Bolsonaro fires Special Secretary for Culture Roberto Alvim

The president condemned all totalitarian and genocidal ideologies

Published in 17/01/2020 - 15:25 By Andreia Verdélio - Brasília

President Jair Bolsonaro today (Jan. 17) announced the ouster of Special Secretary for Culture Roberto Alvim from his post. “An unfortunate pronouncement, even though he apologized, rendered his staying in the position unbearable,” the note from the president’s press office reads.

In the early hours of Friday, Alvim posted a video on Twitter in which he talks about the launch of the National Arts Award and the artistic ideals upheld by his secretariat. The footage includes excerpts reminiscent of an address by Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. A  background music, the secretary chose an opera by Wagner, the favorite composer of Nazi leader Adolph Hitler.

Special Secretary for Culture Roberto Alvim - Valter Campanato/Agência Brasil

In the text, President Bolsonaro reiterated his repudiation of any totalitarian and genocidal ideologies. “We would also like to express our thorough support for the Jewish community, of whom we are friends and with whom we share common values,” he added.

The other side

In a Facebook post, Roberto Alvim said he placed his position in the president’s hands. “Bearing in mind the uneasiness brought about by the deplorable incident, I immediately put my post at the service of President Jair Bolsonaro, in a bid to protect him.”

Alvim said he was not aware of the source of the sentence similar to a section of a past pronouncement by Goebbels. “The address was based on a number of ideas linked to nationalist art, which were brought to me by advisers. If I knew about its origin, I would never have said it. I am strongly repudiated by any totalitarian regime, and declare my thorough repugnance to the National Socialist regime,” he wrote.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Denise Griesinger / Nira Foster

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