Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced he will appoint his son, 35-year-old Eduardo Bolsonaro, ambassador to the United States.
Speaking to reporters Saturday, Bolsonaro Jr. said the decision is still being discussed between his father and the foreign minister, Ernesto Araujo, however: “If it is a mission given by the president, I would accept.”
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the full upper house must both approve the appointment to make it official.
An anonymous source from Brazil’s foreign ministry told the Guardian, “Most of my colleagues are perplexed and in shock. Not only because it’s a case of nepotism … but also because he does not have the qualifications for the job.”
Just days after his son turned 35, the head of state said he would consider Eduardo for the prestigious position. Before media personnel, he defended his opinion, but added, “That’s for the supreme court to decide. It is not nepotism, I would never do that,” President Bolsonaro said.
Former Brazilian ambassador to China, Japan and Paraguay, Luiz Castro Neves, said the president’s choice was “surprising,” describing Eduardo as diplomatically naive.
“I have spoken to some people who have participated in meetings with him and they were taken aback by how self-abasing he was … he was basically saying ‘whatever you want, we will give it to you,’ ” said the seasoned diplomat. “In Washington you don’t do that,” Castro added.
Eduardo is the president’s third son and has taken on an active political role in the government, working first as a Congressmember and, with the help of his dad, edging toward international relations. According to Bolsonaro, his male offspring has counselled him several times on international affairs during his few months as president.
One of the senior Bolsonaro’s sons, Carlos, is in charge of the president’s social media communications, while Flavio—the oldest—is a Senator.