‘Coward’: Brazil’s Bolsonaro calls out Biden for debate threat

by WorldTribune Staff, October 1, 2020

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday slammed what he called Joe Biden’s “coward threat” during Tuesday’s debate in which the U.S. Democrat presidential candidate vowed to impose “economic consequences” on Brazil if it did not toe the leftist line on climate change.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro / Wikimedia Commons

“Brazil, the rainforests of Brazil are being torn down, are being ripped down. More carbon is absorbed in that rainforest than every bit of carbon that’s emitted in the United States,” Biden said during the debate with President Donald Trump.

“Instead of doing something about that, I would be gathering up and making sure we had the countries of the world coming up with $20 billion, and say, ‘Here’s $20 billion. Stop, stop tearing down the forest. And If you don’t, then you’re going to have significant economic consequences.’ ”

Biden did not explain where the $20 billion number came from.

Bolsonaro wrote in his statement, published in English on Twitter, that he found Biden’s broadside against the nation of Brazil – a traditional U.S. ally with few international conflicts – “unnecessary” and “difficult to understand.” The president accused Biden of trying to “bribe” him with foreign aid and belying “greed” in exploiting Amazonian natural resources.

“The Democratic candidate to the U.S. presidency, Joe Biden, stated yesterday that he could pay us as much as US$20 billion to stop the ‘destruction’ of the Amazon Rainforest adding that, if we did not accept this offer, he would then impose serious economic sanctions on our country,” Bolsonaro wrote on Wednesday. “What some have not yet understood is that Brazil has changed. Its President, unlike the left-wing presidents of the past, does not accept bribes, criminal land demarcations, or coward threats towards our territorial and economic integrity. OUR SOVEREIGNTY IS NON-NEGOTIABLE.”

Bolsonaro appeared to be referring to his socialist predecessor Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was convicted of using millions in taxpayers’ dollars to buy a luxury beachfront property. President Barack Obama, under whom Biden served, once called Lula the “most popular politician on earth.”

Bolsonaro said that his administration has put forward “unprecedented action to protect the Amazon.”

“The greed of some countries towards the Amazon is a well-known fact. However, the explicit demonstration of this greed by someone who is running for the presidency of his country is a clear sign of contempt for cordial and fruitful coexistence between two sovereign nations,” Bolsonaro said.

The Brazilian president concluded: “As the head of state who has brought Brazil-U.S. relations closer than ever before, after decades of governments that were unfriendly towards the U.S., it is really difficult to understand such a disastrous and unnecessary declaration. What a shame, Mr. Biden, what a shame!”

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