US ‘must cease granting refuge’ to Bolsonaro


WASHINGTON (THE HILL) — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) joined other lawmakers in calling for former Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, whose supporters stormed Brazilian governmental offices Sunday, to not be allowed to stay in Florida.

“Nearly 2 years to the day the US Capitol was attacked by fascists, we see fascist movements abroad attempt to do the same in Brazil,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a tweet. “We must stand in solidarity with @LulaOficial’s democratically elected government. The US must cease granting refuge to Bolsonaro in Florida.”

Bolsonaro fled to Florida last month as he faced multiple investigations from his time in office, according to The New York Times. Bolsonaro, who lost his bid for reelection in October, did not completely concede to the newly elected Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

In Brazil’s capital Brasilia, thousands of Bolsonaro’s supporters invaded the Brazilian Congress building, the Supreme Court, and the presidential palace. At least 1,200 rioters have been detained in relation to the protests in the capital, according to the Times.

Many U.S. lawmakers compared the violence at Brazil’s government buildings to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol two years ago. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) said Bolsonaro took a page out of the “Trump playbook.”

“Bolsonaro was an authoritarian leader, and I stand with the democratically elected leadership in Brazil,” he said to CNN’s Jim Acosta. “He basically used the Trump playbook to inspire domestic terrorists to try to take over the government.”

Castro also called on the Biden administration and local Florida authorities to send Bolsonaro back to his home country, saying that the U.S. should not be a “refuge” for him. “Bolsonaro should not be in Florida,” he added. “The United States should not be a refuge for this authoritarian, who has inspired domestic terrorism in Brazil. He should be sent back to Brazil.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) also demanded that the U.S. not allow Bolsonaro to stay in the country. “Democracies around the world must stand united to condemn this attack on democracy,” Omar said on Twitter. “Bolsonaro should not be given refuge in Florida.”

“Two days ago, we marked the 2-year anniversary of the 6th insurrection,” Takano tweeted. “Anti-democratic violence in Brazil today is a sobering reminder of the dangerous fascist movements growing across the world. Jair Bolsonaro should not be allowed refuge in the US.”

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