1 January took office as the 38th President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro with a reputation for right-wing radicals. According to “Kommersant”, this event may indicate a sharp change in foreign policy of the country that is a member along with Russia, China, India and South Africa in the BRICS — an informal Alliance of the five fastest-growing countries in the world.
The Board Bolsonaro could mean the exit of Brazil from the BRICS. New Brazilian President announced, the U.S. is our main ally and the main reference point both in domestic and in foreign policy. In this regard, the confrontation with China and Russia is almost inevitable.
During the inauguration Bolsonaro solemnly declared that the national flag “will never be red, unless it is necessary to shed blood for him to have remained green-yellow”.
“Today is the day when people started to get rid of socialism, from the twisted values, the excessive presence of the state and of political correctness,” said the new Brazilian leader. In addition, he criticized the military maneuvers of Russia and Venezuela and admitted the possibility of defense cooperation with the United States.
“Kommersant” refers to the entry Bolsonaro in the position of “the beginning of a new honeymoon in relations of Brazil with the United States.” This is also evident from attending the inauguration speech of the American Secretary Mike Pompeo, who called for a joint struggle against the main allies of Russia in the region — Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba. “We have the opportunity to work shoulder-to-shoulder against authoritarian regimes,” he said during the meeting with the foreign Minister of Brazil.
It should be noted that Bolsonaro has already taken the first steps in this direction. So, the office of the President withdrew the previously sent foreign Ministry invitation to leaders of countries that have listed Pompeo: Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba. He Bolsonaro described the regimes in these countries “dictatorships”.
In addition, it is already known about the first appointments in the government, which can not but cause concern. It is reported that among the 22 members of the new Cabinet 7 retired military, not even during the military dictatorship 1964-1985.
One of the most acute, remains a question about the defence cooperation with the United States and the prospects for the creation in Brazil of a us military base. The opportunity Bolsonaro not ruled out in his first television interview to channel SBT January 3. According to him, it is open for discussion on this topic in order to create a counterweight to Russia’s influence in Venezuela.
“Depending on what happens in the world, you may have to discuss this issue in the future,” he said.
It is also worth noting the appointment in the financial block of the new government, headed by the Minister of economy Paulo Gedes, a graduate of the University of Chicago, a pupil of Milton Friedman, Professor at the University of Chile during the military dictatorship of Pinochet, the banker, a multimillionaire. He headed the Ministry formed from three ministries — Finance, planning and budget, industry and foreign trade.
It is reported that this week the Cabinet of Ministers of Brazil will discuss two of the economic program of the Gedes — plans for pension reform and large-scale privatization, which for political reasons is planned to exclude China.
While China remains Brazil’s main trading partner, investing in the Latin American country a lot of money. In recent years Beijing has greatly overtaken Washington that some politicians in Brazil think the excessive roll in the direction of China. He Bolsonaro said earlier that the Chinese economically “invaded” his country and promised to deal with Chinese influence and establish relations with Western countries.
The BRICS group was formed as a loose Association of major developing or developed countries wishing to establish economic and possibly political center of power, which would be an alternative to the West, dominated by the USA — like the Executive Director of the international monitoring organization CIS-EMO Stanislav Bychok.
In other words, the loyalty of the countries participating in the project were determined largely by their relations with Washington. The change of government in Brazil from the socialist and anti-American populist on the right, focused on the United States, may well lead to the exit of the country from the BRICS. However, formal letter of withdrawal may not be, but that will not prevent Brazil to pursue a hostile policy towards the other BRICS countries.
Brazil along with South Africa initially seemed the most problematic countries for the organization, given their remote location from Eurasia and permanent socio-political instability. In particular BRICS may continue to exist, but the basic integration projects will occur between China, India and Russia in the framework of bilateral and multilateral agreements.
“SP”: — whether real Union Bolsonaro and trump against Russia and China? What would it be? Military? Political? Economic? If we need such a Union?
