Things That Matter

Brazil Elected A New President And People Across The World Are Comparing Him To Donald Trump

Brazil has elected far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro to be the next president after winning a decisive election victory on Sunday, promising to drain the political swamp and tackle corruption in Latin America’s biggest country. Bolsonaro, who was a congressman for almost three decades, won 55.2 percent of the vote, defeating his opponent Fernando Haddad, who represents the left-wing Workers’ Party. He ran a campaign with rhetoric of being a new voice in Brazil with plans to return financial stability to a country that has faced recession in 2016. But his comments concerning women, race and human rights have been biggest headlines throughout the campaign that have many citing similarities to Donald Trump.

Brazil’s new president has many striking similarities to Donald Trump when it comes to rhetoric and domestic policy.

Jair Bolsonaro ran a campaign that sounded similar to Donald Trump’s back in 2016 with calls for smashing what he sees as a corrupt and irresponsible political system that has forgotten ordinary citizens. Law and order, patriotism and religious values were themes he advocated for throughout the campaign. Similar to Trump, he has also attacked his leftist detractors as enemies of the people.

During his victory rally, Bolsonaro said he was a “defender of freedom” who would run a government that would defend citizens who “follow their duties and respect the laws.” President Trump took to Twitter on Monday to congratulate Bolsonaro and said “the United States will work closely together on Trade, Military and everything else.”

Bolsonaro has made controversial comments even before he began his run for president.

Bolsonaro has drawn public criticism for his statements about women and homosexuality dating back before his run for president. Back in 2014, Bolsonaro told a congresswoman he “wouldn’t rape you because you don’t deserve it.” During a Playboy interview in 2011, he said “I would prefer my son to die in an accident than be gay,” according to the Huffington Post. Just this year, Bolsonaro was charged by Brazil’s attorney general with “inciting hatred towards black, gay and indigenous people,” the New York Times reported.

Many women have protested his victory citing fears of a more radical and nationalist Brazil that isn’t accepting of diversity and equal rights.

Women have been at the forefront of the push back against Bolsonaro and his campaign rhetoric has prompted rallies like the “Women Against Bolsonaro march” in Sao Paulo. There have been social media campaigns with the slogan #EleNão, or “Not Him” that women have used and chanted throughout his campaign. Many of them feel that Bolsonaro is a leader that isn’t cognitive of women/gay rights in Brazil.

“Bolsonaro has opened a Pandora box,” Luka Franca, a protest organizer told CNN. “He’s given a voice to an ultra right population who want to voice their prejudice and annihilate anyone who is different.”

What does Bolsonaro’s victory mean for Brazil moving forward?

With the election of Bolsonaro, Brazil enters a new era of leadership after The Workers’ Party governed Brazil for more than 13 years. Voters put him into office similarly to why many Americans voted Donald Trump into office back in 2016. Fears of lack of jobs and complacent government that citizens couldn’t trust anymore. Now Bolsonaro must make good on his campaign promises and unite a country that has been divided by a divisive election. It will have to start with the economy and more importance on job creation in Brazil.

“If the next president only governs for his supporters, the divisiveness we’re living will remain,” Marco Antonio Teixeira, a political science professor told CNN. “If he chooses to govern for the whole country, there is a greater chance these conflicts will be minimized or disappear.”


READ: Here’s Why So Many Brazilians Are Protesting One Of The Presidential Candidates

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The Last Wild Macaw In Rio de Janeiro Visits the Zoo Everyday Because She’s Lonely

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The Last Wild Macaw In Rio de Janeiro Visits the Zoo Everyday Because She’s Lonely

via Getty Images

If you’re the type of person who constantly complains about being single, this story will most definitely resonate with you. In Rio de Janeiro, there is a macaw that experts believe is the only free macaw currently living in Rio. To make things more tragic, this Brazilian macaw is so lonely that she makes daily visits to her fellow macaws at Rio de Janeiro’s zoo.

