Leonardo DiCaprio Responds to Bolsonaro’s Claims He Funded Amazon Fires

Leonardo DiCaprio has responded to the accusations made by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday that the Hollywood actor is behind some of the fires in the Amazon rainforest.

DiCaprio released a statement via Instagram on Saturday that reads: “At this time of crisis for the Amazon, I support the people of Brazil working to save their natural and cultural heritage. They are an amazing, moving and humbling example of the commitment and passion needed to save the environment.”

Bolsonaro told supporters Friday: “DiCaprio is a cool guy, isn’t he? Giving money to set the Amazon on fire,” referring to a police raid at the headquarters of two nonprofit groups the Brazilian president believes to be behind the fires in the Amazonian state of Para.

Several volunteer firefighters, who deny wrongdoing, were arrested and later released. Local police say they are being investigated for allegedly igniting fires to obtain funding through nonprofits. Federal prosecutors say their investigation points to local land-grabbers as the primary suspects.

The number of fires in Brazil this year hit a record number of any year since 2013 and is up by 85 percent from last year, according to several reports. The country's space research center has already detected more than 80,000 fires in 2019 so far.

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International Criminal Court receives complaint about Bolsonaro's 'crimes against humanity'

The complaint states that the president incites the genocide of Brazil's indigenous communities

A complaint has been filed yesterday (Nov 27) at the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Jair Bolsonaro. The Brazilian president is being accused of "crimes against humanity" and "incitement to genocide against indigenous peoples" in Brazil. The complaint has been filed by the Arns Commission and the Human Rights Advocacy Collective.


The ICC will decide whether to open an investigation. The complaint says that Bolsonaro incited violence against indigenous and traditional communities, weakened law enforcement, and did not react to environmental crimes in the Amazon Forest.

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Bolsonaro leaves PSL to create own far-right political party

Brasilia, November 21 (RHC)-- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced that he is leaving the Social Liberal Party PSL) that brought him to power, and that he will create a new conservative political formation that will bear the name of Alliance For Brazil (APB).

With the announcement, Bolsonaro has set a new precedent in his already criticized behavior by creating his own political party with the intention of nominating allies for next year's municipal elections.

"Today I announce my departure from the PSL and the creation of a new party: The Alliance for Brazil. I thank all those who collaborated with me in the PSL and who were partners in the 2018 elections," the Brazilian head of state tweeted.

The right-wing PSL organization currently has 53 representatives and three senators.  However, Bolsonaro's political team, composed mainly of his two sons, Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro and Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, believes they can bring 27 of those congressmen to the APB.

The fissure would represent a hard blow for the PSL, but it was also expected given the constant conflicts between the party's authorities and Bolsonaro's team. 

Bolsonaro's differences with PSL authorities began during the October election campaign when PSL head Luciano Bivar allowed the current president's group to take the reins of the organization through lawyer Gustavo Bebianno, who in January would become secretary-general of the presidency.

Shortly after, in February, Bebianno had to resign when it was revealed that the campaign had used "façade candidatures" to obtain public funding.  Already in recent months, intrigues and clashes within the PSL sharpened amid bids for the management of the nearly US$180 million intended for the party and electoral fund until 2022.

Finally, last month, Bolsonaro tried to push Bivar aside, but he had to settle for putting his son Eduardo as the leader of the PSL bench in the lower house. Bivar considered it a "coup" attempt and promised measures against the lawmakers who supported the appointment of the young Bolsonaro.

Seeing as impossible to separate Bivar, and evaluating a difficult scenario that could risk any strategy for the 2020 municipal elections, the president decided to abandon PSL and launch his new party.

Edited by Ed Newman

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Bolsonaro threatens to cancel Brazil's largest TV network for negative comments

Brasilia, October 31 (RHC)-- Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro threatened on Wednesday to cancel the license of Brazil’s largest TV network, Globo, accusing it of “villainous journalism” after a report connecting him with a former police officer accused of killing a Rio de Janeiro city councilwoman last year.

TV Globo reported on Tuesday that just hours before the March 2018 murder the suspect was alleged to have told a doorman he was going to Bolsonaro’s house, gaining access to a gated community where he met instead with another former police officer accused of murdering the left-wing politician Marielle Franco.

The case led to widespread protests by Brazilians outraged to see a Black, openly gay human rights advocate gunned down.  Investigators arrested two former police officers Ronnie Lessa and Elcio de Queiroz nearly a year later and charged them with killing Franco in return for about $50,000.  Their lawyers said they did not commit the crime.

Bolsonaro, who took office on January 1, 2019, denied any connection to the case.  He said he was in Brasilia the day of the murder voting in Congress, where he was then serving as a representative.  TV Globo’s report also said Bolsonaro was in Brasilia the day of Franco’s murder.

The president accused the media and a former ally, Rio Governor Wilson Witzel, of conspiring to attack him and his family.  “This is rotten, villainous journalism by TV Globo,” an enraged Bolsonaro said in a live video on social media, recorded at 4 a.m. in a Riyadh hotel during an official visit to Saudi Arabia.

Bolsonaro went on to discuss the timeline for renewing the license of the network, which is part of Grupo Globo, the largest media group in Brazil that includes TV, publishing, internet content and music labels.

“We’ll talk in 2022,” Bolsonaro said.  “You’d better hope I’m dead by then, because the renewal process won’t be persecution, but ... there won’t be any workarounds for you or anyone else.”

In a statement, Globo expressed regret about Bolsonaro’s comments and said its aim was to inform the Brazilian public.  Referring to its license renewal, it said that it had complied with its obligations during the past 54 years.

