May 9, 2019 / 9:51 PM / 4 months ago

Shunned in New York, Brazil leader plans to meet Bush, Cruz in Texas

FILE PHOTO - Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro gestures during a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil April 30, 2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro plans to meet with former U.S. President George W. Bush and Senator Ted Cruz in Texas next week, he said on Thursday, after canceling a New York trip.

The far-right Brazilian leader canceled plans last week to attend an event in New York City amid pressure from environmentalists, gay rights activists and Mayor Bill de Blasio, who called him a “dangerous man.”

Bolsonaro was set to be honored as person of the year by the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce at a ceremony in the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan.

Under public pressure, the museum ultimately declined to host the event. As organizers scrambled to find another venue and sponsors pulled out, Bolsonaro scrapped the trip.

Bolsonaro recently announced he would visit Dallas, Texas, instead to speak at an event hosted by the World Affairs Councils of America on May 16.

The organization is a century-old, non-profit group with more than 90 affiliates around the United States that describes itself as nonpartisan.

Separately, Bolsonaro’s spokesman said on Thursday that the decision to visit Dallas followed an invitation from Bush.

Unlike New York City’s De Blasio, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has said he will welcome Bolsonaro to the city.

(The story corrects host of May 16 ceremony to World Affairs Councils of America in paragraph 5.)

Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun and Eduardo Simoes, editing by G Crosse

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