Bolsonaro leaves Brazil for U.S. 2 days before presidential transition to Lula -

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro left his country for the United States on Friday, 48 hours before his leftist rival President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was to take office, saying in a tearful farewell speech that he had “lost a fight”. Gone, but not the war.” ,

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Bolsonaro, who has hardly spoken since losing the election, has not confirmed where he is going, but plane tracking data suggests he may be headed to Florida, where his security personnel are already based.

He has repeatedly said he will not present the presidential casket to Lula at Sunday’s inauguration, breaking with Brazil’s democratic tradition.


Staying in Brazil also exposes him to legal risks as his presidential immunity ends when Lula takes office.

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Vice President Hamilton Morao is now acting president, his press office told Reuters, confirming Bolsonaro was leaving the country. But Morao would not even give the presidential seal to Lula, a spokesman said, raising questions over who would hand the ceremonial ribbon to the leftist.

Air traffic tracking website FlightAware showed that the president’s plane left Brasilia for Orlando, Florida, just after 2 p.m. local time.

“I’m on a flight, coming back soon,” Bolsonaro was quoted as saying by CNN Brasil. His press office did not respond to a request for comment.

The US State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The US Embassy in Brasilia referred questions about Bolsonaro’s visit to the Brazilian president’s office.

Before takeoff, Bolsonaro gave an emotional final speech on social media, in which he looked back on his time in office, tried to protect his legacy, and tried to inspire his followers to continue fighting against Lula Did.

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Some of his base has refused to accept Lula’s victory, believing Bolsonaro’s unfounded claims that the October election was stolen. This has contributed to a tense atmosphere in the capital, Brasilia, with riots and a failed bomb plot last week.

Bolsonaro called the bomb plot a “terrorist act” that had no justification. He tried to distance himself from George Washington Sousa, who confessed to building the bomb, and who told police that Bolsonaro’s call led him to build an arsenal of guns and explosives.

The president said, “The man had views that were not shared by any citizen, but now they classify him as a ‘Bolsonarista’.”

However, Bolsonaro also praised protesters who have been camping outside army barracks across the country urging the military to put down the coup.

“I did not encourage anyone to engage in confrontation,” he said, adding that his supporters were only seeking “freedom”. He said the protests were “spontaneous”, with no leadership or coordination.

Bolsonaro’s swift exit is a disappointment for the right-wing, where his reputation has been damaged by his silence following the election. His political allies want him to lead the conservative opposition to Lula with the aim of ousting him in the next election in 2026.

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According to a Reuters witness, his staunch supporters at the entrance of the Alvorada Palace, where he lived, called him a “coward” during his speech.

Others felt abandoned by his departure.

“It’s like my boyfriend has left me,” said Des Casella, a 57-year-old widow, touching a lowered Brazilian flag after leaving Bolsonaro’s residence. “I’m grieving again.”

(Reporting by Ricardo Brito, Gabriel Araujo, Uselli Marcelino and Anthony Boodle; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

By Rahul

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