- Mariana Sanches @mariana_sanches
- From BBC News Brazil in Washington
8 hours ago
Radical Trump supporters stormed the US Congress on January 6, 2021 to disrupt the certification of Democratelect Joe Biden.
A little over five months ahead of Brazil’s elections and without having an American ambassador in the country senior members of the Joe Biden administration and the United States Congress received a dossier this week detailing several Brazilian academics and civil society institutions and the US is urging Americans to remain vigilant about the 2022 election and to prioritize individual liberties and democracy over geopolitical and commercial interests in their diplomatic relations with the country.
“Bolsonaro is setting the conditions for a very volatile electoral environment and if he loses, the world should remember the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol and be prepared to witness a likely more extreme version of it in Brazil.” , said the 25page document accessed by BBC News Brasil.
The dossier points to similarities between Bolsonaro’s behavior and that of former US President Donald Trump in order to draw the US government’s attention. “Continuing with Trump’s 2020 rhetoric, Bolsonaro has already said he may not accept the results of the 2022 election, creating fertile ground for disinformation and extremist acts,” the document reads.
Trump, in turn, accused the American electoral system of fraud even before the election and filed multiple lawsuits against his defeat after the polls closed, trying to persuade political actors not to condone the results and urging supporters to demonstrate, ending with the invasion of the United States US Congress, an episode in which five people died.
The Brazilian president reiterated Trump’s unproven allegations of US election fraud and delayed official greetings to the Republican’s successor, Democrat Biden.
About 30 military tanks passed through the National Congress, the Supreme Court and the Planalto Palace while parliamentarians decided the printed vote at the election.
In Brazil, Bolsonaro championed printed elections and even sponsored a tank parade in Brasilia while Congress was deciding how the country’s vote in 2022 should take place, saying there could be “suspicion” in the electoral process.
Bolsonaro, who is running for election, is second in the polls so far, behind former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT).
“Bolsonaro is not concerned about the integrity of the elections and is trying to find a reason to contest the results even before the election takes place,” the report sent to Americans said.
The document was prepared by professors from the University of Miami, Brown University, University of Virginia, City University of New York (CUNY), among others, and was compiled by the Washington Brazil Office with support from organizations such as Greenpeace, the Brazilian Association of International Relations (ABRI ), Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), Article 19, Sou da Paz Institute, among others.
The text qualifies the Brazilian President’s September 7 speeches as “procoup rallies.” Bolsonaro even said at the time that he would no longer comply with the court decisions of one of the ministers of the Federal Court of Justice (STF), Alexandre de Moraes. The report also says that “Bolsonaro has emerged as a threat to Brazilian democracy” and that “institutions have never faced such a threat since redemocratization”.
Mentioning how Bolsonarista profiles circulated on the internet in 2018, a fake video that suggested the electronic voting machine converted the vote for Bolsonaro to Fernando Haddad (PT), the dossier mentions that the one initially posted by Flávio Bolsonaro Message was replicated by an old Democrat acquaintance, Youtuber Paul Joseph Watson of Infowars, one of the biggest spreaders of fake news in the 2016 and 2020 US presidential elections and supporter of Donald Trump.
“His (Bolsonaro’s) constant attacks on the elections should induce international governments to support Brazilian democracy,” said the document, which also highlighted the increase in deforestation rates in the current administration and the executive branch’s problematic relationship with minorities such as indigenous peoples mentioned . . .
The dossier was distributed to the White House and all US members of Congress at the same time that President Jair Bolsonaro once again raised doubts about the course of the elections in Brazil. At an event in the Palácio do Planalto this Wednesday (April 27), Bolsonaro suggested that the army should review the October elections again.
Rightwing extremists are calling for military intervention on Avenida Paulista during the September 7 demonstrations
“When the elections are over and the data arrives via the internet, there is a cable that feeds the TSE secret room. Can you believe that? Secret room where half a dozen technicians say, ‘That was the one who won’ little to the right because we also have a Bundeswehr computer to count the votes,” the president said. The Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) denies that there is a secret room like the one mentioned by the President.
