Two days before his term was over, the far-right former Brazilian president flew from Brazil to Florida to challenge the Oct. 30 election that he lost to Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva. Bolsonaro, however, left behind a violent group of election-denying supporters who stormed Brazil’s presidential palace, Congress, and Supreme Court on Sunday.
Two years after watching Trump supporters invade the US Capitol, Democratic President Joe Biden now faces increasing pressure to expel Bolsonaro from suburban Orlando.
CNN’s Joaquin Castro, a Democratic Congressman, stated that Bolsonaro shouldn’t be in Florida. The United States should not provide refuge to this authoritarian, who incited domestic terrorism in Brazil. He should be returned to Brazil.
Castro said that Bolsonaro was a Trump acolyte who is now based in the former President’s home state and had “used Trump playbook to inspire domestic terrorists.”
Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, a Democratic Congresswoman, also shared these views.
She tweeted Sunday, “The US must stop granting refuge Bolsonaro Florida.” “Nearly 2 years after the attack on the U.S. Capitol by fascists in the USA, we now see that fascist movements elsewhere attempt to do the exact same thing in Brazil.”
These comments increase the pressure on Bolsonaro and highlight Washington’s major decision regarding his future.
Bolsonaro was in a fraught relationship with Biden and was already weaker back home in Brazil, after losing broad protections against prosecution when he resigned as president. According to Reuters, these probes could result in Bolsonaro’s arrest or bar him from running for office.
John Feeley was the U.S. Ambassador to Panama in 2016-2018, when the Central American nation sought to extradite its former President Ricardo Martinelli. He stated that the greatest threat to Bolsonaro’s life would be if his U.S. Visa were revoked.
Feeley stated that the United States, or any sovereign nation, could remove any foreigner for any reason. Feeley stated that it is a solely sovereign decision and no legal justification is needed.
A U.S. consular official spoke on condition of anonymity to say Bolsonaro almost certainly entered the country on an A-1 visa. These visas are reserved for heads-of-state.
The A-1 is usually canceled when the recipient leaves office. Bolsonaro had left Brazil to enter the United States, so the official suspects that his A-1 may still be active.
A former head of state has had his visas cancelled, and the official said that there is no time limit for how long someone can stay in America on an A-1.
The official stated, “We are in uncharted territory.” “Who knows how much longer he will stay?”
A spokesperson for the State Department stated that visa records are confidential under U.S. Law and therefore cannot be discussed in detail about individual visa cases.
Bolsonaro might not be in a hurry to return home to Brazil where he is charged with instigating violent electoral denial movements and making baseless claims about electoral fraud.
Lula, who had pledged to pursue Bolsonaro during his Jan. 1, inauguration speech, blamed his predecessor Sunday for the invasion.
Lula stated that “This genocidist… encourages this via social media form Miami.” “Everybody is aware that there are many speeches by the ex-president encouraging such.”
Bolsonaro, in a Twitter message on Sunday, denied Lula’s allegations and stated that the invasion had crossed the line into peaceful protest.
Bolsonaro was already being investigated in four criminal investigations by the Supreme Court before he was elected president.
Legal experts believe he could be the victim of a Supreme Court investigation by Justice Alexandre de Moraes into anti-democratic protests. This probe has already led to several arrests.
If Moraes signed an arrest warrant for Bolsonaro while he was in the United States of America, the former president would technically have to fly back to Brazil to surrender to police. Brazil could issue an Interpol Red Notice to order his arrest by U.S. Federal Agents if he refuses.
Brazil would have to request his extradition if he is detained on American soil. Bolsonaro could appeal to the U.S. courts or seek asylum. However, this would not guarantee his return to Brazil.
Three years after Panama’s Supreme Court issued an arrest warrant, Martinelli, a former Panamanian president was extradited by the United States to Panama.