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The United States government on Sunday expressed its strong support for Brazil’s democratic institutions, adding that violence “is always unacceptable” in response to the invasion by followers of former President Jair Bolsonaro of the South American country’s Planalto Palace, the seat of the executive branch, National Congress and Supreme Court.
After four-and-a-half hours, Brazilian security forces managed to regain control of the seats of the three government branches after firing tear gas and deploying anti-riot teams against the occupiers, but earlier many leaders from around the world expressed support for the Brazilian administration of Luia Inacio Lula da Silva.
President Joe Biden is “following the situation closely” from El Paso, Texas, where he traveled to be briefed firsthand on the border crisis involving a wave of illegal migrants, White House National Security Jake Sullivan said on his official Twitter account.
“The United States condemns any effort to undermine democracy in Brazil. President Biden is following the situation closely and our support for Brazil’s democratic institutions is unwavering. Brazil’s democracy will not be shaken by violence,” said Sullivan.
Biden tweeted: “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.”
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken released a similar statement on the social networks, censuring the attacks on Brazil’s democratic institutions.
“We condemn the attacks on Brazil’s Presidency, Congress, and Supreme Court today. Using violence to attack democratic institutions is always unacceptable. We join @lulaoficial in urging an immediate end to these actions,” Blinken said in his message of support, the hashtag reference being to Brazil’s recently inaugurated leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Meanwhile, Lula, who is in the interior of Sao Paulo state to examine damage from flooding there on Sunday, said that the “fascist vandals” who invaded the headquarters of Brazil’s three branches of government would be “found” and “punished.”
He called the serious clashes in Brasilia between ultrarightist radicals who do not acknowledge his election win last year and security forces as “barbarous.”
Brazil’s extreme right, ever since Bolsonaro’s loss to Lula in the presidential runoff election last October, has been demanding a military “intervention” initially to prevent his inauguration on Jan. 1 and, now, to remove him from office.
Bolsonaro, meanwhile, flew to Florida in late December, where he apparently remains.
Images posted on the social networks and broadcast by media outlets brought to mind the violence at the US Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, when enraged supporters of then-President Donald Trump invaded the Capitol building in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s election win the previous November.
Over the course of the afternoon, numerous other nations expressed backing for Brazil’s democracy and for Lula himself, with France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Cuba, Costa Rica, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Bolivia, Venezuela, Uruguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Argentina and Peru, among others, weighing in with messages of support and condemnation of the anti-democratic actions of – and violence perpetrated – by Bolsonaro’s supporters.