President Joe Biden was joined by the leaders of Canada and Mexico in condemning ‘attacks’ on democracy itself in Brazil after supporters of ousted President Jair Bolsonaro stormed government buildings.
Their statement, issued in Mexico City, came after the military and police in Brazil cleared out a camp that Bolsonaro supporters had established across from the Army headquarters, after emptying seized buildings and making hundreds of arrests following violent clashes on Sunday.
‘Canada, Mexico, and the United States condemn the January 8 attacks on Brazil’s democracy and on the peaceful transfer of power,’ the leaders said.
‘We stand with Brazil as it safeguards its democratic institutions. Our governments support the free will of the people of Brazil. We look forward to working with President Lula on delivering for our countries, the Western Hemisphere, and beyond,’ they said.
President Joe Biden, left, walks with Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, joined by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, condemned the attack on key government buildings by supporters of ousted Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro
The statement came hours before Biden, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are set to meet at the National Palace in Mexico City for a welcome ceremony.
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Monday expressed confidence in the resilience of Brazil’s democracy after the events.
‘We have expressed confidence because we believe it that the democratic institutions of Brazil will hold. The will of the people in Brazil will be respected. The freely-elected leader of Brazil will govern Brazil and will not be deterred, or knocked off course by the actions of these people who have assaulted the instruments of governance in Brasilia, including Congress, the presidential palace in the Supreme Court. So we think Brazilian democracy is resilient, strong and will come through this,’ he said.
Sullivan said the administration had no direct knowledge of Bolsonaro’s whereabouts or other status, following online posts of his doings in Florida.
‘We’re not, as far as I know, in direct contact with Bolsonaro. So, I can’t speak definitively about his whereabouts,’ Sullivan said.
He said the U.S. had not received any ‘official requests,’ and said there were restrictions on speaking about visa matters. He also indicated a Biden call with Lula was in the works, but gave no immediate time frame.
Mounted police watch as supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro depart their encampment outside army headquarters in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, Jan. 9, 2023.
President Joe Biden condemned the ‘outrageous’ attack on Brazil’s governmental buildings, after supporters of ousted President Bolsonaro ransacked the Congress and presidential palace
The joint statement came after Biden on Sunday condemned the ‘assault on democracy’ in Brazil, calling the situation ‘outrageous’ after supporters of far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro attacked the country’s Congress, presidential palace and Supreme Court.
Biden made his comments during a three hour visit to El Paso, Texas, just before he was due to fly to Mexico City for a summit of North American leaders.
He later 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. I look forward to continuing to work with @Lulaoficial’ – Lula’s Twitter handle.
His remarks came after National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan tweeted: ‘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.’
Police and protestors are clashing in the streets outside of the government buildings after weeks of anger towards newly inaugurated President da Silva
Protesters smashed their way into the buildings, smashing windows as they forced their way into the Congress building, the Supreme Court and presidential palace
President da Silva – said there was ‘no precedent in the history of our country’ and called the violence the ‘acts of vandals and fascists’. He is currently on an official state trip in São Paulo
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio da Silva, who was traveling in Sao Paolo as news of the violence emerged, has branded protestors who stormed Congress as ‘vandals and fascists’ – with the scenes being similar to that of Trump supporters January 6 take-over.
He announced a federal security intervention for the Brazilian capital until the end of the month.
‘These vandals, who we could call fanatical Nazis, fanatical Stalinists … fanatical fascists, did what has never been done in the history of this country,’ said Lula, defeated Bolsonaro in an election last year.
‘All these people who did this will be found and they will be punished.’
The left-wing veteran known as ‘Lula’ has only been in power for a week, after being inaugurated a week ago as supporters of the former president claim the election was stolen.
Footage from the scenes strike an eerie similarity to those who stormed the Capitol building on January 6th after claims from former President Trump that the election was stolen.
After Lula’s win, Biden issued a statement that called his win free and fair, amid Bolsonaro’s repeated attacks on its integrity, although Bolsonaro ultimately yielded.
‘I send my congratulations to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on his election to be the next president of Brazil following free, fair, and credible elections. I look forward to working together to continue the cooperation between our two countries in the months and years ahead,’ Biden said at the time.