Members of far-right Brazilian Jair Bolsonaro’s Social Liberal Party (SLP) are heading to Bolivia to support an Oct. 10 nationwide demonstration to defend the country’s Feb. 21, 2016 referendum that supposedly prohibits leftist President Evo Morales from running for a fourth term.
In a video released over social media, Brazilian representative-elect Carla Zambelli, member of the right-wing SLP led by presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro; together with Bolivian politician Maria Anelin Suarez, a spokeswoman for the Las Calles Bolivia platform, say: "We are inviting (everyone) this Wednesday (Oct. 10) to support democracy and support people who are tired of socialism," to turn out for the national march.
Suarez and Zambelli go on to say they are “concerned” about the situation in Bolivia. The two call for “respect of democracy” and say they are on the "right side, the side of truth" and are calling for massive protests against Morales’ running for a presidential term.
Far-right Zambelli who won a seat in Brazil’s lower house during Sunday’s general elections says to video viewers: "I am with you, with the persecuted politicians ... you can count on me as federal deputy of Brazil."
Zambelli described Suarez as the leader of the Las Calles platform, a loose coalition of anti-Morales politicians and civil society members in Bolivia.
The country’s El Deber newspaper reported Monday that Suarez has been in Brazil using an office of the far-right Bolsonaro and is celebrating his win of over 46.1 percent of Brazil’s electorate on Oct. 7. On Sunday Suarez confirmed the Las Calles connection with "Brazil’s right" and defended Bolsonaro against those who call him "nostalgic" for the military dictatorship, machismo and homophobia.
Bolsonaro, who openly says he supports torture and taking away Indigenous lands, will compete against leftist Workers’ Party (PT) candidate Fernando Haddad in an Oct. 28 runoff after Haddad received 29.3 percent of first-round ballots.
This isn’t Bolsonaro’s first brush with Suarez and the Bolivian right.
A video now going viral shows Zambelli interviewing Bolsonaro with Suarez by his side from November 2017. In it, the far-right presidential candidate told the anti-Morales activist: "You can count on us if we come to power in the future."
Bolsonaro, who called a female PT politician “too ugly to rape,” said in the November video: "We don’t want Bolivia to become Venezuela … let alone Cuba."
Bolsonaro then told Suarez that "Brazil is a greater power (than Bolivia), not only by territory but economically" and that "Argentina with Macri, and Chile with Piñera," these country have escaped the “claws” of socialism.
Suarez has gained notoriety in Bolivia for her anti-Morales protest when she demonstrated at the 2018 Cocha Games when police forced her to cover her 21-F T-shirt, referring to the Feb 21 referendum date.
As Bolsonaro was ahead in the polls, Evo Morales tweeted: "The people will triumph before of the oligarchies."
After some of Bolsonaro's supporters told him he had to tone down his fascist rhetoric, the candidate replied: “I can’t turn into a Little ‘Peace and Love’ Jair, which would be betraying who I am. I have to keep being the same person,” he added.