WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will visit the White House on March 19 and is expected to discuss subjects including the situation in Venezuela with U.S. President Donald Trump, the White House said in a statement.
Bolsonaro is a far-right former army captain who openly admires Trump. In a phone call after Bolsonaro’s election victory in October, they spoke of “a strong commitment to work side by side” on issues affecting their countries.
Even before taking office in January, Bolsonaro pledged to oppose the government of Venezuela, where an economic crisis has caused millions of people to flee, many to neighbouring Brazil.
Since taking power, Bolsonaro has stepped up criticism of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government and recognised Juan Guaido, the opposition leader and self-declared president, as the leader of the OPEC member nation.
The United States has also recognised Guaido as president and called on others to do the same. Washington has increased sanctions against Venezuela in a bid to oust Maduro.
(Reporting by Makini Brice in Washington; Editing by James Dalgleish)