2022 Race

U.S. congressmen ask Biden to clarify Brazil’s isolation in case of a coup

biden bolsonaro coup democracy
The U.S. Capitol building. Photo: Shutterstock

A group of 39 U.S. lawmakers — 31 members of the House and eight senators — sent a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden asking him to make it “unequivocally clear to President [Jair] Bolsonaro, his administration, and Brazilian security forces that Brazil will find itself isolated from the U.S. and the international community of democracies should there be any attempts to subvert the country’s electoral process.”

They say the Biden administration “should ensure that the Brazilian government understands that any such efforts will be met with serious consequences, including a review of Brazil’s status as a global NATO partner and major non-NATO ally, U.S. support for Brazil’s accession to the OECD, and future bilateral defense and security cooperation.”

The letter’s signatories include Senate pro-tempore President Patrick Leahy and Representative Albio Sires, chairman of the House committee responsible for the Western Hemisphere.

It is arguably the toughest stance yet by U.S. authorities against Mr. Bolsonaro’s coup threats. He routinely attacks Brazilian institutions, casts doubt on the security of the electoral process (without any evidence), and signals that he will not respect the outcome of the polls if he is not reelected.

The document recalls that Mr. Bolsonaro promised in June to “go to war” if necessary to avoid a stolen election, urged his supporters to attack the country’s Supreme Court, and, “most concerning of all, President Bolsonaro also called on the Armed Forces to intervene in the electoral process through a parallel vote count, a function constitutionally reserved for the Electoral Justice of Brazil. By doing so, he is jeopardizing the military’s constitutional neutrality.”

This week, The Brazilian Report has shown that U.S. congressmen published a motion for the White House to ensure that Brazilian elections are conducted “in a free, fair, credible, transparent, and peaceful manner.”

U.S. government officials have been stating that the country “trusts in the strength of Brazilian democratic institutions, Brazil has a history of free and fair elections, conducted with transparency and high levels of voter participation,” as the spokeswoman for the White House, Karine Jean-Pierre, said on Thursday.