Bolsonaro Could Realize His Critics’ Worst Fears—and His Supporters’ High Hopes

Bolsonaro Could Realize His Critics’ Worst Fears—and His Supporters’ High Hopes
Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, center, flanked by his wife, Michelle Bolsonaro, left, and Brazil’s outgoing president, Michel Temer, at the Planalto Presidential Palace, Brasilia, Brazil, Jan. 1, 2019 (AP photo by Silvia Izquierdo).

The new year marked the beginning of a new era for Latin America’s largest country. Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right winner of Brazil’s presidential election, assumed office amid a remarkable swirl of contrasting expectations. While the former army captain’s incendiary declarations during the election campaign last fall sparked fears among millions of Brazilians and others abroad, a less noticed phenomenon took shape in the weeks leading up to his inauguration on Jan. 1: Brazilians, by large majorities, are optimistic about his tenure. In two surveys last month, Brazilian pollsters found that a stunning 75 percent of respondents approved of Bolsonaro, and […]

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