In that part of the world only USA is a global player who can conduct world politics. In the last century more than she could, role trying to play and revolutionary Cuba. Havana provides support of certain left-wing national liberation movements in Latin America and Africa, but those days are long gone. Within the American continent continued to operate the Monroe doctrine, assuming an exceptional position of the US in the region. Other countries of the continent, whether even Canada, even Brazil, can any grounds to enter into relations with Washington, but even before that time, while it does not require any significant economic, not to mention the military risks. If Washington happens to an ultimatum, requiring Bolsonaro to choose between the US or China and Russia as exclusive partners, the decision of the Brazilian leader to predict simply.
However, such an ultimatum is unlikely to follow, but the most-favored-nation Brazil against Washington certainly will. For external to the American continent countries this turn of events would not be a surprise.
“SP”: — China remains the largest trading partner of Brazil. As the rupture of these bonds will affect the economy of the country?
— We are not talking about gap. Economic gaps are very rare in the modern globalized world, especially if we are not talking about North Korea, and the countries in the club of the largest economies in the world. It is about the attempt of Brazil to diversify its economy. Given the reluctance of the White house to spend more money on the help of its allies, it is unclear how the delegation can expect some significant compensation.
“SP”: — Pompeo calls on Brazil to fight together with Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba, whose representatives demonstratively not invited to the inauguration. Does this mean an escalation of tensions and the possibility of war in the region?
— Cuba and Nicaragua in themselves do not represent for US any interest. Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves is another story. In the last year in the American expert community is increasingly raised the issue of military intervention to overthrow the government of Nicolas Maduro.
The problem, however, is not to unseat Maduro, and that then the U.S. will be required to participate in the country’s economic recovery after a long period of socialist governance. This, in turn, will require significant investment that Washington don’t want to come. Already a significant number of economic migrants from Venezuela trying to find their place in more successful neighboring countries, in Colombia or Brazil. In the case of a power offset of the government and the long chaotic transition period, migrants will become even greater.
I believe that retired military in the new government of Brazil rather reduces than increases the chance of provocation of military conflict. Threats to use force more often come from professional politicians. The military, which under the development scenario for the military option, in fact, have to wage war, will do everything possible to avoid open confrontation.
“SP”: — How Moscow and Beijing can and should react in the event of a real roll of Brazil to the United States?
— Strengthening bilateral relations in economic and perhaps military-political lines. There is a certain understanding that talking about the loss of Washington’s global initiative in international Affairs to actual cancellation of the Monroe doctrine — the path is long and at present purely hypothetical.
The head of expert group “Crimean project” political scientist Igor Ryabov considers that the exit of Brazil from the BRICS is possible.
— Brazil will take a course of rapprochement with the United States. Will like Panama. For many Latin American countries it is normal to move away from the US, to bond with them. The most striking example is Chile. The problem is not that global economic Alliance, the BRICS will lose one letter, and that Brazil could lose contacts with Russia and China.
“SP”: — is it Possible to speak of a “new honeymoon in relations of Brazil with the United States”? Will this mean an Alliance against Russia and China?
— The United States now crave foreign policy victories. In principle, the drive technology to power one of the leading countries in Latin America is clear, and it is a local success. The problem is that the new President relies on the financial instruments that reduce the opportunities of middle-class and youth, and it may soon turn into a “yellow-green vests.” Americans will not subsidize the Brazilian economy. Now there are only populist slogans. Let’s see what are the real steps.
As a rule, the result of the economic reforms in Latin American countries very quickly formed the debt. However, there is one caveat: the current America is different from the past, the new Brazilian President will have to rely on internal resources. The experiment will be interesting to watch. Again, there are examples in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru, when reform brought a good result. But they were based on social support.
“SP”: — the New Cabinet of Ministers that will discuss plans large-scale privatization (which for political reasons is planned to exclude China). Thus in the reign of Rousseff, China became the largest trading partner for Brazil, he himself Bolsonaro called it “economic occupation”. Does he go to the gap with Beijing, and than it threatens?
— China will remain an important player in Brazil. It is in contrast to the Americans is the state strategy of foreign investment. China has many opportunities, like becoming a sponsor of the economic reforms. Brazil could leave the BRICS, but can not escape from the strong embrace of China. Many countries of the world live. Politically they were crushed by the United States, and economically — China.
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