While looking for images of Brazilian presidents recently, I stumbled upon this completely random picture of João Figueiredo, the last of the Brazilian presidents during Brazil’s military dictatorship of 1964-1985, riding horses with Ronald Reagan. The image must come from the early-1980s. I know it’s not surprising to see to heads of state hanging out in strange circumstances, but this one seems particularly….unique. Certainly, it would have fed the mythos of each – Reagan’s image as a living embodiment of the West, and Figueiredo’s (legitimate) image as a cavalry officer and horse-lover. What did they talk about? Killing “subversives”? Dealing with the economic collapses that occurred in their respective administrations? How terrible horse dung smells? The possibilities are endless, and I’m disappointed that the term “horseback diplomacy” hasn’t caught on yet.
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