by Leander Milbrecht
Brazil’s president once again made statements about his corona policy that could only make you shake your head. In terms of COVID-19 death rates, Brazil is in second place in the world behind the US. That doesn’t seem to bother Bolsonaro. Instead of solutions, he once again only offers homophobic hatred.
Over 163,000 people have already died in Brazil as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. President Bolsonaro has not yet been able to present a strategy – instead, he has made a series of strange statements in the past months. He described reactions to the pandemic as “hysteria”, since COVID-19 is only a “small flu”, and said that the Brazilians have such a good immune system that they could not be infected. Then he tested positive himself.
Now he theatrically called on his fellow countrymen to fight and demanded that Brazil must stop “being a country of fags”. During a speech about the consequences for tourism, he complained that all that was still being talked about today was the pandemic. That must be stopped.
“I regret the deaths. I really regret them. But we will all die one day. There is no point in escaping reality. We must stop being a country of fags… We must face it and fight. I hate this faggot stuff.”
Brazil ranks second in terms of the highest COVID-19 death rate – while in terms of murders of transgender and intersex people, it is the world’s number one country, even though Brazil has one of the best laws in Latin America for the queer community. But widespread queer hostility in society is still persisting – thanks in part to the homophobic rhetoric of leading politicians – especially in poorer areas and far from the big cities.
Fortunately, the situation is different in more urban areas. The situation of the queer community in big cities is different, with queer infrastructure and big events. São Paulo Pride is considered the largest Pride event in the world, with around 3 million visitors.
Good news: Monica Benicio, the widow of left-wing politician Marielle Franco, who was shot dead on 14 March 2018, was elected yesterday to the city parliament of Rio de Janeiro. She thanked her supporters – and her dog – on social media.
Bolsonaro threatens Biden
The self-proclaimed ‘proud homophobe’ is an avowed ally of former US President Donald Trump. Indeed, the two right-wing populist presidents seem to have even more in common than racist, queerphobic and misogynist views: Their miserable COVID-19 policies and the highest death rates in the world will be part of their legacy.
Donald Trump: “Relations with Brazil are better than ever because of our friendship”.
Bolsonaro is – like Vladimir Putin – one of the few leaders who have not yet congratulated President-elect Joe Biden on his victory. While the Kremlin is keeping a low profile, Bolsonaro makes no secret of his aversion to the change of leadership in the US. He thus also used his speech to indirectly threaten Joe Biden and make it clear: The time of solidarity between Brazil and the USA is over. The reason for this: the future US president was committed to protecting the rainforest.
In his first presidential debate with Donald Trump at the end of September, the challenger Biden declared that the protection of the rainforest was a high priority – he called on Bolsonaro’s government to do more against the destruction of the so-called “green lung”, otherwise he would impose trade sanctions.
In response, Bolsonaro now said:
“How do you deal with this? Diplomacy alone does not work…. You need gunpowder. You do not have to use it. But they need to know you have it.”
- 1094px-Bolsonaro_with_US_President_Donald_Trump_in_White_House,_19_March_2019: By Isac Nóbrega/PR / flickr.com/ CC BY 2.0 / wikimedia.org
- Official_portrait_of_Vice_President_Joe_Biden: By: The White House from Washington, DC / wikimedia.org
- 1620px-Jair_Bolsonaro_-_EBC_02: By Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/Agência Brasil / CC BY 2.0 / wikimedia.org
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