Speaking at an event at a German university last weekend, STF minister and former TSE president Luís Roberto Barroso said: “There hasn’t been any fraud in Brazil since 1996. Elections absolutely clean, secure and verifiable. And now, will you intend to use the armed forces for an attack? I am kindly invited to participate in the (election) process, are you guided to attack the process and try to discredit it?”
Barroso’s statement was the subject of a memo by Defense Minister Paulo Sergio Nogueira de Oliveira, who described it as a “serious offence”.
Amid tensions between the powers, the TSE made requests to various international bodies in midApril to serve as an observer of Brazil’s election process this year. Guests include the European Union, the Organization of American States (OAS), the Carter Center, an organization founded by former US President Jimmy Carter, the Mercosur Parliament (Parlasul), the InterAmerican Union of Electoral Organizations (Uniore), the Internationale Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP).
The presence of international election observers is nothing new. Nevertheless, President Bolsonaro reacted with irritation to the initiative.
“People want to give (the elections) an air of legality by inviting international observers. Imagine an American, a Japanese, an Angolan, a Swede arrive here, what will they do? Suddenly the result comes out at night. What observation is this? What legality is that? How confident can he be that these elections happened?” Bolsonaro asked at an event at the Planalto Palace on Wednesday.
However, those responsible for the dossier advocate that the international audience, especially the American one, now turn their attention to Brazil. According to Paulo Abrão, former executive secretary of the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights and one of the directors of the Washington Brazil office responsible for preparing the dossier, some American lawmakers are discussing the possibility of setting up a formal group of “Friends of Brazil” to oversee the process .
“We urge the international community to look at Brazil itself and follow the process ahead of the election. The US voice supporting the outcome of an election is always very important to define the scenarios in the international community,” Abram told BBC News. Brazil.
The dossier was routed to Biden through some of his top advisers, such as national security adviser Jake Sullivan. BBC News Brasil has learned that Sullivan’s team has received the content and needs to evaluate it.
Other US government officials to whom the document was sent include Climate Ambassador John Kerry; Presidential Advisor for Latin America Juan Gonzalez; and Samantha Power, director of the USAID agency.
Sullivan and González visited Brazil last August. On that occasion, Gonzalez spoke publicly about Brazilian democracy in the face of Bolsonaro’s public criticism of the Brazilian electoral system.
“We expressed very directly our confidence in the ability of Brazilian institutions to hold free and clean elections, and we stressed the importance of not undermining trust in the electoral process, given that there was no evidence in previous elections that There is fraud,” he said at the time, Gonzalez, about the content of the conversation with Bolsonaro.
Credit, Getty Images
President Jair Bolsonaro with the Brazilian military
BBC News Brasil found among Democratic congressmen in the US House of Representatives an opportunity for a “factfinding visit” by some congressmen to Brasília in the second half of August to observe the Brazilian election process. The engagement of the US Congress will also be important to approve the name of Biden’s nominee for the US Embassy in Brazil, Elizabeth Bagley, before October, which is considered likely. This would give the US a permanent observer at the highest level on Brazilian territory.
This week, the US State Department sent a highlevel delegation to meet with the Itamaraty and other Brazilian authorities in the country. Asked at a press conference about the elections, the US authorities reiterated their confidence in the Brazilian institutions’ ability to conduct an election consistent with the decisions of the Brazilian people.
“The Biden administration will most likely not support either candidate. But in the event of an electionrelated crisis, I expect the current US administration to support democracy and democratic outcomes. the situation in Brazil, especially with regard to the elections, so that lawmakers can put pressure on the Biden administration to do the right thing if there is even a crisis in the Brazilian elections,” said Alexander Main, director of international policy , told BBC News Brasil of the Center for Economic and Policy Research think tank in Washington DC and one of the directors of the Washington Brazil office.
The Joe Biden administration has defended democracy as one of its main global banners and last December organized a meeting with more than a hundred countries to discuss the challenges facing democratic regimes around the world. Brazil was one of the guests.
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