Former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro said on Saturday he plans to return to Brazil “in the coming weeks,” after having spent more than a month in the United States.
Bolsonaro flew to Florida two days before incumbent Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was sworn in as the new president on Jan 1, and later applied for a six-month tourist visa to continue his stay in the United States.
“There is no place like home … We know Brazil is a fantastic country,” Bolsonaro told a gathering of Brazilians in Boca Raton, a video posted online by broadcaster CNN showed.
“I also want to return to Brazil. I intend to return to Brazil in the coming weeks.”
A swift return to Brazil could pose risks for Bolsonaro, who is accused of instigating a violent election denial movement in his home country.
Brazil’s Supreme Court has agreed to open an investigation into Bolsonaro for allegedly encouraging anti-democratic protests that ended in the storming of government buildings by his supporters in Brasilia.
His plans to return were put in question after his lawyer told Reuters last month the former president would like to “enjoy being a tourist in the United States for a few months before deciding what his next step will be.”
Still, a U.S. official with knowledge of the situation told Reuters this week that officials believe Bolsonaro will return to Brazil after the carnival festival, which ends on Feb 22.
Copyright 2022 Thomson/Reuters