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Brazil president says country not a banana republic

RIO DE JANEIRO — Embattled President Michel Temer told new Brazilian diplomats on Thursday they need to convince foreigners that their country is not like a banana republic.

His comments came as his predecessor Dilma Rousseff travels around the United States to denounce her removal from the presidency as a coup, and Temer himself and members of his Cabinet are accused of corruption by former and current executives of constructor Odebrecht.

Temer was Rousseff's vice-president for more than five years and took over after she was removed from office for manipulating the fiscal budget.

"Many times foreigners receive data, facts and information that do not coincide with the constitution. And people abroad think that this is a 'paiseco' that does things with no legal justification," the president said, using a popular expression in Portuguese for countries considered irrelevant and chaotic, comparable to banana republic.

A poll published this week showed that Temer's popularity is in the single digits, just like Rousseff's when she ousted a year ago.

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