The following is from an email newsletter by Fareed Zakaria:
At Americas Quarterly, editor in chief Brian Winter writes that critics of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (known as Lula) see him as paranoid about political threats lurking in every corner. But after the events of Jan. 8, when supporters of defeated incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro (Lula’s opponent in last fall’s election) stormed government buildings in Brasília, Winter thinks Lula is right.
“(J)ust as we saw in the United States after the 2020 election, stories are only now beginning to trickle out about just how close the country came to the abyss,” Winter writes. “After my week in Brazil, and private conversations with several figures, I now believe democracy was in significantly greater danger throughout 2021 and 2022 than I previously appreciated. … Until these stories are told publicly, we can only evaluate what we see, such as Lula’s decision to abruptly replace the head of the army in January after just three weeks on the job. There may be little risk of a coup tomorrow, or even next year; but to believe that the page has been magically turned with Bolsonaro out of office seems naive. Here’s the problem with all of this though: Even if Lula is correct in his assessment of threats, he is arguably making them worse through some of his actions.”