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World leaders express support for Brazil’s ‘democratic institutions’ following protest

Leaders indignant at 'assault on democracy' include Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro

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January 09, 2023


10:03 AM

World leaders express support for Brazil’s ‘democratic institutions’ following protest

A chorus of world leaders Sunday rushed to express support for Brazil’s authoritarian government following a mass protest in which thousands of demonstrators broke into the presidential office, Supreme Court, and Congress. 

The demonstrators overran security barriers and climbed roofs in protest against what many believe was a stolen election on behalf of convicted criminal Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Lula, who previously spent 580 days in prison for corruption. He beat Right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro with 50.7% of the vote in October, the narrowest margin in the country’s history. 

Protests have been spreading throughout Brazil since early November after audits of Brazil’s voting machines found significant irregularities. 

During Sunday’s protest demonstrators were seen holding signs saying, “We want the source code,” referring to the voting machines’ source codes which have yet to undergo a public audit.

Shortly after the protests began, Supreme Court Justice and Superior Electoral Court (TSE) President Alexandre de Moraes announced a crackdown on those questioning the election results. 

The judge, Lula's political ally, decreed that those who challenge the integrity of October’s contested presidential election will be treated as criminals. Moraes made good on his word by jailing and fining some who questioned the election results, as well as banning Right-wing officials from social media. Last month, a popular comedy duo who spoke out against Lula and denounced Moraes was forced to flee Brazil after learning that Moraes had ordered their arrest, though no official reason was disclosed. 

Recently, Moraes drew on the Biden administration’s response to January 6th to justify fining and arresting more allies of outgoing Right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro. 

In November, Brazil Superior Court of Justice Minister Luis Felipe Salomão signed an order allowing Child Services to confiscate protesters’ children. 

Lula himself vowed to make those who questioned the COVID-19 shots “apologize” and promised to confront Evangelical churches over their stances on the injections. If they do not support the COVID-19 vaccine, they will be held “responsible for people’s deaths”. 

Nevertheless, world leaders chimed in to express support for Brazil’s “democratic institutions” and condemn Sunday’s protesters. These leaders included Venezuelan totalitarian dictator Nicolás Maduro, who is wanted for narcoterrorism in the US. The Justice Department is currently offering a $15 million reward for information leading to Maduro’s arrest and/or capture.  

“We categorically reject the violence generated by Bolsonaro’s neo-fascist groups which have assaulted Brazil’s democratic institutions,” said Maduro, who remains close allies with Lula. “Our support [is] for [Lula] and the Brazilian people who will surely mobilize in defense of peace and their president.” 

Other leaders echoed the autocrat.

Joe Biden: 

“I condemn the assault on democracy and on the peaceful transfer of power in Brazil. Brazil’s democratic institutions have our full support and the will of the Brazilian people must not be undermined. I look forward to continuing to work with [Lula].” 

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: 

“Respecting the democratic will of the people is paramount in any democracy – including Brazil. Canada strongly condemns the violent behaviour on display there today, and we reaffirm our support for President [Lula] and Brazil’s democratic institutions.” 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken: 

“We condemn the attacks on Brazil's Presidency, Congress, and Supreme Court today. Using violence to attack democratic institutions is always unacceptable. We join [Lula] in urging an immediate end to these actions.” 

Former President Bill Clinton: 

“I join in condemning today’s assault on Brazil’s democratic institutions. It is crucial that the peaceful transition of power is upheld and the will of the people respected.” 

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres: 

“I condemn today’s assault on Brazil’s democratic institutions. The will of the Brazilian people and the country’s institutions must be respected. I am confident that it will be so. Brazil is a great democratic country.” 

French President Emmanuel Macron: 

“The will of the Brazilian people and the democratic institutions must be respected! President [Lula] can count on France’s unwavering support.” 

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola: 

“Deeply concerned about what is happening at Brazil. Democracy must always be respected. The European Parliament is on the side of the Lula government and all legitimate and democratically elected institutions.” 

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