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Bolsonaro says he underwent treatment in Florida for 2018 stabbing

Undated image of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who said Monday that he underwent a medical procedure at an Orlando hospital. Photo by Jair Bolsonaro Twitter
1 of 4 | Undated image of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who said Monday that he underwent a medical procedure at an Orlando hospital. Photo by Jair Bolsonaro Twitter

Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said he had been hospitalized in Florida as he faces calls for extradition after his supporters stormed government buildings.

Bolsonaro wrote on Twitter Monday he had been discharged from an unidentified hospital in Orlando after undergoing a medical procedure connected with his 2018 stabbing.

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He said he has had surgery five times in the years since he was stabbed while campaigning on the streets in the state of Minas Gerais. His son Flavio Bolsonaro said at the time that he was hospitalized after "perforation reached part of the liver, the lung, and the bowel strap."

"Since the last one, for 2 [times] I had adhesions that led me to other medical procedures," Bolsonaro wrote. "Yesterday new adherence and discharge from hospital in Orlando/USA. Grateful for the prayers and messages of prompt recovery."

Brazilian officials, including current President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, blame Bolsonaro for the riots in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia, where demonstrators vandalized the country's Supreme Court building as well as the presidential palace and Congress.

Bolsonaro has continued to claim he lost the election due to election fraud.

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The government on Monday called the riots "terrorist acts" and has taken 1,500 rioters into custody.

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, on Sunday urged the Biden administration to send Bolsonaro back to Brazil to answer for the riots.

"Bolsonaro should not be in Florida," Castro told CNN. "The United States should not be a refuge for this authoritarian, who has inspired domestic terrorism in Brazil. He should be sent back to Brazil."

Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., added his to calls to have Bolsonaro leave Florida and return to Brazil.

"Two days ago, we marked the two-year anniversary of the 6th insurrection," Takano said on Twitter. "Anti-democratic violence in Brazil today is a sobering reminder of the dangerous fascist movements growing across the world. Jair Bolsonaro should not be allowed refuge in the U.S."

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said during a press briefing Monday that he could not "speak definitively" about Bolsonaro's whereabouts as he did not believe the Biden administration was in "direct contact" with the former president and had not received a request for his extradition.

"We have not, as of now, received any official request from the Brazilian government related to Bolsonaro," he said. "Of course, if we did receive such requests we'd treat them the way we always do: We'd treat them seriously."

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