The new Brazilian President promised before his electoral victory late last year that he’d extradite Italian fugitive and communist militant Cesare Battisti back to his homeland as Salvini’s “little gift” if he won, causing the man to flee to Bolivia after outgoing President Temer revoked the political asylum that he was granted by former President Lula in 2010 following decades of living in the country. Bolsonaro’s intention in doing so wasn’t just to make his ideological ally halfway across the world happy, nor to set a law-and-justice example, but to powerfully prove just how differently Brazil will become under his tenure. Interestingly, it wasn’t even right-wing Brazil that captured this fugitive but left-wing Bolivia after it says that Battisti entered the country illegally, though there’s probably a lot more to what happened than meets the eye.
On the surface, it seems very strange that President Morales wouldn’t grant Battisti asylum like his ideological ally Lula did, but the fact of the matter is that he can’t afford to get on Bolsonaro’s bad side ahead of what’s sure to be a heated reelection campaign when Bolivians go to the polls in October to consider giving him his fourth-consecutive term in office. He’s only able to run for another term in spite of the 2016 referendum on this issue narrowly failing because the Supreme Court ruled in favor of this late last year, which is being exploited as a trigger event to catalyze grassroots and possibly foreign-backed political resistance to the socialist leader’s reelection. Aware of the rising pressure against him for geostrategic reasons, Morales wisely decided to ‘trade’ Battisti in order to gain some relief.
He knows that the US is interested in toppling him like they and Brazil want to do to his ally Maduro or co-opting him like they recently did with the Ecuadorian President because of his left-wing policies, political anti-Americanism, and his country’s enormous lithium reserves that hold a hefty strategic importance in today’s technologically driven world. That said, Morales hasn’t shown any signs over his many years in office of being naïve, so he probably realizes that surrendering Battisti to Bolsonaro is just a time-buying tactic that might make the Brazilian leader at least think twice before joining Trump’s possible Hybrid War against him. The 21st-century geopolitics of South America are such that this scenario could also blow back against Brazil, hence why Bolsonaro might not support this plot after Morales’ so-called “peace offering” of Battisti.
The post presented is the partial transcript of the CONTEXT COUNTDOWN radio program on Sputnik News, aired on Friday Jan 18, 2019:
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