WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will meet Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro on Saturday at the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to discuss the crisis in Venezuela, trade and other economic issues, the White House said Friday.
Bolsonaro took office at the start of last year with promises to rejuvenate Latin America’s biggest economy. But political turbulence hampered the government’s reform agenda, tight fiscal policy constrained domestic demand and a crisis in neighboring Argentina sapped exports.
“President Trump and President Bolsonaro will discuss opportunities to build a more prosperous, secure and democratic world,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement. “As leaders of the hemisphere’s two largest economies, they will also discuss opportunities for restoring democracy in Venezuela, bringing peace to the Middle East, implementing pro-growth trade policies and investing in infrastructure.”
The U.S. government is backing Brazil’s bid to join the 36-country Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, providing a foreign policy boost for Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro also is dealing with the political crisis in neighboring Venezuela.
The Trump administration has been the most important ally for Venezuela’s opposition since Juan Guaidó leaped to the center of Venezuela’s tumultuous political landscape more than a year ago and vowed to force Nicolas Maduro from power and restore democracy. But Guaidó’s popularity faded after several months and a failed military uprising.