March 8, 2019 / 11:20 PM / 6 months ago

Brazil's Bolsonaro will visit on March 19: White House

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro gestures during a ceremony to mark the International Women's Day at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will visit the White House on March 19 and is expected to discuss subjects including the situation in Venezuela with U.S. President Donald Trump, the White House said in a statement.

Bolsonaro is a far-right former army captain who openly admires Trump. In a phone call after Bolsonaro’s election victory in October, they spoke of “a strong commitment to work side by side” on issues affecting their countries.

Even before taking office in January, Bolsonaro pledged to oppose the government of Venezuela, where an economic crisis has caused millions of people to flee, many to neighboring Brazil.

Since taking power, Bolsonaro has stepped up criticism of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government and recognized Juan Guaido, the opposition leader and self-declared president, as the leader of the OPEC member nation.

The United States has also recognized Guaido as president and called on others to do the same. Washington has increased sanctions against Venezuela in a bid to oust Maduro.

Reporting by Makini Brice in Washington; Editing by James Dalgleish

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