MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, April 24th 2024 - 19:47 UTC



Sao Paulo's main avenue packed with followers in support of Bolsonaro

Tuesday, February 27th 2024 - 09:57 UTC
Full article 35 comments
“I seek pacification, to erase the past and find a way for us to live in peace,” Bolsonaro told his followers “I seek pacification, to erase the past and find a way for us to live in peace,” Bolsonaro told his followers

Hundreds of thousands of people clad in Brazilian national team jerseys waving flags of the South American country and also of Israel gathered Sunday at Sao Paulo's Paulista Avenue to support former President Jair Messias Bolsonaro, who has been disenfranchised until 2030 and whose passport has been seized by the Supreme Federal Court (STF), thus banning him from traveling abroad except to neighboring nations where his ID card would be a valid document.

Bolsonaro is under investigation for his alleged involvement in the Jan. 8, 2023, uprising in Brasilia, which authorities claim was an attempted coup d'état against President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. But “what is a coup?” Bolsonaro asked his followers Sunday. “There are tanks in the street, there are weapons, there is a conspiracy... None of that was done in Brazil,” he argued.

A week after Lula took office on Jan. 1, 2023, thousands of Bolsonaro supporters stormed the presidential palace, Congress, and Supreme Court, urging the military to overturn what they claimed was a stolen election. Bolsonaro, who was in the United States at the time, denied any responsibility while investigators allege months of anti-democratic maneuvres to discredit Brazil's electronic voting system with a “disinformation” campaign ahead of the elections to “legitimize a military intervention” if he lost.

The 68-year-old retired Army captain was himself wearing a national football team shirt and holding an Israeli flag in his right hand in support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's response to the Oct. 7, 2023, attacks by the terrorist group Hamas. Lula was critical of Hamas' actions but dubbed Israel's counteroffensive “a genocide,” which prompted a diplomatic rift between the two countries to the point that the current South American head of state was declared “persona non grata.”

Bolsonaro's rally was perceived as a demonstration of political muscle given the barrage of legal charges against him for berating the electoral electronic system and reportedly accepting undue gifts in the form of jewels from Saudi Arabia or forging a Covid-19 vaccine certificate, among other cases. Many of his followers have been convicted after the Jan. 8 events. For them, Bolsonaro requested a pardon.

At a regional level, Lula was backed by Presidents Gustavo Petro of Colombbia and Luis Arce Catacora of Bolivia. Chile is also at a diplomatic standoff with Tel Aviv, while Bolsonaro stands on the opposite side of the political spectrum with his intention to move the Brazilian Embassy to Jerusalem following in on the footsteps of then-US President Donald Trump, whom Argentina's Javier Milei also seeks to imitate.

“We can still do a lot for our country,” Bolsonaro told the crowds as he stood alongside former First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro, Sao Paulo Governor Tarcísio de Freitas, and Pastor Silas Malafaia, in addition to several lawmakers and other authorities. The former head of state insisted he was being persecuted and his followers said “there may be riots” if he is incarcerated. Malafaia warned that, if the courts order Bolsonaro's imprisonment, it would not be for the former president's destruction, “but for theirs.”

Bolsonaro also stressed that “it cannot be accepted” that “opponents” be disqualified, which applies both to him and to Venezuelan opposition leader María Corina Machado in a phrase that implicitly likened Lula to Nicolás Maduro. “We cannot accept that a power eliminates whoever it may be from the political scene unless it is for a fair reason. We cannot think about elections removing opponents,” he said.

“I seek pacification, to erase the past and find a way for us to live in peace,” he went on in line with previous calls on his followers on social networks to a “peaceful demonstration in defense of the democratic rule of law” to defend himself against “all accusations.”


Categories: Politics, Brazil.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • Pugol-H

    Yet another religious reference to ‘10 fingers’:

    5. “Honor your father and your mother.” Hold up all five fingers on one hand as if you are taking a pledge, to honor your parents.

    7. “You shall not commit adultery.” Hold one hand out flat. The five fingers and hand becomes the floor of the church.

    9. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Hold up all five fingers on one hand

    10. “Do not covet what belongs to your neighbor.” Hold out your hands, palms up, and wiggle all ten fingers

    Rass Claat

    Mar 03rd, 2024 - 04:38 pm +2
  • imoyaro

    “I don't have to prove anything, it you claiming he isn`t, it's your assertion, and your burden of proof.
    Incidentally, history shows he was first to state that saying.”

    Are you serious? Bierce wrote that statement as a joke. Bierce is known for some of the darkest humor, and “Devils Dictionary” and the “Fantastic Fables” are an enlightening send up of human nature. All I can say is get a life, and try to pay attention... ;)

    Feb 27th, 2024 - 11:04 pm +1
  • imoyaro

    Well I can only assume that Bierce's definition really hit home. Oh well,as they say, Truth hurts.

    Feb 28th, 2024 - 07:47 pm +1
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!