Alternative Facts, by Michael Royster
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The news that U.S. President Donald Trump has agreed to meet Brazil ’s President Michel Temer early next week, as a replacement for Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto, has come as a breath of fresh air to most other countries south of the Tropic of Cancer, although the leaders of the remaining BRIC nations — Russia, India and China — are reputedly green with envy.
Temer has promised to travel using the retired Boeing 707 occasionally referred to as “Air Force Fifty-One”, which will be rechristened “America Fifty-First”. “It was made in America in 1968, so Donald should be pleased,” Temer claimed. Officials of Brazil’s aircraft manufacturer EMBRAER did not respond to this column’s request for comment.
Trump soothed concerns about Temer being blocked from entering the U.S. because his family came from one of the proscribed Islamic “terror prone” countries. He granted Temer an exemption, conditional upon presentation to the immigration authorities of his parents’ original baptismal certificates, showing them to be Maronite Christians.
The talks are expected to be exceedingly friendly, because both Presidents have almost identical views about who should serve as cabinet ministers in their governments. There may be some debate, however, over whether the rich white men should come from within the government, or should be rank outsiders.
In addition, the septuagenarian Presidents have in common their marriages to much younger women, and the fashion world is abuzz about the upcoming walk on the White House grounds, where Marcela and Melania will duel to be crowned “First Lady of Fashion”.
One sure topic for the impromptu meeting is a future exchange of prisoners between the two countries. Several of Brazil’s prisons, notably those containing inmates given to ISIS-like tactics such as beheadings, may be closed because of overcrowding.
Trump’s decision to reactivate the Guantanamo facilities means there is now plenty of space available for Brazilian thugs. Temer denies the rumors that in return, he has offered Trump a “black site” deal on the Alcaçuz prison, near the WWII air base where Americans taught Brazilians about “forró”.
Another certain topic is walls. Temer is concerned by the recent influx of indigent Venezuelans streaming into its Amazon region, bringing wheelbarrows filled with devalued currency and cheap “arepitas” which they market as a substitute for pão de queijo, taking away jobs from hard-working mineiros.
The Trump/Temer Twitterati are already twiddling their thumbs in anticipation, and this column will continue to report on late-breaking developments.