Wednesday, Apr 24, 2024

Brazil’s Bolsonaro leads massive Independence Day rallies

Brazil’s Bolsonaro leads massive Independence Day rallies

Far-right leader delivers fiery speeches to tens of thousands of supporters as tensions rise ahead of divisive election.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has rallied alongside tens of thousands of his supporters at a military parade in the country’s capital, brushing off criticism that the far-right leader is using the Independence Day festivities to bolster his re-election bid.

Brazil remains tense just weeks ahead of the October 2 vote, which most opinion polls have shown will see Bolsonaro defeated by his rival, former left-wing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

After taking in a giant procession of soldiers, tanks and tractors down the Esplanade of Ministries in Brasilia on Wednesday, Bolsonaro gave a fiery speech to a sea of green-and-yellow-clad supporters.

“Our battle is a fight between good and evil,” the former army captain told the crowd, amid cries of “Lula, you thief” and banners calling for military intervention in Brazil’s Supreme Court.

In recent months, Bolsonaro has repeatedly taken aim at leading Supreme Court justices and alleged – without providing any evidence – that Brazil’s electronic voting system is vulnerable to widespread fraud.

A massive procession of soldiers, tanks and tractors made its way down the Esplanade of Ministries in Brasilia

Legal experts have rejected that allegation, while the president’s critics accuse him of sowing doubt ahead of the election in order to dispute the results, as was done by former US President Donald Trump, whom Bolsonaro has emulated.

“Bolsonaro, activate the military to depose the Supreme Court,” said one banner in Brasilia, carried by 64-year-old supporter Suely Ferreira. “Our country is being ruined by the [high] court’s dictatorship,” she told the AFP news agency.

“We love our president. Everyone I know supports him. He’s going to win. There’s no way he could lose.”

The president’s attacks on the voting system have stirred calls for a military coup from some of his more radical backers, fuelling concerns that the South American nation could see election-related violence.

“Bolsonaro and his supporters have built this up into the most important day of the whole campaign. So he’ll have to deliver some kind of red meat,” said Brian Winter, vice president for policy at the Americas Society/Council of the Americas.

“But everyone wants to know if he’ll cross that line and create a genuine institutional crisis.”

During his speech in Brasilia, Bolsonaro also denounced polls from leading public opinion institute Datafolha – whose latest shows him trailing Lula 45 percent to 32 percent – as “a lie”.

Lula, who has urged Brazilians to support him at the polls in order to “build an alternative path to the incompetence and authoritarianism that govern us”, apparently plans to keep a low profile on Wednesday.

Tens of thousands of Bolsonaro supporters turned out for an Independence Day rally in Brasilia

The former president, who led Brazil from 2003 to 2010, has rallies scheduled for Thursday and a meeting with Evangelicals, a key voting bloc, on Friday.

But he did take to Twitter to accuse Bolsonaro of hijacking the bicentennial festivities. “September 7 should be a day of love and unity for Brazil. Unfortunately, that’s not what’s happening today,” Lula wrote. “But I have faith Brazil will reclaim its flag, its sovereignty and its democracy.”

Meanwhile, Bolsonaro went later on Wednesday to Rio de Janeiro, where his backers flooded the avenue along the city’s iconic Copacabana beach as throngs prepared massive motorcycle and jet-ski processions.

The Bolsonaro camp has been highly active on social networks, urging supporters to turn out en masse for the day.

“President Jair Bolsonaro literally moved heaven and earth today … He’s trying to show his force and his popularity on the streets,” Al Jazeera’s Monica Yanakiew reported from Rio.

In contrast, the other presidential candidates have not wanted to transform “what is supposed to be a national celebration into a partisan event” – something they criticised Bolsonaro for, Yanakiew said. “But for Bolsonaro, it’s very important because he is still trailing behind Lula by two digits.”

Experts say political tensions are rising in Brazil ahead of the October 2 vote

On Independence Day last year, Bolsonaro also struck a defiant tone, saying that “only God” could remove him from office. “Only God will take me out of Brasilia,” he told a crowd of more than 100,000 supporters in Sao Paulo.

