I didn’t know much about Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro until I heard that Facebook was blocking his campaign sites. And that was a sign to me that he was an important force that challenged the establishment.
Then, about a month ago, Bolsonaro was stabbed in the street, on a campaign meet-and-greet. A leftist extremist just walked up to him and stuck a knife in him. Bolsonaro lost 40 per cent of his blood, and nearly died.
And this week, he was elected president of Brazil.
I hardly need to tell you that the mainstream media is calling Bolsonaro “far right.” But they call everyone "far right" these days.
Statistically speaking, if someone gets 55 per cent of the vote, can they be far right?
I won’t deny that Bolsonaro is dramatic; and I think he is very right wing. His signature gesture looks like he’s shooting a gun; he has talked about a brutal cleansing that his country needs, to rid it of leftists.
In Latin America, when you’re worried about Communists, you really worry about it — it’s not a Red Scare like perhaps in the United States. It’s real: Brazil shares a border with Venezuela, and it’s not far from Cuba. Dictatorships and revolutions are not rare in South America.
His response to everything is so bold and so tough, it perhaps looks like a caricature to us, but in Brazil, in its crisis — it rings true.
TONIGHT I'll review some of Brazil's recent history and its current situation, to explain why Bolsonaro’s tough talk was appealing to over half the voters.
He has specifically said he wants to reorient his country towards freedom and prosperity — that’s the opposite of most Latin American strongmen. He says he’ll be an ally of America — that’s a good sign.
Trump called Bolsonaro to congratulate him.
Other great democracies reached out to Bolsonaro — including Israel.
I’ve just received incredible words from the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu as well as from ambassador Yossi Shelley. Our friendship ties will undoubtedly result in mutual agreements that will surely benefit both of our nations and citizens.
How shockingly new and refreshing is that from a place that had done close business with Iran and other haters before. I think that’s a good proxy for what Bolsonaro thinks about the UN, which hates Israel; and the global left; and the OPEC oil powers.
But of course, then came Canada...
Justin Trudeau and his disaster of a foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, put out a perfunctory release — not even mentioning Bolsonaro by name, let alone congratulating him. Bolsonaro hasn’t even been sworn in yet, and Trudeau is already snubbing him — and 210 million Brazilians, the fifth biggest country in the world.
I don’t yet know what Bolsonaro will be like in power. No-one does, maybe not even himself, yet.
But I do know one thing:
If you get your information from the New York Times and the CBC, you won’t learn much, other than he’s “divisive” and “far right,” and Trudeau doesn’t like him.
Then again, they would say the same thing about you, wouldn’t they...?
NEXT: Italian journalist Alessandra Bocchi joins us to talk about the crime that has shocked Italy, and the world:
The slaying of a teenage girl who was drugged and gang-raped, allegedly by three migrants.
FINALLY: Your messages to me!