Brazil: Bolsonaro apologizes for comments about young Venezuelans

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BrazilBolsonaro apologized for his comments about young Venezuelans

Brazil’s president apologized Tuesday for his comments about young Venezuelan minors, who have drawn allegations of pedophilia from the left.

Jair Bolsonaro in Brasilia on October 17, 2022.

AFP

“If my words – in bad faith, taken out of context – were misunderstood or caused embarrassment to our Venezuelan sisters, I apologize,” Jair Bolsonaro said in a video broadcast on social networks.

In the video, he appears with his wife Michelle, the representative in Brazil of Venezuela’s adversary Juan Guaidó, who has been recognized by Jair Bolsonaro as the country’s legitimate president, ruled by the socialist regime of Nicolás Maduro, and Maria Teresa Pelandrea.

“We are committed to getting those fleeing dictatorships around the world as good as possible,” added the head of state, who will run in the October 30 second round of presidential elections against former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

“A situation has been created”

The controversy began on Friday when Jair Bolsonaro told a story that dates back to April 2021 during an interview with the YouTube channel Paparazzo Rubro-Negro in a poor district of Brasilia.

“I stopped my motorcycle at a corner, took off my helmet and started looking at three or four, beautiful, 14, 15-year-old girls, dressed like they might be in a neighborhood on a Saturday. An environment is created, I’m back, + May I enter your home? +, I entered”, he said. At home, “on a Saturday there were 15 or 20 girls in Venezuela who were 14, 15 years old (…) getting ready, why? To earn a living,” Jair Bolsonaro said.

Viral videos of the interview segment with the hashtag #Bolsonaropedófilo (Bolsonaro pedophile) on networks, especially the phrase “a situation has been created”, caused an outcry. On Sunday, the head of the High Electoral Court banned the use of these areas as official Lula campaign sites.

“Pedophile”

Jair Bolsonaro, who had already responded strongly to the opposition’s accusations on Saturday, assured on Tuesday that the teenage girls were not prostitutes.

On Tuesday, Lula’s wife, Rosangala da Silva, tweeted part of another interview from a month earlier in which the far-right president had already insisted that young Venezuelan women were prostitutes.

As for Lula, he mentioned the case again on Tuesday. “(Bolsonaro’s) behavior in this case is that of a pedophile,” he said. “He felt it, he was scared, and he quickly tried to explain himself,” she said during a live interview on YouTube channel Flow’s podcast.

(AFP)

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