Will 2019 be Brazil's year of changes with Bolsonaro at helm?

Brazil's President Open To Possibility Of U.S. Military Base, Expresses Russia Concerns

President Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right politician and former army captain who was elected on pledges to crack down on crime and give security forces a free hand against criminals, praised the move.

He quickly reversed course, however, saying "it is not yet decided", apparently responding to fears from Brazil's powerful farming businesses that an embassy move could put at risk $1bn in meat exports to Arab markets.

A senior aide to new Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro stressed on Thursday the new administration's commitment to enacting an ambitious pension overhaul, adding that a privatization program was still under evaluation.

On Friday, asked by journalists in Brasilia about his openness to hosting a U.S. base, Bolsonaro said: "I have the American people as a friend". He has strongly criticized what he calls "gender-based ideology", saying it is a threat to Brazil's Christian values.

He added that "the only weighty voice speaking out against me is Iran", the Shiite Islamic republic that is an enemy to Israel and hostile to Arab allies of the United States such as Saudi Arabia.

Sao Paulo's stock market, meanwhile, jumped 3.56 percent to a record closing of 91,012 points as new Cabinet ministers reinforced the intent to privatize state-owned companies and a Brazilian arms maker benefited from Bolsonaro's plans to loosen gun controls.

Bolsonaro had wavered on the embassy move after saying in early November he meant to go through with it.

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The Chinese head of state went on to say he is willing to join efforts with President Bolsonaro to respect the main interests of each country and devise long-term strategies.

"It's the only way to govern with our ideas, our concepts and to carry out what Brazil's society decided in its majority", he said.

"This merger would be very good but we can't, as is set out in the last proposal, allow everything to be handed over to the other side in five years' time", he said.

Bolsonaro's conservative Social Liberal Party has only a tenth of the seats in the 513-member Chamber of Deputies, and the president will be relying on lawmakers from several parties reflecting his base to back him.

On Tuesday, in his first public speech as president, he vowed Brazil's green-and-yellow flag "will never be red". The security measures were similar to those that are seen during presidential inaugurations in the U.S.

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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