Published: Wed, January 02, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Brazil's new President Jair Bolsonaro to take office

Brazil's new President Jair Bolsonaro to take office

They were surrounded by dozens of guards on horses and plain-clothes bodyguards who ran beside the vehicle.

Trump congratulated Bolsonaro as he took office with a post on Twitter.

Bolsonaro has said he wants closer ties with the United States and Israel, breaking with decades of center-left policies which sought to position Brazil as a Latin American power nurturing relations with all countries.

"I made a lot of money and saved money to buy the ticket, to be able to buy the plane ticket because it's a long way to come by auto but we managed to make it all the way to be here on this day for President Bolsonaro's inauguration".

Bolsonaro said in early November he meant to follow Trump's lead in moving his country's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"Bolsonaro told me it was "when, not if" he moves the embassy to Jerusalem", Netanyahu said in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, according to Reuters.

With Bolsonaro's inauguration, Latin America's two biggest economies are now in the hands of anti-establishment populists. Bolsonaro, a vocal critic of media that voice opposition to him, has promised to cut advertising funds from state-owned companies to some media organizations.

Police in DRC fire at protesters
Vote will still go ahead in the rest of the country, with results announced on 15 January and the inauguration three days later. The country's election commission then moved the date from December 23 to December 30 after a fire destroyed voting equipment.

On Tuesday, Bolsonaro reiterated his commitment to fighting crime in a nation that has long led the world in annual homicides. "Today, criminals are freer to go about armed than good people who respect the law", said Ze Ivan, a businessman from Brazil's northern state of Para who had turned out to see his new president.

Many of his stances have also caused alarm in his detractors, who fear an increase in violence - particularly by police. Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban is the only leader from the European Union due to attend. Leftist president such as Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Miguel Diaz-Canel of Cuba - who Bolsonaro has deemed dictators - were not invited.

One-third of his cabinet are former army officers, mostly fellow cadets at the Black Needles Military Academy, Brazil's West Point, all outspoken backers of the country's 1964-1985 military regime.

Pension reform will be Bolsonaro's biggest challenge since he has yet to build a base in Congress, where he has eschewed the political horse-trading that has traditionally helped Brazilian presidents govern the nation of almost 210 million people.

Animal rights activists blocked traffic at a major Toronto intersection on Tuesday, staging a "die-in" to protest the inauguration of Brazil's new far-right president and his proposed environmental policies.

"Bolsonaro needs some quick successes to get off on the right foot with the public and the political elites", said Hufbauer, adding that a failure to do that would likely reduce Bolsonaro's honeymoon period to six months.

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