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Brazil: an order for viagra for the army makes people talk

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The Brazilian army found itself at the heart of a heated controversy after a deputy revealed on Monday the purchase of 35,000 viagra tablets for soldiers, prompting dozens of sarcastic comments on social networks. The order documents, however, do not mention viagra, but tablets containing “sildenafil”.

The Brazilian army found itself at the heart of a heated controversy after a deputy revealed on Monday the purchase of 35,000 viagra tablets for soldiers, prompting dozens of sarcastic comments on social networks. “Hospitals are short of drugs, but Bolsonaro and his clique are spending public money to buy little blue pills,” said center-left MP Elias Vaz, who says he has asked the Ministry of Defense for an explanation about of this “immoral” command.

Tablets for “patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension”

The parliamentarian says he obtained this information on the Government Transparency Portal, which allows access to public expenditure data on request. According to him, the documents do not mention viagra by name, but show approval for the purchase of thousands of tablets containing “sildenafil”, the molecule of the famous drug used to treat erectile dysfunction.

The Ministry of Defense explained in a press release sent to AFP that “the acquisition of sildenafil” was “intended for the treatment of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension”, drugs such as viagra also making it possible to dilate the pulmonary vessels .

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An order approved by the Bolsonaro government

This justification did not prevent Internet users from having a great time on social networks, some of them evoking in particular the memory of the military “dicta-hard”, with generals in power from 1964 to 1985. “With these pills, the army will be able to give a damn about democracy even more,” quipped the satirical site Sensacionalista. Cartoons also showed tanks with the barrel curved downwards.

More seriously, the left-wing MP Marcelo Freixo recalled that the government of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro had approved this order while the head of state had initially “vetoed a bill which provided the free distribution of sanitary napkins to poor women”. President Bolsonaro finally backtracked, signing a decree in early March providing for this distribution of hygienic products.

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