More than 150 parliamentarians, ministers and former presidents from 26 countries issued an open letter on Monday warning about a possible coup attempt by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. He would be planning this for September 7.
Signatories to the letter include American linguist Noam Chomsky, former British Labor leader Jeremy Corbin, former Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.
The group believes Bolsonaro and his allies are preparing for a military coup in Brazil. Tuesday, September 7, would be a mainly symbolic day for that, as the country celebrates independence from Portugal in 1822 on that day.
“We are deeply concerned about the imminent threat to Brazil’s democratic institutions, and we remain vigilant to defend it before and September 7,” the letter said. “The people of Brazil have struggled for decades to protect democracy from military rule. Bolsonaro must not deprive them of democracy now.”
Bolsonaro urged his compatriots to take to the streets en masse on Tuesday to show their support for his government. More than 5,000 police officers are expected to be deployed to protect the Brazilian Congress. Similar scenes are feared, as on January 6 of this year at the US Capitol, which Trump supporters stormed after inciting by the president.
Left-wing political leaders have urged their followers not to hold counter-protests to avoid clashes between the two groups. On Thursday, Brazil’s Supreme Court Chief Justice Luiz Fux said people should be aware of the “legal consequences of their actions” if the protests turn to violence, regardless of their political affiliations. “Freedom of speech does not equate to violence and threats,” Fux warned.
Polls show that 60 percent of voters will by no means vote for Bolsanaro in next year’s election. However, many Brazilians are not satisfied with Bolsonaro’s chaotic approach to the corona crisis. In May, large demonstrations against Bolsonaro’s corona policy took place across Brazil.