World in View: Right-wing Brazilians storm the capitol

January 23, 2023

From the January-February 2023 issue of News & Letters

by Eugene Walker

Bolsonaro supporters tear the coat of arms off the Supreme Court building and then take it over

Just days after Lula da Silva had taken office as President, right-wing supporters of former President Bolsonaro stormed the Congress, Presidential Office and Supreme Court in Brasilia.

Taking a page from Trump supporters’ Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol, they are seeking to overthrow Lula’s new government and all the governmental institutions on the basis of false claims of electoral fraud. The demonstrators had been camped at military bases seeking the military’s support to overthrow the election results.


Though it appears that this would-be coup has failed, it is a sign of how difficult Lula’s new term in office could be. As opposed to a decade-plus earlier, the country is now deeply polarized: poverty has increased dramatically; the Amazon has undergone much destruction under Bolsonaro, with criminal elements and certain business interests seeking further devastation for profit. It may have reached an ecological tipping point.

The instability of the world economic situation will certainly affect Brazil’s economy during Lula’s term. Furthermore, Lula’s Workers’ Party has much to answer for in the corruption scandals of the previous period.

Meanwhile, aren’t we lucky to have Bolsonaro with us in Florida?!

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