Army Sees Verbal Spat between Bolsonaro and Lula as Contained

The army fears radicalization among supports of the president and ex-president

São Paulo

The army fears the risk of radicalization between supporters of Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (PT). But it thinks that the president and former president were reasonably restrained in their verbal attacks after the release of the petista.

Army Commander Edson Pujol surprised many when he said he was very concerned about the possibility of radicalization.

São Bernardo do Campo, SP, BRASIL, 09-11-2019: Former President Lula in São Bernardo do Campo) (Foto: Eduardo Knapp/Folhapress, PODER). - Folhapress

The military has recommended that Bolsonaro be moderate, arguing that he, as president, can easily claim superiority in a debate with Lula.

Still, the president needed to connect with his most radical base, and so he published a social media post without naming Lula. He called him a "scoundrel." From the podium, Lula accused Bolsonaro of liaison with the militia.

Such actions were expected, and were considered by members of the Army summit as "part of the game." But everyone knows that this is only the first minute of the match. Bolsonaro now has an active Lula to reinforce his position as an anti-skepticism leader - which led him to win the election in 2018.

It is no coincidence that Bolsonaro, his children, and General Heleno expressed concern about the alleged contamination of Brazilian streets by the spirit of the Chilean demonstrations. 

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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