In his tearful farewell speech, President Jair Bolsonaro declared that he had “lost a battle but not the war” as he left Brazil for the United States on Friday, 48 hours before his leftist challenger President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was scheduled to assume office.
Although Bolsonaro, who has been largely silent since losing the race, has not confirmed his destination, plane-tracking data implies he is traveling to Florida, where his security personnel are already stationed.
He has said repeatedly that he will defy Brazil’s democratic tradition by refusing to give Lula the presidential sash at the country’s inauguration on Sunday.
Due to the fact that his presidential protection would end once Lula assumes office, he may possibly run legal risk by staying in Brazil.
His press office confirmed Bolsonaro had departed the nation and that Vice President Hamilton Mourao is currently in the role. The question of who will provide the socialist with the ceremonial ribbon is raised by Mourao’s refusal to give Lula the presidential sash, according to a spokeswoman.
The presidential plane left Brasilia shortly after 2:00 p.m. local time, according to the air traffic monitoring website FlightAware, and was headed for Orlando, Florida.
CNN Brazil reported Bolsonaro as saying, “I am in flight, back soon.” A request for comment was not answered by his press office.
An inquiry for comments was not immediately answered by the US State Department. Questions about Bolsonaro’s trip were sent to the Brazilian president’s office by the American embassy in Brasilia.
Before leaving, Bolsonaro gave an emotional farewell speech on social media in which he recapped his administration’s high points, defended his legacy, and urged his supporters to continue the fight against Lula.
Some of Bolsonaro’s supporters have refused to acknowledge Lula’s victory because they think the phony allegations that the October election was rigged. As a result, there have been riots in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia and a bomb plot was thwarted last week.
The bomb plot was described by Bolsonaro as a “terrorist act” without any basis. George Washington Sousa, the man who admitted to building the bomb and told police that Bolsonaro’s call to arms drove him to amass a collection of weapons and explosives, was someone he wished to separate himself from.
The president remarked, “The man held views that are not shared by any citizen, but now they categorize him as a ‘Bolsonarista’.”
Bolsonaro, though, also hailed the protestors who have been camped out in front of army facilities across the nation and calling for a military takeover.
He added that his supporters had only been looking for “freedom,” and that he had not encouraged anyone to engage in conflict. He said there had been no organization or leadership behind the protests, which were “spontaneous.”
Many on the right are disappointed by Bolsonaro’s quick departure because his standing there has been damaged by his post-election silence. His political allies desire that he serve as the head of the conservative opposition to Lula in order to depose him in the 2026 election.
According to a Reuters witness, several of his ardent followers at the gate to the Alvorada Palace, the presidential home where he resided, referred to him as a “coward” throughout his address.
His absence caused others to feel abandoned.
Deise Casela, a 57-year-old widow, touched the Brazilian flag when Bolsonaro left the house and remarked, “I feel like my boyfriend has left me. “I’m grieving once more.”