The New Players in Brazilian Politics? Elon Musk and Republicans.

By John Mercury May 8, 2024

Just a few months ago, the political movement behind Brazil’s far-right former president, Jair Bolsonaro, was sputtering. Mr. Bolsonaro had been voted out of office, ruled ineligible to run in the next election and was in the cross hairs of deepening criminal investigations.

But now Mr. Bolsonaro and his followers have had a sudden surge of energy and momentum — with the help of Elon Musk and the Republican Party.

Over the past month, Mr. Musk and House Republicans have harshly criticized Alexandre de Moraes, a Brazilian Supreme Court justice who is leading investigations into Mr. Bolsonaro, over the judge’s moves to block more than 100 social media accounts in Brazil. Many of them belong to prominent right-wing pundits, podcasters and federal lawmakers who, in some cases, have questioned Mr. Bolsonaro’s election loss.

Mr. Moraes has said he is acting to protect Brazil’s democracy against attacks from the former president and his allies, who have been accused of planning a coup in 2022.


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