Former President Jair Bolsonaro went to the US after losing his re-election bid but has suggested he could return to lead the opposition.
The son of former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has hinted that his father could end his stay in the United States and return to the South American country next week.
Flavio Bolsonaro, a senator representing the state of Rio de Janeiro, said in a tweet on Tuesday that his father’s long-awaited return would be March 15.
However, he quickly deleted the tweet, writing instead, “I’m sorry for the previous message, I might miss him a lot.”
He added that the March 15 date was “likely but not yet confirmed.”
Jair Bolsonaro traveled to Florida late last year after losing re-election in October and before his term expires in January. He has remained in the US ever since. He recently applied for a tourist visa after arriving in the country on a diplomatic visa.
The far-right former president was out of the country when his followers stormed Brazil’s Congress, Supreme Court and presidential Planalto Palace in Brasilia on Jan. 8, urging the military to intervene following the inauguration of leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
The incident followed a months-long disinformation campaign by Bolsonaro, which raised unfounded doubts about the election system
After Bolsonaro initially appeared to accept his loss to Lula, Bolsonaro and his supporters again began claiming that there were flaws in the voting machines that made it impossible to validate the results. They have provided no evidence for the claims.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has said it is investigating what role Bolsonaro may have played in the January 8 riots in Brasilia.
To date, hundreds of people have been arrested in connection with the unrest.
On Tuesday, federal police said they were conducting their latest raids in connection with the incident. According to a statement, there were, among other things, three arrest warrants and eight search and seizure warrants in the states of Minas Gerais and Parana.
The raids, police say, are the seventh phase of an operation launched in mid-January to identify people who took part in, funded or promoted the riots.
Authorities did not release the names of those targeted in Tuesday’s raids, but said they are being investigated for crimes such as “violent rule of law abolition, coup d’état, aggravated damage, criminal association, incitement, destruction and impairment of special protected property”. ”.
‘Right movement is not dead’
For his part, Bolsonaro, who has tried to distance himself from the riots, has repeatedly teased to return to Brazil.
Speaking from Orlando, Florida, he told The Wall Street Journal in February that he would return to his home country in March to lead the opposition.
“The right-wing movement is not dead and will live on,” Bolsonaro told the newspaper, adding that he was dismayed by the January 8 violence but did not believe it was an attempted coup.
More recently, Bolsonaro spoke to NBC News Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland and again said he plans to return to Brazil in March.
He said he and his allies “fought for investigation” into the January 8 riots, which he claimed were likely carried out by “people on the left”.
He again provided no evidence for the claim.