Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, fourth from right, flanked by Vice President Hamilton Mourao, left, and then-Defense Minister Fernando Azevedo, in Brasilia, Brazil, Jan. 20, 2021 (AP photo by Eraldo Peres).
Facing his most severe political crisis since taking office in 2019, Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, resorted to a broad reshuffle of his Cabinet last week, giving more of a voice to center-right parties in order to shore up his support and reduce the risk of impeachment while ousting three military commanders whom he considered insufficiently loyal. As Brazil heads into a perfect storm—an out-of-control pandemic combined with economic collapse and growing political discontent—Bolsonaro appears to be surrounding himself with loyalists who are willing to protect him and his four sons, all of whom are under investigation for crimes ranging [...]
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks at the Metalworkers Union headquarters in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil, March 10, 2021 (AP photo by Andre Penner).
The news hit Brazil like an earthquake. Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, widely known as Lula, was suddenly free to run for president in next year’s election. That was the principal, if potentially reversible, result of a surprising decision issued Monday by a Brazilian Supreme Court judge, tossing out criminal corruption cases against the iconic leftist leader. The 2022 presidential race has now taken on a dramatic new player who poses a major threat to the reelection of Brazil’s controversial far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro. The court ruling, which still faces possible challenges, sets the stage for an extraordinarily [...]
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in Brasilia, Brazil, Jan. 19, 2021 (AP photo by Eraldo Peres).
Investors stampeded out of Brazil on Monday, tanking its markets, after President Jair Bolsonaro’s completely unexpected move to replace the head of the national oil company, Petrobras, with a retired general. Bolsonaro announced the decision Friday, and later declared he had plans to intervene in other firms. The huge market sell-offs, which also struck Brazil’s currency and sovereign bonds, reflected fears that Bolsonaro may be preparing to intervene much more aggressively in the economy, with the aim of boosting his sagging polls ahead of the 2022 presidential election. Bolsonaro is still the favorite to win, but the surprise popularity surge [...]
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