On Tuesday, Brazil celebrates Independence Day, 199 years after its separation from Portugal. In this context, President Jair Bolsonaro urged his supporters to take to the streets to show support for the government.
The whole country is now holding its breath in excitement and fear of violent clashes and worse. Supreme Court Justice Ricardo Lewandowski warned in a newspaper article about attacks on the Constitution by armed groups, civilian or military, and the Senate President canceled a planned trip abroad to monitor the situation. Business organizations, chambers of commerce and financial industry are asking for calm, and now warnings are coming from within and without.
An open letter signed by more than 150 politicians and celebrities from home and abroad warns against protesters making up, among others, far-right groups, military police, white power groups and others to attack institutions like Congress and the Supreme Court. Among the prominent politicians on the left who signed the appeal According to the Guardian newspaper, Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, former Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, former Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo, former Colombian President and Argentine Nobel laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Ernesto Samper Pisano.
They believe the parallels with the attack on Congress in Washington, DC on January 6 this year are clear.
Bolsonaro is a staunch supporter of Donald Trump – often referred to as “Trump of the Tropics” – and the eldest son of Donald Trump Jr. He was scheduled to attend Tuesday’s demonstrations, but a storm on the US East Coast caused his trip to be cancelled.
Struggling with popularity
Bolsonaro’s nervousness grew to something drastic after he ordered a major military parade through the capital Brasilia on August 10, at the same time Congress debated important reforms to election laws.
Bolsonaro later said the military parade was a preparation for a “necessary coup” against Congress and the Supreme Court. He also claims that Brazil has a communist constitution that deprives him of power, and accuses the courts, the left, and the entire state apparatus of plotting against him.
Bolsonaro, the former officer, is known to have good contacts at least in parts of the military and police, and critics fear they may be willing to take up arms against Bolsonaro. Brazil was a dictatorship from 1964 to 1985, a period of military rule that Bolsonaro says openly he longs to return to.
Bolsonaro is struggling with record low support of just 20 percent, due in part to dealing with the Corona pandemic as Brazil is among the worst affected countries in the world, both in human and economic terms. Bolsonaro has long been in line with the most extreme Republicans in the United States, with denial and conspiracy theories.
Next year, there are elections in Brazil, and Bolsonaro appears to be very weak. Especially since the leftist Luis Inacio “Lula” da Silva has returned after allegations of corruption that prevented him from running in the last elections. Lula is the most popular politician in Brazil, and in all opinion polls he crushes Bolsonaro.(Terms)Copyright Dagens Næringsliv AS and/or our suppliers. We would like you to share our cases using a link that leads directly to our pages. All or part of the Content may not be copied or otherwise used with written permission or as permitted by law. For additional terms look here.
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