| 29 May 2024, Wednesday |

Brazil’s Bolsonaro met with protests in Italy visit

When Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro visited the Italian town of Pistoia on Tuesday to pay homage to a military memorial dedicated to Brazilian soldiers slain in World War Two, he was greeted by jeering demonstrators.

The right-wing leader has been chastised for his government’s growing deforestation in the Amazon and his handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, which he attended the Group of 20 conference in Rome last weekend. His critics also accuse him of being dictatorial.

Bolsonaro was greeted by a small gathering of supporters at the monument, while about 300 people gathered in Pistoia’s center to march against him.

Italian rightist leader Matteo Salvini said he was sorry for the actions of the demonstrators.

“Honoring those who died should fall outside of the political debate,” Salvini said.

Groups linked to leftist parties plan to hold a separate commemoration ceremony to avoid having to share the moment with Salvini and Bolsonaro.

The Brazilian Expeditionary Force fought with Allied forces from 1944 to 1945, mostly in Italy, the only South American country to take part in World War Two. About 950 Brazilian servicemen were killed.

Clashes between police and protesters also took place on Monday in the northern city of Padua just before Bolsonaro visited the city’s Basilica, with water cannon used to break up the demonstration.

Earlier, Bolsonaro had been awarded the honorary citizenship in nearby Anguillara Veneta, the birth town of some of his ancestors.

  • Reuters