Ex-Brazilian president, who is accused of instigating a violent election denial movement, tells gathering in Florida he intends to return home soon.
Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Saturday that he plans to return to Brazil “in the coming weeks” after having spent more than a month in the United States.
Bolsonaro flew to Florida two days before incumbent Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was sworn in as the new president on January 1, and later applied for a six-month tourist visa to continue his stay in the US.
“There is no place like home… We know Brazil is a fantastic country,” Bolsonaro told a gathering of Brazilians in Boca Raton, a video posted online by broadcaster CNN showed.
“I also want to return to Brazil. I intend to return to Brazil in the coming weeks.”
A swift return to Brazil could pose risks for Bolsonaro, who is accused of instigating a violent election denial movement in his home country.
Brazil’s Supreme Court has agreed to open an investigation into Bolsonaro for allegedly encouraging anti-democratic protests that ended in the storming of government buildings by his supporters in Brasilia.
His plans to return were put into question after his lawyer told the Reuters news agency last month the former president would like to “enjoy being a tourist in the United States for a few months before deciding what his next step will be”.
Still, a US official with knowledge of the situation told Reuters this week officials believe Bolsonaro will return to Brazil after the carnival festival, which ends on February 22.