Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has met with American billionaire Elon Musk.

Bolsonaro called Musk's intended takeover of Twitter a "hint of hope".

Bolsonaro also expressed his hope that with Musk's help, the "lies" about deforestation in Amazonia could be fought.

Tjerk Bruhwiller

Correspondent for Latin America based in São Paulo.

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The meeting between the president and CEO of electric car maker Tesla and rocket company SpaceX took place at a luxury hotel near São Paulo on Friday, during a brief visit by Musk.

There, Musk met with various entrepreneurs from the communications and financial sectors, as well as some government officials, to present a satellite program that would connect thousands of schools in Amazonia and remote areas to the Internet, and would also enable monitoring of the Amazon region.

Rocket launch in Brazil?

Brazil needs Musk, Bolsonaro said during a subsequent press conference to show everyone how Amazonia had been protected and how much damage would be done by those who spread lies about the region.

Bolsonaro has long criticized the data released by the National Space Research Institute on the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, which showed very high values ​​again this month.

The data has been collected for years using an existing satellite system that delivers very precise images.

Bolsonaro promised to make Musk's Alcântara space base in northeastern Brazil available for rocket launches.

The desired cooperation with Musk has called the opposition into action, which complains that the program was announced without further details, duration and costs and also raises questions about the protection of sovereignty.

The program is now to be discussed in various commissions.

According to those attending the event, Bolsonaro is said not to have exchanged views very intensively with Musk, although the two sat next to each other at lunch afterwards.

The language barrier is said to have hampered the exchange.

Still, Bolsonaro used the meeting to present Musk as his ally.

It's the beginning of a relationship that will surely end in marriage soon, he said.

Bolsonaro's supporters celebrated Musk's visit and meeting with Bolsonaro.

Since Musk announced his intention to buy Twitter, the billionaire has become a cult figure for the "Bolsonarists".

They see the rules put in place by social media to curb fake news and hate speech as an encroachment on freedom of expression and believe Musk will make Twitter a platform of “total freedom without borders,” as Bolsonaro said.

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