Calls to Extradite Bolsonaro from Florida Grow as he Reemerges on Political Scene

A few miles from one of Florida’s iconic tourist attractions, Brazilians in Florida are paying their homage to one of the state’s most famous political figures, former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

The scorned political icon has faced growing calls from opponents to be extradited from Florida, but he has other plans, including working with American conservative groups such as Turning Point USA.

Bolsonaro absconded to Florida after his narrow defeat in the recent Brazilian Presidential election, where he lost to politician and political activist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

His immigration attorney claims he is vacationing in Florida to ‘take some time off’ from politics.

“He would like to take some time off, clear his head, and enjoy being a tourist in the United States for a few months before deciding what his next step will be,” his immigration attorney, Felipe Alexandre, said in a statement.

His political opponents in the United States and Brazil claim he is fleeing potential criminal prosecution.

Brazilian politicians in the ruling Workers Party have already demanded that Bolsonaro face prosecution for alleged crimes that he committed against indigenous people while President, as well as attacks on government buildings carried out by his supporters after his election loss.

Bolsonaro has condemned the violence carried out by his supporters as  “pillaging and invasions of public buildings.”

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Brazilians in Florida have flocked to Bolsonaro’s home to offer him support and meet the former President.

Sandra Câmara, a manager at the Pão Gostoso bakery in a Brazilian mall on Orlando’s international drive, summarized the mood among Brazilians in Florida, saying that he is the primary topic of discussion.

“It’s 99% that and only 1% soccer right now,” she said. “Everyone here loves Bolsonaro.”

“They stole everything, not just the election,” one Floridian said as she joined about 25 others on the sidewalk to get pictures and autographs with Bolsonaro.

“The judicial system is corrupt. Only Bolsonaro can save Brazil from these criminals.”

Bolsonaro’s supporters believe that the election was stolen from him and that if he were to return to Brazil, a corrupt and politically biased justice system would not give him a fair trial if he was prosecuted.

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After the former President of Brazil applied for a 6-month visa to stay in the United States, American and Brazilian leftists unified in calls for the Biden administration to deny the application.

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A Brazilian lawmaker in the Worker’s Party accused Bolsonaro of ‘running away’ from accountability for alleged crimes he committed as President of Brazil.

“You’re running away, huh?” He said.

For the last month, Bolsonaro has remained relatively silent on political matters in both Brazil and the United States.  Some speculate that he wants to avoid angering the Biden administration in hopes that his visa application is approved.

“He knows that he needs the goodwill of the Biden administration now, and he better not be doing too much agitprop or Democrats in Congress – more of them – will start saying, ‘Well, why should we have this guy here?’” said Anthony Pereira, professor of international relations at Florida International University’s Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center, and founder of the Brazilian Studies Institute at King’s College London.

Still, he has shown signs of re-emerging on the political scene in the United States.  He delivered a speech at a conservative political event in Orlando on Tuesday, discussing his future ambitions for the first time since losing the Presidential election.

“I am 67 years old, and I intend to remain active in Brazilian politics,” he said

He is also headlining a Turning Point USA event with Charlie Kirk on Friday in Miami.

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