGBTQ+ push, and as far as we can tell, Bolsonaro has not yet been indicted in the murder of journalist Marielle Franco, in which the country’s security forces allegedly played a role. Trump would love to see Bolsonaro impeached, since this would surely help his re-election bid. Perhaps more importantly, it might be a good move for the president to show America’s enemies that Brazil is capable of fighting back against the US. And that is precisely what Bolsonaro plans to do.
When the two presidents sit down to discuss the situation in Latin America, we can expect the first face-to-face in decades between a president from the region, and a president who is trying to get ahead in his own country.
Bolsonaro is a divisive politician
When Bolsonaro was elected in 2014, his administration was not a pleasant place to be. From his campaign, he had promised to crack down on LGBT+ rights, and as far as we can tell, he hasn’t done much to fulfill this promise. The government is also known for its violent repression of social movements in Brazil, and for its support for the military dictatorship in the 1960s. Last year, Bolsonaro