Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro called Elon Musk’s proposed takeover of Twitter a “breath of hope” when the two met in Brazil on Friday, and he hoped the US billionaire would help put an end to “lies.” ” on his widely criticized management of the Amazon rainforest.
Bolsonaro and MuskCEO of electric car company Tesla and rocket company SpaceX, meet to discuss rural Internet connectivity and Amazon surveillance. The meeting took place at a sensitive time for both of them.
Bolsonaro faces an uphill battle for re-election in October and has become increasingly isolated on the global stage, while on Thursday Musk was accused of sexual harassment in a news release – a accusations, which he denies.
Bolsonaro, a far-right nationalist, has blasted major social media platforms for his efforts to combat misinformation, including taking down his baseless comments regarding conclude COVID-19 vaccines to develop AIDS. Musk, who Bolsonaro called a “legend of freedom,” has vowed to defend freedom of speech on Twitter.
Bolsonaro has come under global condemnation for advocating more mining and farming in the Amazon as well as Brazil’s bad environmental impact. Recent satellite data shows that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has increased to a 15-year high under Bolsonaro.
Speaking with Musk at an upscale hotel in the countryside near Sao Paulo, Bolsonaro praised the billionaire’s purchase of Twitter, saying it was “like a glimmer of hope”.
“We need, and are counting on Elon Musk to make Amazon known to both Brazil and the world, to show … how we have protected it and how harmful the liars are. about that area,” he told a news conference.
Later, in a press conference without Musk, Bolsonaro hinted at meeting the American billionaire. “It was the beginning of a relationship that I’m sure will end soon in marriage,” he said.
Bolsonaro added that Musk’s Twitter “the freedom of the press that we have always wanted and desired, complete freedom, without limits,” he said.
Bolsonaro also said that he is making Brazil’s Alcântara space base near the equator available for Musk’s rockets.
Musk tweeted Friday afternoon that he wanted to discuss more monitoring of the rainforest and efforts to bring broadband internet to rural areas – a plan he had previously discussed with members of the group. Bolsonaro government.
Musk was not questioned about the harassment allegations when he questioned him after arriving in Sao Paulo, where he was also greeted by business leaders such as Telecom Italia CEO Pietro Labriola and Banco BTG Pactual President Andre Esteves .
Musk’s meeting with Bolsonaro, a longtime conservative representative who defended Brazil’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship, is indicative of his personal political deviation. On Wednesday, he said he had previously voted Democrat, but would now vote Republican.
For Bolsonaro, who has worried international observers for fear that he might refuse to hand over power if he loses the election in October, Musk’s visit is a public relations coup.
© Thomson Reuters 2022