The president of Brazil, the far-right Jair Bolsonaro, received his Peruvian counterpart, the leftist Pedro Castillo, on Thursday for a bilateral summit and lunch confirmed a few hours before they were held in Porto Velho, capital of the border state of Rondônia . Beyond their differences on the best economic model for their countries, both defend conservative, populist postulates and are prone to ministerial replacements. The leaders have avoided appearing before the press after the summit.
What was discussed at Bolsonaro’s bilateral summit with his Peruvian counterpart has been overshadowed in a certain way by the confirmation of the trip he plans to make on the 14th to Moscow, an official visit that the Brazilian maintains despite the sensitivity of the moment.
Every day the tension between Moscow, on the one hand, and the US and NATO on the other, increases one degree more, in a pulse that recalls the times of the Cold War. The Brazilian president thus ignores the petition which, according to the daily Folha de S.PauloThe US government made him cancel the trip earlier this week. Washington wants to diplomatically isolate Vladimir Putin and wants to avoid at all costs a parade of foreign leaders smilingly posing with him in the midst of pre-war tension in Ukraine. “Brazil is Brazil, Russia is Russia. I have a good relationship with everyone. Yes [Joe] Biden invited me, I would also gladly go to the United States”, he answered a question on the matter, reports Stadium. Later, he plans to travel to Hungary.
Although Bolsonaro criticized Castillo’s electoral victory, the photographs of the meeting in which they reviewed bilateral issues, especially economic ones, reflect a climate of harmony. The former military man posed smiling with the hat of the former teacher and union leader next to him. Castillo, who this Wednesday appointed his third cabinet in six months, continues to accumulate crises. The latest, the revelation that his new prime minister was denounced for assaulting his wife and his daughter.
The final communiqué of the summit includes boosting bilateral trade that adds up to 4.3 billion dollars, promoting mutual investments. In addition, both leaders congratulated themselves on having been invited to begin negotiations for entry into the OECD, the club of rich countries. It is one of the few that Brazilian diplomacy can sign up to during the Bolsonaro presidency, marked by diplomatic isolation, especially since the defeat of Donald Trump.
Before the meeting, Bolsonaro had detailed the issues to be addressed: “We are going to deal with defense issues, transnational crimes, trade and the most varied cooperation possible. That is the spirit of a good relationship, both countries have a lot to gain.”
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When Castillo’s victory against the right-wing Keiko Fujimori was about to be confirmed by the recount, the Brazilian president lamented the result: “Now we lose Peru, if a miracle does not reverse it” to immediately point out: “Look at the Constituent Assembly of Chili”.
Election after election, Bolsonaro has been losing allies in the region: from the Argentine Mauricio Macri to the main one, the American Donald Trump. And he has a hard time avoiding his disdain for his leftist counterparts. He was not at the inauguration of the Honduran Xiomara Castro, nor does he plan to attend the Chilean Gabriel Boric.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.