Right-wing nationalist Jair Bolsonaro, who has vowed to crack down on political corruption, violent crime and ignite a moribund economy with deregulation and fiscal discipline, was sworn in as Brazil’s president on Tuesday.
The former Army captain and seven-term fringe congressman rode a wave of anti-establishment anger to became Brazil’s first far-right president since a military dictatorship gave way to civilian rule three decades ago.
Bolsonaro plans to realign Brazil internationally, moving away from developing nation allies and closer to the policies of Western leaders, particularly U.S. President Donald Trump, who sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to his inauguration.
As a clear sign of that diplomatic shift, Bolsonaro plans to move the Brazilian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, breaking with Brazil’s traditional support for a two-state solution to the Palestinian issue.
Crowds of supporters, many with the Brazilian flag draped around their shoulders and with faces painted yellow and green, the national colors, gathered before the Planalto palace, where later Tuesday the presidential sash will be draped on Bolsonaro.
Backed massively by conservative sectors of Brazil, including Christian evangelical churches, Bolsonaro would block moves to legalize abortion beyond even the current limited exceptions and remove sex education from public schools, opposing what he calls “cultural Marxism” introduced by recent leftist governments.