Main menu

Brazil’s New President Fizzles in His Overseas Debut

January 23, 2019

The opening day of the World Economic Forum looked like it had the potential for excitement. Jair Bolsonaro, making his debut trip abroad as Brazil's president, was slated to unveil his vision for a “new Brazil" before the assembled elites. Given the absence of President Trump and other prominent Western leaders, the far-right Bolsonaro, a former military officer known for his fiery and often-offensive rhetoric, seemed like one of the star attractions.

But his speech underwhelmed. Bolsonaro spoke for barely more than 10 minutes, delivering an address observers characterized as “lifeless” and “wooden.” Like every other world leader who comes to Davos, he declared his country ;open" for business, but offered little information about the reforms he hoped to enact. He simply invoked the smarts of Finance Minister Paulo Guedes, a University of Chicago-trained economist, and touted his administration’s zeal to cut back the “apparatus of the state” and reduce taxes...

Read the full article