Between Intentions and Reality: Bolsonaro’s Alignment with U.S is Uncertain


According to a specialist, the government of Jair Bolsonaro will seek alignment with the US and Israel, but will face difficulties in implementing the declared international agenda.

Bolsonaro touched little on the subject of international relations throughout his campaign. However, when he gave indications of what would be the foreign policy of a government of his, he stood against communism and the Bolivarian states. In addition he promised a rather ideological performance, close to conservative states and governments in the West, such as the United States and Israel, Pedro Rocha Fleury Curado, Professor of the Institute of International Relations and Defense of UFRJ, said.

“He mentioned many times these two countries, including mentioning the transfer of the Brazilian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, following Trump’s model, but then backtracked, as in other issues – notably the exit from the Paris Accord and withdrawal of Brazil from the UN,” said the professor. “He said he was going to do it and he went back.”

That is, the president-elect of Brazil promises a move away from left-wing governments and a closer rapprochement with the West. But the reality of an election campaign and a de facto government is always different. The Professor pointed out that implementing declared foreign policy will not always be an easy task.

“This was Bolsonaro’s speech throughout the campaign. Now that he has won the election, from a practical point of view he has to deal with issues that constrain somewhat the systematic application of what he has been talking about,” he explained.

This is the case of China, for example. Although “officially Communist, it is Brazil’s main trading partner. And China sees with some suspicion the election of Bolsonaro, who signals an almost automatic alignment with the Trump government.”

In the case of Venezuela, the picture repeats itself. Although Caracas was attacked many times during the campaign, Brazil maintains an extremely advantageous and surplus trade with the country.

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“To what extent is it important to isolate Venezuela by internally incorporating an external agenda that is not interesting to businesses?”

As for Mercosur, many criticisms were also made during the campaign.

“He said that Mercosur is very ideological. He likes that word. He repeats this all the time and says that Mercosur needs to be reformulated. In practice, what he wants to indicate is probably a continuation of what the foreign policy of the Temer government has already been doing. ”

That is, a move away from a South-South policy, a move away from regional organizations and abandonment of regional integration. The abandonment of Unasur is an example of this. Bolsonaro indicates that he will follow the current line of the Temer government.

Thus, many statements by the president-elect, in fact, would have been said for the purpose of electoral mobilization and will be seen more moderately in practice. At least as far as international politics is concerned.

According to Pedro Curado, the full transfer of the US agenda to the Bolsonaro administration is still uncertain. However, the direction is clear and is oriented toward the West and the United States.

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