WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA)—the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere—and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) released the following statements after their resolution supporting democratic institutions in Brazil was passed by the Senate. The move comes amid Brazilians’ fears that the results of next week’s general election could be undermined by President Bolsonaro, who is down in the polls and has told his base to “go to war” if the election is “stolen.”
“At a time when democracy is under attack in Brazil, the United States, and in countries around the world, we all have a responsibility to stand up for peoples’ fundamental right to have a voice in their government, free from fear of retribution or political retaliation,” said Kaine. “With this vote, the Senate sent a powerful message that we are committed to linking arms with the people of Brazil in support of their country’s democracy and remain confident that Brazil’s electoral institutions will ensure a free, fair, and transparent vote.”
“It is imperative that the U.S. Senate make it clear through this resolution that we support democracy in Brazil,” said Sanders. “It would be unacceptable for the United States to recognize a government that came to power undemocratically, and it would send a horrific message to the entire world. It is important for the people of Brazil to know we’re on their side, on the side of democracy. With passage of this resolution, we are sending that message.”
Brazilians have sounded the alarm over troubling signs of democratic backsliding in the country, including attacks from government officials on the country’s democratic institutions and rule of law; the kidnapping and murder of advocates and journalists; unfounded attacks on the country’s voting system; and a dramatic increase in violence directed at Brazilian political leaders.
In response, the resolution urges the Government of Brazil to ensure that the upcoming presidential election is conducted in a free, fair, credible, transparent, and peaceful manner that enables all citizens of Brazil to exercise the right to vote. Additionally, the resolution calls for the United States Government to continue to speak out against efforts to incite political violence and undermine the electoral process in Brazil, and to review and reconsider its relationship with any government that comes to power in Brazil through undemocratic means.
Full text of the resolution is available here.