Brazil's Bolsonaro tells world not to meddle as Amazon rainforest burns

Source: The Hill | August 23, 2019 | Aris Folley

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is telling other nations not to meddle in its growing crisis in the Amazon rainforest as wildfires continue to spread across the region, shortly after he said Brazil didn’t “have the resources” on its own to extinguish the blaze.

“These countries that send money here, they don’t send it out of charity,” the right-wing president said in a live broadcast on Thursday, Reuters reports.

“They send it with the aim of interfering with our sovereignty,” he added.

However, shortly before those comments on Thursday, Bolsonaro said his country could not fight the growing blaze alone.

“The Amazon is bigger than Europe, how will you fight criminal fires in such an area?” Bolsonaro reportedly asked local media. “We do not have the resources for that.”

Bolsonaro has faced international criticism for the blaze, which critics say has been exacerbated by his administration’s rollback of environmental protections for the rainforest.

Ahead of the Group of Seven summit in France, French President Emmanuel Macron called the situation in Brazil an “international crisis” and vowed to make it a priority point of discussion.

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