Porto Felize, Brazil:
Billionaire Elon Musk arrives in Brazil today, announcing a project to bring Internet access to Amazon schools and improve satellite surveillance of the rainforest.
According to the G1 News Portal, the richest man in the world landed on a private jet at an airfield outside Sao Paulo.
According to the O Globo newspaper, Mask was set to meet with Brazil’s right-wing President Zaire Bolsonaro at a luxury hotel in Porto Felize, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) outside Sao Paulo.
“Excited to come to Brazil to launch Starlink for 19,000 unconnected schools in rural areas and for Amazon’s environmental monitoring!” SpaceX and Tesla CEO Musk tweeted.
Communications Minister Fabio Faria, who met with Musk in Texas last November, tweeted that the businessman was visiting “to discuss Amazon’s connection and security with the Brazilian government.”
He added: “Since we are about to connect with Amazon, we have brought in one of the largest entrepreneurs in the world to help us in this mission.”
Journalists were kept at a great security distance from the hotel where the meeting was to be held. An AFP reporter saw two helicopters land nearby.
‘A very important person’
On Thursday, Bolsonaro announced that he was “with a very important person who is recognized around the world.”
“He’s coming to offer us his help for Amazon,” the president said in his weekly social media broadcast without naming Mask.
The Amazon is a hot topic in Brazil, where deforestation is rampant under the government of Balsonaro – which has been accused of impeaching gold miners, farmers and timber smugglers who illegally clear the rainforest.
The Brazilian government said in November that it was in talks with SpaceX to secure satellite internet in the Amazon rainforest and increase the detection of illegal deforestation.
To provide high-speed Internet around the world, especially in areas without fixed and mobile network facilities, Musk’s SpaceX company has placed thousands of Starlink satellites in orbit, with many more launches planned.
The service has over 100,000 subscribers worldwide.
Musk renewed global attention when he announced last month that he planned to buy Twitter in a 44 billion deal.
His comments about easing restrictions on free speech have been welcomed by many Bolsonaro supporters, who have been accused of using fake news as a political weapon, and several social media posts have been deleted.
O’Globo said Faria and Defense Minister Paolo Sergio Noguira would attend the Musk-Bolsonaro meeting with 13 business leaders, including officials from the country’s major telecom companies.
The meeting came just hours after Musk denied the allegations on Twitter six years ago that he had revealed himself to a flight attendant.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)