As an avid reader of Ms Shannon Ebrahim’s column, I have to regrettably point out that her article (Why legitimising Jair Bolsonaro is a mistake) concerning the keynote speech of President Bolsonaro at the World Economic Forum, published on January 25, coincidentally the day after Presidents Jair Bolsonaro and Cyril Ramaphosa had a positive meeting in Davos, mix opinions with facts and speculations with propositions.
I unreservedly respect freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and, as such, will not dispute Ebrahim's critical stance towards the Brazilian President. I take this opportunity, however, to clarify a few points.
First of all, Mr Bolsonaro took office on January 1st, 2019, and is not in office “for months”, as mentioned in the article. During this short period, he has not imposed any measures to "control civil society" nor to "curb LGBT rights", as incorrectly highlighted in the text.
Secondly, Brazil has very strict legislation regarding racism, which is considered a serious crime, with its perpetrators being subject to imprisonment. The examples mentioned in the article accusing the president of racism are misleading, and the Brazilian Justice System has never found him guilty of such a crime.
Thirdly, the article presents information on policies to be implemented by the president as facts, when they are mere speculations of the author and are not even being considered in the public debate. This is evident when the journalist affirms with certainty that Mr Bolsonaro "will privatize social security, public education and health", while in reality those issues were never raised by him during his short tenure nor during his campaign.
In fact, as the presidential campaign is over and his tenure has begun, I think it becomes even more important to discuss the actual government policies being considered and/or implemented and not speculations based on false premises created during the political campaign.
* Nedilson Jorge is Brazil's Ambassador to South Africa.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.