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Rainforest Rancor: Biden And Brazil's Bolsonaro Aren't Likely Destined For Bromance

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at the launch of a mining and development program this week in Brasilia.
Eraldo Peres
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at the launch of a mining and development program this week in Brasilia.

After Joe Biden proposes "economic consequences" for Brazil's Amazon destruction, Jair Bolsonaro bashes Biden for "coward threats."

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro took issue with mudslinging over the Amazon rainforest in Tuesday’s U.S. presidential debate. And part of Joe Biden's strategy to fight global warming could lead to a cooling of U.S.-Brazilian relations if the Democrat wins in November.

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When President Donald Trump and Biden debated environmental policy – or shouted about it, anyway – Biden took a jab at Brazil:

“Brazil, the rainforests of Brazil are being torn down, are being ripped out," he said. "I would be gathering up and making sure we had the countries of the world say, 'Here’s $20 billion. Stop tearing down the forest. And if you don’t, then you’re gonna have significant economic consequences.'”

Biden was also taking a swipe at right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who's been globally criticized for pushing development in the Amazon rainforest — and the fires that in the past year have created the worst Amazon destruction in more than a decade.

Bolsonaro is now hitting back – calling Biden’s debate remarks “regrettable…disastrous and gratuitous.” He said Brazil will not accept “coward threats toward our territorial…sovereignty.”

Bolsonaro and President Trump have enjoyed what many call a conservative bromance — especially in their mutual denial of global warming and the role Amazon deforestation plays in it. That likely won’t be the case should Biden become President.

Tim Padgett is the Americas Editor for WLRN, covering Latin America, the Caribbean and their key relationship with South Florida. Contact Tim at tpadgett@wlrnnews.org
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