Brasil substitui ministro da educação de extrema direita por teórico da conspiração

The Guardian - President Jair Bolsonaro’s replacement for Ricardo Vélez has blamed communists for introducing crack

When news broke that Brazil’s president had sacked his controversial far-right education minister, any hopes that Jair Bolsonaro might have moderated his views lasted about as long as it took Brazilians to research his replacement. The new minister, Abraham Weintraub, is an economist and university professor who spent most of his career in the financial sector and has voiced rightwing conspiracy theories – arguing last year that crack was deliberately introduced in Brazil as part of a communist plot. Before joining Bolsonaro’s transition team to work on an overhaul of the pensions system, Weintraub was a professor at the Federal University of São Paulo. He worked 18 years at the Votorantim bank, becoming chief economist. On Monday, Weintraub was brought in to replace Ricardo Vélez, whose brief stint in government was marked by a string of controversies. In February, Vélez wrote to schools instructing them to film students singing the national anthem and being read Bolsonaro’s campaign slogan. He later told the conservative magazine Veja that Brazilians behaved like cannibals when abroad and stole things from hotels, and last week he was accused of “historical revisionism” after saying schoolbooks would be rewritten to whitewash Brazil’s 1964 military coup and 21-year dictatorship. But education specialists expressed dismay at his replacement. “I don’t think anyone who works in education is happy with this appointment,” said Daniel Cara, of the National Campaign for the Right to Education, a not-for-profit group – and a former leftist parliamentary candidate. “[Weintraub] does not have good experience and does not show appreciation for the area.”

Leia na íntegra: