Politics in Brazil
Tuesday, November 19th, 2019
President Jair Bolsonaro: Jorge Antonio de Oliveira Francisco, Chief Minister of the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic at 7:30am. 23rd Meeting of the Governing Council at 9am. Admar Gonzaga, Lawyer; and Karina Kufa, Lawyer at 2pm. Augusto Heleno, Chief Minister of the Institutional Security Office of the Presidency of the Republic at 4:20pm. Solemnity of Expansion of the Connected Education in Schools Program and Flag Day Celebration at 5pm.
Minister Ernesto Araújo: 23rd Meeting of the Governing Council at 9am. Working lunch with Ministers of the Federal Court of Auditors at 1pm. 11th Investment Partnership Program (PPI) Board Meeting at 3pm. High-level meeting with Inter-American Development Bank technicians at 4pm. Internal orders at 5pm.
Bolsonaro admits he can chair new party (November 19th)
President Jair Bolsonaro has said he could take over the presidency of the party that, alongside PSL dissidents, will form in the coming days. Named Alliance for Brazil, the new party will have its formation process started at a convention scheduled for this Thursday, in Brasilia. Asked on Monday, 18, about the possibility of chairing the party, he said: "I think so."
The outcome was already expected. Since last week, when the announcement of the new party was made, lawmakers have said that Bolsonaro taking over the presidency of the party would be the most natural and obvious way. "The party belongs to President Bolsonaro and the people who are true to what he has always advocated," said MP Carla Zambelli (PSL-SP) last week.
The creation of the party is the outcome of a dispute that began in October, with a statement from the president himself. To supporters, he said, that PSL chairman Luciano Bivar was "burned to hell. " The statement, which was far from being a slip, was the cue to start a rapid burnout, followed by the solution expected by the president's group.
Of the 53 MPs from the party for which Bolsonaro was elected, 27 are expected to join him in the new caption. The group will remain in the PSL until the new party is approved by the Superior Electoral Court (TSE). The strategy is explained. If parliamentarians now leave the acronym, there is a risk of losing their mandate.
As in the election of Bolsonaro, the idea is to use technology support to gather signatures necessary for the creation of the new party in various states of the country. It has also been defined that President Bolsonaro will use social networks, his and allies, to call people willing to act on collecting signature for party creation.
For now, the idea is that the party executive has 15 members. In addition to 27 Bolsonaro's supporters willing to migrate to the new subtitle, there would be 10 other parliamentarians, today in other parties, interested in going to the Alliance for Brazil, according to Zambelli.
By leaving the PSL, parliamentarians are aware that they will waste time on TV as well as party funds. But for the deputy, this is a minor fact. She argues that many of the PSL politicians were elected without these conditions and with campaign funding through donations. Something that, according to her, may be repeated.
US presses Brazil against Chinese Huawei's entry into 5G market (November 19th)
Concerned about Huawei's advance, the US government intensified lobbying against the Chinese company's entry into the Brazilian 5G market. The auction of this new technology is scheduled for next year.
Representatives of US President Donald Trump have taken advantage of meetings with Brazilian officials to raise concerns about the security of Huawei equipment, which could be susceptible to cyber attacks or spying.
Aware of the US offensive, Huawei's new CEO in Brazil, Yao Wei, met with President Jair Bolsonaro at Planalto Palace on Monday (18).
On another front, the Americans sent Bolsonaro aides the message that deepening the defense partnership depends on ensuring that telecommunications used by Brazil are reliable.
China is today the largest provider of telephone network equipment in the world. More than half of operators use this technology.
Between October 9 and 10, the US government sent experts to present the CFIUS (Foreign Investment Committee) to Brazilian authorities.
This body is chaired by the Treasury Department and has the power to review foreign investments in the country that threaten national security. Also part of this committee are representatives of the Departments of Justice, Defense and State, among others.
According to people who attended the meetings, the idea of replicating this structure in Brazil was presented to the Civil House (Chief of Staff's Office), the GSI (Office of Institutional Security) and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Science and Technology.
The GSI, led by General Augusto Heleno, is today the main enthusiast of the idea in government.
Although they do not say publicly that the move is designed to prevent Huawei from advancing in the 5G, people who follow the issue consider the target to be the Chinese telecommunications giant.
A Brazilian CFIUS would be, for example, a legal outlet to try to block Huawei's entry into the installation of fifth generation networks.
Speakers heard by Folha newspaper also said that the US government has stressed that the country's security and defense projects must always take into account the reliability of telecommunications networks.
This theme is especially sensitive to the Bolsonaro government, which Trump has designated in August as the preferred extra-NATO ally.
In theory, this condition gives Brazil privileged access to military cooperation and technology transfer with the Americans.
The senior member of the Trump administration to speak against the Chinese in 5G was US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, who visited Bolsonaro in August.
Sought, the US Embassy stated that the visit of the CFIUS group was not motivated by the debate on 5G in Brazil and that the issue was not discussed.
In a statement to Folha nwespaper, the US government, however, says the Chinese's entry into the area has "security implications."
"Allowing Chinese telecommunications equipment anywhere on a 5G network creates an unacceptable risk to national security, infrastructure, privacy and human rights," the diplomatic mission said.
On his first official visit to Bolsonaro, the Huawei executive said the company wants to be a supplier to 5G telephones and that its equipment is safe.
Yao Wei introduced the company to Bolsonaro, noting that it has been operating in the country for over 20 years, not only providing equipment but also providing training to operators' engineers.
After the meeting, Bolsonaro said he will take into account the "best offer" and "connectivity" at the event. "The proposal was not made, it just showed that it wants 5G in Brazil," said Bolsonaro.
Not to mention which company was referring to, the president also said that there is a "South Korean company" able to operate the 5G.
The 5G auction is scheduled for next year, and it will be up to operators to submit bids. They will have to install their networks following technical specifications to be defined by the Brazilian government. Depending on these standards, Huawei may be prevented from providing equipment.
For China, the impediment would be too serious an offense to carry on a new round of investment in Brazil.
At the latest meeting with Bolsonaro last week, Chinese leader Xi Jinping signaled with at least US$ 100 billion of state funding for projects in the country - provided Brazil takes a pragmatic stance and abandons the anti-China wing rhetoric. ideological.
Huawei annoys its competitors by having developed smaller, more powerful equipment that operates - at a lower price - with all types of technology (2G, 3G, 4G, 4.5G and 5G).
The US is working to have the 5G auction postponed. This is because their companies could buy time to try to reach the technological standard of the Chinese.
This dispute is not exclusive to Brazil. In Germany, Huawei was suspected of spying through the so-called backdoor, a kind of output on the equipment that was supposed to allow full access to data trafficked over the network.
However, an investigation conducted by Germany's Federal Office for Information Security found that Huawei's 5G is safe.
Even so, there was a doubt that Germany's decision to open its doors to the Chinese would have been a political gesture.
In the United Kingdom there was also an aborted attempt to ban the company. In the US, Trump even barred Huawei, but had to back down under pressure from companies.