The journalist wrote that Brazilians will only be free “when the last of the Bolsonaros has been hung on the intestines of pastor Igreja Universal,” a phrase which is based on a saying of the 18th-century philosopher Jean Meslier.
President Jair Bolsonaro’s son, Eduardo, quickly responded to the tweet arguing that Cuenca lacked any respect for the President, which prompted a wave of death threats against the Journalists. Cuenca has already left Brazil in 2019 due to similar threats.
On Twitter, Deutsche Welle announced to no longer publish the columns of Cuenca as his message to Bolsonaro contradicts their values.
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The move by Deutsche Welle did not go unnoticed and led to protests within the journalistic community in Brazil, which have criticized the channel for giving in to pressure by far-right forces in the country.
The Brazilian community in Germany, as well as German Journalists, have also pushed back against the decision and have signed a protest letter with 107 signatories. Critics demand an end to censorship and asked the channel to publish the columns.
Cuenca explained his statement was a response to an announcement by the Bolsonaro administration to provide US$5.6 million to evangelical radio and tv channels and not meant as hate-commentary.
The author also explained that he is unsure about the Deutsche Welle’s motivation, explaining that "either they have given in to pressure from the government's cabinet of hatred in Brazil, or the government's tentacles have spread to Germany."