HAVANA TIMES – The American Museum of Natural History will no longer host a gala honouring Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, following outrage over the right-wing populist leader’s environmental policies, reported dpa news.
The New York-based museum was to host the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce (BACC) event next month. But it was criticized Thursday because of Bolsonaro’s undermining of rainforest protections, freezing of science funding and flagged seizures of indigenous land.
Bolsonaro is widely referred to as the Brazilian Donald Trump as the two coincide in both style and politics.
“With mutual respect for the work & goals of our individual organizations, we jointly agreed that the Museum is not the optimal location for the Brazilian-Am. Chamber of Commerce gala dinner. This traditional event will go forward at another location on the original date & time,” the museum and BACC said in a joint statement.
The museum last week acknowledged concerns over hosting Bolsonaro.
“We want you to know that we understand and share your distress… We are deeply concerned about the stated policy aims of the current Brazilian administration, and we are actively working to understand our options related to this event,” it tweeted.
Since being elected in a landslide last year, Bolsonaro has attracted ire over his environmental policies. He has stopped short of pulling Brazil out of the Paris Agreement, but noted at January’s Davos summit that preserving nature should not trump economic development.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio last week urged the museum to cancel the event, saying Bolsonaro was dangerous “because he is unfortunately the person with the most ability to be able to impact what happens in the Amazon going forward.”