What Will Brazil’s International Relations Look Like with Bolsonaro as President?

By Dr. Jorge Knijnik


By Dr. Jorge Knijnik – Thinking about how one can negotiate on a possibility if a Pocket government exists. An exercise of futurology, but within the indications that are true to all. The armed forces are not, for example, explicit of the military candidate of Jair Bolsonaro, but are also supported by the strength of the efforts. Welcome to the nightmare!

War with Venezuela

Brazil is a kind of consortium of countries that could combat Venezuela, transforming itself into a US puppet in South America. What would be predicted as a “quick intervention” turns into a long and worn-out war. Lots of dead people on both sides, just for the gringos to take Venezuelan oil. We have been at peace with our neighbors since 1870, but we would usher in a new era of hostile relations. Losing any other condition of trust and leadership to mediate or dialogue in conflicts with neighbors. Foreigners and friends of Latin America, and Spanish-speaking people in general, are persecuted as suspects within Brazil. Relations with our neighbors would deteriorate further. Of course, winning lots of US military equipment, maybe even for free. In exchange, the vows would mean parts of the Amazon would be conquered by several US military bases, obviously.
The FTAA project would be taken from the drawer and the MERCOSUR or UNASUR sovereignty projects could be canceled or morphed.

Relationship with the Middle East

With Bolsonaro, there would be a growing and intense relationship with Israel and an alignment to the aggressive policies of this state. Brazil would lose political authority to mediate conflicts with Arab countries. For this imbalance, the Arab and Jewish communities, who have always lived well within Brazil, would enter into growing conflict. Brazil would lose many markets for its export products to the Middle East (shot at the foot of agribusiness itself), as well as joining the select club of countries that could be a target of terrorist attacks. Independent and non-aligned foreign policy, which Brazil has in relation to the Middle East since the time of the military dictatorship (and even before, since the Suez Canal conflict), would have a 180 degree twist. Of course, we’d win a lot of Israeli military technology…

Relationship with Africa

As Vice Presidential Candidate Mourão said, the ‘Molambentos’ countries would not be interested in foreign policy. The Business (of Brazilian Capitalism!) would enter into recess and cultural, artistic and educational relations with the brother countries would be greatly diminished, implying economic and educational damage to Brazil. This is in addition to increasing his political dwarfism in the world in general. In this regard the biggest loser will even be Brazil, as Africa is rising after decades of fratricidal wars and will become a great frontier of economic expansion. Racism also hurts business!

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Global environmental agenda

As Bolsonaro promised to abandon the Paris Agreement and the international environmental laws and the reduction of emission gases, we would be ignoring the world context. The immediacy of the predatory exploitation of natural resources would consolidate a neo-colonized nation. More losses for exports!

As you can see, an international policy can aggravate internal problems.


Dr Jorge Knijnik is an Associate Professor in the School of Education and a researcher in the Institute for Culture and Society, both at Western Sydney University. Jorge spent considerable time in the slums of his home country (Brazil) where there are extensive and systematic human rights violations – including serious child abuse – introducing systematic initiatives to improve sanitation, minimize health problems (including sexuality programs), and promote accessible sport and exercise programs as alternatives to self-destructive or socially dysfunctional behaviors.

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