Abraham Weintraub

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Abraham Weintraub
Abraham Weintraub em maio de 2019.jpg
World Bank Group Executive Director
from the 15th district
Assumed office
3 August 2020
Preceded byOtaviano Canuto
Minister of Education
In office
8 April 2019 – 20 June 2020
PresidentJair Bolsonaro
Preceded byRicardo Vélez Rodríguez
Succeeded byMilton Ribeiro
Personal details
Abraham Bragança de Vasconcellos Weintraub

(1971-10-11) 11 October 1971 (age 49)
São Paulo, Brazil
Alma materUniversity of São Paulo (USP)

Abraham Bragança de Vasconcellos Weintraub (born 11 October 1971) is a Brazilian economist and investment banker who served as Brazil's Minister of Education from 2019 to 2020. He currently serves as the Executive Director for the World Bank from the 15th district.[1]


Weintraub was born in São Paulo into a Jewish father, Mauro Weintraub, and a non-Jewish mother, Mariliza Bragança de Vasconcelos, both doctors who studied at Faculty of Medicine of Sorocaba.[2] He is a professor at the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp), Master in Administration in Finance for Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV), and graduated in Economic Sciences at the University of São Paulo (USP) in 1994.[3]

An executive of the financial market with over 20 years of experience, he acted as the lead economist and director of Banco Votorantim and as a partner in Quest Investimentos.[4][5] He was a member of the transition team of the government of President Bolsonaro, and was Secretary-Executive of the Chief of Staff Onyx Lorenzoni.[3]

He became a member of Bolsonaro's transition cabinet in November 2018.[6]

Ministry of Education[edit]


On 8 April 2019, Bolsonaro appointed Weintraub as the new Minister of Education, replacing Ricardo Vélez Rodríguez. Weintraub is close to Onyx Lorenzoni, the current Chief of Staff whom he previously served as Executive-Secretary.


On 18 June 2020, after 14 months in office, Weintraub announced his resignation from the Ministry in a video with Bolsonaro posted on social media.[5] He had been criticized for issuing statements deemed controversial,[7][8][9] as well as for mismanagement.[10][11][12]

On the night of the following day (19), before his exoneration was published, Weintraub traveled to the United States. To travel, Weintraub took advantage of the diplomatic passport conceded to ministers, due to the fact that the US' travel restrictions related to COVID-19 barred civilians from Brazil starting on 29 May.[13][14] This was cause for controversy, as a request to the Supreme Federal Court for the apprehension of Weintraub's passport had been filed the day before he traveled, motivated by the two open investigations against him.[15][16]

On 20 June 2020, his resignation from the position of Minister of Education was published on the government's official journal. On 23 June 2020, the resignation date was rectified to be the previous day, 19 June 2020.[17] The government also published a note stating that Weintraub's resignation request was only formally received after he'd already left the country, on the 20th, and that Weintraub himself requested his resignation be retroactivelly changed to the 19th.[18]

World Bank[edit]

In July 2020, Weintraub was elected as an executive director of the World Bank for a term ending on 31 October 2020.[19] Officials from the Bank have criticized Weintraub for propagating false information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.[20]


Racist remarks[edit]

In March 2020 Weintraub was reported from a video of a meeting with President Bolsonaro openly giving hate speech against indigenous peoples.[7] At the same meeting, Weintraub also made statements against the Chinese people.[8][9][21]

Although Weintraub hails from a Jewish family, he is openly against minority rights and values. And in a contradictory way he used the word "people" to make politics against these people.[22][23][24]

Accusations regarding drugs in universities[edit]

In November 2019, during an interview with Jornal da Cidade, Weintraub accused federal universities of cultivating cannabis and preparing methamphetamine in chemistry labs, but did not present any evidence to support his claims:[25]

You get cannabis plantations, but it's not just three cannabis trees, it's extensive plantations of some universities, to the point of having pesticide sprayers. Because being organic is good against soy so Brazil's agribusiness doesn't grow, but on their weed they want all the technology available.

Take chemistry labs – a chemistry faculty didn't used to be an indoctrination center – developing synthetic drugs, methamphetamine, and the police can't go in the campus.

