Brazilian leader hits back at Leonardo DiCaprio over election – Reuters


The Twitter spat followed the actor’s call for young Brazilians to vote in the upcoming elections and help save the Amazon rainforest

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has given a sarcastic response to film star and eco-activist Leonardo DiCaprio, who has called on the country’s young people to vote in the October 2 election, hinting they could help oust the leader. controversial state.

DiCaprio, a longtime critic of Bolsonaro’s environmental record, took to Twitter on Thursday to point out that “Brazil is home to the Amazon and other ecosystems critical to climate change.”

“What happens there concerns us all and the vote of young people is essential to drive change towards a healthy planet”, he wrote, attaching a link to a website with instructions on how to register for the elections.

Bolsonaro responded on Friday with a tongue-in-cheek message, suggesting the Hollywood star was in fact supporting him.

“Thank you for your support, Leo! It is really important that all Brazilians vote in the next elections. Our people will decide if they want to retain our sovereignty over the Amazon or be ruled by crooks who serve foreign special interests,” he wrote.

The right-wing president then delivered another blow, posting a screenshot of one of DiCaprio’s Instagram posts and insisting the actor had used an old photo from 2003 to illustrate the wildfires that took place. ravaged the Amazon in 2019.

“There are people who want to arrest Brazilian citizens who make this kind of mistake here in our country. But I am against this tyrannical idea. So I forgive you. Kisses from Brazil!” wrote the 67-year-old.

According to official figures, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has increased by more than 75% over the previous decade since Bolsonaro took office in 2019.


DiCaprio has previously supported calls from environmental groups demanding that all investments in Brazil be conditional on the government’s firm commitment to preserving the Amazon rainforest, often described as “the lungs of the planet.”

However, these attempts have been largely unsuccessful, with Bolsonaro dismissing them as an attack on Brazilian sovereignty.

The president’s approval ratings plummeted after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic as Brazil became one of the worst-hit countries in the world.

He has managed to win back the sympathy of some voters in recent months, but polls show he is still trailing left-wing rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

A survey by FSB pollster Pesquisa earlier this week suggested that Lula, who was Brazil’s president during a period of strong economic growth between 2003 and 2010, is on course to beat Bolsonaro 41% to 32% in the first round of the ‘election.

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RT

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