The administration of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro rejected a $20 million offer of aid from the G-7, which was to have been used to help fight the fires currently burning in the Amazon rainforest. However, there are conflicting reports about the rejection from Bolsonaro himself.
CNN reported that Bolsonaro’s special communications office “told” them that Brazil would indeed be rejecting the G-7 aid offer, but in the next sentence reported that Bolsonaro himself might not have agreed to that.
“Did I say that?” Bolsonaro said. “Did Jair Bolsonaro speak?”
According to CNN:
The Brazilian president added that he would only respond to the offer once French President Emmanuel Macron withdrew his insults against him. Macron had accused Bolsonaro of "lying" to him about climate commitments during trade negotiations.
The Amazon blazes have caused a public spat between Bolsonaro and Macron, who has been vocal about the need for an international response to the fires.
Macron spearheaded the effort and announced the aid package at the G7 summit he hosted in Biarritz.
But, Bolsonaro has been highly critical of Macron while thankful for the gesture from the G-7.
“We even thank the G7 for its work," he said. “[Macron] should think two, three times before he attempts to get out of the complicated situation he is in, with huge disapproval within his own country, by messing with us.”
So there seems to be a beef between Bolsonaro and Macron, which was only furthered by comments the reportedly came from Bolsonaro’s chief of staff, Onyx Lorenzoni, who somewhat echoed the sentiments of Bolsonaro.
“Macron is unable to avoid a preventable fire in a church that is at a World Heritage Site and he wants to show us what is for our country? He has a lot to look after at home and the French colonies,” Lorenzoni said, referring to the Notre Dame Cathedral fire that occurred in April.
President Donald Trump heaped praise onto Bolsonaro, while also giving Brazil the U.S.'s "full and complete support."
I have gotten to know President @jairbolsonaro well in our dealings with Brazil. He is working very hard on the Amazon fires and in all respects doing a great job for the people of Brazil - Not easy. He and his country have the full and complete support of the USA!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 27, 2019
Whether Bolsonaro actually accepts aid from foreign countries might depend on whether Macron is involved. If the fires get much worse, maybe it would be better if Macron did back away in order for Brazil to take the help.
H/T: Washington Examiner