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Sat. May 18th, 2024

Brazil’s former president Jair Bolsonaro has announced plans for a large-scale rally on Rio’s iconic Copacabana beach later this month, aiming to showcase the breadth of his support as he faces mounting legal challenges.

Bolsonaro’s call for the April 21 gathering follows a significant assembly in Sao Paulo in February, reportedly drawing around 185,000 attendees. In a video shared across his social media platforms, Bolsonaro expressed intentions to echo the momentum from the Sao Paulo event and address issues concerning democracy and the rule of law.

Authorities in Brazil are currently probing allegations of a “coup attempt” allegedly orchestrated by the ex-far-right leader to prevent his 2022 election rival and current President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from assuming office in January 2023. This investigation led to the confiscation of Bolsonaro’s passport on February 8. Additionally, Bolsonaro has already faced repercussions, including an eight-year ban from holding public office, for baselessly disparaging Brazil’s electoral system ahead of the 2022 elections. Furthermore, federal police recently recommended charging him for falsifying Covid-19 vaccination records.

Despite mounting legal troubles, Bolsonaro’s camp maintains a defiant stance. Following reports of Bolsonaro’s two-day stay at the Hungarian embassy in Brasilia in February, his legal representatives refuted claims of seeking refuge from legal scrutiny, asserting that the visit was merely a diplomatic engagement with Hungary, led by fellow far-right leader Viktor Orban. Bolsonaro, echoing sentiments similar to those of former U.S. President Donald Trump, adamantly denies all accusations, portraying himself as a victim of unjust persecution.

Similar to Trump’s enduring support base in America, Bolsonaro, aged 69, has sustained a loyal following in Brazil’s deeply polarized political landscape, despite facing a growing number of allegations and investigations. The upcoming rally in Rio aims to bolster Bolsonaro’s image and rally his supporters amid a backdrop of legal turmoil and political volatility. As tensions escalate and legal battles intensify, Brazil remains captivated by the unfolding saga surrounding its former president.

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