WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
10 Feb 2023 | WOLA Statement

House Resolution Supports Brazilian Democracy and Urges Constructive Dialogue Between Two Nations

On the eve of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s visit to Washington on February 10, members of Congress introduced a House resolution in support of democracy and rule of law in Brazil. Led by Rep. David Cicilline, House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Gregory Meeks, and Rep. Joaquin Castro this resolution sends the unequivocal message that the U.S. Congress strongly condemns the undemocratic attacks that took place against Brazil’s democratic institutions on January 8, 2023 and calls for the will of Brazilian voters to be respected.  

The resolution’s sponsors indicate that it is unacceptable that despite all evidence to the contrary, former President Bolsonaro spread false claims of election fraud before, during, and after the attacks in Brasilia. This behavior runs against both the U.S. and Brazil’s shared values.  

The Brazilian incidents hit home for many in the U.S. Congress who draw parallels between incidents that took place during and after the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Despite the Select January 6th Committee’s telecast public hearings and its final report, conspiracy theories and misinformation remain  an issue in the U.S. and could resurface during the 2024 elections.    

As such, the resolution resolves that the House of Representatives condemn all unlawful and violent actions and oppose any attempt to overturn the 2022 election results and to undemocratically remove President Lula. The members of Congress express their solidarity with the people of Brazil as they recover from this incident and seek justice and accountability for from the attack.  

The resolution asks the U.S. government to cooperate with assistance requests that Brazilian authorities may have when investigating the attack. And most importantly it supports constructive dialogues between the two countries to promote democracy, rule o law, human rights, civic participation, and racial and ethnic equality in access to justice.

President Biden invited Lula to the U.S. shortly after the riots took place in Brazil as a gesture of solidarity between the two nations. Today’s meeting between the two leaders is an opportunity to place the U.S. and Brazil relationship back on track in jointly fighting climate change and preserving the Amazon rainforest restarting its joint antiracism actions and dialogues required for both countries, and advancing the common interests of both nations while prioritizing human rights, democratic institutions, and the rule of law.