Millions of Brazilians March in Favor of Bolsonaro and against Statism

With Jair Bolsonaro facing a tough road ahead with undertaking much needed reforms in Brazil, millions of Bolsonaro's supporters took to the streets this weekend, to support the president.

Sunday saw pro-Bolsonaro marches in each of Brazil’s 26 states (Twitter).

Millions of Brazilians took to the streets this Sunday, May 26, in favor of the measures of the government of President Jair Bolsonaro, and in rejection of the “old politics” of Congress, which they accuse of impeding the progress of the reforms needed to boost the economy of the country, which so far has not experienced the growth that was hoped for.

While recent polls suggest that Bolsonaro’s popularity has dropped, millions of his followers took to the streets to affirm their support; they are particularly concerned with advancing pension cuts, since 53.4% ​​of the annual state budget is destined for the pensions of the Brazilian political caste.

One of the factors that has reduced support for the president in the polls is that the economy has not grown as expected. That is why most of the big businessmen who supported Bolsonaro in the presidential campaign did not do join in Sunday’s demonstrations, except for Luciano Huang, who from South Korea called on Brazilians to support Bolsonaro

However, other promises have been fulfilled despite the obstacles put in place Congress. For example, from January to April, the country registered the creation of 313,835 jobs, which corresponded to a drop in unemployment of 6.83% compared to the same period last year. In addition, April registered marked the highest point in the last six years, with 129,601 new hires.

Unemployment has fallen 6.83% so far in 2019. Additionally, homicides have fallen by 24% since the implementation of policies that allow citizens the right to self-defense and private gun ownership. The fight against crime and corruption was the main focus of his campaign.

Massive attendance at pro-Bolsonaro marches

According to the military police, at 2pm on Sunday afternoon, just in the Plaza de la Independencia, in Santos, there were already more than one million people, and throughout the afternoon sympathizers continued to arrive.

A similar number was estimated in Rio de Janeiro, where supporters packed the metro stations, donning t-shirts with Brazil’s national colors of green and yellow.

In each of the 26 states of Brazil there were demonstrations in favor of Bolsonaro, evidencing widespread support for the controversial president.

In addition, 20,000 demonstrated in front of the National Congress, in the country’s capital, Brasilia. There were even demonstrators who dressed as locusts to exemplify the luxuries that the political class gives itself at the expense of its citizens.

Protesters see Bolsonaro as a leader against the “old politics” and cronyism

The motivation of the massive demonstration focuses on four points: Social Security reform; the anti-crisis economic package; the provisional measure to restructure government ministries; and the anti-corruption project of the Minister of Justice and Public Security, Sergio Moro.

In the politics of Brazil, the “Centrón”, (in Portuguese “Centrão”), is a centrist position promoted by an alliance of political parties that seek to ensure a close relationship with the executive branch in order to guarantee themselves advantages and distribute privileges through clientelist networks.

For its part, “Previdencia” (laws governing social security) is the reform that has caused most controversy. It consists of a cut in the pensions of retirees. However, the current generation sees it as a necessary measure and trusts that current policies will allow greater prosperity so that citizens can be responsible for their own futures, instead of expecting to rely primarily on lucrative state pensions in retirement.

Many elderly, grandparents and retirees have affirmed their support for this reform, since the measure would mainly affect the public rather than the private sector.

More than 55% of Brazilians voted in favor of Jair Bolsonaro. And through the massive mobilization, they are protesting against the legislative obstacles that are standing in the way of the popular will.

Bolsonaro and democracy

Despite critics who have deemed Bolsonaro, an extremist, or even a fascist, who seeks to do away with separation of powers, during his term he has given considerable autonomy to Congress, an entity that has not allowed the progress of reforms which are vital to resurrecting the country’s faltering economy.

Although Bolsonaro’s Social Liberal Party holds 55 seats in Congress and leads a coalition parties, Lula da Silva’s Workers’ Party also has 55 seats in the chamber. The Workers Party, and others, still adhere to the tenets of 21st century socialism, and Bolsonaro faces strong headwinds from Congress, with a tenuous coalition seeking to reform the nation.

Bolsonaro emphasizes that he does not seek to confront Congress, and much less destroy the republican institutions: “A few days ago I was clear when saying that whoever was asking for the closure of the Congress or STF (Federal Supreme Court) is at the wrong march. The people showed that. The vast majority went to the streets within the context of legitimate and democratic guidelines, but there are those who insist on distorting the facts,” said Bolsonaro in social networks.

Given that Brazil is a representative democracy, the power comes from the popular will and therefore Bolsonaro has said that legislators should be judged at the polls, not in any context that threatens Brazil’s republican structure.

In support of what the president said, his supporters took to the streets in opposition to recent social movements that protested against budget cuts in areas such as university education, which Bolsonaro has accused of being a means to indoctrinate young people with Marxist ideology, which seeks to destroy republican institutions and encourages dependence on the state, instead of the citizen’s autonomy.

“I believe that Brazil is walking more and more towards the maturity of its democracy, with representatives sensitive to the wishes of society,” said Bolsonaro.

“The peaceful nature of today’s events reflects the hope and confidence of the people in the commitment that politicians have to the future of the country,” he added.

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