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Brazil: Bolsonaro Fires Key Moderate Who Warned of Dangers of 'Extremism'

June 13, 2019

Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro has sacked one of the most prominent moderates in his administration for reportedly failing to ideologically align himself with his commander-in-chief’s radical creed.

Gen Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz, Bolsonaro’s secretary of government, had repeatedly locked horns with the president’s crotchety US-based guru, Olavo de Carvalho, and was reportedly relieved of his duties on Thursday afternoon.

The move, which sent shockwaves through Brazilian politics, came as Bolsonaro finally broke an almost four-day silence over a still unfolding scandal involving his justice minister Sérgio Moro...

But political observers voiced shock and concern that one of the more temperate characters around Brazil’s far-right leader had been forced out.

Brian Winter, a Brazil specialist and the editor-in-chief of Americas Quarterly, said: “It is very sudden, it is very unexpected, and it comes at a time when the pragmatic voices seemed to be ascendant in the government. This is one of the most pragmatic voices in the government who can be fired.”

Winter said it was unclear whether Santos Cruz’s demise was the result of a clash with the president, or friction with Bolsonaro’s Olavo de Carvalho-supporting sons, Eduardo and Carlos, who have been “baying for his head publicly and behind the scenes” for weeks...

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