Joe Biden said the situation in Brazil was “outrageous” after supporters of the former president Jair Bolsonaro invaded the country’s congress, presidential palace and supreme court on Sunday, with some senior US lawmakers calling for the far-right figure to be extradited from the US.
Biden’s words of condemnation were echoed by world leaders across the globe, including some of Brazil’s closest neighbours.
Brazil’s president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who defeated Bolsonaro in a closely fought election last year, announced a federal security intervention in Brasília lasting until 31 January after capital security forces were overwhelmed initially by the invaders.
“I condemn the assault on democracy and on the peaceful transfer of power in Brazil. Brazil’s democratic institutions have our full support and the will of the Brazilian people must not be undermined,” Biden said on Twitter.
The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, tweeted that “using violence to attack democratic institutions is always unacceptable”, and called for an immediate end to the invasion of Brazil’s democratic institutions.
The US national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said the US condemned any effort to undermine democracy in Brazil. “President Biden is following the situation closely and our support for Brazil’s democratic institutions is unwavering. Brazil’s democracy will not be shaken by violence,” Sullivan said.
Bolsonaro flew out of Brazil on the eve of Lula’s inauguration and is in Florida. Many in the US – and across the world – saw echoes of the US Capitol invasion of 2021 in the actions of Bolsonaro’s supporters and called for the former president to be extradited.
Joaquin Castro, a member of the US House foreign affairs committee, told CNN that Bolsonaro had used “the Trump playbook to inspire domestic terrorists to try and take over the government”.
“Right now Bolsonaro is in Florida … he should be extradited to Brazil … The United States should not be a refuge for this authoritarian who has inspired domestic terrorism in Brazil”, he said.
The US House Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, said: “Nearly two years to the day the US Capitol was attacked by fascists, we see fascist movements abroad attempt to do the same in Brazil.”
She called for the US to “cease granting refuge to Bolsonaro in Florida”.
Chile’s president, Gabriel Boric, called the storming of Brazil’s institutions a “cowardly and vile attack on democracy”.
Colombia’s president, Gustavo Petro, said: “Fascism has decided to stage a coup … It is urgent for the OAS [Organization of American States] to meet if it wants to continue to live as an institution.”
The Argentinian president, Alberto Fernández, tweeted that he committed his country’s “unconditional support for @LulaOficial in the face of this attempted coup he is facing”.
Venezuela’s president, Nicolás Maduro, said he rejected “the violence generated by Bolsonaro’s neo-fascist groups which have assaulted Brazil’s democratic institutions. Our support for @LulaOficial and the Brazilian people who will surely mobilize in defence of peace and their president.”
The UN secretary general, António Guterres, called Brazil “a great democratic country” and said he was confident the “will of the Brazilian people and the country’s institutions” would be respected.
The European Council president, Charles Michel, said Lula had been “democratically elected by millions of Brazilians through fair and free elections”, and condemned “the assault on the democratic institutions of Brazil”.
France’s Emmanuel Macron said Lula could count on his country’s “unwavering support” and that the “will of the Brazilian people and the democratic institutions must be respected”.
Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, also offered Lula his full support, adding: “We categorically condemn the assault on the congress of Brazil and call for an immediate return to democratic normality.”
A similar call came from Italy’s far-right prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, who said the scenes from Brazil were “incompatible with any form of democratic dissent”.
Portugal’s foreign minister, João Gomes Cravinho, claimed much of the responsibility rested with Bolsonaro and said “it would be very important if he had a message of condemnation in the face of the disorder that is currently happening in Brasília”.
The Australian government said it “condemns the attack on Brazil’s congress, supreme court and presidential palace”, which a department of foreign affairs and trade spokesperson said was “unacceptable; democratic institutions and processes must be respected”.
Human Rights Watch blamed the attack on a “years-long campaign by former president Jair Bolsonaro and his allies to undermine democratic principles and spread baseless claims of electoral fraud”. The organisation released a statement calling the storming “an abhorrent attack on Brazil’s democratic institutions by people who are seeking to deny the right of Brazilians to vote for and elect the leaders of their choice, including by urging military intervention”.