Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is in the United States on Monday for a visit during which he will meet with Donald Trump to seal a conservative alliance, strengthen economic relations and increase pressure on Venezuela.
Bolsonaro landed Sunday at 15:40 local time (19:40 GMT) at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington.
This is Mr. Bolsonaro's first trip abroad for a bilateral meeting since he took office on 1 January. He had attended the economic forum in Davos (Switzerland) in January.
The Brazilian president is accompanied by six ministers, including those of Foreign Affairs, Ernesto Araujo, Economy, ultra-liberal Paulo Guedes, and Justice and Security, Sergio Moro.
Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of the far-right president and federal deputy, who plays a major role in bringing Brasilia closer to the ultra-conservative American right, is also in Washington.
President Bolsonaro, who has never hidden his admiration for his American counterpart, stressed on Twitter the crucial importance for him this visit.
“Alliance for Freedom”
“For the first time in a long time, a Brazilian president who is not anti-American comes to Washington,” he wrote. “This is the beginning of an alliance for freedom and prosperity, as the Brazilians have always wanted.”
Before Bolsonaro's departure for Washington, Brazilian presidential spokesman Otavio do Rêgo Barros said the visit was “a sign of the priority the government attaches to building a strong association with the people.” United States”.
It is Tuesday that the Brazilian head of state will meet President Trump on Tuesday in the Oval Salon of the White House. Previously, he will meet with Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), which is headquartered in Washington.
He will also participate in several forums to extol the assets of the Brazilian economy.
Some 50 people demonstrated Sunday in front of the White House against the arrival of Mr. Bolsonaro with signs saying “Bolsonaro assassin” and “Free Lula”, reference to the former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (2003-2010), in prison for corruption.
One of the main topics of the talks with Mr Trump should be the crisis in Venezuela, on which the two presidents should reaffirm a hard line against Socialist President Nicolas Maduro.
The United States, which demand the departure of power from the Venezuelan head of state, is at the head of some 50 countries, including Brazil, having recognized the opponent Juan Guaido, Speaker of Parliament, after he is self-appointed interim president.
To increase pressure, Washington imposes economic sanctions on Venezuela and has imposed an embargo on oil, a crucial export for the country's economy, which will come into force on April 28.
In addition, Bolsonaro announced Thursday the signature during his visit of a technology cooperation agreement. It will allow the United States to launch satellites from the Alcantara Space Center in the northern state of Maranhao.
Alcantara is ideally located because of its proximity to the equator, which allows fuel savings of around 30% for launches or the introduction of heavier loads.
Messrs. Bolsonaro and Trump are also expected to discuss measures to increase bilateral trade and the possibility of Brazil's entry into the OECD, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
On Sunday evening, Mr. Bolsonaro, who is staying during his stay at Blair House, the residence for official guests near the White House, dined at the residence of the Brazilian Ambassador in Washington with opinion leaders.
According to diplomatic sources, guests included Steve Bannon, former campaign strategist Donald Trump, and Olavo de Carvalho, a Brazilian writer residing in the United States and considered to be Mr. Bolsonaro's guru.
After his visit to the United States, Mr. Bolsonaro will visit Chile and, at the end of March, Israel.