Son of Brazil’s President Bolsonaro joins Steve Bannon’s nationalist group

Trump’s former adviser says addition of congressman to far-right global alliance will help boost ‘populist nationalist agenda’ around the world

Eduardo Bolsonaro greets students as he leaves the Santa Casa hospital where his father was hospitalized in Juiz de Fora, Brazil, Sept. 6, 2018 (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
Eduardo Bolsonaro greets students as he leaves the Santa Casa hospital where his father was hospitalized in Juiz de Fora, Brazil, Sept. 6, 2018 (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s lawmaker son has joined a nationalist group founded by Steve Bannon, US President Donald Trump’s former adviser, the group said Saturday.

“I’m very proud to join Steve Bannon as the leader of The Movement in Brazil, representing Latin American nations,” Eduardo Bolsonaro was quoted in a statement released by the group.

Bannon, who left as White House strategist in August 2017 and had a public falling-out with Trump, started The Movement in Europe to transmit far-right nationalist values and tactics he hopes will win sympathizers seats in the European parliament.

Bannon said enlisting Bolsonaro, a deputy in Brazil’s Congress, was part of the group’s “pursuit of a populist nationalist agenda for prosperity and sovereignty for citizens throughout the world.”

Steve Bannon speaks in Fairhope, Ala., Sept. 25, 2017. (Scott Olson/Getty Images/JTA)

President Bolsonaro, who was elected in October, campaigned on pledges to ease gun laws, stamp out corruption and inject free-market ideas into Brazil’s economy.

He has said he wants much closer ties with Trump, whom he admires and with whom he shares a distaste of multilateral organizations, a penchant for using social media to address his base, a record of misogynist remarks, and a pro-business agenda.

Bolsonaro’s inauguration was attended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Brazil’s newly sworn-in President Jair Bolsonaro (C) greets Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L), during his inauguration ceremony, at the National Congress in Brasilia on January 1, 2019. (Nelson Almeida/AFP)

His 34-year-old son is a member of his ultraconservative Social Liberal Party. He was reelected to Congress in October.

“The Movement is honored to welcome Eduardo Bolsanaro as a distinguished partner, and Brazil, a key ally in South America,” Bannon said in a statement.

“With the addition of Eduardo, The Movement is expanding beyond Europe to our friends in South America,” said Belgian attorney Mischaël Modrikamen who leads The Movement along with Bannon. “Eventually, we hope to reach citizens in all nations who feel abandoned by the globalist world order and want their governments to re-assert sovereignty.”

The Movement will hold its inaugural conference later this month.

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