Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on March 4 that he feels deep inside that his mission isn’t over, while sharing his thoughts about his time as president and his vision for that nation’s future during remarks at the Conservative Political Action Committee’s 2023 conference in National Harbor, Maryland.
“It is not easy to be a politician, especially when you want to honor your world, your word, and help people,” Bolsonaro told the packed event.
He shared some of his story, saying that he never expected to be president of Brazil, but after witnessing the election of communists to office, he decided to face the challenge. Bolsonaro expressed his gratitude for his second life and the mission of serving as Brazil’s president for one term.
Bolsonaro said that during his campaign and time in office, he drew strength from John 8:32 in the Bible: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
The former South American leader said populism, communism, and corruption have always dominated Brazil’s politics. And when he decided to run for office, he walked through the country for four years, taking the truth to the people without worrying about votes.
While walking through a small city in the Amazon, people received him and questioned why he was there by himself.
“No one believed that I could be successful,” Bolsonaro said.
“I took to the four corners of Brazil, and the Brazilian people who had forgotten the colors of their flag began to love it.
“People started to understand more about politics, started to know better the Brazilian Congress, and the names of congressmen and senators became part of Brazilians’ everyday life—not just soccer players.”
As his campaign grew, the leftist party began to understand that he was a difficult target to defeat. During the 2018 campaign, in an assault that he suggested was politically motivated, he was stabbed in the stomach at a rally and required surgery to repair the life-threatening wound.
Bolsonaro spoke about some of his chief accomplishments in office, including never requiring that anyone take a COVID-19 vaccination and relaxing gun control regulations.
“I always said in Brazil: An armed people will never be enslaved, and an armed nation will never be subjugated. … We must always be preoccupied with our liberties; it’s just like a great love,” he said. “You must take care of it every day not to lose it. And we have witnessed this not only in Brazil but in the entire world.”
Bolsonaro said that what he fights for as a conservative are basic rights. He said it was part of his mission to push back against gender ideology, along with his idea that private property is one of the pillars of democracy.
The former president said he doesn’t understand how he could have lost his 2022 reelection bid, since his popularity only increased. He has refused to concede to leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula de Silva.
“I would like to thank all of you. And just like you, I would like to have the pleasure in a few moments to be able to watch Donald Trump come on stage,” Bolsonaro said.
He ended his comments on a positive note, saying, “I continue to be loyal to our principles; I’m still faithful to our motto ‘God, homeland, family, and liberty.’”
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