The meeting in Los Angeles between the US President Joe Biden And the Brazilian Jair Bolsonaro It was a carefully choreographed show, a game of mirrors in which what the leaders said did not match their feelings and the state of relations between the two countries. Biden praised Bolsonaro for a “good job” conserving the Amazon rainforest, but immediately added a phrase that aligned his Brazilian colleague with rowing. For his part, Bolsonaro spoke of “the connections between our two governments.” In fact, the two governments couldn’t be further from each other One hopes that the other will fall, and vice versa. Besides the advertisements’ dances and smiles, the language of the corpses was more evident. In front of the photographers, the two remained physically separated and never shook hands.
To understand the reasons for the meeting, it is necessary to report on what happened in the past few weeks. This year a Los Angelesfor the first time since the opening ceremony in 1994, the United States hosted top of the americas. It was supposed to be an opportunity to reassert American hegemony in a region where Chinese influence was widespread. In fact the summit has been resolved to Half a diplomatic disaster for Biden. The United States decided not to invite Los Angeles CubaAnd the Nicaragua And the Venezuela. Protesting the Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and leaders El SalvadorAnd the Guatemala And the Honduras They decided not to come to the summit, but to send second-class delegations.
At this point, the Biden administration has a problem of sharing Brazil, the third largest country in the Americas. Even if Bolsonaro decided to ignore the event, Humiliation for Biden would be profound (Especially since the Argentine president is also Alberto Fernandez He wasn’t too satisfied with the invite list). In the end, a senior administrative official was sent to Brasilia to deliver the invitation. The Brazilian response was conditioned. Bolsonaro will come Only if Biden guarantees him a bilateral meeting He did not address some of the most contentious issues that divide the two countries: the Amazon, elections, and respect for democratic rules. It was said, that Bolsonaro does not want to repeat the experience he suffered at the last summit of G20 in Rome, when Biden walked in front of him “pretending I didn’t exist”. The Americans gave the required assurances and Bolsonaro left.
It was precisely the meeting between two politicians who did not like each other and did nothing to hide it. The Brazilian president, one of the closest leaders Donald TrumpHe was among the last to congratulate Biden on winning the presidency. Recently, in an interview with Brazilian TV, he questioned Biden’s victory They make fun of the American president’s physical appearance. Other reasons for the concern of the US administration were the law facilitating the purchase of weapons in Brazil, and the opening of contempt. For transgender rights Bolsonaro showed it. Although there are two open chapters, of course, the most divided. One is Amazon. On the campaign trail, Biden publicly criticized the Brazilian presidency for deforestation. Some reassurances have come recently from the Brazilian side and at the conference Glasgow Brazil was committed to introducing environmental safeguards and establishing regular contacts with US authorities.
promises It turned out to be completely in vain. Deforestation continues at an ever faster rate. Between August 2020 and July 2021 Amazon Another 13,235 square kilometers of rainforest lost. This is the worst result in the past fifteen years, which the Brazilian government hid until the conclusion of the Glasgow Conference. Another important issue that differentiates between the United States and Brazil concerns vote. In October, presidential elections were held in the South American country and the outlook is not good for Bolsonaro. Ex-president’s rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, seems preferable and in the face of almost certain defeat, Bolsonaro announced that he might not recognize the outcome of the vote. “Only God can expel meHe also demanded the return of the electronic voting system to the printed ballot papers. The concern of many inside and outside Brazil is that Bolsonaro will follow Trump’s lead by refusing to admit defeat and rally his followers. Acts that may be violent or disruptive. At a meeting at the US Embassy in Brasilia in July, the head of the Central Intelligence Agency William Burns He told Brazilian officials that Bolsonaro should stop attacking the electoral system. To make relations more stormy, it has come Bolsonaro’s support for Vladimir Putin. The Brazilian president was one of the last world leaders to see Putin before the invasion of Ukraine and said he felt “solidarity with Moscow”. In light of the summit and possible moves by Biden, Bolsonaro was immediately keen to declare that “Brazil remains open to cooperation to end the war, but given the dependence on certain foreign actors, we must be careful: I have a country to live inMoreover, Russian fertilizers remain fundamental to the development of Brazilian agriculture.
This is the context that preceded the Biden-Bolsonaro meeting. That is why the smiles and relaxed statements between the two leaders sounded like Low-essence diplomatic ballet. Biden described Brazil as “a wonderful country with wonderful people,” saying he was fortunate to visit it several times. Bolsonaro responded by explaining that Brazil “has a great interest in developing closer relations with the United States.” in proportions”to ideologyIn previous misunderstandings, Bolsonaro spoke of “the opportunities and connections that our government has.” As the Americans promised, All the hottest topics stayed out of the conversationAt least, what the two leaders have said publicly. Only the Amazon, at a certain point, was evoked, when specifically Biden praised Brazil’s efforts to protect rainforests. A declaration that sounds contradictory, given the reality of the devastation by the Brazilian government, but it should be read closely with what Biden said immediately afterward: “I think the rest of the world should be able to help Brazil protect the jungle.”
These words were a heavy blow to the Brazilian government. Bolsonaro has always claimedBrazilian sovereignty in the region‘, and any offer to participate in Amazon’s conservation efforts was dismissed as unacceptable interference. Biden, in the first public meeting between the two, provoking international cooperation, appeared to the Brazilian delegation as an unspoken trap. The truth is that Washington, vis-à-vis Bolsonaro’s presidency, You have now adopted a careful strategy. Keep the communication channels open, waiting for what is considered a certain outcome. That is The fall of the current Brazilian president in four months. But the dangers of the American position do not lose sight of many observers. as explained Rubens BarbossapresidentInstitute of International Relations and Foreign TradeBolsonaro “could use the meeting with Biden to fend off domestic criticism of his international isolation.” Thus, the United States’ choice not to confront Bolsonaro directly will reveal itself As the last of many frequenciesAmong the many miscalculations this administration is making in foreign policy.