Bolsonaro praises Musk, and The Act Increases Attacks on the Justice and Senate President with Rhetoric about a Coup Plot

The evangelical pastor calls Supreme Court justice a dictator and Senate president weak and passive

Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo

The rally in support of Jair Bolsonaro (PL) in Rio de Janeiro this Sunday (21) was marked by an escalation in criticism towards Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes and Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD-MG). The harshest remarks came from allies like Pastor Silas Malafaia. The former president did not mention either Moraes or Pacheco by name and chose in his speech to praise Elon Musk, owner of X (formerly Twitter), advocate for amnesty for those convicted on January 8th, and reiterate the narrative that a potential state of siege decree in the country after the 2022 election defeat would not be a coup act.

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro speaks to supporters during a demonstration at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on April 21, 2024. Brazil's former president Jair Bolsonaro held a rally with supporters in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday in defense of freedom of expression, which he says is under threat in the country, as tech tycoon Elon Musk faces a legal showdown there over claims of censorship and disinformation. (Photo by MAURO PIMENTEL / AFP) - AFP

"A state of siege is a proposal that the president can submit to Parliament," he declared, denying that he had drafted a coup memo. In February, Bolsonaro's statement to the same effect was understood by the Federal Police as reinforcing the line of investigation that there was an attempted coup plot, as he seemed to imply he knew about the memos.

Bolsonaro also called for applause for Musk, who has been attacking Moraes for two weeks due to account blocking by court order.

The former president referred to the owner of X as the "myth of Freedom" and said "his goal is for the whole world to be free," ignoring the fact that the social network has complied with hundreds of content removal orders outside Brazil without accusing censorship, especially in countries with right-wing authoritarian governments, such as India and Turkey.

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