Many Democrats are calling for former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to be removed from his Florida getaway after thousands of his supporters attacked the Brazilian Capitol, Presidential Palace and Supreme Court on Sunday.
Bolsonaro offered meager criticism of the riots Sunday evening and denied any involvement in inciting them. Democrats have compared the attack to the pro-Trump storming of the U.S. Capitol in January 2021. Like former President Donald Trump, Bolsonaro refused to concede to Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and did not attend his inauguration.
‘Two years ago out Capitol was attacked by fanatics, now we are watching it happen in Brazil,’ Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., tweeted Sunday ‘Solidarity with [President] Lula and the Brazilian people. Democracies around the world must stand united to condemn this attack on democracy.’
‘Bolsonaro should not be given refuge in Florida,’ she added.
Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, and Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, echoed the call.
‘The U.S. must cease granting refuge to Bolsonaro in Florida,’ Ocasio-Cortez wrote.
Castro also called for Bolsonaro to be extradited to Brazil during an appearance on CNN. Omar’s office did not immediately respond when asked whether she supported such a move.
The rioters, dressed widely in green and yellow, ransacked the insides of the three government buildings, breaking windows and overturning the massive table where the country’s Supreme Court convenes.
Images from Sunday’s attack show throngs of people storming into the buildings and milling about on the grass outside.
Brazilian authorities were able to retake control of the government buildings by Sunday evening. Brazilian media reported that as many as 1,200 pro-Bolsonaro protesters had been arrested and were being detained at the Brazilian Army headquarters near the capital.
President Biden offered his own condemnation of the attack Sunday evening.
‘I condemn the assault on democracy and on the peaceful transfer of power in Brazil,’ Biden wrote on Twitter. ‘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 President Lula.’
President Lula has vowed consequences for the rioters. He stated that there was ‘no precedent in the history of our country’ for the attack on the capital, deriding the riots as ‘acts of vandals and fascists.’
Lula also accused the local security forces of acting in ‘bad faith or malice’ for mishandling the riots.
‘You will see in the images that [police officers] are guiding people on the walk to Praca dos Tres Powers,’ Lula said in a conference. ‘We are going to find out who the financiers of these vandals who went to Brasilia are, and they will all pay with the force of law.’