After the fact, 10 state deputies of Bahia presented an interpellation, questioning Weintraub's accusations. The then-minister responded by saying that his declarations were generic and that he had no intention of accusing any specific persons. Weintraub's statements would therefore be considered as an exercise of free speech.[26]

Emmanuel Macron[edit]

In August 2019, Weintraub wrote that the French people had elected a president "devoid of any character" and that Macron is "nothing but a worthless opportunist who seeks support from the French agricultural lobby".[27]

Filming in class[edit]

In April 2019, Weintraub stated that the filming of teachers by students during class is a right held by the latter, calling it an "individual liberty".[28] Responding to the minister's statements, jurists argued that the unauthorized filming of teachers in class may violate the fundamental rights of educators, and is unconstitutional.[29]

Crack conspiracy theory[edit]

In a 2018 interview Weintraub claimed that crack was introduced to Brazil by communists in order to weaken the country. He also said that FARC, a Colombia guerilla movement, had been invited as honored guests to the Foro de São Paulo, an annual gathering of Latin American leftist parties. These comments led The Guardian to brand Weintraub as a conspiracy theorist.[30]

Spelling errors[edit]

On multiple occasions, the then-Minister of Education wrote incorrect or otherwise improper Portuguese, with spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, on official documents and social media. In January 2020, in a tweet to Eduardo Bolsonaro, Weintraub wrote "imprecionante" instead of "impressionante", roughly equivalent to writing "imprecive" instead of "impressive", in English.[31][32]


