Celso Amorim on the Election of Jair Bolsonaro

As Brazil lurches to the far-right with the election of nativist candidate Jair Bolsonaro, former Foreign Defense Minister Celso Amorim joins the program to discuss.

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AMANPOUR: Yes. I was going to ask you because you were foreign minister how you think this is going to spread in Latin America and also whether you think that Bolsonaro will ditch his toxic rhetoric as he said he wants to be a unifier. But I guess what I want to ask you to end with, he is being dubbed the Trump of the tropics. How do you see Brazil`s new relationship with the United States under a President Bolsonaro and a President Trump?

AMORIM: Well, he has already played his respects to the American flag which raised many eyebrows in Brazil because that`s not what you expect from a military, much less from a candidate for the presidency. But having said that, on the other hand, you have to think for President Lulu, I was the foreign minister at the time. Had a very good relation including with President Bush although having different views because he was a man of dialogue. And that`s not what I see in Bolsonaro. So the same way that he says that he loves the United States and he`ll do things in practice, we don`t know where it will get. And we can get also involved in difficult problems in Latin America because let`s say this lack of empathy towards other candidates and towards other countries. For instance, Mercosur has been the basis for South American integration and his probable minister of finance has said already that Mercosur will not be a priority. So I think it`s very dangerous in many respect but, of course, what I`m concerned most of all is human rights and freedom of speech because these are the thing that Brazil got accustomed, not only with Lulu but also with Cardoza who was let us say more right of center politician. But we had plenty of years of, even more, of experiencing democracy and now we are maybe back to the authoritarian regime with some fascist overtones. I hope it doesn`t materialize but, you know, it is only hope. I mean if I obey on fact or on what was said until now, I have many, many reasons to be worried. Well, you know, I dealt with foreign policy. Our relationship with Africans, with Arab countries, all that is being thrown away. The creation of the BRICS which is very important for the world balance so —

AMANPOUR: Yes, the developing country economies.

About This Episode EXPAND

Christiane Amanpour speaks with Serene Jones, Union Theological Seminary’s President, Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky and Richard Clarke, former U.S. Nat’l. Coordinator for Security and Counter-terrorism about the attack on America’s Jewish community; and Celso Amoirm, former Brazilian Foreign and Defense Minister, about Brazil’s election. Hari Sreenivasan speaks with Republican strategist Frank Luntz.