Navy appoints Bolsonarist admiral to join summit – 03/16/2023 – Politics

Navy appoints Bolsonarist admiral to join summit – 03/16/2023 – Politics

The Brazilian Navy nominated an admiral considered a true Bolsonarist to join its leadership, the commander of the 1st Naval District, Eduardo Vazquez.

Força was the one that showed the most resistance to the election of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT), who defeated Jair Bolsonaro (PL) in October last year. Its commander at the time, Almir Garnier, refused to participate in the handover to his successor, Márcio Sampaio Olsen.

During the transition, Garnier refused to talk to the then-future Minister of Defense, José Múcio. He left office on December 31, when the Bolsonaro government ended, leaving Olsen temporarily in charge until his inauguration on January 5.

Garnier had lunch with senior members of the Force afterwards, to try to defuse the uneasiness and to present his reasons for the insubordination.

The Admiralty’s decision, a collegiate body of ten members led by the Force Commander, was taken on Monday (13). Vazquez is the only one with a suggested promotion to squadron admiral, with four stars, the top of the hierarchy. There are another 12 names on the list, for the positions of Rear Admiral (two stars) and Vice Admiral (three stars).

His nomination took place the day before a lunch between the Navy leadership and Lula, mediated by Múcio, which aimed to ease the relationship between the admirals and the PT candidate. The president is responsible for approving, by decree, the promotions decided by the High Commands of the three Forces.

Soon after, as Sheet showed, an internal communiqué was sent asking that any military member who is affiliated with a political party leave the association. Uniformed personnel cannot be members of acronyms, but a Navy survey showed that there were cases in the Force. The initiative was read in Planalto as a sign of conciliation and depoliticization on the part of the admirals.

A Sheet looked for Vazquez this Thursday morning (16). Advice from his command asked questions in writing, which were sent, but until the completion of this text there was no response.

He occupies the prestigious command in Rio de Janeiro, the most traditional in the Navy, and is very close to Admiral Flávio Rocha, who once headed the unit and was Secretary of Strategic Affairs for the Planalto under Bolsonaro.

Vazquez is known among his peers as having strong opinions and anti-PTism, having internally supported Garnier. According to these acquaintances, he was sympathetic to the protesters against the PT’s inauguration camped in front of Army barracks in Brazil, but there are no reports of his comments on the coup acts on January 8.

Unlike other military personnel, he is not active on social media. He is respected in his midst: he held command of the Unifil Maritime Task Force, the UN mission that patrols the waters around Lebanon, and replaced Rocha as chief of staff at the Navy Command before moving to Rio last year. .

Deciding on his nomination is yet another knot for Lula with the uniforms. In addition to the turbulent transition, when Air Force and Army commanders also considered leaving the government with Bolsonaro without handing over the position to his successors, there is the thorn in the throat of January 8th.

The episode, which had at least the leniency of the military who were supposed to protect the headquarters of the Executive, if not with direct support for the coup leaders, is one of the greatest sources of annoyance for the president. He has already promised that any uniform whose participation is proven in the judicial investigations of the case will be punished exemplarily.

In the Army, there was also the aggravating factor that the new commander, Julio César Arruda, did not accept to bar the promotion of Bolsonaro’s former aide, Mauro Cid. This ended up overthrowing the general, who was replaced by Tomás Ribeiro Paiva in January.

The new boss has been doing an internal work of depoliticization, with express orders for the end of demonstrations, coup plotters or not, on social networks. Cid, who now stars in the news about Arabian jewels for having tried to recover them for Bolsonaro, had his nomination for the main Special Forces unit in the country suspended. The Army accounts for about 60% of Brazil’s 360,000 military.

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