February 08, 2023

Castro, Meeks, Cicilline Lead House in Supporting Brazil's Democracy

WASHINGTON – Today, ahead of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s White House visit with President Joe Biden, Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Gregory W. Meeks (NY-05), and Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01), senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, led their colleagues in introducing a resolution supporting the Brazilian people, democracy, and rule of law. The resolution condemns the undemocratic attacks on Brazil’s government institutions and supports the free will of the Brazilian people as expressed in Brazil’s recent presidential election.
“We need to be unequivocally clear that the United States stands with the people of Brazil and their democracy – and against any attempt to overthrow the will of the people,” said Representatives Castro, Meeks, and Cicilline. “We cannot ignore the clear parallels between the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 and the attack on the National Congress of Brazil, the Palácio do Planalto (presidential palace), and the Supreme Court in Brasilia on January 8, 2023. We must stand against all actions that threaten democracy in favor of authoritarianism and chaos.”
The resolution is endorsed by: Washington Office of Latin America (WOLA), Washington Brazil Office, International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality), Latin America Working Group (LAWG), Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), Amazon Watch.
“We applaud the U.S. Congress’ condemnation of the January 8 attack in Brasilia and its offer to support investigations. More so, constructive dialogues between the U.S. and Brazil on democracy, human rights with a differentiated ethnic focus would greatly benefit both countries,” said Gimena Sanchez, Director for the Andes, Washington Office on Latin America.
"Demonstrations of solidarity with Brazil after the anti-democratic attacks of January 8 are very important. The similarities between the January 6 and January 8 attacks show that the fight against the extremism of the far-right is a global one, and we hope that the U.S. continues to make efforts to stand in full support with Brazilian democracy," said Paulo Abrão, Executive Director, Washington Brazil Office.
“It is imperative that we support democracy in Brazil at this time, as well as ensuring that it persists throughout Latin America. We cannot allow violent and racist attacks to take hold in the region and around the world. Right-wing extremism and racism are global issues, and we look to the US to support democratic values and racial equality,” said Carlos Quesada, Executive Director, International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights.
"As President Lula prepares to meet with President Biden at the White House on Friday, this timely resolution makes clear that Brazil and the U.S. face common challenges, particularly from emboldened far right actors who seek to overturn democratic elections through violent attacks on our countries’ institutions. As the resolution highlights, these common challenges can form the basis for a robust bilateral dialogue focused on supporting democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and ensuring that the democratic will of Brazilians and Americans is upheld,” said Alex Main, Director of International Policy at the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
Representatives Castro, Meeks, and Cicilline were joined by Representatives Colin Allred (TX-32), Gerry Connolly (VA-11), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07), Sara Jacobs (CA-53), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Jared Moskowitz (FL-23), Dina Titus (NV-01), Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (FL-25), Susan Wild (PA-07), introducing the resolution.
A copy of the resolution is available here.