Conservative President Jair Bolsonaro’s narrow election loss to socialist former president and convicted felon Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was likely not a repudiation of conservative values, as U.S. media has tried to say, but a rejection of Bolsonaro’s close ties with Communist China in recent years, according to Breitbart.
As evidence that voters still moved toward conservative candidates, Breitbart pointed out that Congress and gubernatorial races were overwhelmingly won by conservative candidates in the nation, including nine of Bolsonaro’s cabinet members.
Bolsonaro only lost by 2 million votes out of 200 million people in Brazil–a tiny number and hardly a repudiation of conservatism. De Silva had 50.9% of the vote and Bolsonaro had 49.1% in the second round of voting.
It is sad, and hopefully not an omen of things to come in the U.S., that Brazil chose to elect a convicted felon over a conservative.
But it is instructive of voters’ disdain for Bolsonaro’s cozying up to China, who has been trying to buy up Brazillian assets and provided millions of doses of its Sinovac coronavirus vaccines to Brazil.
It wasn’t always that way: while campaigning in 2018, Bolsonaro said that he would protect Brazil from communist regimes and stop China from buying up so much land and assets in Brazil.
“China isn’t buying in Brazil. It’s buying Brazil,” Bolsonaro famously said. But after getting elected, he changed his tune significantly.
Visiting Beijing in 2019, Bolsonaro said disingenuously, “I’m in a capitalist country!” He then went on to sign eight trade agreements with China.
“Brazil needs China”
“Brazil is a sea of opportunity for China,” Bolsonaro said at the time. “Brazil needs China, and China needs Brazil.”
He has refused to endorse an investigation of China for leaking the coronavirus, and said the claims are only “alleged.”
While Bolsonaro has been outspoken regarding religious freedom, he has refused to speak out against China’s crackdown on house churches within its borders or its persecution of the Uyghur Muslims to the point of genocide.
Voters were far more likely to be responding to his coziness with China than not wanting to elect a conservative, from all indications. Unfortunately, they are now stuck with a socialist convicted felon instead.