Bolsonaro hospitalized in Florida

One day after the riots in Brasília, Jair Bolsonaro went under medical observation - it is unclear whether the ex-president is still allowed to stay in the USA.

Meanwhile, hundreds of rioters have been arrested. / Bolsonaro hospitalized in Florida

Brazil’s ex-president Jair Bolsonaro was taken to a US hospital after thousands of supporters rioted in his home country. According to the Brazilian newspaper “O Globo”, Bolsonaro suffers from severe abdominal pain and is in a clinic in the US city of Orlando. His wife Michelle Bolsonaro confirmed on Instagram that her husband was “under observation in the hospital” for abdominal pain.

At a campaign event in September 2018, a mentally disturbed man stabbed Bolsonaro and inflicted serious abdominal injuries on him. Michelle Bolsonaro also referred to this in her current message. The ex-military had continued the election campaign from the hospital at the time. The following month he was elected President. Bolsonaro has been hospitalized since then, including after taking office in early 2019, and has had to undergo multiple surgeries.

Brazilian doctor says hospitalization is not serious

Antonio Macedo, a doctor treating Bolsonaro in Brazil, told Reuters the ex-president has an intestinal obstruction but is unlikely to need surgery. “It’s not a serious case,” he told Reuters. Initially, Macedo’s statements could not be checked independently.

Radical Bolsonaro supporters stormed the government district in the Brazilian capital Brasília on Sunday. They briefly took control of the country’s most important branches of government, penetrating Congress, the Supreme Court and the government seat, Palácio do Planalto. There they rioted, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. It took hours for the security forces to bring the situation back under control.

Discussion on Bolsonaro’s residency status

Bolsonaro had previously flown to the United States with his family two days before the end of his term on New Year’s Day, where he has been in Florida since then. His stay is also legally controversial: according to media reports, Bolsonaro is said to have entered the USA with a so-called “A visa” – this is only permitted for diplomats or acting heads of state. Bolsonaro should therefore probably no longer be eligible for such a visa.

State Department spokesman Edward Price stated at a press conference that he could not speak about the residence status of “individuals”. However, he generally clarified the rules for “A visas”: “If an A visa holder is no longer working for his government, he must leave the USA within 30 days or apply for a change to another immigration status”, said Price. After the storm on Sunday evening, US Democrats had demanded that the ex-president leave the country.

Meanwhile, according to information from the dpa news agency, around 1,500 of his supporters have been arrested for the time being. Security forces cleared a camp of Bolsonaro sympathizers in front of the armed forces’ headquarters in the capital on Monday and temporarily detained the activists, the Justice Ministry said. The people were taken away in around 40 buses, reported the news portal “G1”. Camps run by Bolsonaro supporters were also broken up in other cities such as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, and arrests were also made there.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro apparently in the hospital


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