Brazil has been rocked to its foundations of late. The economy has suffered through depression and an outlandishly large welfare state for a developing country. Its former marxist presidents have been disgraced as big time crony capitalists. One, Lula deSilva, is now in jail. Another, Dilma Rousseff, was impeached for corruption. The waves of the “Pink Tide” that heralded an era of radically leftist (that is a fair statement) leaders in South America really began to crash in Brazil. The process continues in other parts of South America still.
Such was the environment that made the rise of Jair Bolsonaro possible. Now the world waits to see his tack. Is he a liberal in the Thatcher-esque sense? Or is he an authoritarian? Is he something else? How far will he go in liberalizing the economy? Will he fall victim to the cancer of crony capitalism that infects so much of South America? Is Bolsonaro a turning point or more of the same with a different veneer?
“We cannot continue flirting with communism … We are going to change the destiny of Brazil,” Bolsonaro said in an acceptance address in which he vowed to carry out his campaign promises to stamp out corruption after years of leftist rule.