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First the US, then Brazil. Where next?

By Eduardo Porter

09 Jan 2023 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

The protesters who stormed Brazil’s capital looked north for inspiration, writes Bloomberg columnist Eduardo Porter. The onus is now on the U.S. to help put out the fires it started two years ago.

There is something pathetic about the gangs of crazed supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro that stormed Brazil's Congressional building, presidential offices and Supreme Court on Sunday. Congress was not even in session. The mutineers were late: President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva had been inaugurated a week before.

He wasn't even in the capital on the day, but in São Paulo, 600 miles away. If they hoped to topple democracy and prevent the peaceful transfer of power, the insurrectionists might have organized their insurrection on a day that democracy was at home. The editorial pages in Folha de São Paulo, the main daily in Brazil's economic hub, called the rebels, simply, "a handful of idiots."

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