Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has overseen independence day celebrations with a renewed assertion of his country’s sovereignty over the Amazon.

The president said Saturday that Brazil “cannot continue and will not continue to be passive” in the face of threats to his sovereignty. He stressed: “The Brazilian Amazon is ours.”

He gave no names, but Bolsonaro has repeatedly accused French President Emmanuel Macron of trying to meddle in Brazil’s management of the Amazon at a moment when a sharp increase in fires has alarmed people around the world about damage to the vast rainforest.

The speech came during an annual ceremony in the capital of Brasilia that included a military parade.

Opponents of the government staged relatively small protests against Bolsonaro in several parts of the country.


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