Remi Piet: Bolsonaro Leaning into Disputes Abroad to Gain Support at Home

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Brazil’s firebrand president is leaning into disputes with world leaders to garner nationalist support at home, according to AMI’s Remi Piet.

In August, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro made disparaging comments about French President Emmanuel Macron’s wife on Facebook, triggering an international dispute.

Then, in September, Bolsonaro took issue with Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations’ high commissioner for human rights (who was also twice president of Chile).

After she criticized an increase in police killings in Brazil, he responded by complimenting the Pinochet regime — a regime that tortured Bachelet and her parents.

Remi Piet of Americas Market Intelligence (AMI) told the Investing News Network that Bolsonaro is using disputes abroad to shore up nationalist support for his government at home by framing questions about Brazil’s guardianship of the Amazon as a sovereignty issue. Piet said this is largely working.

Bolsonaro came into office promising to be a firebrand, and he has not disappointed so far, with a rash of controversies, crude comments and general standoffish behavior characterizing his tenure.

Piet said that the recent Macron-Bolsonaro bout of name calling is having an impact in that it is bringing environmental issues in Brazil to international attention — including concerns around illegal miners who are plundering gold and diamond resources in the area.

“They are a true plague on the Amazon,” said Piet.

In the interview, Piet also talked about ongoing fallout from the Brumadinho disaster in early 2019 and differences between the Brazilian states when it comes to reputational risk. “Operating in Brazil is very much different from one state to another,” said Piet.

Piet also offered his thoughts on relations between Brazil and its more left wing neighbors, including Venezuela and (potentially) Argentina, which is on the cusp of electing former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner to the position of vice president.

Listen to the interview above for Piet’s wide-ranging views on Brazilian politics, reputational risk and Brazil’s relations with its neighbors.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Scott Tibballs, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

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