The last impulse of the Bolsonaros is played on social networks | International

Deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of the Brazilian president, during the independence celebration in Brasilia on September 7. Andressa Anholete (Getty Images)

It is the same day as the final debate between Jair Bolsonaro and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, but the calm and relaxed atmosphere, without the crowds and between columns of books, does not resemble a political rally a few hours before one of the most difficult presidential elections. polarized in the recent history of Brazil. In a t-shirt, Eduardo Bolsonaro, 38, the youngest of the president’s three in-laws, signs books, displays his relaxed surfer smile and takes selfies or records Tik Tok videos with followers who arrive at a bookstore in the heart from São Paulo to buy Jair Bolsonaro: O Fenômeno Ignorado, written in four hands with Mateus Colombo Mendes, the communication secretary of the Presidency.

Four years ago, more than 1.8 million voters in São Paulo elected Eduardo, who is a lawyer and a police officer, to make him the deputy with the greatest electoral support in the country. Very influential in foreign policy, the father flirted with the idea of ​​appointing him ambassador to Washington in the time of Donald Trump, but in the end he withdrew the offer, which faced an uncertain outcome in the Senate. Now he seeks to re-elect himself to Congress, and promote the re-election of the retired captain. The president’s son, known as Bolsonaro 03, embodies the umbilical cord that connects the hard core of Bolsonaroism with Trumpism.

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Three days before the elections, the polls bring Lula da Silva closer to 50% of the valid votes, which keeps open the possibility that he will settle the duel in the first round, while President Bolsonaro has just over a third of the preferences . But his followers do not believe in the polls and are usually convinced that the pulse of the streets favors them.

From outside you can see through the windows the trickle of the few but fervent followers of the Bolsonaros, a clan that owes much of its political success to social networks. They go to have their copies signed at the Drummond bookstore, located next to the elegant ramps of the Conjunto Nacional, one of the first modern buildings on Avenida Paulista, the historic artery of the most populous city in Brazil. Some wear the canarinha shirt. There are never more than a dozen crowded at the same time inside the premises, accompanied by a large group of bodyguards who do not lose track of him. One of them informs this newspaper that the deputy does not want to give statements. The railings deployed to organize the rows are shown to be unnecessary.

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“God, country and family, they defend the same guidelines as us,” says Tania, a 41-year-old businesswoman who prefers to keep her last name to herself, accompanied by two 17-year-old teenagers. All three are wearing the national team jersey. They show the Tik Tok video they made with Eduardo, accompanied by campaign music. It is the same melody that Neymar recorded on Thursday in support of the president. Tania points out the pillars of Bolsonarism, to which she adds liberal economics when justifying her vote.

The ideology of the far-right president is also based on a visceral hatred of Lula and his Workers’ Party. “We don’t want a communist thing in Brazil, and I know that Lula is a communist,” says Sandra María dos Anjos, a 57-year-old informal vendor from São Bernardo, Lula’s political birthplace. She wears a shirt with the Brazilian flag and a sticker of the capitão do povo, as the president is nicknamed. She does not believe in the polls, and only contemplates a victory for the PT in the event of electoral fraud, in line with the distrust in the electoral system that the president has sown. “The people woke up. The press does not show anything that Bolsonaro does, it only hides, ”she says after buying the book for 79 reais (about 15 dollars). “I am sure that Bolsonaro will win first, if they don’t alter the polls,” says Rubens Jimenez, a pizzeria owner, who drove an hour and a half from the coast of the state of Sao Paulo in search of the autograph. He agrees in calling all the polls “fraudulent.”

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Eduardo is emerging as the heir to the dynasty that Bolsonaro has forged. His brother Flavio de him, a senator, has kept a low profile since being investigated for corruption while Carlos, a councilman in Rio de Janeiro, is the most active in the social media strategy. Also the first lady, Michelle Bolsonaro, promotes from the beginning of September a month of fasting and prayer “for Brazil” until this Sunday of elections. The campaign has appealed to the image of the first lady in order to shore up the support of the evangelical electorate. The full family plays its luck in the elections this Sunday.

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