Brazil’s Bolsonaro says democracy, liberty depend on military


RIO DE JANEIRO– Brazil’s far-right president yesterday described the country’s armed forces, which led the country under a military dictatorship for over two decades, as the ultimate arbiters of democracy. Speaking at a naval event in Rio de Janeiro alongside some of the former generals who sit in his cabinet, Jair Bolsonaro praised Brazil’s military.

“Democracy and liberty only exist when your armed forces want them to,” said Bolsonaro, himself a former army captain. Critics of Bolsonaro, a longtime advocate of Brazil’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship, have expressed concern over the growing role of high-ranking former soldiers in his government. Speaking with reporters in Brasilia, Vice President Hamilton Mourao defended Bolsonaro’s comments, which he said were not meant as a threat. “The president said that if the armed rorces are not committed to democracy and freedom, those values die. That is what has happened in Venezuela, where the Venezuelan armed forces tore those values up,” Mourao said.(Reuters)…[+]