Elon Musk visits Brazil to explore Amazon with Bolsonaro

Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro gestures as he comes at a lodge to participate in a information meeting about the Amazon rainforest and to fulfill with Elon Musk, in accordance to ministers, in Porto Feliz, Sao Paulo state, Brazil May well 20, 2022.

Amanda Perobelli | Reuters

Elon Musk traveled to Brazil on Friday to discuss initiatives to defend the Amazon rainforest with President Jair Bolsonaro, ministers said, in a improve for the considerably-ideal leader who is struggling with rising criticism at dwelling and overseas for surging deforestation on his watch.

The check out by Musk, the SpaceX and Tesla main govt who is in talks to get social network Twitter, follows a conference in November with Brazilian Communications Minister Fabio Faria. They spoke then about applying SpaceX technological innovation to provide the internet to rural colleges and overcome illegal deforestation.

Faria verified Musk’s visit “to explore connectivity and safety of the Amazon” in a tweet on Friday and Bolsonaro’s chief of employees stated the president himself would consider portion in the conference. On Thursday, Bolsonaro spoke of an approaching “assembly with an internationally recognized man or woman coming to help our Amazon.”

Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon has climbed to a 15-calendar year significant less than Bolsonaro, who pushed for far more mining and farming in the area, drawing criticism from earth leaders and climate researchers.

That has additional to developing isolation of Bolsonaro, who dropped a critical ally when former U.S. President Donald Trump failed in his 2020 re-election bid.

Musk is attending an party at an upscale hotel in the countryside around Sao Paulo, in the firm of small business leaders these types of as Telecom Italia Chief Govt Pietro Labriola and Banco BTG Pactual Chairman Andre Esteves, according to O Globo newspaper, which initial described the pay a visit to.

Flight-tracking internet sites showed Musk’s Gulfstream jet departing Texas and landing at the Catarina Executive Airport west of Sao Paulo on Friday early morning.

Musk is established to fulfill with Bolsonaro, a conservative firebrand who defends Brazil’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship, as the entrepreneur describes his possess politics drifting to the proper. On Wednesday, Musk explained that he formerly voted for Democrats, but he will now vote for Republicans.

Bolsonaro was sluggish to acknowledge U.S. President Joe Biden’s get and has nonetheless not spoken to the Democrat considering that he took office environment, chilling relations among the two countries.

Incorporating to tensions, Bolsonaro frequented Moscow for a helpful conference with President Vladimir Putin just times right before the Feb. 24 Russian invasion of Ukraine, which the Brazilian chief has refused to condemn.

Bolsonaro, who criticizes significant tech firms for their initiatives to battle misinformation on social media, celebrated the information that Twitter acknowledged Musk’s preliminary bid for the business. He has also tried out for many years to lure Tesla to Brazil, where by the corporation lacks any retail existence.

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