Bolsonaro’s son says father returning to Brazil, deletes tweet

Former President Jair Bolsonaro went to the US after losing re-election but has suggested he could return to lead opposition.

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro
Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in the US state of Maryland on March 4, 2023 [Alex Brandon/AP]

The son of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has hinted his father could end his stay in the United States and return to the South American country as soon as next week.

Flavio Bolsonaro, a senator representing the state of Rio de Janeiro, said in a tweet on Tuesday that his father’s long-anticipated return would be on March 15.

However, he quickly deleted the tweet, writing instead: “I’m sorry for the previous post, I might be missing him a lot.”

He added the March 15 date was “likely but still unconfirmed”.

Jair Bolsonaro travelled to Florida at the end of last year after he lost re-election in October and before his term ended in January. He has remained in the US ever since. He recently applied for a tourist visa after arriving in the country on a diplomatic visa.

The far-right former president was out of the country when his followers stormed Brazil’s Congress, Supreme Court and the presidential Planalto Palace in Brasilia on January 8 as they urged the military to intervene after the inauguration of leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The incident followed a months-long misinformation campaign by Bolsonaro, who cast unsubstantiated doubt on the election system

After initially appearing to accept his loss to Lula, Bolsonaro and his supporters again began to claim that there were deficiencies in the voting machines that made it impossible to validate the results. They have not provided evidence for the claims.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has said it is investigating any role Bolsonaro might have played into the January 8 riots in Brasilia.

To date, hundreds of people have been arrested in connection to the unrest.

On Tuesday, federal police said they were carrying out their latest raids in connection to the incident. They included three arrest warrants and eight search and seizure warrants in the states of Minas Gerais and Parana, according to a statement.

The raids represent the seventh phase of an operation launched in mid-January to identify people who participated in, funded or fostered the riots, according to police.

Authorities did not reveal the names of those targeted in Tuesday’s raids but said they were being investigated for crimes of “violent abolition of the rule of law, coup d’etat, qualified damage, criminal association, incitement, destruction and deterioration of specially protected property”.

‘Right-wing movement is not dead’

For his part, Bolsonaro, who has sought to distance himself from the riots, has repeatedly teased returning to Brazil.

Speaking from Orlando, Florida, he told The Wall Street Journal in February that he would return to his home country in March to lead the opposition.

“The right-wing movement is not dead and will live on,” Bolsonaro told the newspaper, adding that he was dismayed by the violence on January 8 but he did not believe it constituted a coup attempt.


More recently, Bolsonaro spoke to NBC News on Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland and again said he plans to return to Brazil in March.

He said he and his allies were “fighting for investigation” into the January 8 riots, which he alleged were likely carried out by “people from the left”.

He again did not provide evidence for the claim.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies