Biden urged to extradite Bolsonaro from Florida bolt-hole as rioters storm Brazil presidential palace

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Democratic congress members are calling on Joe Biden to deport former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro back to his country after his supporters stormed the National Congress in an effort to reinstate his power.

Thousands of Bolsonaro supporters bypassed security barricades, climbed on roofs and invaded the country’s National Congress, Supreme Court and presidential palace in capital Brasilia on Sunday, in violence reminiscent of the US Capitol insurrection two years ago.

Brazil’s former far-right leader reportedly fled to Florida before the inauguration of the newly-elected president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who took charge on 1 January.

Mr Bolosonaro is staying at a house he rented near Disney World, just south of Orlando, and is expected to remain in the country for at least a month.

Texas representative Joaquin Castro called on the Biden administration and local authorities on Sunday to extradite “dangerous” Mr Bolsonaro to Brazil when his followers, dressed in green and yellow, began attacking government buildings.

“[Bolsonaro] should be extradited to Brazil,” Mr Castro told CNN. “Bolsonaro was an authoritarian leader,” the member of congress said, adding that the far-right president “basically used the [Donald] Trump playbook to inspire domestic terrorists to try to take over the government”.

“Right now he is in Florida, actually very close to Donald Trump, he should be extradited to Brazil,” said Mr Castro, who is also a member of the house foreign affairs committee.

“In fact, it was reported that he was under investigation for corruption and fled Brazil to the United States. He’s a dangerous man, they should send him back to his home country, Brazil.”

“Are you calling on the Biden administration or authorities in Florida to return Bolsonaro, put him on a plane and send him to Brazil as soon as possible?” asked CNN anchor Jim Acosta.

“Yes, absolutely. The United States should not be a refuge for this authoritarian who is inspired domestic terrorism in Brazil,” Mr Castro replied.

His Democratic colleague Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted to show her support for Brazil’s newly elected president, commonly known as Lula, and asked the US government to “cease granting refuge to Bolsonaro in Florida”.

“Nearly two years to the day the US Capitol was attacked by fascists, we see fascist movements abroad attempt to do the same in Brazil,” she said.

“We must stand in solidarity with Lula’s democratically elected government.”

Meanwhile, over 300 people have been arrested by the police as the president vows to punish the vandals.

“These vandals, who we could call fanatical Nazis, fanatical Stalinists… fanatical fascists, did what has never been done in the history of this country,” Mr Lula said in a press conference, declaring a “federal security intervention” in the capital until the end of the month.

Brazil’s minister of institutional relations said the buildings would be inspected for evidence, including fingerprints and images to hold people to account, and that the rioters apparently intended to spark similar such actions nationwide.

Justice minister Flavio Dino said the acts amounted to terrorism and coup-mongering and that authorities have begun tracking those who paid for the transportation of the protesters.

“They will not succeed in destroying Brazilian democracy. We need to say that fully, with all firmness and conviction,” Mr Dino said.

“We will not accept the path of criminality to carry out political fights in Brazil.

“A criminal is treated like a criminal.”

Source: independent.co.uk