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Bolsonaro vows to attend UN General Assembly to discuss Amazon fires

Bolsonaro vows to attend UN General Assembly to discuss Amazon fires

As the Amazon rainforest continues to burn, as in this smoke-filled photo of Aug. 29, 2019, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced this Monday that he will attend the next United Nations General Assembly in order to show the world how Brazil cares for its Amazon region. EFE-EPA/Joedson Alves.

EFE

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced this Monday that he will attend the next United Nations General Assembly in order to show the world how Brazil cares for its Amazon region, despite the recent catastrophic wildfires.

“I will appear at the UN whether it’s on a wheelchair or on a stretcher,” the head of state told reporters, a reference to the hernia operation he will undergo next Sunday, after which he must remain hospitalized for some 10 days.

The hernia detected by doctors this weekend is the result of a stab wound Bolsonaro suffered during last year’s electoral campaign, and which has already put him on the operating table three times.

Bolsonaro said that at any rate he will be in New York on Sept. 22, where in his position as president of Brazil he must inaugurate the debates in the General Assembly, a tradition of the United Nations since its founding.

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“I want to speak about the Amazon region,” said the president, who has been accused by environmentalist groups and even by the president of France, Emmanuel Macron , of scuttling his country’s environmental protection programs and therefore of being responsible for the flames that continue to destroy part of that biome.

Bolsonaro said he plans “to show the world, with a great deal of knowledge and with patriotism,” that the situation is nothing like that because the plans for protecting the environment are being maintained and the wildfires, which are frequent in the months of August and September, have been used as an “excuse” to attack his government.

He also reiterated that he will not accept “handouts” from anyone, a reference to the $20 million that Macron announced the G20 would donate to fight the fires in the Amazon region.

He also repeated his theory that there are big powers that want to “control” the Amazon region in order to make off with its riches.

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“Amazonia was practically sold” and “what they want is that we should not be able to use it,” said the controversial leader of the Brazilian far-right. EFE-EPA ed/cd


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