President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva dismissed the commander. BrazilTwo weeks after the army ransacked the chambers of power in Brasília on Saturday, an election-denying mob loyal to his far-right predecessor.
The dismissal of veteran leftist Julio Cesar de Arruda came a day before Lula was due to make his first trip abroad — to Argentina — as he tries to bring the South American powerhouse back to the international stage. were
Arruda took office on December 30, two days before the end of outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro’s term, and was confirmed by Lula’s administration in early January.
On January 8, Bolsonaro supporters vandalized the presidential palace, Supreme Court and Congress in Brasilia, smashing windows and furniture, destroying priceless works of art, and leaving graffiti messages calling for a military coup.
Lula has said he suspects security forces may have been involved in the riots, in which more than 2,000 people were arrested. The leftist president announced his immediate environment assessment.
Defense Minister Jose Mucio said after meeting with the president on Saturday evening that Arruda had stepped down as army chief due to a “deterioration in the level of trust”.
“We thought we needed to stop it to control the incident,” Museo said, referring to the attack in Brasilia.
Mucio said after meeting with Lula and the heads of the three branches of the military on Friday that the armed forces had no direct involvement in the riots.
On Wednesday, the man named as the new army chief, Tomas Ribeiro Paiva, until now head of the Southeast Army Command, vowed that the army would “continue to guarantee democracy.” And he suggested accepting the results of the October election in which Lula defeated Bolsonaro.
On Sunday, Lula will travel to Argentina, the traditional first stop for Brazilian presidents. However, in a departure from tradition, the trip will also allow him to meet President Alberto Fernandez, a loyal ally, as well as regional counterparts at the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) summit.
“Everyone wants to talk to Brazil,” Lula said in an interview with Globo TV channel this week, promising to rebuild Brasilia’s ties with the international community after Bolsonaro’s four years in power. Gaya, the symbol of international isolation for the country.
Latin America is just the beginning of his international push, with German Chancellor Olaf Schulz visiting on January 30, and Lula flying to Washington on February 10 to meet with his US counterpart Joe Biden.
Joao Daniel Almeida, a foreign relations expert at Rio de Janeiro’s Pontifical University, told AFP that Lula’s priority was to “reconnect with Latin America” after relations with neighbors in the region “returned to the fray”.
Lula will arrive in Buenos Aires on Sunday and meet Fernandez the next day. Argentina’s center-left leader has already traveled to Brazil for a bilateral meeting, which took place on January 2, the day after Lula took office.
The talks are expected to cover trade, science, technology and defense, Brazil’s foreign ministry said.
– pink wave –
Brazil’s 77-year-old leader may also meet with several leftist counterparts — Cuba’s Miguel Diaz Canel and Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro, with whom Brasilia recently normalized ties — in Buenos Aires on Tuesday. All of whom will attend a regional summit.
Under Bolsonaro, Brazil was one of fifty countries that recognized Maduro’s main opponent, Juan Guaido, as the country’s interim president.
In Buenos Aires, the CELAC summit aims to bring together the region’s more than 30 states. Lula, who served two previous terms as president from 2003 to 2010, was one of the founders of the group, which was formed when left-leaning governments in Latin America joined the so-called “Pink Movement”. “The wave” washed away.
With a number of left-wing leaders recently in power, the region’s increasingly visible political landscape once again resembles that of the early 2000s.
Bolsonaro, a staunch critic of the left, suspended Brazil’s participation in CELAC, alleging that the body “gives importance to undemocratic governments such as Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.”
He also failed to establish warm relations with Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Colombia, where left-wing governments came into being.
Almeida, a foreign relations expert, said Lula wants to “prioritize economic cooperation” in the region.
Lula also this week expressed his interest in regional policy to protect the Amazon, as the international community awaits changes following Bolsonaro’s strong record on increasing deforestation.