BRASILIA – In the year in which Brazil is to host the BRICS summit, greater uncertainties have arisen over the country’s performance on the bloc, caused by the stance of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who openly calls for more alignment with the US, Israel and other countries outside the bloc.
Professor of the Economics Institute of UNICAMP, Mariano Francisco Laplane, commented on the performance of the Bolsonaro government in relation to the BRICS, reinforcing that it is an “unnatural” position of the country.
The analyst pointed out that, traditionally, Brazil’s international position is quite independent, since the country historically has economic cooperation with a large part of the world.
“Brazil has traditionally opted for a fairly independent, autonomous international position. Brazil is a country that has trade cooperation historically with much of the world,” he added, adding that due to the country’s economic profile, Brazil exports products “that everyone demands.”
Laplane stressed that in Brazil several foreign companies actively operate, while Brazilian companies also operate throughout the world. It is natural that “Brazil should place itself in the world in a position that is open to dialogue, which is quite broad.”
For the same reason it is natural for Brazil to approach other countries that have similar profiles, not only in the economic point of view, but also in terms of territorial dimensions, population numbers and similar problems, said the economist. However, according to him, Bolsonaro “has brought a change to this position”.
“The Bolsonaro government has a worldview that makes him try to make a choice, he wants to choose friends and wants to choose enemies,” he said, indicating a preferential alliance option with the US and Israel under the Bolsonaro administration.
“Curiously, I think that moving away from the traditions of Brazilian diplomacy, it moves away from countries with which there were very close operations and cooperation,” Laplane said, mentioning such countries as Russia and China.
According to the analyst, it is a “unnatural” posture of the country, which does not have an “objective reality”.
“This is a very unnatural thing, it is something that has no real, objective basis. It has a lot to do with ideology, world convictions, religious convictions, but not with objective reality itself,” he said.
Laplane believes that, in this sense, BRICS is what fits the international agenda of Brazil, contrary to the country’s departure from the other members of the bloc, reinforced by the Bolsonaro administration.
“I think that Brazil should return, should never have moved away from the historical position of maintaining an open position of dialogue and cooperation. Dialogue with all, business with all, and cooperation with those who present themselves with similarities, common problems and with characteristics common to Brazil, and I think BRICS fits exactly in that last category,” he said.
He explained why Brazil needs BRICS.
“BRICS is a group of countries with which Brazil has affinities … These are the countries that have a certain weight in the regions where they are located,” concluded the analyst.