By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro, says his country is following the Venezuelan crisis closely and fears that a non-peaceful transition period is underway for the country. Brazil’s Vice-President, General Hamilton Mourāo, however, says the country will not intervene in the Venezuelan crisis.
“Brazil does not participate in intervention. It is not in our foreign policy to intervene in the internal affairs of other countries,” Mourão told reporters on Wednesday.
On Wednesday (January 23rd) Brazil was one of the first countries in Latin America to recognize National Assembly President, Juan Guaidó, as acting president of Venezuela.
In his Twitter account, Bolsonaro, posted a message of support to Guaidó, but said there ‘is a limit’ to what Brazil will do for its northern neighbor.
“Brazil follows with great attention and we are at the limit of what we can do to restore democracy in that country,” he told TV Record.
“History has shown that dictatorships do not pass power to their opposition in a peaceful way. We fear the actions of the government or rather the dictatorship of the Maduro government,” added Bolsonaro.
Since the Venezuelan crisis erupted in 2017, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan refugees have entered Brazil, mainly through Roraima state.
The refugee exodus has led to a crisis in border towns such as Pacaraima and Boa Vista, leading to pressure in social services, tension between refugees and townspeople and pleas by state officials for military personnel to maintain the peace at these locations.
In August of 2018 the National Guard was ordered to Roraima after a group of Brazilians in Pacaraima set fire to a shelter housing Venezuelan immigrants.