Ex-Brazilian President escapes to Florida amid large scale arrests over Brasilia riots

FLORIDA: Far-right former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro was admitted to a hospital in Florida on Monday with stomach pains as 1,500 of his supporters were rounded up in Brasilia after storming key buildings in the capital over the weekend.
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a leftist who took office on January 1 after defeating Bolsonaro in an October election, vowed to bring those responsible to justice. He accused rioters of trying to overthrow democracy and questioned why the army had not discouraged calls for a military coup outside their barracks.
On Sunday, angry mobs rampaged through Congress, the Supreme Court, and presidential offices, smashing windows, furniture, and artwork in the worst attack on state institutions since Brazil’s return to democracy in the 1980s.
Bolsonaro, who flew to the United States days before his term in office ended, went to a hospital in Orlando on Monday complaining of intestinal pains related to a stabbing he suffered during the 2018 election campaign. His doctor said he has an intestinal blockage that was not serious and would likely not need surgery.
In an interview with CNN Brasil, Bolsonaro said he had planned to stay in the United States until the end of January, but now plans to go back to Brazil sooner to see his doctors.
“I intend to bring forward my return because in Brazil the doctors already know about my problem of intestinal obstruction due to the stab wound,” Bolsonaro said, according to a report on the CNN Brasil website.
Bolsonaro faces several investigations before the Supreme Court in Brazil and his future in the United States, where he travelled with a visa issued to heads of state, diplomats, and other government officials in question.
Representative Joaquin Castro, a Democratic lawmaker in the US Congress, said on CNN that the United States should not give refuge to an “authoritarian who has inspired domestic terrorism” and should send Bolsonaro back to Brazil. –Agencies