What’s next for Brazil as Jair Bolsonaro’s troubles deepen?

Posted by on March 31, 2021 10:00 am
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Categories: Global Stories

The president has stacked his government with military men. Now that blurring of institutional lines may backfire

It is not surprising that the government of Jair Bolsonaro is in crisis. Setting aside his ruinous response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the radically reactionary leader of the largest country in Latin America has never displayed the ability or desire to use political means to benefit anyone but those closest to him. Still, the scale and rapidity of the upheaval this week has raised concerns that Brazilians may soon confront a full-blown political meltdown on top of the public health disaster that has been unfolding for several months.

On Monday, Ernesto Araújo, the foreign minister, resigned. His tenure had been marked by brash self-righteous rhetoric delivered without a glimmer of grace or confidence. Indeed, Araújo became known for masking his palpable insecurity with long, confusing references to Latin and Greek antiquity. Aráujo embraced conspiracy theories and far-right ideas that endeared him to the constellation of far-right governments that emerged around the world in recent years, particularly the Trump administration in Washington, but failed to deliver many tangible results for the Brazilian people (this is why two years ago I called Araújo “the worst diplomat in the world”).

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