Bolsonaro at the UN: A speech to remain in (pre-)History

The most difficult part in writing about President Jair Bolsonaro’s speech opening the 74th UN General Assembly this Tuesday, 24, was having to listen then read the speech. However, even after this painful process, a stark sense of bewilderment remains.

By Wevergton Brito Lima*

Image captured from the UN video, of Bolsonaro waiting for his turn to speak.

With the exception of the decreasing number of unconditional fans of the President, all the rest of the world was impressed by how primal the “thought” guiding the actions of the Brazilian President is.

What in Brazil was already known is now out there: Bolsonaro is the enemy of any idea that is minimally close to the struggle for social justice, in defense of human rights, of the environment and for civilizational progress, which in his paranoia are linked to a “Marxist globalism”.

Therefore, the governments of former Presidents Lula and Dilma Rousseff, committed to, with more, or less, importance, all these endeavors, “led Brazil to the brink of socialism”. To save Brazil from this nefarious fate, according to the Brazilian President, “many have had to give their lives”, although he does not cite the names of the right-wing martyrs that rescued Brazil from Bolshevism and delivered it to the saviors of financial capital.

According to BBC Brasil, “by mentioning topics such as the Foro de São Paulo, the Cuban doctors participating in the Mais Médicos [More Doctors][Brazilian social] program, and saying that Brazil almost turned into a socialist country, the President has mistaken the UN plenary with that of the [Brazilian] House of Representatives, where he spent seven terms.”

Bolsonaro stated, among other nonsensical statements, that he is a fighter against a leftist conspiracy that is trying to “destroy our children’s innocence, even perverting their most basic, fundamental identity: the biological”; in other words, from the UN podium, he almost made reference to a fake news repeatedly spread by his supporters to defame campaigns against homophobia, since this phrase is a clear attack on homosexual people who “deny their biological identity”, a real Bolsonaro obsession. Freud explains, one may say.

Tom Phillips, a correspondent of the British paper The Guardian, tweeted right after Bolsonaro left the platform: “Even in their worst nightmares, I’m not sure Brazilian diplomats will have imagined a Bolsonaro #UNGA speech so arrogant, so bile-filled and so truly calamitous for Brazil’s place in the world. #MeDaPenaPorBrasil [I feel sorry for Brazil]”.

Imagem relacionada
 Rio de Janeiro, 20 September 2019. Credit: Pilar Olivares/Reuters

The Brazilian President’s weird sociology guaranteed to the UN that corruption in Brazil, before Lula and Dilma, was an almost insignificant problem. The fires in the Amazon are, in part, the responsibility of the very indigenous peoples and, to scientifically prove that, he cited the name of one indigenous woman, a Bolsonarian Youtuber who has over 200,000 followers in the social network and was rewarded with her participating in the Presidential travel group, although she is rejected by nine out of ten indigenous leaders. Indeed, an overwhelming argument.

“Five slow claps with an ironic smile. That was the reaction of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the speech of President Jair Bolsonaro in the opening of the UN General Assembly”, BBC reported, dedicated to an inglorious task: finding among the hundreds of heads of State and diplomats those who liked Bolsonaro’s speech. It found two examples: Trump (quoted in referential manner by the vassal that occupies Brazil’s Presidency) and “Nigeria’s delegation, which was watching the speech. According to them, Bolsonaro is ‘a strong man’, like the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, a military man with a fierce discourse against corruption.”

The Brazilian journalist Jamil Chade, who works from Geneva, informed in his blog: “Jair Bolsonaro had not even reached the half of his speech and my WhatsApp, Signal and e-mail were already being bombarded with messages from diplomats and representatives of international entities. They were shocked by what they were listening. But one of the messages, which was especially harsh, came from a representative that is part of the UN leadership: ‘He (Bolsonaro) has just lost the last chance to be respected.’”

Rejection and mockery

But it was the Cuban Chancellor, Bruno Rodríguez, who dotted the i: “These were statements full of threats to the South countries, particularly to Our America, and what I hear among the UN delegations is rejection and mockery”, he told Telesur and Prensa Latina.

“I categorically reject Bolsonaro’s slanders on #Cuba. He is delirious and longs for the times of the military dictatorship. He should rather take care of the corruption of his justice system, government and family. He is the champion of inequality increase in Brazil”, the Cuban diplomat continued, responding to attacks from Bolsonaro, whom, in his speech, accused Cuba of having sent infiltrated agents disguised as doctors to promote the socialist revolution in Brazil.

The truth is that the ideas expressed by the Brazilian President from the UN podium are not only neo-fascist (which is of itself very serious), they are rough, medieval.

Because this is Bolsonaro, that was expected, someone may rightly say. However, this is a feeling more or less like that of the 7 x 1 that we suffered in the match with Germany in the World Cup. You know that it happened, but it is hard to believe it because this is a planet-wide shame. If the world was indeed flat, as the astrologer that tells fortune for the Bolsonaro clan believes – we could nurture the hope that their words would get lost or fall off the Earth’s edge, but no, they continue to go round the globe, causing the same perplexity and the question that is repeated in many languages, like a mantra: “how have Brazilians allowed that to happen?”

*Wevergton Brito Lima is the secretary-general of the Brazilian Center for Solidarity with the Peoples and Struggle for Peace (CEBRAPAZ)