So this is how it ends. The presidency of Jair Messias Bolsonaro, rooted from the beginning in anger, division, and conspiracy-mongering, has come to a close. During his inaugural speech, Lula painted a scorched-earth picture of the government he takes over from, repeatedly using words such as destruction, disorganization, dilapidation, and ruin to describe the legacy he inherits.
The new president essentially promised to do his best to undo four years of Bolsonaro, kicking off his term with dozens of decrees reversing many of the actions his predecessor took while in office. But reversing Bolsonaro’s work will take a lot of effort.
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In this episode:
- Cedê Silva is a Brasília correspondent for The Brazilian Report. He has worked for O Antagonista, O Estado de S.Paulo, Veja BH, and YouTube channel MyNews.
- Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Geraldo Alckmin took the oath of office as president and vice president, respectively, on January 1. The four years in office of Lula’s far-right predecessor led to shocking deforestation figures, lagging education, and vaccination shortfalls.
- The new president promised to rebuild a Brazilian state “dismantled” by four years of Jair Bolsonaro. He began doing so through a series of executive measures to roll back some of the policies that were staples of Mr. Bolsonaro in government.
- The end of the Bolsonaro era was a violent one. Extremists plotted a bomb attack in Brasília, creating security concerns ahead of Lula’s inauguration. The police upped security schemes, but the transition of power happened peacefully.
- After threatening a coup d’état for more than a year, Mr. Bolsonaro left Brazil for Florida before his term even ended. The move angered many of his supporters.
- The inauguration committee reportedly sought the services of a mystical organization that claims to control the weather and is treated with surprising seriousness in Brazil.
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