LATIN-AMERICA

“Best Foreign Minister” calls on the Chilean left to support Haddad against Bolsonaro

SANTIAGO – In an interview with a national newspaper last Sunday, a former minister of foreign affairs for Brazil said that an eventual victory of the far-right candidate can put his country on a complicated path. Celso Amorim also warned a victory could have implications for the entire region, destabilizing Latin American democracy as a whole.

During an interview with La Tercera, Celso Amorim, Brazil’s foreign minister under Luiz Inácio ‘Lula’ da Silva (2003-2011) and defense minister under Dilma Rousseff (2011-2015), and in 2009 was voted “best foreign minister of the world,” urged politicians from the Chilean left to take a stand against far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro in the Brazilian runoff election on October 28.

In the interview, Amorim warned about the dangers of a fascist wave in Latin America and emphasized that he discussed the menace with former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos. Amorim is hoping that Lagos can convince his counterpart, former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, to explicitly support Bolsonaro’s rival, Fernando Haddad, the Workers’ Party (PT) candidate. Amorim is calling on leaders to unite “against fascism, because being neutral is supporting Bolsonaro.”

Preserving Brazilian democracy

In Amorim’s opinion, the triumph of ultra-right wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro “can put Brazil on a much more complicated path” with implications for the whole region. For the former foreign minister, the upcoming election is not only about choosing the PT candidate, but about preserving Brazilian democracy itself.

The last few weeks, the elections in Brazil have become an important topic of discussion in Chilean politics. Parliamentarians on the left and center-left have expressed their concern over the antidemocratic rhetoric of Bolsonaro.

At the same time, figures from the right of the political spectrum, like José Antonio Kast and Senator Manuel José Ossandón, have used Twitter to praise the result of the first round, in which the far-right candidate received 46% of the votes.  Chairwoman of right-wing party Independent Democratic Union (UDI), Jacqueline van Rysselberghe, became the first Chilean politician to meet with  the controversial candidate. Kast did the same last Thursday.

All aboard the Bolsonaro train: Chilean senators visit Brazil

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