04/20/2021

Brazilian Defense Minister General Fernando Azevedo e Silva resigns

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General Fernando Azevedo e Silva is no longer Brazil’s Defense Minister. The military announced their resignation from the government on Monday afternoon (29) in an official note delivered to the press. “I leave with the certainty of the mission accomplished,” he affirms.

In the note, the minister thanked President Jair Bolsonaro for inviting him, to whom he claims to have dedicated “total loyalty during these more than two years” for “the opportunity to have served the country, as Minister of Defense.” In the statement it wasn’t clear if he resigned or was removed by the President of the Republic. Bolsonaro’s official agenda states that the two met on Monday afternoon.

According to O Globo’s Lauro Jardim blog, Bolsonaro told the defense minister that he “needed” the position. “Bolsonaro also used to complain to General Azevedo e Silva that he needed public demonstrations support from the Armed Forces. And he blamed Azevedo e Silva for not having them,” Jardim wrote.

With a moderate profile, Azevedo e Silva had been Minister of Defense since the first day of the Bolsonaro government, in January 2019. During this period, he worked to expand the budget of the Armed Forces and benefits to officers in the reform of the government . Military Social Security, approved in 2019. In the note, the general points out that he preserved the Armed Forces “as State institutions.” “My appreciation and gratitude to the Commanders of the Navy, Army and Air Force, and their respective forces, who have made great efforts to attend to the needs and emergencies of the Brazilian population,” he declared.

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According to CNN Brazil, Bolsonaro is expected to announce another minister, closer to the President of the Republic, to replace Azevedo e Silva. He already had some names on the table. The Prime Minister of the Civil House, General Braga Netto, is the favorite to occupy the position.