Bolsonaro or Lula? U.S. Brazilians Cast Ballots in Their Home Country’s High-Stakes Runoff

By Isabela Espadas Barros Leal and Carmen Sesin

The election, “could profoundly impact the relationship with the United States,” said AS/COA's Eric Farnsworth to NBC News.

As a dual citizen of the U.S. and Brazil, Monica Ferrari will be going on Sunday to the Latin American Association in Atlanta to cast her ballot in her home country's highly contested runoff election.

The 59-year-old teacher said she would be voting for leftist former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva “because Bolsonaro represents all the worst that we can have in terms of politics — he is against women, against gays, against LGBTQ [people], he is against Blacks. He said once that he would kill his sons if they would say they were homosexuals. ... I normally say Bolsonaro is a Trump that speaks Portuguese,” Ferrari said. […]

The election, “could profoundly impact the relationship with the United States,” said Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Council of the Americas, and a former senior U.S. government official.

He said the election would affect global climate issues and Brazil’s place or position in the world.

Bolsonaro has been widely criticized for encouraging more farming and mining in the Amazon, as well as cutting back the budgets of government agencies that protect the jungle.

Farnsworth said that although there was deforestation during Lula's previous term as president, the rate would likely decrease if he wins on Sunday.

“There will be more of a willingness on the Brazilian side to dialogue with the United States, Europeans and others on the global climate change agenda,” Farnsworth said.

Bolsonaro had a warmer relationship with Trump than with Biden. Bolsonaro has cast doubt on the 2020 U.S. election results, echoing false claims that there was widespread fraud.

If Lula is elected, “the relationship with Russia will continue, although it won’t increase dramatically, but there will be a lot more of a receptivity to China — Bolsonaro has meaningfully tried to downgrade that relationship," Farnsworth said. "But that will impact U.S. relations.”…

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