  1. ^ "Abraham Weintraub". 6 August 2020. Retrieved 6 August 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Novo Ministro da Educação tem ligações com Sorocaba". Jornal Cruzeiro do Sul. 8 April 2019. Retrieved 21 June 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b "Bolsonaro dá posse a Weintraub e diz esperar jovens mais bem preparados que os pais e avós" (in Portuguese). Ministério da Educação. 9 April 2019. Retrieved 15 April 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Shalders, André; Magenta, Matheus (6 November 2018). "Governo Bolsonaro: conheça os integrantes da equipe de transição comandada por Onyx Lorenzoni" (in Portuguese). BBC Brasil. Retrieved 15 April 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ a b "Ministro da Educação, Abraham Weintraub, anuncia saída do cargo em vídeo com Bolsonaro" (in Portuguese). G1. 18 June 2020. Retrieved 18 June 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Castro, Grasielle (8 April 2019). "Bolsonaro demite Vélez e indica Abraham Weintraub para chefiar o MEC" (in Portuguese). The Huffpost. Retrieved 15 April 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ a b Sanches, Mariana (2020-06-20). "Ideologia de Gênero, indígenas, China: as contradições entre o que pensam Weintraub e o Banco Mundial" [Gender Ideology, indigenous people, China: the contradictions between what Weintraub and the World Bank think]. BBC Brasil (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  8. ^ a b "Brazil minister offends China with 'racist' virus tweet". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 2020-06-20.
  9. ^ a b Chheda, Manthan (2020-04-07). "China up in arms after Brazil minister says coronavirus outbreak is part of Beijing's plan for 'world domination'". International Business Times Singapore. Retrieved 2020-06-20.
  10. ^ "Weintraub deixa saldo negativo e projeto sem perspectiva no Congresso". noticias.uol.com.br (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2020-06-27.
  11. ^ Bermúdez, Ana Carla. "Balança, mas não cai: Alvo de críticas e pedidos de que seja cortado, Weintraub segue no MEC com gestão marcada por erros e deboches" [Blowing hot and cold: Target of criticism and pleas for his layoff, Weintraub is still on MEC with administration stained by mistakes and mockery]. UOL (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2020-06-20.
  12. ^ "Government threatens universities with 30% funding cut". University World News. 2019-05-04. Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  13. ^ "Após usar cargo para deixar o país, Weintraub é exonerado por Bolsonaro" [After using his position to leave the country, Weintraub is exonerated by Bolsonaro]. Correio Braziliense (in Portuguese). 2020-06-20. Retrieved 2020-06-20.
  14. ^ Prazeres, Leandro (2020-06-20). "Após Weintraub chegar aos EUA, governo publica exoneração do ministro da Educação" [After arriving to the US, government publishes minister of Education's exoneration]. O Globo (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2020-06-20.
  15. ^ Saldaña, Paulo; Brant, Danielle (2020-06-20). "Bolsonaro publica demissão de Weintraub após ex-ministro viajar para os EUA" [Bolsonaro publishes Weintraub dismissal after former minister travels to the USA]. Folha de S.Paulo (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2020-06-20.
  16. ^ Bergamo, Mônica (2020-06-19). "Senador pede apreensão de passaporte de Weintraub para que ele não saia do Brasil" [Senator requests aprehension of Weintraub's passport so he can't leave Brazil]. Folha de S.Paulo (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2020-06-20.
  17. ^ Ribeiro, Luci (2020-06-23). "Governo 'retifica' data de exoneração de Abraham Weintraub" [Government 'rectifies' exoneration date of Abraham Weintraub]. O Estado de S.Paulo (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  18. ^ Lindner, Julia (2020-06-19). "Governo admite que Weintraub pediu exoneração só após chegar aos EUA" [Government admits Weintraub requested exoneration only after arriving in the US]. O Estado de S.Paulo (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2020-06-20.
  19. ^ "Right-wing former Brazilian minister elected to board of World Bank". Reuters. 31 July 2020. Retrieved 31 July 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  20. ^ "Funcionários do Banco Mundial pedem investigação contra Weintraub". ISTOÉ Independente (in Portuguese). 2021-03-11. Retrieved 2021-03-29.
  21. ^ "Brazil minister quits as Supreme Court sends message to Bolsonaro". Reuters. 2020-06-18. Retrieved 2020-06-20.
  22. ^ Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "Brazil's students protest education cuts | DW | 15.05.2019". DW.COM. Retrieved 2020-06-20.
  23. ^ "Confederação Israelita manifesta repúdio a declarações de Weintraub". Tribuna do Norte (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2020-06-20.
  24. ^ "Antes de sair, Weintraub extingue cota para negro e indígena na pós-graduação". Catraca Livre (in Portuguese). 2020-06-18. Retrieved 2020-06-20.
  25. ^ Bermúdez, Ana Carla (2019-11-22). "Sem provas, Weintraub diz que federais têm plantações extensivas de maconha" [Without evidence, Weintraub says federal universities have extensive cannabis plantations]. UOL (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2020-06-18.
  26. ^ Oliveira, Mariana (2020-03-28). "STF arquiva interpelação após Weintraub explicar fala sobre maconha em universidades" [Supreme Federal Court archives interpellation after Weintraub explains statements about cannabis in universities]. G1 (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2020-06-18.
  27. ^ Barcellos, Thaís. "Ministro da Educação chama presidente francês de "calhorda oportunista"" [Minister of Education calls French president "worthless opportunist"]. UOL (in Portuguese). Retrieved 9 December 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  28. ^ Agostini, Renata (28 April 2019). "Ministro da Educação diz que filmar professores em aula é direito dos alunos" [Minister of Education says filming teachers in class is a student's right]. O Estado de S. Paulo (in Portuguese). Retrieved 9 December 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  29. ^ Beraldo, Paulo (29 April 2019). "Juristas dizem que filmagem de professores viola direitos" [Jurists say filming of professors violates rights]. O Estado de S. Paulo (in Portuguese). Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  30. ^ Phillips, Dom (9 April 2019). "Brazil replaces far-right education minister with conspiracy theorist". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 June 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  31. ^ "Abraham Weintraub comete mais um erro de português nas redes sociais" [Abraham Weintraub makes another Portuguese mistake on social media]. CartaCapital (in Portuguese). 2020-02-17. Retrieved 2020-06-18.
  32. ^ "Ministro da Educação comete erro de português em rede social e depois apaga mensagem" [Minister of Education makes Portuguese mistake on social media and later deletes message]. G1 (in Portuguese). 2020-01-08. Retrieved 2020-06-18.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Ricardo Vélez Rodríguez
Minister of Education
Succeeded by
Milton Ribeiro
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Otaviano Canuto
World Bank Group Executive Director from the 15th district