No evidence of alleged fraud in the presidential election, verification of the result refused, instead a fine of more than four million euros for “malicious and irresponsible” initiating a legal dispute.

The smack for Jair Bolsonaro by the Supreme Court could not have been much more bitter, but at least there was still football: Brazil’s exceptional player Neymar had finally announced that he would dedicate his first goal at the World Cup in Qatar to Bolsonaro.

But nothing came of it either, worse: the superstar was replaced due to injury in Brazil’s 2-0 win against Serbia. It is questionable whether he can even make a statement for the president who was voted out again at the tournament.

And both goals, including the most beautiful goal of the tournament so far, were scored by Richarlison, who has repeatedly campaigned against racism and for the preservation of the environment. Jair Bolsonaro has achieved the feat that even the “jogo bonito”, Brazil’s favorite sport, is now a very political matter.

The canary-yellow national jersey with the green collar is worn by his supporters when they block the streets, agitate against the election winner Lula da Silva and openly call for a military coup in front of the barracks. The political game, which looks pretty familiar from the USA, is far from over in the largest country in South America.

It is: Even if we lose, we do not acknowledge defeat. And we use all the dirty tricks to make it different next time.

Guilherme Casaroes also shared his excitement in front of the TV with the Selecao, as befits a Brazilian, but football is not his specialty: the political scientist with a focus on international relations has also been researching the extreme right in the country for years, and is director of the “Observatório da extrema direita”.

He says: “The Supreme Court decision strengthens the Bolsonaro supporters’ argument that Brazil lives under a dictatorship of the judiciary, it is part of the far-right narrative.

But the more tension there is between his supporters on the one hand and the institutions on the other hand, the more they are weakened in the long run.”

Donald Trump has also failed to acknowledge his defeat in the 2020 US presidential election, continues to goad his Make America Great Again supporters with the stolen election narrative, and has done everything humanly possible to weaken the institutions and the undermine democracy.

Negative highlight: the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, in which five people died. A blueprint for what is still to come for Brazil?

“Bolsonaro is not ready to accept the results and simply leave office on January 1. We’ve seen some violent incidents, roadblocks, people blocking trucks and setting tollbooths on fire. So I think we’re getting closer to the January 6 situation. This won’t happen overnight. But on the other hand, the president’s silence allows these people to increasingly empower themselves to use violence,” says Casaroes.

Donald Trump was also silent for a long time when his supporters stormed the Capitol in Washington. His lawyers have now filed a lawsuit to challenge his subpoena before the investigative committee. There is much more that connects Trump and Bolsonaro: the love of guns, nationalism, the spreading of fake news on social media.

And a policy that doesn’t care about long-standing allies, promotes environmental destruction and divides the country into two camps. The political scientist calls it the Americanization of Brazilian politics.

“The public debate here is becoming more and more similar to the US, it has turned into a battle, into a kind of culture war. Bolsonaro mimics Trump. He reproduces Trump’s arguments, the language, the whole populist logic of bad manners and also plays the people off against the so-called elites.

Bolsonaro openly admits that he looks up to Trump as one of his political role models. The far right in Brazil grew out of the far right in the United States.”

The copy is still in the process of learning from the original day by day. Eduardo Bolsonaro, third eldest son and congressman, is a permanent guest at Trump’s residence in Mara-a-Lago, Florida. He poses on Facebook with Trump hats and guns in hand.

He was also the guest of honor at Steve Bannon’s birthday party, the mastermind of US right-wing populism. The Bolsonaro family wants to know how they can change Brazil permanently. This includes playing the card of religion.

“We have the Christian right in Brazil, which has imported pretty much every single element, every single topic of conversation, from the Christian right in the United States. So overall, it’s a movement that supports Bolsonaro and mimics and emulates pretty much everything that’s happening in the United States. And it will continue because the American movement has continued even after Trump’s departure,” says Guilherme Casaroes.

For the right-wing populists in the USA, the development in Brazil is a godsend to establish the world view outside of the United States. With 214 million inhabitants number six in the world, dominant power in Latin America and already a playground for the conservative networks Gettr and Parler.

But Brazil should only be the beginning, Trump’s ideology is about to spread to other countries in the world and will not disappear. Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue think tank in Washington:

“At the meeting of the ‘Conservative Political Action Conference’ in Mexico a week ago, right-wing ideologues from Latin America and the USA came together to advance Trump’s policies. Steve Bannon gave a keynote address and speakers were potential Argentine presidential candidate Javier Milei and Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei. Trump advisers are also working closely with popular El Salvador leader Nayib Bukele.”

And Hungary, Poland and the Philippines have long been marked in bold on Donald Trump’s ideological map. But above all in Latin America, in the so-called backyard of the United States, the conditions are ideal for the right-wing populist movement to gain increasing support – and for Bolsonaro’s Brazil to find more imitators, be it on the soccer field or in politics.

Shifter says: “Left-wing governments in Latin America today face formidable economic and political challenges. And all the countries that already have a dangerously high level of polarization are the ideal breeding ground for the Trump option.”

Author: Oliver Pieper

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The original of this post “The ominous Bolsonaro-Trump Alliance” comes from Deutsche Welle.