Last week, former president Jair Bolsonaro (PL) tried to return to the spotlight with yet another offensive speech, this time in a speech in the United States. When talking about Brazilian foreign policy, Bolsonaro said that the current government has approached dictatorships in South America and beyond. Furthermore, he devalued African countries by saying that we should look for “countries that can offer us something”.
“Whoever is currently in government, unfortunately, has been approaching dictatorships in South America and abroad as well. Now he is going on a tour of Africa. We must always seek, not despising the most humble, but seek countries that can offer us something” , said the former captain.
For Denilde Holzhacker, professor of international relations at the Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing (ESPM), Bolsonaro’s position shows alignment with the far-right foreign policy of the United States, where he is living. “Bolsonaro’s phrase reflects the speech he has been making to try to please the extreme right in the United States. It was an attempt to associate Lula with authoritarian governments in Latin America and also in Africa,” said the professor.
Read too: ‘Our fight against hunger is tireless’, says Lula when recreating Consea, extinguished by Bolsonaro
According to the professor, rapprochement with African countries is one of the priorities of the current government. “There are important opportunities for Brazil in this expansion of economic ties, of cooperation. It was one of the central axes of Lula’s foreign policy in the 2000s”, she evaluates. “Africa is a region of potential, with a large and young consumer market, and which, if it overcomes its social, economic and political problems, could be, for countries that already have a relationship, an important base.”
However, Denilde also highlighted the challenges that Brazil faces in getting closer to African countries, especially in view of the expansion of other important countries, such as India and China, which also started to invest in these countries. “Not only in the Bolsonaro government, but since the Dilma government, Brazil has moved away from the Brazilian agenda and presence in Africa,” said Denilde.
“It is a resumption of a strategy that Brazil has already adopted and that has been part of our foreign policy. Bolsonaro was a break from this logic, and this reinforces the non-strategic vision with which he thinks about foreign policy and the ways in which Brazil can win, especially in regions like Africa or Latin America,” he said.
Denilde also highlighted the importance of seeking closer ties with Portuguese-speaking countries, as has been done in the past. “So, in the context of the situation that Lula is doing (the resumption of relations with African countries) it is a resumption of a strategy that Brazil has already adopted and has been part of our foreign policy”, she said.
Editing: Nicolau Soares
Leave a Reply