The U.S. government mounted an “unannounced campaign” across its “military, the CIA, the State Department, the Pentagon and the White House” to undermine former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and assist the accession of his far-left successor Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2023, according to the Financial Times.
The explosive revelations of a high-level, U.S-led, foreign intervention in Brazil’s election process and the ensuing aftermath will raise concerns, especially with America’s own presidential plebiscite looming.
“The Financial Times has spoken to six former or current US officials involved in the effort, as well as to several key Brazilian institutional figures, to piece together the story of how the Biden administration engaged in what one former top state department official calls a “very unusual” messaging campaign in the months leading up to the vote, using both public and private channels.”
This culminated in Lula breaking with the U.S. over sanctions against China, and with Brazil even supporting China-led efforts to move the global trade system off the U.S. dollar.
The Times reports the U.S. had “a more direct motivation,” specifically noting “the January 6 insurrection by Trump supporters at the Capitol in Washington,” as a driving factor behind President Biden’s strong feelings on intervening in Brazil.
Behind the scenes, the Brazilian military was also warned of consequences if it supported Bolsonaro. When the former president’s supporters stormed the Brazilian capitol demanding military intervention after Lula’s narrow victory, they declined to step in. Biden and the far-left leaders of Canada and Mexico then issued a joint statement in Lula’s support.