President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday (3) urged people to attend the September 7 festivities dressed in green and yellow to "show the world" that "the Amazon is ours."
"We appeal to anyone who is in Brasilia, who happens to be in Rio de Janeiro, in Sao Paulo, to appear in green and yellow. I remember in the past that a president said that and it was bad. But it is not our case. Our case is Brazil, it is not to defend me or defend anyone. We want to show the world that the Amazon is ours," Bolsonaro said in a ceremony at the Planalto Palace.
Bolsonaro was referring to former President Fernando Collor de Mello, who in 1992 called "all of Brazil" to take to the streets wearing the colors of the national flag. The request had the opposite effect as expected by Collor: in different cities of Brazil people dressed in black, in a popular mobilization that reinforced the movement for the impeachment of the then-president.
"The biggest symbol we have in Brazil is the green of the Amazon," Bolsonaro added on Tuesday.
He again criticized French President Emmanuel Macron, with whom he has exchanged accusations surrounding the Amazon fires that triggered an international image crisis for Brazil.
On the eve of the G7 meeting in France in late August, Macron posted a message on social networks about burning in the Amazon region and said: "our house is burning."
He also proposed making an international statute for the Amazon, a hypothesis that was harshly criticized by the Bolsonaro government.
The Brazilian representative accuses the French of threatening the sovereignty of the country with his proposal and of evoking "colonialist mentality."
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon