Brazilian diplomats in the United States viewed with relief Ernesto Araújo’s departure from the Foreign Ministry and hope the change of command in the Foreign Ministry will be a chance for the country to reopen blocked diplomatic channels and increase the effectiveness of bilateral relations with the White House.
The assessment is that Ernesto’s performance, based on ideological pillars, has been ineffective both in direct contact with the US government – which requires pragmatism under Democrat Joe Biden – and in the face of US-based entrepreneurs and investors. United States interested in Brazil.
Among the main complaints was the fact that the now ex-chancellor blocked important dialogues with unclear speech and failed in negotiations related to the pandemic, such as those involving requests to buy or donate surplus vaccines in US stocks.
Minutes after Ernesto’s fall, a senior US State Department official said the change in Brazilian chancellery “will not fundamentally affect” relations between the United States and Brazil on climate change issues, for example, today’s main bilateral program.
He said it was a “country-to-country” conversation, which was interpreted by Brazilian diplomats as another indication of how little Ernesto’s figure was in the negotiations in this regard.
Admirer of Donald Trump, Ernesto did not seek to build bridges with the Biden government, concentrated in the Brazilian embassy in Washington.
One of the functions of diplomatic representation is to open doors and establish a relationship with different levels of government and American society, but some diplomats say that mastery of dialogue at the first level is fundamental and, in in the case of Ernesto, it was ineffective.
Since Biden took office on Jan.20, the now ex-chancellor has spoken to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a phone call the American made during his time in office. interviewed with other of his peers in Latin America.
The former minister also spoke with Biden government’s special climate envoy John Kerry alongside Brazilian Environment Minister Ricardo Salles during a virtual meeting hosted by the Brazilian ambassador. in the United States, Nestor Forster.
On vaccines, however, Ernesto hasn’t done much. Last week, the Foreign Ministry announced it had started negotiations with the White House over a possible import of Covid-19 vaccines on March 13, after other countries, such as Mexico, had already made a similar request. .
The date released by the Brazilian government also follows news in the US press that the Biden government was under pressure to share AstraZeneca drugs.
The United States has donated additional doses of vaccine to Mexico and Canada – the Mexican request arrived on March 10, during a virtual meeting between Biden and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, but there is no no sign of donations to Brazilians or other countries.
Ernesto also tried to keep Brazil out of Covax, the WHO mechanism for distributing vaccines to developing countries, because he believes it is a globalist initiative – the United States is part of the consortium, and the surplus vaccine in the country could be donated in the middle of the program.
Already in presentations to the U.S. private sector, diplomats say, Ernesto has lost his credibility by focusing on ideological issues in his speech and moving very superficially – with quotes on obvious topics – through relations between the Brazil and the United States.
One of the most recent examples was a conference given virtually in early March by the think tank Council of the Americas. In 40 minutes, Ernesto had spoken a lot and answered a few questions, claiming that Brazil wanted US support to fight “narcosocialism” in Latin America.