Less than two days before his fierce leftist rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is set to take office, outgoing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro flew to Florida on Friday after giving a tearful message to his supporters.
On Friday night, a Brazilian government plane made a late landing in Orlando, Florida, according to the flight monitoring service FlightAware. Bolsonaro’s travel plans have not been made public, but his security detail was already in place in Florida.
Following his repeated declarations that he would defy Brazil’s democratic tradition by refusing to give Lula the presidential sash at Sunday’s inauguration, Bolsonaro left the country. Due to the fact that his presidential immunity will end once Lula assumes office, he may also run legal risk by staying in Brazil.
His departure came after an emotional farewell speech he gave on social media earlier on Friday, during which he recapped his presidency, defended his legacy, and urged his supporters to continue the fight against Lula.