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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro reshuffled his government on Monday, March 29, with six changes of ministers, including those of Foreign Affairs, Justice and Defense. This was announced by the Ministry of Communications in a press release. The departure of the Brazilian foreign minister, Ernesto Araujo, was expected, the latter being implicated in the fiasco of the policy against the coronavirus which killed nearly 314,000 people in Brazil, but the other changes took them by surprise. observers. </p><div> <p>Almost four months after reaching half of his four-year term, the <strong>president Bolsonaro</strong> has also changed the post of Minister of the Casa Civil, halfway between the Chief of Staff and the Prime Minister, that of the Advocate General of the Union, in charge of the defense of the legal interests of the country. This reshuffle also marks the arrival of a third woman in this government, out of 22 ministers in total, the deputy Flavia Arruda, in the secretariat of the Presidency.
Two weeks ago, another important change took place at the head of the Ministry of Health, General Eduardo Pazuello having been replaced by cardiologist Marcelo Queiroga. He is the fourth Minister of Health since the start of the epidemic in Brazil.
The departure of two pillars of government
These two “historic” ministers who had been part of the government since the start of the term of the far-right president in January 2019, had very different profiles.
Former Chief of Staff, Reserve General Fernando Azevedo e Silva, who left the Defense Ministry, was part of the “military wing” of the government, deemed less extremist and more pragmatic.
Ernesto Araujo, on the contrary, is one of the most enthusiastic ideologues, who broke the tradition of multilateralism in Brazilian diplomacy, and whom parliamentarians accuse of having been responsible for the delays in the delivery of imported doses of anti-Covid-19 vaccines. and active ingredients to manufacture them due to its strained relationship with China.
Efforts to ‘preserve the Army as a state institution »
The departures of General Pazuello and Ernesto Araujo were expected, after weeks of wear and tear and repeated criticism from parliamentarians who are allies of the government.
But that of Fernando Azevedo e Silva took everyone by surprise. In a brief statement, he assured to have been ” fully loyal To President Jair Bolsonaro. But he also wishes to underline his efforts to “ preserve the army as a state institution ».
Sources cited by the newspaper Or Balloon reveal that the Minister was uncomfortable because of demonstrations by pro-Bolsonaro militants nostalgic for the military dictatorship (1964-1985) and demanding an “intervention” by the Army against Parliament and the Supreme Court.
According to the news channel Globonews, the Minister of Defense left his post at the request of the Head of State, who announced his decision to him during a meeting of only five minutes.
Assumed diplomatic isolation
Shortly before the announcement of the change to the Ministry of Defense, a government source confirmed to AFP that Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo had resigned.
The head of diplomacy had been under pressure for several weeks. He was implicated in Brazil’s coronavirus fiasco, which killed more than 312,000 people in one year.
« Many mistakes have been made in the fight against the pandemic; one of them is the lack of productive diplomatic relations with countries that could have worked with Brazil at this time of crisis. “, Deplored the President of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco, last week.
A whimsical figure, Ernesto Araujo, 53, was one of the most enthusiastic members of the “ideological wing” of the Bolsonaro government, a staunch critic of globalization and a fervent admirer of former US President Donald Trump.
He never ceased to castigate the ” cultural marxism ” who has ” influenced the scientific dogma of global warming “. Ernesto Araujo has often angered “Maoist” China with his provocative statements, while Beijing is Brazil’s largest trading partner. Last October, he admitted that Brazil’s diplomatic isolation was not much of a problem for him.
« Yes, Brazil talks about freedom all over the world. If that makes us an outcast, let us be that outcast », He had declared in front of the pupils of the Rio Branco Institute, which trains the future diplomats of Brazil.
One of the personalities approached to replace him is the current Brazilian Ambassador to France, Luiz Fernando Serra
<div id="em-WBMZ36818-RFI-FR-20210330" class="m-em-flash"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="pt" dir="ltr">- We changed the ownership of 6 ministries this Monday (29). The following appointments will be published in the Official Gazette, namely:
• Ministry of Defense: General Walter Souza Braga Netto;
• Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Ambassador Carlos Alberto Franco França;
– Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) March 29, 2021
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Source site www.rfi.fr