Brazil’s Bolsonaro refuses flood aid from Argentina, drawing Bahia rebuke


RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro rejected a proposal of aid from Argentina, saying on Thursday that his nation didn’t want the help coping with lethal floods which have affected broad swaths of the nation’s northeast and killed dozens.

His feedback drew a fast rebuke from the governor of hard-hit Bahia state, who stated native authorities would welcome assist from any nation and that overseas international locations ought to be happy to contact the state immediately.

So far, at the least 24 individuals have died and tens of 1000’s have been left homeless as document rains pound components of the northeast, in some circumstances inflicting dams to fail and rivers to rise meters above their regular ranges. Bahia Governor Rui Costa has referred to as it the “worst catastrophe” within the state’s historical past and stated giant components of Bahia appeared as if they’d been “bombarded.”

Bolsonaro, in the meantime, has confronted criticism for persevering with along with his seaside vacation within the southern state of Santa Catarina, 1000’s of miles from the affected zone.

In a Twitter put up on Thursday, the president stated the Argentine authorities had provided to ship 10 individuals to assist arrange non permanent shelter, present psychological help and to in any other case aid with the logistics of the rescue effort.

However, the aid provide was “very costly for Brazil,” he wrote, including that Brazilian authorities have been already offering the companies provided. He added that Brazil had already accepted donations from Japan’s overseas aid company and would possibly settle for Argentina’s help ought to it turn out to be wanted.

“The Brazilian authorities is open to aid and worldwide donations,” he wrote.

Far-right Bolsonaro’s Brazil has had chilly relations with Argentina because the election of center-left President Alberto Fernandez in 2019. Bolsonaro had beforehand referred to as Fernandez a “crimson bandit.”

Costa, governor of left-leaning Bahia and a political critic of Bolsonaro, shot again in his personal Twitter put up, saying that the nation would settle for assist from any overseas energy immediately.

“I’m chatting with all of the international locations of the world: Bahia will immediately settle for, while not having to cross by means of Brazil’s diplomats, any sort of assist on this second,” he wrote.

Argentina’s overseas ministry declined to touch upon the statements from Bolsonaro and Costa.

(Reporting by Gram Slattery in Rio de Janeiro; Additional reporting by Nicolas Misculin in Buenos Aires; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

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