Spanish – President Jair Bolsonaro said the United States, along with Brazil, is working to “restore democracy in Venezuela.”
The recent visit of U.S. Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo to Brazil included talks on the situation of Nicolas Maduro’s tyrannical regime and its consequences for the region.
In a Twitter message, Bolsonaro also said that the U.S. chancellor’s visit to the border state of Roraima “shows how our countries are aligned in the pursuit of the common good. Bolsonaro also praised the foreign policy of U.S. President Donald Trump, also a presidential candidate.
– A visita do Secretário de Estado @SecPompeo à Operação Acolhida, em Boa Vista/RR, em companhia do @ItamaratyGovBr (Ministro @ernestofaraujo ), representa o quanto nossos países estão alinhados na busca do bem comum. pic.twitter.com/ct0qk0n5fJ
— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) September 20, 2020
Criticism from the “center”
As the U.S. presidential elections are approaching, the “Centrão,” Brazil’s political caste that claims to defend “the political center,” criticized Bolsonaro’s statements and Pompeo’s visit.
The president of the legislative chamber, Rodrigo Maia (DEM), said that the visit “goes against the traditions of autonomy and pride in our foreign and defense policy,” and that it was an “affront” to the traditions of Brazilian foreign policy:
“U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit this Friday to the Operation Welcome facility in Roraima, near the Venezuelan border, at a time when the U.S. presidential election is only 46 days away, is incompatible with good international diplomatic practice and contrary to the traditions of autonomy and pride in our foreign and defense policies.”
“Seeking peace does not mean cowering before tyrants and criminals.”
In response to criticism, Brazil’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ernesto Araújo, replied that “The legacy of the Brazilian diplomatic tradition does not include indifference towards our neighbors. In the current case of Venezuela, such indifference would be immoral and would endanger the security of Brazilians.”
In a statement, he said:
Seeking peace does not mean cowering before tyrants and criminals. National independence does not mean rejecting the alliances that help us defend our most urgent interests and our most precious values. Promoting Latin American integration does not mean facilitating the integration of drug cartels. Non-interference does not mean letting criminals act undisturbed.
“The Brazilian people are in solidarity with their neighbors, and Operation Welcome represents that solidarity. The Brazilian people value their own security, and the persistence in Venezuela of a regime allied with drug trafficking, terrorism, and organized crime permanently threatens that security. The Brazilian people are deeply attached to democracy, and the Maduro regime is constantly working to undermine democracy throughout South America,” he added.
There is no “autonomy and pride” in ignoring the suffering of the Venezuelan people or in neglecting the safety of the Brazilian people, he said. He declared how the current government of Brazil seeks to break a spiral of irresponsible inertia and complicit silence, or of shameless collaboration practiced for 20 years vis-à-vis the growing tragedies of the Chávez-Maduro regime.
“The sad history of Brazilian diplomacy for Venezuela between 1999 and 2018 is an example of blindness and ideological submission, highly detrimental to the material and moral interests of the Brazilian people and all of Latin America,” says Araújo.
Americans have been the world leader in health and humanitarian provision for decades. I just saw firsthand in Brazil what America is doing with our partners to help suffering people who have fled the nightmare in Venezuela. We love our neighbors like no other nation. pic.twitter.com/ViROeyQHG1
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 20, 2020
The U.S. provides millions of dollars to help Venezuelan refugees in Brazil
The foreign minister recalled in a statement that the United States has already donated 50 million USD to Operation Welcome and that Secretary Mike Pompeo announced the donation of an additional 30 million USD.
It is a huge amount, he says, given that the Brazilian government has already spent 400 million USD on this operation. The United States has also dedicated significant amounts to help host Venezuelan immigrants and refugees in Colombia and other countries. Brazil and the United States, therefore, are in the vanguard of solidarity with the Venezuelan people, oppressed by the Maduro dictatorship, he said.
– Parabenizo o Presidente @realDonaldTrump pela determinação de seguir trabalhando, junto com o Brasil e outros países, para restaurar a democracia na Venezuela.
— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) September 20, 2020
Araújo also alleged that Maduro and the ministers of his regime committed crimes against humanity by systematically practicing torture, murder, arbitrary detention, and other atrocities.
As stipulated in the constitution, he declared that Brazil will continue working, more than ever, to expose the suffering of Venezuelans to the world’s attention and will work in favor of the re-democratization of Venezuela, which he considers the only way for the country’s return to respect for human rights.
Só teme a parceria Brasil-EUA quem teme a democracia.
🇧🇷+🇺🇸 por uma 🇻🇪 livre
São infundadas as críticas do Presidente da Câmara Rodrigo Maia à visita que o Secretário de Estado Mike Pompeo e eu fizemos ontem à Operação Acolhida em Boa Vista, conforme procuro mostrar nesta nota: https://t.co/LOpsEyyekM
— Ernesto Araújo (@ernestofaraujo) September 19, 2020
Araújo says he is very proud to contribute, along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, under the leadership of Presidents Bolsonaro and Trump, to building a deep and fruitful partnership between Brazil and the United States, the two largest democracies in the Americas. “Only those who fear democracy fear this partnership,” he said.