- Luiz Inácio Lula de Silva, a leftist activist and former president of Brazil, triumphantly returned to the presidency on Sunday.
- Jair Bolsonaro, the outgoing right-wing president, was spotted at a KFC in Florida a day before Lula’s inauguration, prompting several memes.
- Bolsonaro’s trip to the US may be related to potential investigations into his alleged abuse of power during the campaign against Lula.
On Sunday, Luiz Inácio Lula de Silva, a prominent leftist leader in Brazil, was inaugurated as president after a long and tumultuous political career.
As election-denying, outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro licked his wounds at a Kentucky Fried Chicken fast food restaurant in Florida, Luiz Inácio Lula de Silva prepared for his inauguration the next day.
“Under the winds of re-democratization, we used to say, ‘Dictatorship never again,’” he told a huge crowd in the Brazilian capital of Brasília. “Today, after the terrible challenge we’ve overcome, we must say, ‘Democracy forever.’”
Facing potential investigations for various corruption and abuse of power allegations, Bolsonaro has a history of election denialism and mismanaging the COVID-19 pandemic, similar to his ally Donald Trump.
Bolsonaro’s trip to Florida may be an attempt to maintain ties with US right-wing politicos and potentially re-connect with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate, as well as a lame excuse to avoid passing Lula the presidential sash.
He is also facing potential probes from the Brazilian Senate about his mishandling of the pandemic and for allegedly leaking a classified police corruption investigation into his sons.
A third potential investigation may come from an electoral court for his alleged abuse of power in casting doubt on the Brazilian election system during the campaign against Lula.
This stark contrast in the experiences of Brazil’s two most recent leaders sparked widespread commentary and memes on social media, with some even creating art to depict the strange scene.
This contrast in actions and ideologies between the two Brazilian leaders highlights the ongoing struggle between leftist and right-wing economic policies.