SÃO PAULO, SP (FOLHAPRESS) – The United States decided to participate in the September 7 naval parade in Rio de Janeiro, but will not send representatives to the platform set up by Jair Bolsonaro (PL) in the state capital on the day of the celebration of the Bicentennial of Independence.
As Folha de S.Paulo showed on Tuesday (30), the Americans found themselves in a difficult position, given that three of their warships are on their way to Rio to participate in the multilateral exercise Unitas-2022, an annual event held in of Latin America under the command of the US Navy since 1960.
Brazil’s choice to host the event this year took place before Bolsonaro was elected in 2018, and American diplomacy feared the association between his presence and the president’s coup speech against the electoral system. The Brazilian Navy invited all exercise participants to the naval parade.
By trying to associate the national date with an event in defense of his government and against the Electoral Justice, Bolsonaro created a diplomatic embarrassment – increasing an unease placed when he called ambassadors in Brasilia to expose his false theses against electronic voting machines.
American officials had said, under reservation, that the country should not be part of the planned stop to travel along the coast of Rio de Janeiro on September 7, from Recreio dos Bandeirantes to Leme, passing through Bolsonaro’s platform in Copacabana. Navy officials, in turn, said that the presence was confirmed.
The Folha de S.Paulo newspaper report on this was published at 11:51 am on Tuesday. Late in the evening, the US Embassy released a note stating that 2 of the 3 ships that will be on Unitas would participate in the parade. The country thus shares the Chilean decision to keep the frigate Williams, sent to Unitas, in the parade that will be led by the Brazilian flagship Atlântico and the Cisne Branco, the Navy’s instructional and public relations sailboat.
The case of Santiago is even more intricate, as the Chilean government summoned the Brazilian ambassador to explain the baseless accusations made by Bolsonaro against the country’s president, Gabriel Boric, that he had depredated public property in the 2019 protests in the country. But the good-neighbor policy, particularly among the Armed Forces, spoke louder.
Among the military consulted, there was the expectation of the participation of the two American authorities who will be at the opening of Unitas, on the 8th, at the event in Rio. There was no formal invitation, but Washington’s decision is to have no one on the Rio platform.
Diplomats minimize such discomfort, seeking to maintain good relations with Brazil, but the fact is that the US gave unmistakable signs of disapproval of the president’s campaign against the electoral system. The embassy in Brasília even released an official note saying that electronic voting machines were an example to the world, after the embarrassing episode with international representatives and Bolsonaro.
Embassies have closely followed the Brazilian elections. The current voice is the traditional “we will work with whoever wins”, but there are concerns about the campaign promoted against the fairness of the elections by the president.