Brazil’s far-right president visits CIA on first US visit


WASHINGTON (AP) – The president of Brazil plans to make a visit to CIA headquarters Monday on his first official visit to the U.S., an unusual move that reflects the country’s shift in leadership to a more pro-American stance.

President Jair Bolsonaro would discuss “international themes in the region” at the visit to headquarters in Langley, Virginia, according to his son, Eduardo, a Brazilian lawmaker accompanying him on the U.S. trip.

Eduardo Bolsonaro described the CIA as “one of the most respected intelligence agencies in the world,” in a tweet that was likely to raise eyebrows back home in Brazil, where the U.S. and its spy services have been regarded with suspicion in recent years.

In 2013, leaks from Edward Snowden revealed that the National Security Agency had wiretapped conversations of then-President Dilma Rousseff, leading to a years of frosty relations between the U.S. and Brazil.

The CIA had no comment on the visit.

The far-right Bolsonaro was elected last year and is an admirer of President Donald Trump. He sought to underscore his pro-America stance with a tweet upon his arrival Sunday.

“For the first time in a while, a pro-America Brazilian president arrives in DC,” he said in the tweet. “It’s the beginning of a partnership focused on liberty and prosperity, something that all of us Brazilians have long wished for.”

Bolsonaro was scheduled to speak to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce later Monday.

He is to meet with Trump on Tuesday, when he is expected to discuss trade and cooperation on the international campaign to press Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to give up power to the opposition.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro speaks to the press about the arrest of suspects in the killing of councilwoman Marielle Franco, at the Planalto Presidential Palace, in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, March 12, 2019. The brazen assassination of the councilwoman and her driver on March 14 last year led to massive protests and widespread anger in Latin America’s largest nation. Two suspects have been arrested. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)