Bolsonaro Lands in Florida, Refuses to Hand Over Presidential Sash to Lula

Bolsonaro promised a violent uprising if the election was stolen from him.

But I guess refusing to hand over a sash is close enough.


Outgoing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro landed in Florida on Friday, after delivering a teary message to his supporters less than two days before his fierce leftist rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is set to take office.

An official Brazilian plane landed in Orlando, Florida late on Friday, flight tracking website FlightAware showed. Although Bolsonaro’s destination has not been officially confirmed, his security staff were already in place in Florida.

Bolsonaro’s exit from Brazil came after he repeatedly said he would not hand over the presidential sash to Lula at Sunday’s inauguration, breaking with Brazil’s democratic tradition. He may also face legal risks from remaining in Brazil as his presidential immunity expires when Lula takes office.

His departure followed an emotional final address on social media earlier on Friday, in which he ran through the highlights of his time in office, sought to defend his legacy, and tried to inspire his followers into keeping up the fight against Lula.

Vice President Hamilton Mourao is now acting president after Bolsonaro left the country, his press office said. But Mourao will not pass the presidential sash to Lula, a spokesperson noted, raising doubts about who will do the ceremonial handover.

The presidential plane departed Brasilia shortly after 2 pm local time.

I am in flight, back soon,” Bolsonaro was quoted as saying by CNN Brasil earlier in the day. His press office did not respond to a request for comment.

The U.S. State Department did not respond to a request for comment. The U.S. embassy in Brasilia referred questions about Bolsonaro’s trip to the Brazilian president’s office.

Bolsonaro’s exit follows weeks of silence, after he lost Brazil’s most fraught election in a generation.

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

It seems to me that democracy simply is not a viable form of government if you care about what the masses of people think and if you don’t want society to completely collapse.

It sure is strange that even on the right-wing, people keep going on and on about “our democracy.”

Seriously – who thinks like that?

Who cares?

Clearly, the left does not.