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Bolsonaro dismisses the head of Tourism amid cabinet discord

Brasilia, Dec 9 (EFE) .- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro dismissed Tourism Minister Marcelo Álvaro Antonio on Wednesday, official sources reported, without clarifying the reasons but after the press revealed alleged discord in his cabinet. The same sources said that Antonio’s place will be occupied by the current president of the Brazilian Tourism Company (Embratur), Gilson Machado, who in recent months has accompanied Bolsonaro on his trips to the interior of the country, in which he usually encourages official acts to the sound of an accordion that he plays himself. That information was confirmed by the deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of the president, who in a message published on his social networks wished Machado “luck”, of whom he said “that he now becomes Minister of Tourism”, after which he added his I wish that “God enlighten you on this journey.” According to various sources cited by local media, Antonio was in conflict with the Minister of the Government Secretariat, Luiz Eduardo Ramos, a retired general who has the greatest confidence in Bolsonaro, who is a captain of the Army reserve. Antonio, according to the same sources, would have written harsh messages against Ramos in a WhatsApp group used by the ministers, in which he would have accused the retired general of “traitor” and of “conspiring” to strip him of his position, and then suggest that whoever He was supposed to leave the government, which Bolsonaro considered unacceptable. Ramos assumed the Secretary of Government in June of last year, after the dismissal of also General Carlos Alberto Santos Cruz, who expressed strong differences with the most radical wings of the “Bolsonarista” far right that ended up costing him his position. Since then, Ramos has been one of the government’s strongmen and one of Bolsonaro’s closest ministers, with whom he even studied at the Military Academy in the 1980s. The dismissed minister had been in office since January 1, 2019. , when Bolsonaro assumed power, and is a deputy for the Social Liberal Party (PSL), which the far-right leader used as an electoral platform but abandoned last year. Antonio is investigated by the Justice for an alleged fraud in the 2018 elections, in which he would have used public funds from the PSL to promote “ghost” candidacies of that formation in the state of Minas Gerais, in which he won the seat of deputy It is presumed that he will reoccupy after his departure from the Government. For those same suspicions, at the end of February 2019, with only two months in power, Bolsonaro had dismissed the then minister of the General Secretariat of the Government, Gustavo Bebianno, former president of the PSL who died shortly after. In the almost two years that Bolsonaro has been in government, there have already been thirteen changes in the team of ministers, either due to castling or discord. The biggest alterations have been in the Ministry of Health and in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. Since last May, that office has been in the hands of General Eduardo Pazuello, substitute for the oncologist Nelson Teich, who submitted his resignation just a month after taking office. Nelson Teich had in turn replaced the doctor Luiz Henrique Mandetta, who was dismissed after strong controversies with Bolsonaro himself about facing the pandemic, the severity of which the president had already questioned on several occasions. (c) EFE Agency

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