In this episode, Mark Melton speaks with Igor Sabino about the political situation in Brazil and that country’s role in global affairs. They focus on the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro, and Sabino explains the reasons why Brazilian evangelicals supported him. While courting the evangelical vote, Bolsonaro promised to improve relations with Israel, and Sabino recaps what the president has been able to achieve while balancing its relations with Arab countries. Brazilian politicians have a history of corruption, so Melton and Sabino discuss how Bolsonaro was able to present himself as a clean candidate while running for office as others were caught in the “Operation Car Wash” scandal. But Sabino addresses how Brazilians feel about the president now after some recent revelations about the corruption trials and the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Donald Trump had a good relationship with Bolsonaro, but some have warned that aligning too closely with him could put Americans, especially Republicans, in a pickle in Brazil if the political tide turned. With this in mind, Sabino reviews how Brazilians view the US now. As the US and China move toward a rivalry that looks like a cold war, Brazil can get caught in the middle. Sabino reviews Brazil’s place in this new global conflict. Finally, Brazilians will vote in October 2022, and Sabino reviews what may happen and which actors Americans should watch for.
Note about the audio: We had technical difficulties while recording the podcast remotely so apologize for the quality. But we still wanted listeners to hear this report on Brazil.