Bolsonaro, Ben Salmane, Orban … these leaders who mourn Trump

Donald Trump has not yet left the White House, but the world brotherhood of autocrats is already mourning him. Sulky, or fearing to anger their model, most have still not congratulated Democrat Joe Biden on his electoral victory.

The big loser is Mohammed Ben Salman, the powerful Saudi Crown Prince. “He will no longer have direct access to the White House via his privileged personal link with Jared Kushner, son-in-law and diplomatic adviser to Donald Trump who passed everything to him, including the case of the murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi”, decrypts Pascal Boniface, Director of IRIS (Institute for International and Strategic Relations). Trump was making big arms deals with Saudi Arabia, supporting his war on Yemen and seeking to overthrow the mullahs’ regime in Iran – the kingdom’s number one enemy – by strangling it economically.

“Joe Biden, he intends to renew the dialogue on nuclear power with Tehran”, continues Boniface, author of a “Geopolitics of Covid-19” (Eyrolles). “Trump could complicate his task by preparing a new wave of sanctions against Iran while he still has the power,” added political scientist James Cohen, professor at the Sorbonne.

Hungary and Poland lose their “lightning rod”

Also touched, the “Latin American Trump”, as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is nicknamed, for his style while protruding racist, sexist and homophobic. He shares the climate skepticism of the American, shamelessly destroying the Amazon rainforest. “Bolsonaro finds himself more isolated in a Latin America which certainly leans to the right, but not to the extreme right”, judges Boniface. The leaders of Europe’s “illiberal democracies”, such as the Hungarian Viktor Orban or the Polish Jaroslaw Kaczynski (leader of the ruling ultra-conservative party, PiS), are losing the Trump “lightning rod”.

“They formed a club whose emblematic figure was the most powerful man in the world,” says Pascal Boniface. The climate is getting colder, they find themselves more exposed to pressure, particularly from the EU ”. The fact remains that the narrow defeat of Trump, who won nearly 10 million votes since his election in 2016, could also provide them with arguments. “If in the United States an outgoing president can deny the verdict of the polls, relay conspiratorial fakes news, that could give them carte blanche to do the same at home,” fears James Cohen.

Admittedly affected because of his friendship with the Trump clan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is basically not a loser. “Joe Biden has announced that he will not move the American embassy from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv,” analyzes the director of IRIS. And if the “elect president” intends to resume talks with the Palestinians, he should not put pressure on Israel to sign an agreement. ” The relationship between the two countries, which is reflected in particular in strong American financial and military support for the Jewish state, has always been stronger than political vagaries. “Without forgetting that the overwhelming majority of Jewish Americans voted for Biden,” recalls James Cohen (author of “In pursuit of the illegals: politics and anti-immigrant movements in the United States” (Ed du Croquant).

Putin deprived of his favorite stooge

What about Xi Jinping’s China, which has just congratulated Biden on his victory? “She loses the ideal adversary, who isolated America and allowed China to advance its pawns on the diplomatic scene, as at the WHO”, comments Boniface. Basically, the cold war will remain. “Because there is now a proclaimed Chinese nationalist affirmation, and the United States will not agree to no longer be No. 1” confided to us before the election Hubert Védrine, ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs.

As for the Russian Vladimir Poutine, adoring like Trump to pose as a strong man, he is soon deprived of his favorite foil. During a joint press conference which has remained famous, the American gave the impression, to the chagrin of his family, of appearing like a little boy in front of the master of the Kremlin. Putin, who likes to manipulate Western far-right networks like Trump’s sulphurous ex-adviser Steve Bannon, is also likely to see this plan thwarted.

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