Power

Bolsonaro rehashes old messaging in Rio independence rally

Many Brazilians feared Jair Bolsonaro would launch a coup attempt on Sep. 7. Instead, he used the public dime to hold electoral rallies

rio Many Brazilians feared Jair Bolsonaro would launch a coup attempt on Sep. 7. Instead, he used the public dime to hold electoral rallies. Photo: Evandro Leal/Agência Enquadrar/Folhapress
President Bolsonaro addressed packed crowds on Copacabana Beach. But he didn’t offer them anything new, rhetoric-wise. Photo: Evandro Leal/Agência Enquadrar/Folhapress

Billed as a potential stage for a power grab, today’s Independence Day demonstrations led by Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro ended up being less putschist theater and more free campaign exposure during a hard-fought election campaign.

Large demonstrations were held in Brasília, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo, with the president attending the first two in person. In the capital this morning, Mr. Bolsonaro aimed digs at the Supreme Court and major polling institutes, while his Rio de Janeiro appearance was more campaign-oriented, talking up his own government and dismissing frontrunner Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

While large crowds gathered...

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