Bolsonaro inaugurated as head of Brazil’s most right-wing government since dictatorship
Bill Van Auken and Gabriel Lemos
3 January 2019
Jair Bolsonaro, the fascistic ex-army captain and federal legislator, was formally inaugurated as president of Brazil January 1 in a ceremony marked by a massive mobilization of security forces, the deliberate suppression of the media and extreme right-wing rhetoric.
Bolsonaro, wearing a bulletproof vest and surrounded by a heavy guard, delivered two public speeches on Tuesday. The first was his swearing-in before the Brazilian Congress, which was boycotted by the Workers Party (PT), which he defeated in last year’s elections. It included words about his supposed “commitment to build a society with no discrimination nor divisions,” and a call for a “national pact” to revive Brazil’s crisis-ridden economy based upon free-market policies.
He called upon the congress members to join him in the “mission” of “liberating” Brazil from “the game of corruption, criminality, economic irresponsibility and ideological submission.”
He paid tribute to the police and vowed that the armed forces would “have the necessary conditions to complete their constitutional mission of defense of sovereignty, the national territory and the democratic institutions.”
He inveighed against “gender ideology”—a buzz phrase of the religious right directed against any policy promoting gender equality along with abortion and LGBT rights—and vowed that schools would be transformed to prepare “children for the labor market and not for political militancy.”
A second speech delivered in front of Palácio do Planalto, the official presidential residence, was, if anything, more reactionary. Reviving his campaign rhetoric before a…