Power

Brazil shrugs at independence bicentennial amid coup threats

Brazil will celebrate the 200th anniversary of its independence from Portugal on September 7. But there is little enthusiasm around the date, amid fears that it may instead be marked by a pro-Bolsonaro uprising against democratic institutions

Bolsonaro's escalation leads Brazilians to shrug at independence anniversary
During last year’s Independence Day celebrations, Jair Bolsonaro threatened to break with the rule of law. Many fear he will try to make good on his threats in 2022. Photo: Isac Nóbrega/PR

When celebrating its 200 years of independence in 2010, Chile organized more than 100 events to mark the date, inaugurating new museums and parks, and launching infrastructure works. That same year, Argentina celebrated its own independence milestone with free concerts and street parties that lasted for days. 

In Brazil, however, the mood surrounding this year’s Independence Day bicentennial on September 7 is much less festive. Instead, the country is on edge due to President Jair Bolsonaro’s constant threats against democracy. 

For more than a year, Mr. Bolsonaro has hinted that he may not accept October’s election results,...

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