Abraham Weintraub left Brazil and is in the United States. Fired from the Ministry of Education (MEC) on Thursday (18), he was exonerated by President Jair Bolsonaro this Saturday (20) after arriving in Miami.
According to the MEC press office, Weintraub travelled on Friday (19) and was already in the United States this Saturday morning. The ex-minister embarked before the resignation was made official.
Bolsonaro signed the resignation in a special edition of the Official Gazette of the Union. According to the president’s decree, Weintraub left the folder “at the request” – success has not been defined.
Weintraub left the country on the same day that Senator Fabiano Contarato (Rede-ES) filed with the Supreme Federal Court (STF) a request to seize his passport to prevent him from leaving Brazil.
Ministers of State are entitled to diplomatic passports, and Weintraub benefited from the document in July 2019, according to information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There is no official information if he used this passport and travelled with his family.
The target of the fake news inquiry, which is being processed at the Supreme Court, Weintraub is also investigated in court for racism, for having published a comment about China and an alleged responsibility of the Asian country for the coronavirus pandemic.
In a message posted on Twitter this Saturday, Weintraub’s location appears in Miami. “Things happened very quickly,” wrote the minister in response to a follower.
In announcing the departure of the MEC, alongside Bolsonaro, in a video also broadcast on social networks, Weintraub said he would leave the country to take a position at the World Bank. The former minister also said he and his family were threatened.
“I’m leaving Brazil as soon as possible (a few days),” he wrote on Friday.
For Contrato (Rede-ES), who filed with the STF the request to seize the passport, the former minister acted in bad faith.
– If the U.S. closed the border, how did it get in? Did you enter with a diplomatic passport the day before you were discharged? Was he on a commercial flight with a foreign passport before he was released? This may characterize administrative improbity if he was not on an official MEC mission – he said.
Read More: Salvation Union
For Contrato, the delay in publishing the dismissal was intentional to allow Weintraub to leave the country.
– Today what is he? Former Minister of Education. Yesterday (Friday) he was still Minister of State, but the removal had already been announced – he said. – This characterizes deceit, the intention to effectively avoid and use the official document to leave the country.
Wanted, Planalto and Itamaraty had not commented until the publication of this text.
Dismissal after the clash with the Supreme Court
Bolsonaro fired Weintraub after wear and tear with the STF. The then head of MEC defended the arrest of court ministers at the April 22 meeting and reaffirmed his position in meeting with demonstrators favourable to the government.
The government did not choose Weintraub’s replacement in the MEC. The executive secretary of the portfolio, Antonio Vogel, is seen as a natural substitute as interim minister.