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House Dems urge Pompeo to condemn 'Trump of the Tropics'

October 27, 2018
In The News

A group of House Democrats penned a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday asking him to condemn far-right Brazilian presidential frontrunner Jair Bolsonaro.

The lawmakers, led by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), cited concerns for "rising threats to democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Brazil" in making their request.

“Given the regional repercussions of this sort of development, this is not a threat that our country can take lightly,” they wrote.

Bolsonaro and Fernando Haddad of the left-wing Workers’ Party are the two candidates in Sunday's run-off vote to become the new president, and Bolsonaro has already said he will not accept the result if he loses.

Dubbed the "Trump of the Tropics," Bolsonaro has been charged with hate speech toward minority groups, called for the execution of political opponents and has benefited greatly from a false news campaign.

Bolsonaro has made many derogatory remarks toward women, including telling a female congresswoman in 2014, "I would never rape you because you’re not worth it."

In 2011, he told Playboy magazine that he would rather his son die than be gay and has frequently suggested that parents beat their gay children.

Bolsonaro also called for the Haddad's party to be jailed and to "banish them from the homeland." 

The House lawmakers warned Pompeo that Bolsonaro's election could have destructive effects on the region.

They concluded by calling upon the Trump administration to condemn Bolsonaro.

“It is incumbent upon you and other spokespeople for our government to condemn all political violence and take a strong stand in opposition to such backsliding; leaving clear that U.S. assistance and cooperation with Brazil is contingent on the upholding of basic human rights and democratic values by its leaders," they wrote.

A representative from the State Department did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for comment.