Former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro waves to supporters from a window in his party facilities in Brasilia, Brazil, on 30 March 2023. EFE/ Luis Nova

Ex-president Bolsonaro ends self-imposed US exile, returns to Brazil

Brasilia, Mar 30 (EFE).- Brazil’s former president Jair Bolsonaro returned home on Thursday, three months after flying to the United States just before the end of his term.

Bolsonaro had been living in self-imposed exile in Florida since he was defeated in presidential elections late last year by left-wing candidate Luiz Inacio ‘Lula’ da Silva, who was sworn in on January 1.

A week later, thousands of Bolsonaro’s supporters stormed the presidential palace, the Supreme Court and the National Congress.

Supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro gather in front of the headquarters of his party in Brasilia, Brazil, 30 March 2023. EFE/ Luís Nova

The far-right politician, who is facing charges that he incited the rioters, landed in Brasilia at around 7:35 am local time on a commercial flight from Orlando, Florida.

Bolsonaro, 68, left Gol airport through a restricted area for security reasons, avoiding journalists – and the dozens of supporters who were waiting to welcome him.

The retired military officer will head to the Liberal Party (PL) headquarters for a private welcoming ceremony that is to be attended by his wife Michelle and party leader Valdemar Costa.

Bolsonaro will be named the PL’s honorary president starting next week.

Brasilia regional authorities had said they would set up blockades around government buildings to avoid any clashes.

The former president told CNN before departing Florida that he would not lead the opposition to Lula’s government but will use his over three-decade “experience” in politics to help the PL party.

“You don’t have to oppose this government. This government is an opposition in itself,” he said.

Bolsonaro lived in mixed martial arts fighter Jose Aldo’s home in Orlando and participated in a political forum with former US president Donald Trump in Miami.

He is currently being investigated for his alleged involvement in the attacks by his supporters on government buildings following his election defeat.

Bolsonaro is also facing another case into the alleged receipt of luxury jewelry from Saudi Arabia.EFE