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A Trump Admirer, Bolsonaro Tries to Initiate Relationship with White House

06/21/2018 - 11h47



The Family of Presidential Hopeful Jair Bolsonaro (PSL Party) has sent representatives located in the United States to try to initiate a relationship with American President Donald Trump.

The expectation is for allies to pave the way for him to be received by Trump some time between the first and second rounds of the upcoming Brazilian presidential election.

Bolsonaro seeks to bolster the association between himself and Trump, who was seen during the American election as an intemperate outsider.

Although there are similarities, including conservative agendas and bellicose behavior, the candidates' backbones are different.

Trump counted on the structure of the American Republican Party and hefty financing in the 2016 campaign.

Jorge Araújo/Folhapress
Jair Bolsonaro
Jair Bolsonaro

Bolsonaro is affiliated with a little-known Brazilian political Party and says he will refuse large contributions. Bolsonaro leads voter preference surveys in scenarios in which former president Lula (PT Party) is not present in the race.

Bolsonaro's allies in the United States have initiated dialogs on three different fronts.

The have reached out to mid-level State Department functionaries. They have sought out opinion leaders in the media and from the right-wing political establishment. They have also fostered a relationship with the Council on Foreign Relations, an influential think tank that could be helpful in opening doors.

Bolsonaro himself was there in 2017, and although he says that he didn't attempt to make any contact with the White House, he did manifest interest in being received by Trump. Allies tried to set up meetings with Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio without success.

Bolsonaro's campaign talks about the supposed danger that a Ciro Gomes (PDT Party) victory would represent.

On the economy, Ciro is portrayed as unpredictable. On foreign relations, Ciro is quoted as saying that the opposition to Venezuelan President Maduro is "fascist, Neo-Nazi, and surrendering" while at the same time saying that Chavismo "can't stand any longer".

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

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