SUNDAY, March 03, 2024

Bolsonaro addresses supporters after applying for US tourist visa

Bolsonaro addresses supporters after applying for US tourist visa

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro addressed a crowd of supporters during an event at a restaurant in the Dezerland amusement park in Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday.

Bolsonaro recently applied for a six-month tourist visa to remain in the United States, his lawyer said this week, despite calls for any US visas held by Bolsonaro to be revoked following violent protests in Brasilia.

The United States received his application on Friday last week, his lawyer, Felipe Alexandre, said, adding that Bolsonaro will remain in the United States while his application is pending.

The Financial Times first reported that Bolsonaro had requested a tourist visa.

A State Department spokesperson said visa records are confidential under US law, adding that the department cannot discuss details of individual visa cases.

Far-right Bolsonaro flew to Florida two days before his term ended on Jan. 1 and leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva took office, before the former president's supporters stormed the country's capital.

Supporters of Bolsonaro ransacked Brazil's Congress, Supreme Court and presidential palace, calling for a military coup to overturn the October election that Lula won.

Brazil's Supreme Court has agreed to open an investigation into Bolsonaro for allegedly encouraging anti-democratic protests that ended in the storming of government buildings by his supporters in Brasilia.

Earlier this month, 41 Democratic members of the US House of Representatives asked US President Joe Biden's administration on Thursday to cooperate with Brazil's investigation into violent protests in Brasilia and revoke any US visas held by Bolsonaro.

The State Department has said repeatedly its policy is not to discuss specific visa cases.

The State Department has said it was incumbent on an individual who entered the United States on a so-called "A" visa reserved for diplomats and heads of state to depart the country within 30 days or apply for a change of immigration status if they are no longer engaged in official business. Bolsonaro is believed to have entered on such a visa.