Bolsonaro’s congressman son Eduardo raised eyebrows on Twitter on Monday by calling on Brazilians “who have legally purchased guns” – a contingent his father has sought to expand with aggressive gun-control rollbacks – to enlist as “volunteers for Bolsonaro”.

Such comments have added to the fears of violence.

“September 7 will be politicised by definition this year, coming in the home stretch of the campaign,” political scientist Paulo Baia of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) told AFP. “It will be tense and potentially violent.”


Related Articles

Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
The President of Argentina Javier Mile does not fly private, he flies commercial, with the citizens he represents. And they LOVE him for it.
Bitcoin Reaches $50,000 for First Time in Over Two Years
Belo Horizonte: Brazil's Rising Carnival Hotspot for 2024
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Tucker’s interview with Putin is over 50M views on X within the first 5 hours.
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
President Nayib Bukele has proudly announced El Salvador's remarkable achievement of becoming the safest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Dies in Helicopter Crash
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
Facebook turns 20: From Mark Zuckerberg's dormitory to a $1trn company
The Coolest Dictator in the World" on the Path to Victory in El Salvador
Macron, France and fake news
Indian-Origin Man 'King' Arrested For Smuggling $16 Million Drugs Into US
Can someone teach Americans that not every person with slanted eyes is Chinese?
Europe's Farmers Feeding the People, Protesting Against Politicians Who Do Nothing for Their Country and Serve Only Themselves at Taxpayers' Expense
Paris Restaurant That Inspired 'Ratatouille' Loses $1.6 Million Worth Of Wine
Brazilian Police Investigate Bolsonaro's Son for Alleged Illegal Spying
Police in Brazil Raid Residence of Bolsonaro Associate Over Allegations of Illegal Spying
Border Dispute Escalates as Texas Governor Vows Increased Razor Wire
OpenAI Enhances ChatGPT-4 Model, Potentially Addressing AI "Laziness" Issue
The NSA finally acknowledges spying on Americans by acquiring sensitive data
Report Reveals Toxic Telegram Group Generating X-Rated AI-Generated Fake Images of Taylor Swift
US Border Patrol States 'No Plans' to Remove Razor Wire Installed in Texas
Bitcoin Experiences Approximately 20% Decline in Value
Klaus Schwab recently appointed himself as the Earth's "trustee of the future."
DeSantis Drops Out, Endorses Trump.
Nikki Haley said former President Trump is "just not at the same level" of mental fitness as he was while president in 2016.
Residents of a southern Mexican town set the government palace on fire in response to the police killing of a young man
Samsung Launches AI-Driven Galaxy S24, Ushering in New Smartphone Era
Judge Questions SEC's Regulatory Overreach in Coinbase Lawsuit
The Ecuador prosecutor who was investigating the television studio attack, has been assassinated.
Is artificial intelligence the solution to cyber security threats?
Vivek Ramaswamy suspends his US election campaign and endorses Trump.
Viral Satire: A Staged Satirical Clip Mistaken as Real Footage from the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos
The AI Revolution in the Workforce: CEOs at Davos Predict Major Job Cuts in 2024
Ecuador Reports 178 Hostages in Prison Gang Standoff
The Startling Cuban Espionage Case That Has Rattled the US Government
Two Armed Men in Ecuador, Dressed as Batman and The Joker Storm the Streets.
Armed Gang Raids Ecuadorian TV Station Following State of Emergency Declaration
Anti-Democratic Canada: Journalist Arrested for Questioning Canadian Finance Minister on Support of Terrorist Group
Ecuador's 'Most-Wanted' Criminal Vanishes from Prison
Mexican Cartel Supplied Wi-Fi to Locals Under Threat of Fatal Consequences for Non-Compliance
Border Surge Leads to Over 11,000 Migrants Waiting in Northern Mexico
Outsider Candidates Triumph in Latin American Elections
As Argentina Goes to the Polls, Will the Proposal to Replace the Peso with the Dollar Secure Votes?
Fatal Shark Attack Claims Life of Boston Woman Paddleboarding Near Bahamas Resort, According to Police