‘Lula is not alone’: World reacts to Brazil invasion

Supporters of Brazil’s far-right ex-President Jair Bolsonaro broke through police barricades and stormed key government buildings, including the presidential palace.

A man with a Brazilian flag around his shoulders throws something towards riot police in Brasilia, Brazil, as Bolsonaro supporters storm key institutions. There is tear gas smoke around them.
Supporters of Brazilian former President Jair Bolsonaro clash with riot police at the presidential palace in Brasilia, Brazil [Sergio Lima/AFP]

Supporters of Brazil’s far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro have stormed the country’s Supreme Court and its Congressional building and surrounded the presidential palace in the capital Brasilia.

The invasions on Sunday were an uncomfortable echo of January 6, 2021, when supporters of former United States President Donald Trump, who like Bolsonaro’s supporters, claimed without evidence that the presidential election had been “stolen” and launched an assault on the Capitol in Washington, DC.

Here are reactions from world leaders and top officials:

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

“I condemn today’s assault on Brazil’s democratic institutions. The will of the Brazilian people and the country’s institutions must be respected. I am confident that it will be so. Brazil is a great democratic country.”

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador

“The coup attempt by the Brazilian conservatives urged on by the leadership of oligarchic power, their spokespersons and fanatics, is reprehensible and undemocratic. Lula is not alone, he has the support of the progressive forces of his country, Mexico, the American continent and the world.”

Organization of American States Secretary General Luis Almagro

“We condemn the attack on the institutions in Brasilia, which constitutes a reprehensible action and a direct attack on democracy. These actions are inexcusable and fascist in nature.”

Chilean President Gabriel Boric

“The Brazilian government has our full support in the face of this cowardly and vile attack on democracy.”

Colombian President Gustavo Petro

“All my solidarity to @LulaOficial and the people of Brazil. Fascism has decided to stage a coup. … It is urgent for the OAS (Organization of American States) to meet if it wants to continue to live as an institution.”

Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez

“I want to express my rejection of what is happening in Brasilia. Mine and the Argentine people’s unconditional support for @LulaOficial in the face of this attempted coup he is facing.”

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

“We categorically reject the violence generated by Bolsonaro’s neo-fascist groups which have assaulted Brazil’s democratic institutions. Our support for @LulaOficial and the Brazilian people who will surely mobilize in defense of peace and their president.”

Uruguay’s Foreign Ministry

“Uruguay condemns the episodes of violence against the institutions in Brazil and calls for respect for the rule of law, democracy and its government.”

Peru’s Foreign Ministry

“The government of Peru energetically condemns the assault on the headquarters of congress, the presidency and the supreme court of Brazil and any attempt to disregard the legitimacy of the October 2022 elections. Our solidarity with President Lula and Brazilian democracy.”

Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso

“I condemn the actions of disrespect and vandalism perpetrated against democratic institutions in Brasilia, they attack democratic order and citizen security. I express my and my government’s backing for the legal regime of @LulaOficial.”

Bolivian President Luis Arce

“We strongly condemn the assault on the Brazilian Congress, Palace and Supreme Court by anti-democratic groups. Fascists will always seek to take by force what they failed to achieve at the ballot box. Our solidarity with the Brazilian people and the president @LulaOficial.”

Paraguayan President Marito Abdo Benitez

“We are concerned about what is happening in Brazil. The path should always be respect for institutions, democracy, freedom and non-violence.”

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel

“We energetically condemn the violent and undemocratic acts in Brazil aimed at creating chaos and disrespecting the popular will which resulted in the election of President Lula.”

US President Joe Biden

“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.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

“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.”

US House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries

“The violent attack on the heart of the Brazilian government by right-wing extremists is a sad but familiar sight. We stand with the people of Brazil and democracy.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

“Respecting the democratic will of the people is paramount in any democracy — including Brazil. Canada strongly condemns the violent behaviour on display there today, and we reaffirm our support for President @LulaOficial and Brazil’s democratic institutions.”

European Union Policy Chief Josep Borrell

“Appalled by the acts of violence and illegal occupation of Brasilia’s government quarter by violent extremists today. Full support to Lula and his government, to Congress and to the Federal Supreme Court. Brazilian democracy will prevail over violence and extremism.”

Portuguese Foreign Minister Joao Gomes Cravinho

“Without a doubt, former president Bolsonaro has responsibility. His voice is heard by these anti-democratic demonstrators. It would be very important if he had a message of condemnation in the face of the disorder that is currently happening in Brasilia.”

French President Emmanuel Macron

“The will of the Brazilian people and the democratic institutions must be respected! President @LulaOficial can count on France’s unwavering support.”

China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin

“China closely follows and firmly opposes the violent attack on the federal authority in Brazil on January 8 … [Beijing] supports the measures taken by the Brazilian government to calm the situation, restore social order and safeguard national stability”.

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly

“The violent attempts to undermine democracy in Brazil are unjustifiable. President @LulaOficial and the government of Brazil have the full support of the UK.”

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola

“Deeply concerned about what is happening at Brazil. Democracy must always be respected. The European Parliament is on the side of the Lula government and all legitimate and democratically elected institutions.”

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni

“What is happening in Brazil cannot leave us indifferent. The images of the irruption into institutional offices are unacceptable and incompatible with any form of democratic dissent. A return to normality is urgently needed and we express solidarity with Brazilian institutions.”

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez

“All my support to President @LulaOficial and to the free and democratically elected institutions of the Brazilian people. We categorically condemn the assault on the Brazilian Congress and make a call for the immediate return to democratic normality.”

Source: Al Jazeera, Reuters