Every morning, a blue-and-yellow macaw (affectionately named Juliet) flies into the enclosure where the zoo’s macaw lives and canoodles with her fellow species.

According to the staff of the Rio de Janeiro Zoo, Juliet has been making daily visits to the enclosure for 20 years. The last time a blue-and-yellow macaw like Juliet was seen in the wild was in 1818. So it’s safe to say she’s fiending for some company. The average lifespan of a macaw is 35-years, which means Juliet has spent the majority of her life as a single lady.

“They’re social birds, and that means they don’t like to live alone, whether in nature or captivity. They need company,” said Neiva Guedes, president of the Hyacinth Macaw Institute, to the Associated Press. “[Juliet] very probably feels lonely, and for that reason goes to the enclosure to communicate and interact.”

Luckily for Juliet, the Rio de Janeiro Zoo is launching a program called Refauna that is aiming to breed and reintroduce blue-and-yellow macaws back into the wild.

The Refauna program plans to breed 20 macaw chicks and give them “training” on “forest food sources, the peril of predators and avoidance of power lines.” Once they’re thoroughly educated, workers will release the birds into the Tijuca Forest National Park to live full, free lives. Some people are hoping that with so many macaws flying free out in the open, Juliet will feel less lonely.

But some animal experts are warning the general public not to feel too bad for Juliet. “We don’t want to project human feelings,” biologist Angelita Capobianco told AP News. I look at the animal, and see an animal at ease.” That’s nice to hear. We love a strong, independent woman who doesn’t need a man to thrive.

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Brazil Just Passed a Bill That Will Allow Rich Corporations to ‘Skip the Line’ for COVID-19 Vaccines

Things That Matter

Brazil Just Passed a Bill That Will Allow Rich Corporations to ‘Skip the Line’ for COVID-19 Vaccines

Photo via Getty Images

Currently, Brazil is one of the world’s epicenters of the coronavirus. In March 2021, Brazil saw 66,573 COVID-19-related deaths. That means 1 in every 3 COVID-related deaths worldwide are occuring in Brazil.

And it doesn’t appear that the numbers will be slowing down anytime soon. While the United States is making strides in their COVID-19 vaccine distribution, Brazil is lagging far behind. And things are about to get a lot more complicated.

On Tuesday, Brazil passed a bill that would allow corporations to buy up as many vaccines as they can get their hands on, and privately distribute them to their employees first.

Elected officials in Brazil are arguing that the country has become so desperate to vaccinate its citizens, that it doesn’t matter who gets the vaccines first at this point.

The country, once renowned for having one of the most robust and efficient public vaccine-distribution programs in the world, has failed to make strides towards getting their citizens vaccinated.

“We are at war,” said the leader of the chamber, Arthur Lira. “And in war, anything goes to save lives.” We don’t know about you, but usually when it comes to war, we’ve heard that soldiers prioritize the health and safety of young, the weak, and the elderly before their own? We digress…

Brazil’s plan to privatize the vaccine rollout has brought up moral and ethical questions.

From the beginning, the World Health Organization has asked countries to first prioritize essential health workers and then high-risk populations when distributing the vaccine.

Anything other than that would promote a pay-to-play schemes in which the rich could protect their lives before poor people could. And poor people are more likely to die from COVID-19 in the first place.

As Alison Buttenheim, behavioral scientist and expert on the equitable allocation of the COVID-19 vaccine said, vaccine distribution should not “exacerbate disparities and inequities in health care,” but instead address them. Brazil’s vaccine rollout plan would fail to do any of the above.

If countries begin to allow the rich to prioritize their own interests during the vaccine rollout, the consequences could be disastrous.

In a time when the world is stoked by fear and uncertainty, the worst thing that can happen is for rich companies to exacerbate inequalities by effectively choosing who lives or dies.

As the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization said at the beginning of the global vaccine rollout: “any distribution of vaccines should advance human well-being and honor global equity, national equity, reciprocity, and legitimacy.”

Poor Brazilians should not be left to fend for themselves against COVID-19 simply because they are poor.

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