Where is Bolsonaro? Brazil’s ex-president in Florida hospital after riot read full article at worldnews365.me


As supporters of Brazil’s former president stormed government buildings to challenge his election loss, Jair Bolsonaro was thousands of miles away — in Florida.

A day after the insurrection, which led police to detain some 1,500 of his supporters, Bolsonaro was admitted to a hospital for abdominal pain tied to a past stab wound, his wife said.

Bolsonaro’s hospitalization on Monday comes amid questions about what role his election-denying rhetoric may have played in paving the way for the violence by the bolsonaristas.

All this is raising pressure on U.S. officials to explain Bolsonaro’s presence in Florida, as Washington condemned the violence and some Democratic lawmakers call for Bolsonaro to be kicked out of the United States.

“My husband Jair Bolsonaro is under observation at the hospital, due to abdominal discomfort as a consequence of stab wounds he took in 2018 from a former [member of the Socialism and Liberty Party],” Michelle Bolsonaro wrote in an Instagram post. “We are praying for his health and for Brazil.”

How Bolsonaro’s rhetoric — then his silence — stoked Brazil assault

Bolsonaro has condemned the violence as “outside of the law,” but many in Brazil still hold him partially responsible for fueling the baseless belief among some of his supporters that the election was stolen from him. He has repeatedly cast doubt on the integrity of Brazil’s electoral process, and he refused to concede to his opponent, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, after Lula won the election in a runoff on Oct. 30.

Bolsonaro flew to Florida in December, shortly before his term ended, skipping Lula’s inauguration. As some analysts speculated that he was seeking to avoid possible legal trouble in Brazil, Democratic lawmakers ramped up the pressure on the White House and on Florida officials to send him home.

“Bolsonaro must not be given refuge in Florida, where he’s been hiding from accountability for his crimes,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.). “He should be extradited to Brazil,” Castro told CNN.

Bolsonaro’s new life as a Florida man: Fast food runs and selfies

U.S. officials on Monday acknowledged the questions surrounding Bolsonaro’s stay in the Sunshine State. Responding to reports that Bolsonaro entered the United States on an A-1 diplomatic visa for heads of state, State Department spokesman Ned Price said that he could not comment any individual’s immigration status. But in an apparent tacit recognition that Bolsonaro could be using a diplomatic visa, Price said that A-1 visa holders had 30 days to either leave or apply for a different visa at the conclusion of their term in office.

“If an A visa holder is no longer engaged in official business on behalf of their government, it is incumbent on that visa holder to depart the U.S. or to request a change to another immigration status within 30 days,” Price said. “If an individual has no basis on which to be in the United States, an individual is subject to removal by the Department of Homeland Security.”

National security adviser Jake Sullivan said the White House was not in touch with Bolsonaro and had not “received any official requests from the Brazilian government” related to him — but would treat “seriously” any official request to send him back to Brazil.

U.S. would ‘treat seriously’ requests to revoke Bolsonaro’s visa

Bolsonaro on Monday told CNN Brasil that he intends to leave the United States and return to Brazil earlier than planned to seek out medical care at home. “I came [to the United States] to stay until the end of the month [January], but I intend to bring forward my return. Because, in Brazil, the doctors already know about my intestinal obstruction problem because of the stab wound,” he said..

Bolsonaro was stabbed in the abdomen 2018, when he was a candidate for president, at a campaign stop in southeastern Brazil. A judge ruled that the man accused of stabbing him, Adélio Bispo de Oliveira, was too mentally ill to be held responsible for his actions.

Brazilian presidential front-runner is stabbed while campaigning

Bolsonaro spent weeks in a hospital after the stabbing and subsequently underwent several surgeries to repair his abdomen. He was hospitalized again around this time last year with what he called an “internal obstruction in the abdominal region” tied to complications from his stabbing. He was released two days later when his condition improved. At the time, he tweeted that it was his second hospital admission “with the same symptoms” in just a few months.

On Monday, he said he was hospitalized again for the same condition. “This is already my third hospitalization for severe intestinal obstruction,” he told CNN Brasil. “I came to spend some time away with the family. But I didn’t have calm days. First, there was this regrettable episode yesterday [Sunday] in Brazil and then my admission to the hospital.”

In a tweet, he said he was “Grateful for the prayers and messages of prompt recovery.”

Rebecca Branford, Miriam Berger, Emmanuel Felton and Karen DeYoung contributed to this report.


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