TV Globo said the doorman to Bolsonaro’s gated community in Rio told police that someone in the Bolsonaro residence identified as “Mr. Jair” confirmed the visitor on the day of Franco’s murder and then waved off the doorman’s concern that the car went to a different house.

“It looks like either the doorman lied or someone induced him to commit a false testimony,” Bolsonaro said on Tuesday.  He accused Governor Witzel of leaking details from a confidential investigation to the press to “destroy the Bolsonaro family” before the 2022 presidential elections.

Witzel denied any political interference with the investigation. “I deeply regret the untimely reaction of President Jair Bolsonaro,” the governor said in a statement.

Bolsonaro’s Justice Minister Sergio Moro asked Brazil’s top public prosecutor to investigate the doorman’s allegation, saying he might have given false testimony, either in error or as part of a wider conspiracy to implicate the president, according to the request made public by the ministry.

Edited by Ed Newman

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Photo shows Brazilian president with suspect in Marielle Franco’s murder

Brasilia, October 7 (RHC)-- In Brazil, a newly surfaced photo shows far-right President Jair Bolsonaro smiling and posing with a man who’s been arrested in connection with the murder of human rights activist and Rio City Councilmember Marielle Franco.

Josinaldo Lucas Freitas was arrested and charged with disposing of the guns used in the March 2018 assassination.  It’s the second known photograph of Bolsonaro taken with a suspect in Franco’s murder.  Another photo circulated in the Brazilian press shows Bolsonaro in a friendly embrace with a former police officer who’s been charged with driving the car used in the shooting. 

Marielle Franco, who was Black and a vocal member of the LGBT community, was a longtime critic of Brazil’s police, who have been linked to thousands of killings and incidents of brutality in Rio’s impoverished favela neighborhoods.

Edited by Ed Newman
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On behalf of the Brazilian people, Worker's Party apologizes to Cuba for Bolsonaro's offenses at the UN

Brasilia, September 26 (RHC)--The leader of the Brazilian Worker's Party parliamentary group, Paulo Pimenta, says  his people apologize to the Cuban people for the inadmissible and aggressive statements made by President Jair Bolsonaro.

"I want first of all to apologize, on behalf of my people, to Cuba for the gratuitous and unrestrained aggressions uttered in an unacceptable and inadequate manner by President Jair Bolsonaro at the opening of the United Nations debates on Tuesday morning,' Pimenta told Prensa Latina.

He pointed out that 'unfortunately the world could see what we Brazilians are experiencing: an authoritarian president, who reveals a profound contempt for Our America, for our peoples, and feels no shame in saying or declaring himself an unconditional ally of the United States, and behaving like a lackey of American interests'.

The parliamentarian denounced that the extreme right-wing leader made a speech at the opening of the 74th session of the United Nations Assembly, in New York, which 'shames the Brazilian people and international diplomacy'.

Pimenta insisted that 'the Cuban people are a friendly people of Brazil, Cuba is a friendly nation of Brazil, the majority of our population has a deep respect and esteem of the island, and we are very pleased with the work done here by Cuban doctors'.

Sadly, he reiterated, Bolsonaro's speeches are words that embarrass and 'we would like, with much heart, that the Cuban people receive our most sincere apologies for the very unpleasant and serious situation provoked by this subject'.

The Brazilian people deeply regret having chosen Bolsonaro, Pimenta finally remarked.

Edited by Jorge Ruiz Miyares
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Lula's defense to denounce Bolsonaro to the UN for violating rights

Brasilia, Sep 25 (Prensa Latina) Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's defense team will denounce President Jair Bolsonaro to the United Nations Human Rights Committee for violating the rights of the former president during his speech at the General Assembly of the international organization.

'There is no final conviction against Lula that allows ruling out the constitutional guarantee of the presumption of innocence,' indicated lawyers Cristiano Zanin Martins and Valeska Martins in a press release.

Among other offensive statements, the speech delivered yesterday by Bolsonaro at the opening of the 74th session of the forum in New York included a series of attacks against the administrations of Lula and Dilma Rousseff, as well as criticism of the media and praise of the military dictatorship of 1964.

According to the former labor leader's defense attorneys, the speech by the far-right politician violated 'laws and UN decisions' and was incompatible with the Constitution of the Republic, especially with the provision that ensures that the presumption of innocence can only be rejected by a final judgment, following reference made yesterday by Bolsonaro to Lula during the opening of the global forum.

One of the serious violations that the United Nations Committee must judge, jurists point out, 'refers precisely to the fact that Brazil has not assured Lula the right to a fair, impartial and independent trial (Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights), with no body of the Republic being able to undertake acts that jeopardize the effectiveness of the future trial of that international entity to which the country voluntarily linked and was forced to follow its determinations.'

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Cuba rejects Brazilian president´s statement at the UN

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez strongly rejected this Tuesday statements made by the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at the UN General Assembly, which Bruno Rodríguez described as slander.

'He is delirious and longs for the times of the military dictatorship. He should rather deal with the corruption in his justice, government and family system. He is the champion of increased inequality in Brazil,' Bruno Rodríguez live-tweeted.

Bolsonaro lashed out at the More Doctors program, by which Cuban physicians arrived at the most remote sites of Brazil to provide medical assistance to vulnerable and abandoned communities.

He also launched a harsh attack on Cuba and Venezuela´s governments as well as on their socialist systems.

Contrary to Bolsonaro's claims and questions, a great number of nations highlighted Cuba´s key role in that sector and its solidarity with other nations.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, highlighted Cuba´s medical mission contribution to his country.

WHO has recognized Cuba on manifold occasions for its high health indicators and its primary care system, among other aspects.


  • Published in Cuba
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