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Brazil's Bolsonaro offers his son US ambassador post

Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro delivers a speech. Photograph:( AFP )

Reuters Brasilia Jul 12, 2019, 07.50 PM (IST)

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday he had invited his son Eduardo to become ambassador to the United States, underscoring his family's influential role in the country's diplomacy and domestic politics.

Bolsonaro said the appointment hinges on acceptance by Eduardo, currently a federal congressman.

"The decision is his," Bolsonaro told journalists as he left an event in Brasilia. "I don't want to decide his future for him, if the legislation says he has to renounce his position."

The far-right Brazilian president, who said his campaign last year was inspired by US President Donald Trump, has made friendly overtures to the American leader and made similar use of family members as official advisers.

Bolsonaro's eldest son, Flavio, is advancing his conservative social agenda as a senator.

Carlos Bolsonaro, another son of the president and a Rio de Janeiro city councilman, has taken an active role in his father's social media communications and stirred controversy by attacking members of the Brazilian cabinet.

Eduardo, the third of the president's four sons and a daughter from three marriages, has counselled his father on foreign affairs. After Jair Bolsonaro was elected in October, Eduardo was one of his first envoys to Washington, where he met with Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner and was spotted wearing a "Trump 2020" cap.

Former Trump advisor Steve Bannon named Eduardo the Latin American leader of his right-wing nationalist organization "The Movement."

During Bolsonaro's White House visit in March, Trump heaped praise on Eduardo, who sat by his father during an Oval Office chat while Brazil's foreign minister and ambassador in Washington were nowhere to be seen.

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"The decision is his," Bolsonaro told journalists as he left an event in Brasilia. "I don't want to decide his future for him, if the legislation says he has to renounce his position."