Brasília: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has hit out at Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio, an avid environmentalist, after the latter called out to the youth of the South American nation to vote in the upcoming elections later in the year for “a healthy planet”.
DiCaprio in a tweet on Thursday said, “Brazil is home to the Amazon and other ecosystems critical to climate change.
“What happens there matters to us all and youth voting is key in driving change for a healthy planet.”
In a witty reply, Bolsonaro thanked the “The Wolf of Wall Street” actor for encouraging youth to vote in the coming election saying “Thanks for your support, Leo! It’s really important to have every Brazilian voting in the coming elections.
“Our people will decide if they want to keep our sovereignty on the Amazon or to be ruled by crooks who serve foreign special interest,” the far-right leader, who took office in 2019, tweeted. Bolsonaro targeted the actor claiming that a picture he posted in 2019 of Amazon forest was from 2003 and that people in Brazil can be arrested for such mistakes.
“By the way, the picture you posted to talk about the wildfires in the Amazon in 2019 is from 2003. There are people who want to arrest Brazilian citizens who make this kind of mistake here in our country,” the Brazilian leader said.
“But I’m against this tyrannical idea. So I forgive you. Hugs from Brazil!” This is not the first time Bolsonaro has openly attacked environmentalists for their views on the country’s forests, nor is the actor and politician’s equation gone any change. In 2019, Bolsonaro accused DiCaprio of “giving money to set the Amazon on fire” without presenting any evidence.
The leader has a history of accusing NGOs critical of his policies of starting fires that ravaged the rainforest in 2019. On the other hand, DiCaprio is a champion of greater protection for the Amazon rainforest, donating $5 million towards conservation efforts in 2019, reports BBC.
Last year, DiCaprio joined dozens of celebrities to urge US President Joe Biden to not sign any environmental deal with Brazil amid rising deforestation in the Amazon.