a little R and R
Brazil's outgoing authoritarian President Jair Bolsonaro will reportedly skip his successor's inauguration, and plans to spend New Year's Eve at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, instead.
After narrowly losing re-election to leftist President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, known as Lula, this past fall, Bolsonaro has largely receded from public life, refusing to officially concede his electoral loss, and punctuating a weeks-long silence with cryptic remarks to his supporters, telling them "who decides where I go are you. Who decides which way the armed forces go are you," in early December.
Now, according to multiple reports across Brazilian media and confirmed by Globo News White House reporter Raquel Krähenbühl, Bolsonaro has begun telling close friends that he will not be in the country to hand over the presidential sash to Lula, and will instead be relaxing at Mar-a-Lago, from which former President Donald Trump has ostensibly been running his 2024 re-election campaign.
Reports of Bolsonaro's decision to spend New Year's in Florida come amid growing concerns that Lula's inauguration is being targeted for terrorist violence, with incoming Justice Minister Flavio Dino announcing plans to bolster security for the event after authorities arrested a man allegedly in the midst of a bomb plot. "We're not talking about a lone wolf," Dino said during a December 26 TV interview. "There are powerful people behind this, and the police will investigate."
Bolsonaro's alleged upcoming Mar-a-Lago stay is not the first time he's sojourned at Trump's Florida estate, nor is it a wholesale surprise. In addition to having been particularly close during their respective administrations due to their shared sense of ultra-nationalism and far-right leanings, Bolsonaro is reportedly being counseled by former Trump administration officials Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon.