Are Brazil and the United States' allies

Brazil and USA: For more military cooperation and against Maduro

Palm Beach, USA. Brazil's far-right President, Jair Bolsonaro, met with his counterpart, Donald Trump, in the USA and agreed with him on extensive and deepened cooperation between the two countries. Bolsonaro was accompanied on his visit by his son, the MP Eduardo Bolsonaro, Defense Minister Fernando Azevedo e Silva, Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo and the Head of the Security Cabinet, Augusto Heleno.

This was Bolsonaro's fourth official trip to the United States. The agenda included issues such as measures related to the crisis in Venezuela, the conclusion of a military agreement and the deepening of economic ties. The Brazilian President took every opportunity during his trip to emphasize the common interests of the two governments. "I am sure that in the future it will be beneficial to maintain relationships with right-wing governments," he said at a dinner.

The main concern of the US trip was the signing of a military agreement with the US. The contract allows Brazilian industry to act as a supplier of armaments on the US market in the future. Bureaucratic processes for bilateral trade in the area are being dismantled. In addition, the agreement is intended to facilitate trade in military goods with the member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It still has to be ratified by the parliaments of both countries for it to come into force.

Bolsonaro and Craig Faller, the commander of the US Southern Command (Southcom), signed the pact at the headquarters of Southcom, which directs US military operations in the Caribbean and Central and South America. According to Faller, the agreement will also be used to increase pressure on the Venezuelan government.

The military contract had already been negotiated since the reign of ex-de facto President Michel Temer (2016-2018). Negotiations accelerated under Bolsonaro, a retired captain with very good relations with the United States. Last year, Trump announced his administration's interest in declaring Brazil a strategic military ally of the US outside of NATO. At the meeting, Trump also reiterated Washington's support for Brazil's accession to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and urged other member countries to work towards that goal.

In addition to increased military cooperation, Trump and Bolsonaro agreed to take further political measures to increase pressure on Venezuela's government. They reaffirmed "their countries' support for democracy in the region, including Venezuelan President Juan Guaidó and the democratically elected Venezuelan National Assembly in their work to restore constitutional order in Venezuela," the Brazilian government said in a statement. The two governments are among the 50 or so states that consider President Nicolás Maduro to be illegitimate and recognize the opposition leader Guaidó as president. At the beginning of March, Brazil had already withdrawn its diplomats from Venezuela.

The two presidents also discussed “supporting Bolivia's efforts to hold free and fair elections,” writes the White House.

Another topic on the agenda was bilateral economic and trade relations. As part of protectionist measures, the US government announced the introduction of tariffs on steel and aluminum from Brazil in December 2019. At the time, Trump accused Brazil of deliberately devaluing the currency. However, the measures were lifted shortly thereafter. When asked by journalists about a possible introduction of new tariffs on products from Brazil in the face of the sharp devaluation of the real, Trump said: "I make no promises." At the same time, the two countries want to continue their talks on drawing up a free trade agreement.

The dinner was open to journalists, but Bolsonaro decided to exclude the government-critical newspaper Folha de S.Paulo from the event.