Q24N – Brasilia (EFE) The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, said this Saturday that the country is experiencing a “dictatorship” due to the quarantines that some regions of the country have implemented to try to stop the spread of COVID-19 and compared with the freedoms denied by the Nicolás Maduro regime in Venezuela.
The statements were made during a visit by the president to a favela (a type of low-income informal settlement) located on the outskirts of Brasilia, where several Venezuelan citizens live who fled due to the economic and social crisis in the neighboring country.
“You are also living an experience here in Brazil that seems a bit like a dictatorship, with that stay-at-home policy,” Bolsonaro said during the meeting that was broadcast on social networks.
“Brazilian people, look what you have and what you can lose,” Bolsonaro said as he pointed to the Venezuelans. “They left the (Maduro) regime that, little by little, was removing their freedom,” he said.
“Brazil is not going to become a Venezuela, rest assured of that,” he said.
The Brazilian president again criticized the quarantines and measures that reduce mobility in some regions of the country and said that Brazil is “reaching the limit” since these policies only seek to “suffocate” the economy.
Bolsonaro, 65, who has already overcome COVID-19, has harshly questioned the measures of social isolation imposed to a greater or lesser degree by the governors of the 27 states of Brazil.
“I have the power to force a‘ lockdown ‘in all of Brazil, just by using my pen, but it will not be done. (…). Our Army will never go out on the streets to force them to stay at home, never! Our Army (will not do) anything against their individual freedom,” the president emphasized.
With nearly 350,000 deaths from COVID-19 and more than 13.3 million infected, Brazil is currently third of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic today, according to the Johns Hopkins University. However, it has also shown a high rate of recovery and does not appear among the 10 countries with the most deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.