Brazilian leader Bolsonaro says he may nominate son as US ambassador
Eduardo Bolsonaro currently is a congressman.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is considering nominating his son Eduardo to be ambassador to the United States.
Eduardo Bolsonaro, who is currently a congressman, met with foreign minister Ernesto Araujo and told reporters that the minister “expressed support” for his nomination.
The president himself said that such a nomination “is something on my radar”, and ticked off a list of his son’s qualifications for the post: “My son Eduardo speaks English, he speaks Spanish. He’s travelled all over the world. He’s friends with Donald Trump’s children.
“My understanding is that he could be a qualified person and would be the perfect message to Washington.”
The comments set off an uproar among opposition MPs.
Senate opposition leader Randolfe Rodrigues tweeted: “It’s absurd that he’s even being considered. Bolsonaro wants to govern in his backyard, extending (the government) to his family…. Eduardo Bolsonaro’s nomination for ambassador is unacceptable.”
He called the move “unprecedented in the history of Brazilian diplomacy” and said he was “certain” the Senate would not approve the nomination.
Congressman Ivan Valente of the leftist Socialism and Liberty Party said the nomination would be unethical. “This is a complete mess. An international embarrassment,” he tweeted.
A 2008 Supreme Court decision prohibits Brazilian authorities from nominating close family members to official posts, but the ruling was vague and Mr Bolsonaro’s allies argue it does not apply in this case.
When asked by reporters about his qualifications for the position, Eduardo Bolsonaro said he had been in a foreign exchange programme where he “fried hamburgers in the United States, in the cold in Maine” and “in the cold in Colorado, on a mountain there”.
A 2017 YouTube video shows him standing in front of a Popeyes chicken counter recounting his time in the US in 2004-2005.
Eduardo Bolsonaro also noted that he heads the foreign relations commission in the lower house of Congress.
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