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Archive for Brazil

Newsline: EU ambassador says Mercosur trade deal unaffected by Amazon wildfires

A trade deal between Europe and the Mercosur countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) provides a clear commitment to the Paris Agreement in combatting climate change, the new EU ambassador in Brasilia, Ignácio Ybáñez, told EURACTIV’s partner EFE in an interview. However, he hinted that the deal was not at risk. “We have been negotiating the agreement for 20 years, which is a commitment to the future between the two regions, so it is not true to think that parliaments will react against specific things,” he said. In light of the worst wildfires in the Amazon rainforest, one of the world’s largest carbon sinks, Ybáñez said, “The Mercosur agreement contains some commitments of how we want our future relationship to be. For example, on the environmental issue, there is a clear commitment to compliance with the Paris agreement and international agreements by Brazil and Mercosur”. (https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/eu-ambassador-says-mercosur-trade-deal-unaffected-by-amazon-wildfires/) But the lack of action from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to tackle the critical situation in Amazon has triggered the strong reaction of some EU member states. France and Ireland threatened to block the Mercosur deal, while conservative Bolsonaro warned French President Emmanuel Macron not me meddle in his country and stop using the issue for domestic political reasons.


Newsline: Protesters besiege Brazilian embassies worldwide over Amazon fires

Protesters have laid siege to Brazilian embassies around the world as international outrage over Jair Bolsonaro’s failure to protect the Amazon intensified and supporters maligned critics of the Brazilian president as leftist conspirators. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside Brazil’s embassy in central London on Friday with placards reading: “The planet deserves better” and “Our house is on fire”. “Bolsonaro wants to destroy the forest … and we do not want this,” one indigenous leader from Brazil told the crowd. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/23/brazil-protests-amazon-bolsonaro-failure-protect) There were also rallies outside Brazil’s embassies in Mexico City and Paris, where demonstrators reportedly carried banners reading: “Fora Bolsonaro!” or “Bolsonaro, out!” Protesters also surrounded the Brazilian consulate in Geneva while further marches were planned in cities including Adelaide, Lisbon, Stockholm, Boston and Florida.

Newsline: Brazil’s Bolsonaro may drop plans to make son US ambassador amid backlash

Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, has signalled he may abandon controversial plans to make his son ambassador to the United States, amid a fierce political backlash and growing signs Congress may block the move. “I’m not going to subject my son to failure,” Bolsonaro told reporters in what was the first public hint he may be reconsidering his nomination. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/20/brazil-bolsonaro-son-us-ambassador) Bolsonaro’s bid to hand control of Brazil’s Washington DC embassy to his 35-year-old son, Eduardo, has outraged Brazil’s foreign service and set off a domestic political firestorm. A report prepared for senators who need to approve Bolsonaro’s move concluded it amounted to nepotism and identified three distinctly undemocratic precedents where leaders had made their children ambassadors: in Saudi Arabia, Chad and Uzbekistan.

Newsline: Son of Brazil’s President, on Track to Be Ambassador to U.S.

Prosecutors in Brazil have launched what looks like a last-ditch effort to block President Jair Bolsonaro from nominating his son Eduardo to be the country’s next ambassador to the United States. The public prosecutor’s office in Brasília, the capital, argued in court papers filed Monday that the younger Bolsonaro, a 35-year-old congressman and close aide to his father, is not qualified to fill the country’s most prestigious diplomatic post, having never served his country abroad. Before his election to Congress, the younger Bolsonaro had worked as a low-ranking federal police officer, and the only international experience listed on his resume is the year he spent on a work-exchange program in the U.S., which included a brief stint behind the cash register at a Popeyes, a fast food restaurant. (https://theintercept.com/2019/08/13/eduardo-bolsonaro-pro-trump-son-brazils-president-track-ambassador-u-s/) Despite the court challenge, momentum for the likely nomination of the president’s son — a climate change denier who also happens to be a huge fan of Donald Trump — has been building in recent weeks. As his son met with Brazilian senators to win their support for his nomination last week, Jair Bolsonaro revealed that the Trump administration had promised in writing that it would welcome Eduardo’s appointment. The week before, the idea was publicly endorsed by Trump himself, who called the younger Bolsonaro “outstanding.”

Newsline: London climate change protesters daub Brazilian embassy blood red

Climate-change protesters threw red paint at the Brazilian embassy in London on Tuesday to demonstrate against damage to the Amazon rainforest and what they described as violence against indigenous tribes living there. Police arrested six activists from the Extinction Rebellion group after they glued themselves to the embassy windows and climbed onto a glass awning above the entrance. The protesters had splattered red paint and sprayed red handprints over the facade, along with slogans such as “No More Indigenous Blood” and “For The Wild”. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-climatechange-protests/london-climate-change-protesters-daub-brazilian-embassy-blood-red-idUSKCN1V30LC) Extinction Rebellion, which disrupted traffic in central London for several weeks earlier this year, said Tuesday’s protest aimed to challenge the Brazilian government over “state-sanctioned human rights abuses and ecocide”. Brazil contains about 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest, a bulwark against global warming thanks to the vast amounts of carbon dioxide it soaks up and recycles into oxygen.

Newsline: Brazil’s President wants to give US ambassador post to his son

Brazil’s far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro wants one of his sons to become the country’s new ambassador to the United States. Bolsonaro told reporters that he has been considering Eduardo Bolsonaro, who is currently a congressman, for the post and that it is up to his son to accept the position. “Yes, it is on my radar. It is a possibility. He is friends with Trump’s children, he speaks English, Spanish and has great world experience. From my point of view, he would be an appropriate candidate who would represent us perfectly in Washington,” Bolsonaro explained. (https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/12/americas/jair-bolsonaro-son-us-ambassador-intl/index.html) Eduardo Bolsonaro — one of the president’s five sons — is currently a congressman for Sao Paulo state in Brazil’s lower house. He is also the president of the lower house’s Foreign Affairs Commission. Brazil has been without a permanent ambassador since April when President Bolsonaro removed Sergio Amaral from the position shortly after his official visit to the US. He said then that he would be switching at least a dozen ambassadors in key countries because Brazil’s image was “not good” abroad. Nominees must be at least 35 years old to be eligible for consideration. Eduardo Bolsonaro turned 35, one day before his father made the announcement.

Newsline: Israel’s embassy blurs lobster in envoy’s lunch with Brazil’s president

Israel’s embassy in Brazil shared a photo of its ambassador eating lunch with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, but not before blurring out the lobster dishes the two appeared to be enjoying. (https://www.jta.org/quick-reads/israels-ambassador-camouflages-pricey-non-kosher-meal-with-brazilian-president) The camouflaged picture made headlines in Brazil, with local media noting that the crustacean is an expensive delicacy and international media noting it is decidedly non-kosher. Black smudges blur what appear to be lobsters from a picture posted on social media on Sunday of Ambassador Yossi Shelley having lunch with Bolsonaro.