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U.S. joins Portugal, France in expressing support for Lula amid riot at Brazil capitol

Security forces detain the supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro who invaded Planalto Palace, seat of the executive branch and the Supreme Court, in Brasilia, Brazil,on Sunday. Photo by Andre Borges/EPA-EFE
Security forces detain the supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro who invaded Planalto Palace, seat of the executive branch and the Supreme Court, in Brasilia, Brazil,on Sunday. Photo by Andre Borges/EPA-EFE

Jan. 8 (UPI) -- The White House on Sunday joined the governments of other nations, including France, Spain and Portugal, in expressing support for Brazilian President Lula da Silva amid an ongoing riot at the capitol in Brasilia.

Hundreds of supporters of Brazil's right-wing former President Jair Bolsonaro stormed the country's Congress, Supreme Court and Planalto Presidential Palace on Sunday to protest the election of Lula and calling for a military intervention to overthrow him, earning the rebuke from world nations.

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"The United States condemns any effort to undermine democracy in Brazil. President Biden is following the situation closely and our support for Brazil's democratic institutions is unwavering," White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement on Twitter.

"Brazil's democracy will not be shaken by violence."

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the president of Portugal, spoke by telephone with Lula after the riot broke out, according to a readout provided by the Portuguese government.

"The President of the Republic considers that these acts, in addition to being unconstitutional and illegal, are inadmissible and intolerable in a democracy, reinforcing Portugal's support and total solidarity with the legitimately elected power in Brazil," the Portuguese government said.

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Pedro Sánchez, the prime minister of Spain, tweeted a message of support to Lula and said Spain "strongly condemns the assault on the Brazilian Congress."

"We support the democratic government elected at the polls. We condemn the actions of groups that oppose legitimate results," Sánchez said in a second statement.

French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement that the "will of the Brazilian people and the democratic institutions must be respected" while adding that Lula "can count on the unwavering support of France."

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