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President Donald Trump will host Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in Washington on March 19, the White House announced Friday. They are expected to discuss the turmoil in Venezuela.
Bolsonaro was elected in 2018 and his upcoming visit to Washington comes as Brazil's border with Venezuela has become a flashpoint in the ongoing political crisis facing the oil-rich country and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Brazil has sided with the U.S. in supporting Venezuela's opposition leader, Juan Guaido, as the legitimate head of state.
Food and medicine shortages under Maduro's rule have caused a flood of Venezuelans to flee across the border into neighboring countries. The U.S. has sent relief supplies to the region but the political and economic crisis shows no signs of ending soon.
According to the White House, Trump and Bolsonaro are also expected to discuss trade issues and military ties between the two countries.
Earlier this year, Bolsonaro said he might allow the U.S. to operate a military base in Brazil as a check against Russia's influence in Venezuela. Russia supports Maduro and in December sent several military aircraft to Venezuela to participate in joint military exercises.
Trump was one of the first world leaders to call Bolsonaro in October when the former army captain won the Brazilian presidential election by a wide margin. Last month, Brazil's minister of foreign affairs, Ernesto Araujo, traveled to Washington to discuss the situation in Venezuela ahead of Bolsonaro's visit.
— Reuters contributed to this report.