By Nathália Urban
João Paulo Cuenca is an award-winning Brazilian author, whose work is recognized in various mainstream media outlets. Among his various works, Cuenca wrote a biweekly column for Deutsche Welle. On 06/18 through a statement on social media, The German broadcaster announced that it had dismissed the Brazilian columnist J.P. Cuenca for “having written, on a private profile on social media, a message that contradicts our values”.
The message in question was a criticism of President Jair Bolsonaro. The message made reference to the statement attributed to the French abbot Jean Meslier – “Men will only be free when the last king is hanged with the entrails of the last priest”.
In response to J.P. Cuenca’s social media post, the German media platform said that “it naturally repudiates any type of hate speech and incitement to violence”. According to his social media, Cuenca was attacked by Bolsonaro supporters and said he was disappointed with DW’s stance, as he offered to respond and clarify the origins of the sentence in a subsequent column, but there was no time.
In a written statement, the author said he is used to campaigns for his dismissal carried out by those he has criticised, which he says has happened everywhere he has worked, but stressed that he never saw a media outlet give way “so quickly and so frightened”.
His dismissal from DW has been celebrated by federal congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro, president Jair Bolsonaro’s son, who said: “Congratulations DW Brasil. There is still hope in some segments of the media that intend to do ethical and minimally respectful work. In addition, I am in contact with my legal counsel to sue him.”
Intellectuals and journalists from around the world have shown solidarity with Cuenca, whom he thanked saying: “I want to offer my solidarity to all who came to support me and are having a small sample of Brazilian fascism alongside which DW decided to align itself in this sad episode. These subhuman creatures may grunt, but they have already lost. We must not retreat NEVER.”
Brasil Wire offers its total solidarity to writer João Paulo Cuenca.