WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement ahead of Brazil’s elections Sunday:
“This Sunday, the residents of the Western Hemisphere’s second largest country will go to the polls in Brazil’s presidential election. Like all citizens in a democracy, the people of Brazil have the right to a free, fair, and peaceful process — but in recent weeks and months, that right has been threatened. We call for a nonviolent and transparent election process whose results are recognized immediately by all major political actors.
“The Brazilian people have suffered greatly under the Bolsonaro administration: flagrant disregard for public health that allowed COVID-19 to devastate the country, environmental degradation, economic difficulties, and the erosion of democratic norms. These threats have culminated in the run-up to Sunday’s elections in the form of lethal political violence. The current President’s unfounded claims of fraud and repeated attacks on the legitimacy of Brazil’s electoral system suggest he may not recognize the results if he loses.
“As lawmakers committed to defeating similarly dangerous dynamics in the United States, we appreciate the Biden administration’s reported commitment to recognize the winner in Sunday’s election. We applaud our Senate colleagues’ unanimous adoption of CPC member Senator Bernie Sanders (I-V.T.)’ resolution reaffirming U.S. bilateral assistance and cooperation to be dependent on Brazil's respect for democracy and human rights. In the event of an extra-constitutional seizure of power or military support for baseless fraud accusations, progressives are committed to denying funds or assistance to Brazil’s security forces, and will work closely with our colleagues in Congress and the White House to ensure immediate action.
“The Biden administration has already shown commendable leadership by breaking with previous U.S. administrations to promptly recognize the results of fair elections in Latin America, which have recently resulted in new progressive governments in countries like Bolivia, Honduras, Chile, and Colombia. It is past time to put the American legacy of support for unconstitutional political transitions in the region behind us. Together, we can begin a new chapter in our relations with Latin America: one built on mutual respect, democracy, and human rights.”