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Brazil’s Bolsonaro announces Amazon rainforest internet program

Brasilia, Sep 1 (efe-epa).- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced on Tuesday an infrastructure program that would expand internet connections in the north of the country and benefit 9 million people residing in the vast Amazon region.

The program will be supported by investments amounting to 1 billion reais (about 182 million dollars) and allow the installation of underwater fiber-optic networks that will run along the Amazonian rivers for 10,000 kilometers.

“Sometimes we do not give due importance to what we have,” Bolsonaro said, alluding to the fact that in the richest regions of the country the internet has been a reality “for many years,” but it continues to be absent in the poorest areas, such as the Amazon itself.

According to the leader of the Brazilian extreme right, who even promotes the exploitation of Amazonian wealth, it is necessary to “integrate” the largest green lung on the planet with the rest of the country in order to make one of Brazil’s slogans a reality: “The Amazon is ours.”

Bolsonaro said the program would be carried out with “its own resources,” despite the economic difficulties that Brazil is going through.

“If one day we need resources from other countries, we can even accept them, but it will be from countries that have our same ideals of freedom and democracy,” said the president, who has already stoked controversy with foreign governments for their aggressive policies for the environment.

In the same act, the Minister of Communications, Fábio Faria, offered some details of the program, of which he said “it comes to solve the problem of about 25 percent of the 40 million Brazilians who do not have internet access.”

According to the minister, among them are “children who today, due to the (coronavirus) pandemic, cannot study and people who cannot speak with their relatives” due to the restrictions imposed by the health crisis caused by COVID-19.”

With his sights set on the future, he said digital television will also come along with internet networks, which until now are “exclusive” to the most developed regions of the country.

The president of the Supreme Court, José Antonio Dias Toffoli, also participated in the ceremony, saying this initiative would “facilitate access to justice,” which in almost the entire country operates with digital systems that, until now, are not available in remote regions of the Amazon. EFE-EPA


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