Brazil's Minister of Foreign Affairs resigns under pressure related to 5G

Part of Araújo's team says that the minister became a target and he is opposed by the Chinese, who intensified their lobby with Brazilian parliamentarians

Brazil's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ernesto Araújo. Photo: Gustavo Magalhães/MRE/ Fotos Públicas

Under pressure from the Brazilian Congress and Senate, besides businessmen, Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ernesto Araújo, resigned on Monday.

On Sunday the chancellor released the content of a conversation with Senator Kátia Abreu on Twitter during a lunch at the Brazilian chancellery’s headquarters, insinuating that she defended China’s interests.

“On March 4, I received Senator Kátia Abreu for lunch. Courteous conversation. Little or nothing spoke of vaccines. In the end, at the table, she said: ‘Minister, if you make a gesture about the 5G, you will be the king of the Senate.’ I made no gesture,” wrote Araújo.

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“I disregarded the suggestion even because the 5G theme depends on the Ministry of Communications and the President of the Republic himself, who handles the ultimate decision in the matter.”

According to O Estado de São Paulo, President Jair Bolsonaro ally’s endorse a narrative that the approach to the Chinese company Huawei on Brazil’s 5G spectrum is the main reason of Araújo’s resignation.

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Under US Trump‘s administration, Huawei was spearhead and the symbol of the attack against China on cyber espionage and intellectual property issues. Brazil‘s government backed the United States’ Clean Network proposal to build a global digital alliance that excludes technology that Washington sees as manipulated by China’s Communist government.

Huawei has repeatedly denied being a security risk. It has said it abides by Brazil’s laws and is available for tests and clarifications that authorities considered necessary.

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Part of Araújo’s team says that the minister became a target and he is opposed by the Chinese, who intensified their lobby with Brazilian parliamentarians.

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Brazilian parliamentarians have been chatting with entrepreneurs, representatives of banks and the financial market to overthrow two ministers: Araújo, and Ricardo Salles, Brazil’s Environment Minister. For businessmen, it is necessary to “control the President” and reverse the “nefarious” image of Brazil abroad, as reported by O Estado de São Paulo.