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Another big blow to the neoliberal faction in the (far-right nationalist & illiberal) Bolsonaro government: Minister of the Economy Paulo Guedes announces departure of two key people in the Ministry who quit over lack of support for implementing economic reform & privatizations.
Since the very start, the Bolsonaro government has been shaped by a permanent battle for influence among three main factions: 1) the pro-Trump anti-globalists led by the president's family and a series of conspiracy theorists and flat-earthers, 👇
2) the military faction led by national security adviser Augusto Heleno and Vice President Hamilton Mourão, both retired generals, and Minister of Defense General Fernando Azevedo; 👇
and 3) the neoliberal economists around Paulo Guedes, Bolsonaro’s Minister of the Economy, who provided the government with some international respectability. But it was obvious that the marriage of convenience would soon run into trouble.
That is because Bolsonaro has always been an economic nationalist without the remotest interest in economic reform -- quite to the contrary, as an anti-globalist, he tends to be deeply skeptical of all things international.
Guedes and Bolsonaro hold opposing views on practically everything: the environment, China, free trade and the role of the state in the economy.
But many liberals fell for Bolsonaro's obvious electoral stunt -- as if somebody who for 28 years in Congress failed to defend economic reform, who admires the dictatorship and who espouses illiberal ideas, could magically convert into the father of liberalization.
Below a piece I wrote about the inevitable clash between the three groups in November 2018, right after Bolsonaro's election…
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