By Nathália Urban
Far-right guru and former White House strategist Steve Bannon has been using his political weight to support Jair Bolsonaro’s electoral campaign. Eduardo Bolsonaro, Jair’s congressman son, met Bannon last Tuesday, at a conference organized by Mike Lindell, Trump supporting businessman and one of those responsible for spreading conspiracy theories about the victory of Joe Biden in the United States, in 2020.
Eduardo was invited to take the stage and was introduced by Bannon as “the third son of Trump from the tropics”. The congressman repeated disinformation about Brazil’s electronic voting machines and presented videos of his father on motorcycle convoys with his supporters.
In an opening speech, international far-right ringleader Bannon attacked former President Lula, and claimed that Brazil’s 2022 presidential election is “the most important of all time in South America.”
Bannon said, “About 30 days before the big intermediate elections, Jair Bolsonaro will face the most dangerous leftist in the world, Lula. A criminal and communist supported by all the media here in the US, all the left-wing media. This election is the second most important in the world and the most important of all time in South America. Bolsonaro will win unless it is stolen by, guess what, the machines.”
Bolsonaro has been making constant attacks against the Brazilian voting system. Bolsonaro has made at least 192 statements against the current model of electronic voting and in favor of the printed vote since he came to power, but 160 of these statements took place since April, when Lula da Silva regained his political rights.
Bolsonaro has argued that without this voting mechanism he will be a victim of fraud to favor one of his opponents and he repeated, without ever having presented any evidence, that he was already the target of this strategy because he would have won the presidential elections in the first round in 2018. Inspired by the Trump playbook he casts doubt on the voting system in fear of defeat at the ballot box, using increasingly radical rhetoric to keep himself in power by mobilizing his hardcore far-right supporters.
Filipe Martins, a former “economic advisor” to the US embassy in Brasilia is credited with introducing Jair Bolsonaro to Steve Bannon. Martins worked at the embassy for the duration of the coup period between December 2014 and July 2016.
It is not the first time Bannon has spoken about Lula. Following his release from politically-motivated imprisonment in November 2019, Bannon called the former president “the biggest idol of the globalist left in the world” since the end of the Obama presidency, and that that his return to the streets will bring “huge political disturbance to Brazil”. Bannon called Lula “cynical and corrupt,” insisted that he had been corrupted by power, and warned that his return would mean the “return of corruption” to Brazil.
“Now that he is free, Lula will become a magnet for the global left to intrude on Brazilian politics. He is the poster boy of the globalist left,” Bannon claimed.
Lula currently holds a commanding lead in opinion polls for the 2022 presidential elections.