22nd of January, 2023. International News. Brazil
In a recent poll conducted by this publication across neighboring Brazil, 90.7 percent of the respondents say they believe that the 2022 general elections that put Lula Da Silva in power were rigged in favor of Lula. When asked how this might have happened, they responded that Lula has strong ties with Russia, whom they say are masters at the art of hacking, and they believe that Russian hackers might have played a role in infiltrating the computer system.
90.7 percent of the respondents say that they support Bolsonaro while 9.3 percent say they support Lula Da Silva. Based on the unpopularity of Lula amongst the Brazilian people and the popularity of Bolsonaro, it is very likely that the claims of electoral fraud has some truth to it. However, Bolsonaro supporters feel abandoned or wronged by international media and world powers who assert that Lula won the elections fairly. The United Nations, European Union, and most other world powers assert that the 2022 general elections in Brazil were free and fair, and most media houses report this, although it is not clear how they were able to come to this conclusion so confidently. Bolsonaro supporters say they have proof that the elections were rigged in favor of Lula. Unfortunately, no world power is willing to lend an ear to their pleas for help.
On January 8, 2023, Bolsonaro supporters attempted a coup to overthrow Lula. Hundreds of thousands of protestors stormed the Supreme Court, Presidential Place, and the Congress building in Brazilia, destroying millions of dollars of government property in the process. At leat three persons were killed and many more injured. Thousands of people were arrested in connection with conspiracy to overthrow the government, and many top level officials are being tried for treason.
The attempted coup turned out a failure even though protestors and their backers called for a military intervention to remove Lula from government. Swaying the military in any country can be a daunting task since no one knows who is who, and diehard supporters of the government in power will always be paid more and hold higher positions. Further, detractors fear reprisals such as torture and imprisonment should the coup fail.
While there is evidence of infiltration within the state security apparatus, the Brazilian military did not switch – which generally is not an easy thing to see happen. But even if it did, and a military intervention had removed Lula, it might not have been such a good thing for Brazil. With the international community holding the position that Lula won fairly, a successful coup would have put Brazil back into a military dictatorship causing international isolation and possibly sanctions.
In this context, Bolsonaro supporters are stuck between a rock and a hard place. While they may indeed constitute the majority, and while the elections may indeed have been rigged, the hardline position of international media and world powers makes it impossible for them to prove this.
While the coup was attempted in Brazilia, former President Bolsonaro was in the United States. Speaking to the media there, he distanced himself from the coup attempt, calling it “regrettable,” breaking the spirit of his supporters back home and reducing the likeliness of future unrests. Bolsonaro obviously fears reprisal if he is found guilty of encouraging a coup in Brazil, and he is choosing his words carefully.
As peace and normalcy returns to Brazil, Bolsonaro supporters feel wronged. They also fear communism, corruption, and for the uncertain future of Brazil. However, the only option left now is to prepare for Brazil’s next general elections and hope that the voice of the people is heard loud and clear this time around. With Lula now in the seat of government, preventing electoral fraud and removing him from power in the next election is a challenge that will require extraordinary effort.