Even Bolsonaro Is Calling for His Nazi-Saluting Superfans to Quit Holding the Country Hostage

RIO DE JANEIRO — They wore the yellow jerseys of the Brazil national football team, many waving the national flag, others holding signs that read: “The army is our only savior!, ” “Save the Nation” or “Intervene, now! “

Hundreds President Jair Bolsonaro Supporters gather despite constant rainfall in front of Forte de Copacabana, a military base at the southern end of Rio de Janeiro’s famous beach.

Their messages were crystal clear, their emotions intense and raw. They expressed their anger in turn at the results of Sunday’s election Luis Inácio Lula da SilvaBolsonaro’s left-wing rival returns to power. Most of Bolsonaristas considers Lula an illegitimate president who should be jailed for corruption.

“What other means do we have to save this country from communist destruction? You can’t let this fester or in a few years we might be standing here crying, saying why did we end up like Venezuela? ” Luciana Marquéz begged, wearing a football shirt with Neymar’s name on the back. Neymar da Silva Santos Jr., the current biggest star of Brazilian football, supported Bolsonaro ahead of the election.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Bolsonaristas like this all over the country. They continue to blockade important highways and roads, from Porto Alegre in the south bordering Argentina to the north bordering Venezuela. Many demanded that the military interrupt the upcoming transfer of power on January 1 and prevent Lula from regaining the presidency.

Some of the disturbing images come from Sao Miguel do Oeste, on the southern coast of Santa Catarina state, where the Bolsonaristas have blocked the SC-163 highway since Monday. At one point, they together stretched out their right arms in a Nazi “Sieg Heil” salute, while the Brazilian national anthem played in the background.

TV network O Globo depicts Bolsonaristas blockading the country and demanding military action as golpistas – tyrants.

In one Video messages to his supporters on Wednesday night, Bolsonaro urged them to remove their roadblocks. The plea came after a car plowed into one of the blockaded areas, injuring several people. “I know you are upset and sad because you were hoping for a different outcome. Me too, I’m just as sad and upset as you are,” Bolsonaro said.

Whether his pleas are heeded and Brazil backs down from the brink depends on the attitude of the military – the only force in the country capable of staging a real coup.

The Daily Beast spoke with two senior officers of the Brazilian military to discuss the state of the military. The officers agreed to be interviewed on condition of anonymity, citing concerns about possible retribution from their commander.

No wonder the army is closer to Bolsonaro, a retired army officer, than to Lula.

“We are professionals and we will serve the constitutionally elected president who is our commander-in-chief. And at this point, it will be Lula da Silva,” an officer serving at the air base in Rio de Janeiro stated. But he has expressed disappointment and even contempt for Lula’s supporters.

“In particular, in the Northeast, many Brazilians are not well educated and give their vote to whoever gives them money,” he continued, pointing to an area considered a bastion of the left. and where voted firmly for Lula.

His colleagues were even more blunt towards Lulistas, calling them unpatriotic and a bunch of parasites. “Thieves love to steal, so I’m not surprised that some Brazilians voted for Lula. They have no pride and no obligation towards this nation. All they want is take and take. I fear that they could disrupt this country economically, and also morally.”

In fact, more than 60 million Brazilians voted for Lula this past Sunday — some of them now joking about the communist arrangement in the country.

“I’ll have a piece of dog meat with mashed potatoes on the side for dinner,” said Fabiana, 27, mocking the fear of the right as she ran for cover in heavy rain near the Beach. Ipanema Sea.

She was alluding to Jair Bolsonaro’s comment during the election campaign that under Lula, Brazil would become another Venezuela, where the population starved to death due to eating dogs and cats after more than two decades of communal government socialist.

The other Lulistas strike a more serious, somber tone. “This Bolsonaro movement is simply scary. I don’t even celebrate on Sunday because on my floor [in my building], I live with Bolsonaristas and they were and still are quite annoying. You better keep quiet and not provoke them,” explained André Olivera during a luncheon on Tonelero Street.

As we talked, we heard Bolsonarista chants around the corner.

“I think we are in the middle of a cold civil war,” added André, visibly shaken.

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