Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Venezuelan Opposition Celebrates Far-Right Bolsonaro Victory in Brazil, Calls for Intervention

by Paul  Dobson, Venezuela Analysis

Venezuelan opposition has welcomed the victory of ultra-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil’s presidential elections Sunday, calling on the new president-elect to intervene in Venezuela in line with their political goals.

Bolsonaro won the second round with 55 percent despite nearly 10 percent of ballots being marked null or void. Abstention was 22 percent, one point higher than the first round.

Following the controversial jailing and political barring of leftist frontrunner Lula da Silva on unfounded corruption charges, previously obscure nine-term congressman Bolsonaro soared to popularity in recent months, campaigning on an outsider platform of social conservatism, anti-corruption, and hardline anti-crime policies. Widely considered a “neo-fascist,” the far-right former army captain has repeatedly expressed nostalgia for Brazil’s military dictatorship, pledging to “cleanse” the country of leftists among numerous other inflammatory racist, sexist, and homophobic statements. His campaign team has also hinted at military action against Venezuela, raising concerns that Brazil could be used as a launchpad for a US-led strike on Caracas.

After the announcement of Sunday’s results the ex-president of Venezuela’s National Assembly and leader of the hard-right First Justice party, Julio Borges, took to Twitter to congratulate Bolsonaro, as well as to “invite him to work for the rescuing of democracy in Venezuela.” Borges is currently a fugitive of the Venezuelan justice system in Colombia on charges of conspiracy and alleged masterminding of the August drone terrorist attack against President Maduro.

To the right of First Justice, the Popular Will party also welcomed Bolsonaro’s victory, tweeting that they hope to “count on your struggle to rescue liberty and democracy in Venezuela.”...

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