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The grim history that Brazil’s president wants to celebrate

One of the many things President Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro have in common is a supposed devotion to their countries’ militaries. For Trump — who, unlike many leading politicians of his generation, never served in U.S. wars overseas — his proclaimed love for the troops is all part of the showy jingoism that defines his nationalist politics. He’s more keen on triumphal parades at home than long wars abroad.

But for Bolsonaro, a former army captain, it’s a bit more serious. This week, it emerged that the Brazilian president had ordered the country’s Defense Ministry to “carry out appropriate commemorations related to March 31, 1964.” That’s no ordinary directive. Bolsonaro, who throughout his political career has spoken nostalgically of the era of Brazil’s military dictatorship, wants to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the coup that brought it into power.

Bolsonaro’s most nakedly ideological move yet. And it arrives a week after he was feted in the White House, where Trump hailed the “many views” he shared with his Brazilian counterpart, a fellow hard-line nationalist. Trump stressed that, because of his personal bond with Bolsonaro, ties between their two countries “have never been closer than they are right now.” Bolsonaro, in turn, neatly articulated the sweep of right-wing beliefs linking the two administrations.

Read entire article at Washington Post