Brazil’s new president, Jair Bossonalo, said in an exclusive media interview Wednesday that he
was open to the possibility of future US military bases in Brazil and would like to consult with the US side.
Brazil has long pursued an independent foreign policy. Some media interpreted that allowing the United
States to set up military bases would mean a “sharp turn” in the foreign policy of the South American power.
Bossonalo also criticized Venezuela, the old rival of the United States in South America, and expressed
concern about the participation of Russian warplanes in Venezuelan air force exercises.
Great Diplomatic Turn
Brazilian Television Systems aired an interview with Bossonalo on the 3rd. This is his first interview since
he took office on January 1st. He talked about many topics of domestic and foreign affairs.
Reporters asked Bossonalo if the United States would be allowed to set up military bases on Brazilian territory.
He answered, of course, that he was willing to negotiate this possibility. “It depends on what happens in the world and who knows if we need to talk about it in the future.”
According to him, the new administration will strengthen economic relations with the
United States, as well as develop military relations and sign agreements in the military field. “We
don’t want to be a superpower in South America, but I think we should have the highest status.”
The United States regards Latin America, which includes Central and South America, as its backyard,
and exerted overwhelming influence on the region during the Cold War. Agence France-Presse and Reuters reported that for many years, Brazil’s
left-wing or centrist governments have pursued independent diplomacy free from American influence. The Left-wing government led by the
Labour Party has been playing against the United States on the international stage from time to time. Bossonalo sought to reorient Brazil’s
diplomacy and alliance with the United States in some respects. Speaking on the phone with Secretary
of State Mike Pompeo on the 2nd, he said that the two countries are now “friends”.
On the same day, in a speech to police in Rio de Janeiro, the state capital, Wilson Witzer, an ally of Bossonalo,
said Brazil needed “its own Guantanamo prison” and “terrorists to be locked up so that society can get rid of them completely”.
The United States established a military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 1903, and a prison in the base in 2002, where hundreds of terror
suspects were detained. The prison is notorious for its abuse scandal. Since the victory of the 1959 revolution,
Cuba has opposed the existence of US military bases and demanded the withdrawal of US troops.