Fears are growing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is about to unleash a military coup – .

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Fears are growing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is about to unleash a military coup – .


Global signatories of open letter compare Tuesday’s nationalist rallies to Trump supporters’ ‘Stop the robbery’ attack on US Capitol

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Global signatories of open letter warn Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is preparing to unleash a military coup to retain power, modeled after Donald Trump’s insurgent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6 2020.

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More than 150 former presidents, prime ministers and left-wing public figures said rallies organized by Bolsonaro supporters against the country’s Supreme Court and Congress on Tuesday “fuel fears of a coup in the third largest democracy of the world ”.

Bolsonaro’s supporters include white supremacist groups, military police and officials at all levels of government, according to the group, which includes Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek finance minister, Jeremy Corbyn, the former British Labor leader, Fernando Lugo, the former Paraguayan president. , Caroline Lucas, British Green MP, and Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Argentinian Nobel Prize winner and human rights activist.

“Members of Congress in Brazil warned that the September 7 mobilization was modeled on the insurgency at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, when then President Donald Trump urged his supporters to” stop the theft “with false allegations of electoral fraud in the 2020 presidential elections.”

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Brazil prepared on Monday for independence day protests by far-right supporters Bolsonaro, who called for support for his attacks on the country’s Supreme Court that are shaking America’s largest democracy Latin.

Security has been stepped up in the capital Brasilia and police have started blocking access to the shopping center where thousands of people are expected on Tuesday, supporting Bolsonaro in his clash with justice over changes to Brazil’s voting system. .

Bolsonaro urged Brazilians to come out in force on Tuesday to show support for his government. This promises to be an all or nothing gauge of his re-election chances that prepares Brazil for possible clashes.

Brazil’s banking and industrial groups have called for calm, as Supreme Court judge Ricardo Lewandowski wrote a newspaper article stressing that any action against constitutional order by armed groups, civilian or military, constitutes a crime. . The Senate Speaker canceled his participation in an event in Austria to monitor the protests.

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The court authorized investigations into Bolsonaro’s allies for allegedly attacking democratic institutions in Brazil with online disinformation. He called the court-ordered investigations a violation of freedom of expression rights.

Congress and the courts have also resisted Bolsonaro’s attempt to introduce paper voting receipts as a safeguard for an electronic voting system, which he says is vulnerable to fraud. The electoral tribunal maintains that the system is transparent and secure.

Critics of Bolsonaro say he is casting doubt on him so he can challenge next year’s election results, which opinion polls now show he is losing to former leftist president Luiz Inacio Lula by Silva. Neither of them confirmed their candidacy.

Bolsonaro sees September 7 – Brazil’s Independence Day – as an opportunity to rally his base and demonstrate that he retains the support of a large number of voters, according to four people who have access to the president and his sons. It’s a chance to show that he’s not alone in tackling the country’s biggest challenges, the people said.

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Onyx Lorenzoni, Brazilian Minister of Labor, speaks during an interview with the Ministry of Labor in Brasilia, Brazil, Thursday, September 2, 2021. Photo by Gustavo Minas / Bloomberg

One of Bolsonaro’s family relatives said the president’s goal was to prevent further erosion of his base. Even though his approval rating has reached a low of 20%, the Bolsonaro family believe he still has the grassroots support that would allow him to qualify for a second round against Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the former president who leads the polls for the 2022 poll.

“Sept. 7 will be an important step in the renewal of hope in Brazil because Bolsonaro is loved, followed and supported by the population,” said Labor Minister Onyx Lorenzoni, one of the cabinet members closest to the president, in an interview. “There is no president in the world today more popular than him. “

Bolsonaro may be “unbreakable”, as Lorenzoni said, but his bet could still turn against him: a low participation would be an embarrassment for the president at a time when his troubles are increasing. Inflation is skyrocketing, support from corporate and agribusiness lobbies is waning, a water crisis has raised energy bills for Brazilians, gas prices have skyrocketed and an investigation into its management The erratic pandemic continues to uncover nuggets of scandal.

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In such a turbulent context, Bolsonaro used innuendo of democratic disruption to inflame his loyalists and attack the country’s institutions, especially the Supreme Court. Insinuations of doubt about the impartiality of the electoral system through which he came to power became one of the rallying points for Tuesday’s protests.

These efforts have heightened the apprehension of local political authorities across the country, who fear that Latin America’s largest economy could become the scene of violent clashes.

A supporter of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro marches with a flag during a protest outside the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, September 6, 2021.
A supporter of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro marches with a flag during a protest outside the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, September 6, 2021. Photo by REUTERS/Adriano Machado

The president’s ambivalent rhetoric has done nothing to allay these concerns. Last week, he said the presidential election would result in either his victory, arrest, or death.

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“No one needs to be afraid on September 7,” he said Thursday during a speech at the presidential palace, adding that force cannot be used to instigate aggression. Then on Friday, he said the message from those on the streets will serve as an “ultimatum” to two Supreme Court justices he criticized.

“Realize that you are both on the wrong track,” he said, without naming the judges. If anyone wants to play outside the Constitution, he added, “we’ll show that we can play too.”

The presidency did not respond to a request for comment.

Lawmakers, judges and even members of his cabinet say they will be watching Bolsonaro to see how far he is willing to go to worsen the political crisis in the country, with Tuesday’s protests being an important indicator of sentiment.

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“The protests are a spasm of a desperate, unpopular, incompetent and cornered government,” said Alessandro Molon, the opposition leader in the lower house. While referring to Bolsonaro’s call to take to the streets as “one more step towards authoritarian escalation,” he said that unlike 1964, when the military took control, “today he there is no support for a coup in Brazil ”.

Bolsonaro will organize a refined ceremony in the first hour in Brasilia in front of the official residence of the presidency. The traditional military parade has been suspended due to the pandemic.

The president said he would then take part in a protest in the capital. The local government said it expected 16 separate groups in the city center – 13 in favor of the president and 3 against – increasing the risk of confrontation. Some 5,000 police officers will be present.

Later today, Bolsonaro will travel to Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, for another protest.

The Supreme Court “remains attentive and vigilant on September 7 in favor of Brazilian democracy,” Chief Justice Luiz Fux said in a speech last week.

© 2021 Bloomberg LP

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