Brazilian Communists sneak in ventilators to avoid confiscation by Bolsonaro or U.S.
The covered body of a victim of COVID-19 is transported by health workers to a cold storage area at the João Lúcio Hospital in Manaus, April 17, 2020. | Edmar Barros / AP

The Communist-run Brazilian state of Maranhão has brought much-needed ventilators from China via Ethiopia in a “war operation” against coronavirus.

Governor Flávio Dino bought more than 100 of the artificial respiration machines for the northeastern state but, fearing that they would be confiscated en route by the United States or Brazil’s federal government, he had them sent by sea to Ethiopia for onward shipment.

The shipment, which also included 200,000 masks, arrived last week in São Paulo, where, instead of passing through customs, it was immediately loaded onto a chartered plane to fly the 3,000 miles north to Maranhão.

This strategy was prompted by fears that, if secrecy was not maintained, the goods could be seized by the government of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

Previous attempts to buy the medical supplies had reportedly been hampered by Germany, the U.S., and the federal authorities.

“If we didn’t do it that way, it would take us three months to get this number of ventilators,” said Maranhão’s Secretary of Industry and Commerce Simplício Araújo.

Governors in Brazil’s nine northeastern states have formed an alliance to tackle COVID-19 in the face of Bolsonaro’s disastrous response to the crisis.

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Morning Star

The Morning Star is the socialist daily newspaper published in Great Britain.

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