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Bolsonaro talks a lot at the CPAC, but what does his extended stay in the US really means?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

On March 4th, the former president, Jair Messias Bolsonaro, presented at the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference). During his speech, which lasted half an hour, several sentences praising the United States, the country where he had resided for three months since the beginning of the year, were said.

By nominating himself Brazil‘s most beloved former president, Jair said he will still return to power, and that his term is far from over. But despite his great display of affection for his native country, he was the third president in Brazilian history not to pass the electoral belt to the current president of the nation, Luis Inácio Lula da Silva.

But after all, what was the REAL reason for Bolsonaro to go into exile in the United States of America?

According to the former president himself, his trip had the objective of moving away from the Lula government. “I knew it would be very troubling and I didn’t want to be accused of collaborating with a disastrous way to start that government”, he said in an interview with the Charlie Kirk podcast.

During the same interview, he confirmed that “Brazil had no right”, and added “I managed to bring all these people together, talk about their values and their importance for the future of Brazil. It is a very large mass that will make a difference in future elections.”

What he does not point out as one of the main reasons why he fled the country are the five investigations that the Federal Supreme Court (STF) is investigating about the former president. He can answer for tax violations if it is proven that jewels given to the Brazilian State by Saudi Arabian authorities were incorporated into his personal collection.

Jewelry from Saudi Arabia

In October 2021, jewelry from Saudi Arabia was seized by the Federal Revenue Service at Guarulhos Airport (SP). The package was being led by former Minister of Mines and Energy, Bento Albuquerque, who brought it in his own backpack.

However, the package that arrived illegally in Brazil was incorporated into Bolsonaro’s personal collection. The jewels are valued at R$16.5 million and would be a gift to the former first lady, Michelle Bolsonaro.

After the case was published on March 3th, 2023, the former president denied the illegality of the pieces. Also, Michelle said she didn’t know she had the gift.


#Joias avaliadas em R$ 16 milhões que #Bolsonaro tentou trazer ao Brasil: entenda o que se sabe até agora #tiktoknotícias

♬ som original – g1

In addition, the Federal Revenue said that Bolsonaro did not regularize or present a request for justifications to incorporate the jewels into the Union Collection. In a note, the agency stated that regularization is possible “upon proof of public ownership and regularization of the customs situation. This did not happen in the case under analysis, even after guidance and clarifications provided by the Federal Revenue Service to government agencies”.

He also said that “incorporation into the Union’s heritage requires a request from the competent authority, justifying the need and appropriateness of the measure, such as the allocation of jewels of relevant cultural and historical value to be destined for a museum. That didn’t happen in this case. It is impossible to incorporate a good for the personal interest of anyone, only in case of effective public interest”.

After all, the time Bolsonaro spent in the United States of America can be presented as fear of dealing with the real Brazilian laws, a disrespect to your party supporters, and an indirect way of not accepting the result of 2022´s elections.



The article above was edited by Clarissa Palácio.

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Fernanda Soldateli

Casper Libero '25

Me chamo Fernanda Soldateli e sou estudante de jornalismo da faculdade Casper Libero