The new US ambassador to Brazil will be determined by the White House, not the State Department, the portfolio responsible for US diplomacy. Thus, the next occupant of the Embassy in Brasilia will be a political candidate, who can be either a major campaign donor to President Joe Biden or someone linked to the Democratic Party, and not a career diplomat.
The new ambassador will replace Todd Chapman, who announced his retirement via Twitter on Thursday (10). The post is considered strategic to improve relations between the two countries.
Chapman was in a tight spot as he was seen as a name aligned with former President Donald Trump. In August, Democratic Representative Eliot Engel, chairman of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, even asked him if he was openly campaigning for Trump.
According to an article in the O Globo newspaper, the ambassador asked Brazilian authorities to reduce US ethanol import tariffs on the grounds that the measure would help re-elect Trump.
Inside the embassy, Chapman has come under fire for frequently encountering unmasked members of the Bolsonaro clan. Relations between the Biden and Bolsonaro governments are still strained. On his first visit to Latin America, Juan González, head of the Western Hemisphere at the National Security Council, did not visit Brazil – he visited Colombia, Argentina and Uruguay.
In February, the chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Democrat Robert Menendez, sent a letter to Bolsonaro urging him and then Chancellor Ernesto Araújo to “condemn” and “reject” categorically “the attacks by Trump supporters on the Capitol on January 6. . The senator said that if this did not happen, there would be “damage to bilateral relations.”
The letter criticized Bolsonaro and the Chancellor’s comments on alleged US election fraud, saying such a position demonstrates “your government’s support for flawed conspiracy theories and domestic terrorists” who have attacked Capitol Hill and threaten to ” undermine the partnership between states and Brazil ”.