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A supporter of Jair Bolsonaro wears a Trump mask at an election celebration. Photo: Miguel Schincariol/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump is going on the offensive against the oppressive regimes in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua — and he sees Brazilian president-elect Jair Bolsonaro as an ally in that quest, national security adviser John Bolton said in a speech today in Miami.

The details: The speech was accompanied by fresh sanctions on Venezuela and Cuba and pledge of action against Nicaragua — where President Daniel Ortega has ruthlessly cracked down on protesters demanding his ouster. Bolton's Manichean vision for the region included an "Axis of Evil" equivalent for the Western Hemisphere — the "Troika of Tyranny.” It was also among the most thorough statements of the administration's Latin America policy to date.

  • From the speech: "The recent elections of like-minded leaders in key countries, including Ivan Duque in Colombia, and last weekend Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, are positive signs for the future of the region, and demonstrate a growing regional commitment to free-market principles, and open, transparent, and accountable governance."
  • Between the lines: That's a clear embrace of Bolsonaro, who has a long history of offensive comments and an affinity for military rule. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised. Bolsonaro and Trump don't just share populist instincts, says Jason Marczak of the Atlantic Council, they're both fiercely opposed to the Maduro regime in Venezuela.

Trump is intensely unpopular in Latin America, and his approach to the region has largely been defined by immigration. He recently threatened to cut funding to countries like Honduras, which works closely with the U.S., over the migrant "caravan" heading toward the U.S. border. Hours after Bolton’s speech, Trump gave an address on immigration in which he suggested U.S. troops should fire on anyone in the caravan who throws a rock.

  • But his administration has engaged with a number of countries in the region on the Venezuela crisis. Bolton signaled that they now see a window for action, something that is worthy of attention given the administration has discussed the potential of a military intervention.
  • As the Guardian’s Julian Borger points out, “The speech was delivered among rising tensions in Latin America. Earlier this week, Colombia’s foreign minister denied reports that Colombia was conspiring with Bolsonaro to use force to topple Maduro.”

What to watch: This might just be a short-term rhetorical offensive tied to a get-out-the-vote effort in Florida. But if the administration really is placing new emphasis on Latin America, there are major opportunities both for cooperation with allies, and confrontation with the “troika.”

Go deeper: Bolsonaro could ramp up deforestation, environmentalists warn

Go deeper

Biden to tap telecom trio for NTIA, FCC posts

Jessica Rosenworcel. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

President Joe Biden on Tuesday is expected to name Alan Davidson as head of the telecom arm of the Commerce Department, Jessica Rosenworcel as chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission and Gigi Sohn as a commissioner at the FCC, according to a person familiar with the process.

Why it matters: Internet availability and affordability has been a key policy priority for the White House, but the administration lagged in tapping people for the agency posts that oversee the issues.

25 mins ago - Technology

Facebook seeks fountain of youth

Data: Piper Sandler Taking Stock With Teens Study; Chart: Axios Visuals

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday said that the company is pivoting its strategy to focus on young adults, following reports that teens have fled its apps.

Why it matters: A series of stories based on leaked whistleblower documents suggest the company sees the aging of its user base as an existential threat to its business.

Too big to cover alone: Newsrooms team up

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

News outlets are increasingly willing to work together on big, multifaceted stories — including this week's reporting on leaked documents from a Facebook whistleblower.

Why it matters: Collaborative efforts help bring more resources to bear on complex stories, some of which require a global reporting effort. But they require high degrees of coordination, and competition can sometimes get in the way.