Jair Bolsonaro, the 38th President of Brazil, took to the stage at the Conservative Political Action Committee’s 2023 conference in Washington D.C., to share his thoughts on his time as president and his vision for Brazil’s future.
“It is not easy to be a politician, especially when you want to honor your world, your word, and help people,” Bolsonaro said to a packed event.
Bolsonaro expressed his gratitude for his second life and the mission of serving as President of Brazil for one term. However, he added that he feels deep inside that his mission is not over.
Bolsonaro told 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.
The former Brazilian president, who served in the army for 15 years and was a congressman for 30 years, said during his campaign and time in office, he helped himself to a Bible verse from John 8:32, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
The former South American leader said populism, communism, and corruption has 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,” he 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,” Bolsonaro said.
“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 he was a difficult target to defeat.
According to the former president’s comments on stage, he was eventually attacked and stabbed by a member of that party in September 2018, but won his election despite the attack.
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. 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.”
He 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 why he was said to have lost the 2022 presidential election since his popularity only grew.
He also said he was one of the last world leaders to acknowledge the results of the 2020 United States presidential election, where President Joe Biden was declared the winning in a hotly contested national election.
“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,” the Brazilian politician said.
Bolsonaro 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.’”