New York, Sep 25 (IANS) Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro took the stage at the ongoing 74th UN General Assembly here for the first since taking office, and insisted that the Brazilian areas of the Amazon rainforest were sovereign territory.
Speaking at the UNGA on Tuesday, the President reiterated his complaints about “exaggeration” and “manipulation” regarding the recent forest fires in the Amazon and also lambasted Cuba and Venezuela for their socialist regimes, reports Efe news.
Regarding the massive wildfires, which ecological groups attributed to an alleged lack of action by his government, Bolsonaro insisted that there has been a “disinformation” campaign created by non-governmental organisations and that it had encouraged certain “colonialist” sentiments that persist in the world.
Although he did not cite him specifically, Bolsonaro referred to French President Emmanuel Macron, who, alarmed by the fires,called for the intervention of the G7 to help control the flames.
Bolsonaro said that Brazil’s “Amazon is bigger than all of Western Europe” and that more than 60 per cent of it is “preserved,” and thus his government “does not accept” the idea that any other country can tell Brazil what it should do to conserve the biomass.
He also said that it is a “fallacy to say that the Amazon is (part of) the heritage of humanity or that it is the lung of the world”, adding that the only ones having sovereignty over that region are the Amazon countries themselves.
Bolsonaro reiterated that during his four-year term in office, no new indigenous lands will be created in Brazil, since they already occupy almost 14 per cent of the national territory.
He also defended his intention to allow exploitation by private companies of certain mineral wealth in Amazonia and called on the UN to prevent a return to “colonialist practices”. indirectly attributing such behaviour to France.
In his speech, Bolsonaro also presented a “new Brazil” to the world and to the private sector, in counterpoint to the “socialist” model that, in his opinion, governed the country in recent years and for which he reserved the harshest remarks in his address.
Socialism, he said, led Brazil “to a situation of generalized corruption” and gave rise to “uninterrupted attacks on religious values” backed by the Sao Paulo Forum, which unites Latin American leftist parties.
Bolsonaro also emphasized Brazil’s efforts to take in thousands of Venezuelans who have fled their homeland seeking a new life, saying that his government will continue “working so that democracy may be reestablished in Venezuela” and so that “other countries in the region do not experience that terrible regime of socialism”.