Elon Musk is due to arrive in Brazil on Friday to discuss “connectivity and protection of the Amazon” with far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s government, Communications Minister Fábio Faria announced in a tweet.

Musk’s visit is a boost for Bolsonaro, who has found himself increasingly isolated on the global stage since former US President Donald Trump lost his re-election bid in 2020

The visit by Musk, the SpaceX, and Tesla chief executive who is in talks to buy social network Twitter, comes after he met with Faria in November in Austin, Texas. They spoke about using SpaceX technology to bring the internet to rural schools, and cut back on illegal Amazon deforestation.

Musk is likely to meet with nationalist firebrand Bolsonaro just as his own personal politics drift to the right. On Wednesday, Musk said that he previously voted for Democrats, but he will now vote for Republicans.

“They have become the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican,” he tweeted.

Bolsonaro, who celebrated Twitter’s announcement of its acceptance of Musk’s initial bid for the company, has been trying for years to lure Tesla to Brazil.

Musk’s visit was first reported by newspaper O Globo. The event he will attend in an upscale hotel near Sao Paulo will also be attended by several businessmen, including Telecom Italia Chief Executive Pietro Labriola and Banco BTG Pactual Andre Esteves, O Globo said.

Bolsonaro was slow to acknowledge US President Joe Biden’s win and has not yet spoken to the Democrat since he took office, seeing relations between the two largest democracies in the Americas chill.

Bolsonaro, who idolises Trump, has also been shunned for his proximity to Russian President Vladimir Putin due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


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