Bolsonaro on vacation rejects Argentinian aid after deadly floods in Brazil’s Bahia state

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro rejected an offer of assistance from Argentina, saying Thursday that his country did not need the assistance to deal with the deadly floods which affected large swathes of the northeast of the country and killed dozens of people.

His comments prompted a swift rebuke from the governor of the hard-hit Bahia state, who said local authorities would welcome help from any nation and that foreign countries should feel free to contact them directly. ‘State.

So far, at least 24 people have died and tens of thousands have been left homeless as record rains hit parts of the northeast, in some cases causing dams to burst and rivers to rise. meters above their normal level. Bahia Governor Rui Costa called it the “worst disaster” in the state’s history and said large parts of Bahia appeared to have been “bombed”.

Bolsonaro, meanwhile, has been criticized for continuing his beach vacation in the southern state of Santa Catarina, thousands of kilometers from the affected area.

In a Twitter message on Thursday, the president said the Argentine government had offered to send 10 people to help set up temporary shelter, provide psychological assistance and otherwise help with the logistics of the rescue effort.

However, the offer of aid was “very expensive for Brazil,” he wrote, adding that the Brazilian authorities were already providing the services offered. He added that Brazil had already accepted donations from Japan’s foreign aid agency and could accept help from Argentina if needed.

“The Brazilian government is open to international aid and donations,” he wrote.

– O fraterno oferecimento argentino, porém muito caro para o Brasil, ocorre quando as Forças Armadas, em coordenação com a Defesa Civil, já estavam prestando aquele tipo de assistência à população afetada, included com o apoio de 3 helicópteros. @exercitoficial

– Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) December 30, 2021 Bolsonaro’s far-right Brazil has had an icy relationship with Argentina since the election of center-left president Alberto Fernandez in 2019. Bolsonaro previously called Fernandez a “bandit Red “.

Costa, governor of left-wing Bahia and political critic of Bolsonaro, hit back in his own Twitter post, saying the nation would directly accept aid from any foreign power.

“I am speaking to all the countries of the world: Bahia will accept directly, without needing to go through Brazilian diplomats, any type of assistance at this time,” he wrote.

A Argentina ofereceu ajuda humanitária às cidades afetadas pelas chuvas na #Bahia, apesar da negativa do Governo Federal. Me dirijo a todos os países do mundo: a #Bahia aceitará diretamente, sem precisar passar pela diplomatcia brasileira, qualquer tipo de ajuda neste momento.

– Rui Costa (@costa_rui) December 30, 2021 Argentina’s Foreign Ministry declined to comment on Bolsonaro and Costa’s statements.

(REUTERS)

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