Brazil’s government may have taken a turn around in their decision to reject foreign aid in fighting the Amazon fires.
More than $22million dollars pledged by leaders of some wealthiest countries to help fight Amazon raging fires was initially rejected by Brazil was rejected by Brazil but there are indications that they might be open to terms for aid acceptance as they accepted aid from Britain on Tuesday evening New York Times reports.
President Jair Bolsonaro who had taken to his Twitter handle to express his verbal feud with Emmanuel Macron, President of France, showed readiness to accept the offer by offering some terms for the acceptance the next day, as members of his cabinet met with governors from all nine states that make up Brazil’s Amazon region to discuss the fire and offers of aid.
Recall that it was Emmanuel Macron who announced the aid at the G7 summit. Earlier, Mr. Macron has threatened to block a major European trade deal with four South American nations, including Brazil.
“He will have to withdraw his words, and then we can talk,” Mr. Bolsonaro said.
The $12 million in aid offered by the British foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, Brazil’s foreign minister, Ernesto Araújo, to fight the fire was accepted by the country.
Otávio Rêgo Barros, the government spokesman said, “The government stresses that all external support is welcome, provided the decision over how those resources are employed is ours”.
Reacting to Bolsonaro’s stand concerning foreign aid, he said, “Our sovereignty is non-negotiable.”
Mr. Bolsonaro, who had suggested that Mr. Macron’s real motive was to shield France’s agriculture from Brazilian competition, had tweeted on Monday that the president “disguises his intentions behind the idea of an ‘alliance’ of the G7 countries to ‘save’ the Amazon, as if we were a colony or a no-man’s land.”
On Tuesday, Trump praised Mr. Bolsonaro on Twitter, “He is working very hard on the Amazon fires and in all respects doing a great job for the people of Brazil — Not easy. He and his country have the full and complete support of the USA!”
Critics blame Brazil’s president policies on opening up protected parts of the Amazon rainforest to mining, logging, farming and other development which may have resulted to the further exploitation of the region.
Expressing their support to the President to develop the Amazon, some governors said the indigenous and environmental reserves is hampering their growth. Some others are of the opinion that help is acceptable.
“All help is welcome.”
Mr. Bolsonaro believes that the help might come with “a price,” “What they want is our sovereignty,”
“We have to unite to preserve what is ours and guarantee our sovereignty”
“And this will take us to a destiny we already know: Brazil’s insolvency,” he added.
Worried about the deepening crisis which could lead to boycott of the country’s exports, Blairo Maggi, a former agriculture minister said,
“We are not an isolated island,“ he said. “We need to pay attention to the path the world is taking.”
Source: New York Times