Two days from the Brazilian runoff, far-right candidate and likely president Jair Bolsonaro showed optimism about a victory and claimed that he will have a “good relationship and an optimal alliance” with Argentine President Mauricio Macri. Speaking at a press conference, he also stated that he has already spoken with Paraguay’s president Mario Abdo Benítez and has plans to speak with the Chile’s Sebastián Piñera as well.
Bolsonaro had already shown his intention to have a good bilateral relationship with Macri, should he get elected. In a controversial praise, he “sent a hug” to Macri for having “defeated ‘Dilma’ Kirchner.” Regarding the talk, Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement only saying they had a “cordial conversation within the framework of Brazil’s current electoral process and the strategic relationship between the two countries,” suggesting an attempt by Macri to stay impartial in Brazil’s electoral proceedings.
A poll on Thursday showed a slight drop in the former army captain’s pre-runoff ratings — down from 59 percent last week to 56 percent against his left-wing Workers Party (PT) competitor, Fernando Haddad.
In another passage of the press conference, Bolsonaro criticized the Brazilian press for – in his eyes – portraying him in a bad light and creating prejudice against him in the US and Europe.
Bolsonaro went on to address some of his most controversial – it would be impossible to go over all of them – statements, such as the need to beat the gays to teach them “how to be men,” or his intention to go to war with Venezuela and a statement about wanting to close Brazil’s northern border with the Caribbean country.
Regarding his statements criticizing the LGBT community, he said that his words weren’t “polished” before, and that the government doesn’t have anything to do with people’s sexual orientation. However, he believes that “sexual orientation should not be taught in school” and that it is something that should “just be talked about only at home.”
With regard to a video of him at one of his rallies announcing that he will declare war against Venezuela to “liberate our brothers from hunger and socialism,” Bolsonaro said that “we will not go to war with anyone” and that the allegations of him saying this “are not true.” Instead, he said that he wants to work with the UN to help Venezuela with their current failed state. Bolsonaro also dismissed his previous assertion that he will close the border to all Venezuelans by saying that “it’s impossible” to stop Venezuelans from entering the country.
When asked what the country can expect in 2019 if he wins the election, Bolsonaro promised that he will form a “very technical cabinet” that can follow the will of the Brazilian people instead of that of a political party.