Tuesday, 04 April 2023

Keeping the promise that he made, that he would return to Brazil in March 2023, former President Jairo Bolsonaro arrived in Brasilia on March 30th, after a three-month, self-imposed exile.

Bolsonaro returned to a deeply divided country, one that many economists believe is about to enter into a significant recession. In a few days, current President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will reach his 100th day in office, and he’s struggling to establish a viable agenda with major Brazilian institutions: Congress, the Military, and the Brazilian Central Bank (the equivalent of the U.S. Federal Reserve).  

Always the “country of the future,” Brazil is at a crossroads. President Bolsonaro followers are in a fighting mood, and social unrest, which can easily turn to violence, is prevalent throughout the country.  Meanwhile, President Lula’s economic policies are diverging from those of the Central Bank, which happens to be run by a Bolsonaro ally.  President Lula will also have great difficulty passing his legislative program through Congress.  Among other issues, President Lula’s interest in spending significant resources to protect and develop the Amazon region has little chance of becoming a reality. 

What happens next will depend upon the prudence and attitude of Bolsonaro. Will he stoke or quell the fire?  Given his record, the possibilities of a stable and prosperous Brazil are not that favorable for the near future.


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