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Biden meets Bolsonaro who defends Brazil’s elections, environmental record and Russia-Ukraine stance

President Joe Biden finally came face to face with the ‘Trump of the Tropics’, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday, telling him how he had visited the ‘beautiful place’ three times, including before the World Cup, and enjoyed of his ‘beautiful place’. people.’

Bolsonaro, who questioned Biden’s 2020 victory in the run-up to the Summit of the Americas and also suggested he might not abide by Brazil’s October election results, defended his country’s ability to hold fair elections. its environmental performance and its decision to remain neutral in Russia’s war against Ukraine.

“This year we have elections in Brazil and we want to have fair, clean, transparent, verifiable and reliable elections so that there will be no doubt after the elections,” Bolsonaro said through a translator. “And I’m pretty sure the elections will take place in this democratic spirit.”

Biden’s meeting with Bolsonaro came immediately after Argentina and Belize leaders criticized the White House’s decision not to invite Cuban President Miguel Diaz Canel, Venezuelan Nicolas Maduro and Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega to the summit.

The criticism came as Biden sat in the room alongside Vice President Kamala Harris and other leaders of North, Central and South American countries.

“It is incomprehensible that we should isolate the countries of America that have provided strong leadership and contributed to the hemisphere on the critical issues of our time,” said Prime Minister Johnny of Belize. Briceño during the first plenary session of the Summits of the Americas.

President Joe Biden (right) saluted Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro warmly as the two leaders met for the first time on the sidelines of the Americans' Summit in Los Angeles on Thursday.

President Joe Biden (right) saluted Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro warmly as the two leaders met for the first time on the sidelines of the Americans’ Summit in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, in his meeting with President Joe Biden, defended his country's ability to hold fair elections, its environmental performance and its decision to remain neutral in Russia's war against Ukraine.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, in his meeting with President Joe Biden, defended his country’s ability to hold fair elections, its environmental performance and its decision to remain neutral in Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Biden acknowledged the complaints when he closed the session.

“I think we’re off to a good start, I’ve heard a lot of important ideas,” the president said. ‘And despite some differences of opinion about participation, I almost heard unity – uniformity on the substantive points.’

“Rational migration policies, addressing the need to provide access to recovery and financing, a situation where we concluded that we need to work on the environment and climate change and so many other things,” the president added.

He then went to his first bilateral meeting with Bolsonaro, who also came close to boycotting the summit over US snubs.

Earlier, Bolsonaro had noted that Biden had sent former Senator Chris Dodd, a senior adviser to the Summit of the Americas, to meet with him, promising a bilateral meeting with the president who convinced him to come.

“And there I laid the cards on the table,” said the Brazilian leader. “With Trump everything was going really well, when Biden came in there was just a freeze… I saw him at the G20, he passed by like I didn’t exist.”

“I don’t know if it’s his age or what it is,” Bolsonaro, 67, said of the 79-year-old US president. ‘I will have a bilateral with him. I will enforce what Brazil represents to the world. … I’m not going to smile and shake hands or appear in a photo. I’m going to solve problems.’

“I am the president of Brazil and will not accept, as some would like, an international agenda to look good,” added Bolsonaro.

President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro yawns during the first plenary session of the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles on Thursday

President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro yawns during the first plenary session of the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles on Thursday

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro attended the opening plenary session of the Summit of the Americas ahead of his meeting with President Joe Biden

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro attended the opening plenary session of the Summit of the Americas ahead of his meeting with President Joe Biden

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is imprisoned upon arrival at the opening plenary session of the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles on Thursday

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is imprisoned upon arrival at the opening plenary session of the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles on Thursday

'Marilyn Monroe' stands outside the Los Angeles Convention Center on Thursday with a cardboard cutout of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro ahead of his meeting with President Joe Biden

‘Marilyn Monroe’ stands outside the Los Angeles Convention Center on Thursday with a cardboard cutout of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro ahead of his meeting with President Joe Biden

Prior to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's arrival in Los Angeles, trucks carrying signs that there was a 'liar in town' were in downtown

Prior to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s arrival in Los Angeles, trucks carrying signs that there was a ‘liar in town’ were in downtown

During his remarks, Biden spoke of the “deep-rooted shared values” between the US and Brazil, including being a “vibrant, inclusive democracy.”

Bolsonaro defended his country’s ability to hold elections.

He noted that he “came to power through democracy.” “And I’m pretty sure when I step down from office it will be through democratic means as well,” Bolsonaro told Biden.

Bolsonaro has been criticized around the world for his environmental performance as fires and deforestation in the Amazon have risen to the highest level in more than a decade since the leader took office in 2019.

“Sometimes we feel threatened in our sovereignty in that region of the country, but the fact is that Brazil is doing a very good job of preserving its territory,” Bolsonaro claimed. “Our environmental laws are very strict and we are committed to enforcing and complying with them to ensure the overall well-being of our nation.”

Bolsonaro also boasted that Brazil was taking a “balanced approach” in terms of current conflicts.

“In addition, Brazil is of course still dependent or dependent on other countries,” he said. ‘We have always approached these matters in a balanced way.’

“We want peace in the world and we will do everything we can to achieve peace. We deplore the ongoing conflicts, but again, I have a country to run. And given our reliance on certain foreign players, we have to be careful, always careful,” the Brazilian leader continued.

Bolsonaro then said the government’s stay-at-home COVID policy exacerbated the situation.

“Because the consequences after the pandemic and the wrong policies, in my opinion, to stay at home and we will take care of the economy later – made worse by a war currently 10,000 kilometers from Brazil, the economic consequences and effect are harmful and are felt by all of us,” he said.

Former President Donald Trump, whom Bolsonaro admires, has largely supported the US’s initial COVID-19 lockdowns — “15 days to slow the spread” — although more recently Democrats have been blamed for COVID-19 cautious policies.

Bolsonaro also suggested that Brazil and the US could help bring peace between Russia and Ukraine.

“So President Joe Biden, we are ready to work together to build a way out of this episode that we don’t want between Ukraine and Russia, because we have to – we hope and pray that we get out of this situation as soon as possible – so that not just Brazil, but the world is returning to normal,” Bolsonaro said.

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