Why did the former president sleep at the Hungarian embassy?



The elective affinities between Jair Bolsonaro and Viktor Orbán


Currently two hypotheses surround this question that does not want to be silenced.

Former president Jair Bolsonaro's defense claims that he slept there to “maintain contact with authorities in that country”. Let's face it, it's an implausible allegation. To maintain such contacts he wouldn't even need to go to the embassy, ​​let alone sleep there for two nights, in the middle of Carnival. All you would need to do is call, schedule a Zoom call, Skype, or something similar, even if encrypted.

The other, more likely, hypothesis says that, with the passport seized, he performed what in chess is called a “preventive castling”. In those days of uncertainty, fearing arrest, he retreated to a friendly roof, where, in case of need, he could ask for political asylum.

But come on: whatever hypothesis is accepted, the answer to that question is: Viktor Orbán, the Prime Minister of Hungary, his far-right supporter, with whom he often exchanges compliments.


But after all, who is Viktor Orbán and what does he want?

To begin with, in power for 14 years, Viktor Orbán is the second longest-serving leader on the European continent, second only to Alexander Lukashenko, from Belarus, in his country's presidency since 1994.

Analysts of various tendencies point out that he is a politician who boasts a complex and sophisticated university education and at the same time is capable of symbolic gestures such as joining firefighters and manual workers in piling up sandbags to stop a flood.

His ability to choose easily identified targets as his country's preferred enemies is also highlighted. One of them, for example, was billionaire and fellow countryman George Soros, characterizing him as a kind of Wizard of Oz willing to control Hungary from behind the scenes of politics. Through this maneuver, Viktor Orbán opposed the political liberalism that dominated the European scene in the 21st century and consolidated the idea that he intends to create a regime that he characterizes as “illiberal”.

In this wake, his control over the media and parliament advanced. He managed to expel most of the university activities that George Soros had financed in Budapest, the Hungarian capital, to Vienna, Austria.

Viktor Orbán founded the party Fidesz, which he still leads today, even when he was a university student, promising to fight for “freedom” after the end of communist regimes in Eastern Europe. However, his critics point to him as the most prominent and enduringly successful authoritarian and autocratic leader in Europe today.

In addition to George Soros, Viktor Orbán pointed out to his audience a varied series of enemies: the immigrant or refugee from the “south of the world” and the Muslim, who he often accused of bringing “terrorist tendencies” to Europe. “Europe for Europeans, Hungary for Hungarians”, is one of his favorite slogans.

He presents himself as a defender of Christian values ​​and the heterosexual family, condemning any other type of sexual-affective relationship.

With such a record of services, he intends to make himself and Hungary an international reference for far-right policies. In addition to Jair Bolsonaro, he is a friend of Benjamin Netanyahu and is considered the European leader closest to Vladimir Putin, being critical of the support given by the West to Ukraine, arguing that it is unable to beat Russia in the war fought there. He attended Javier Milei's inauguration in Argentina and is an admirer of Donald Trump, to whom he gives advice. He has at least one advantage over the American: about to turn 61, he looks like a “young man” compared to Trump's 77.


In addition to these “elective affinities”, there is another important factor in Jair Bolsonaro’s preference for the Hungarian embassy. In November 2018, the former prime minister of small North Macedonia, the right-wing Nikola Gruevski, was about to serve a prison sentence, convicted of acts of corruption. On the day he was supposed to report to serve his sentence, he didn't. Three days later he appeared in Budapest, Hungary, and within a week Viktor Órban granted him asylum, which continues to this day. Further research demonstrated that from North Macedonia to Hungary, Nikola Gruevski drove through three other countries, Albania, Montenegro and Serbia, always escorted by Hungarian diplomats.

In other words: the Hungarian embassy would indeed be the safest way for the former Brazilian president to remain free, if his arrest were ordered during those carnival days. Even the dictator Augusto Pinochet in Chile and the 1964 coup plotters in Brazil respected this right to asylum in embassies, which is a Latin American tradition.

* Flavio Aguiar, journalist and writer, is a retired professor of Brazilian literature at USP. Author, among other books, of  Chronicles of the World Upside Down (boitempo). [https://amzn.to/48UDikx]

Originally published on the website of France-International Radio.

the earth is round exists thanks to our readers and supporters.
Help us keep this idea going.

See this link for all articles


  • About artificial ignoranceEugenio Bucci 15/06/2024 By EUGÊNIO BUCCI: Today, ignorance is not an uninhabited house, devoid of ideas, but a building full of disjointed nonsense, a goo of heavy density that occupies every space
  • Franz Kafka, libertarian spiritFranz Kafka, libertarian spirit 13/06/2024 By MICHAEL LÖWY: Notes on the occasion of the centenary of the death of the Czech writer
  • Introduction to “Capital” by Karl Marxred triangular culture 02/06/2024 By ELEUTÉRIO FS PRADO: Commentary on the book by Michael Heinrich
  • The society of dead historyclassroom similar to the one in usp history 16/06/2024 By ANTONIO SIMPLICIO DE ALMEIDA NETO: The subject of history was inserted into a generic area called Applied Human and Social Sciences and, finally, disappeared into the curricular drain
  • Impasses and solutions for the political momentjose dirceu 12/06/2024 By JOSÉ DIRCEU: The development program must be the basis of a political commitment from the democratic front
  • Strengthen PROIFESclassroom 54mf 15/06/2024 By GIL VICENTE REIS DE FIGUEIREDO: The attempt to cancel PROIFES and, at the same time, turn a blind eye to the errors of ANDES management is a disservice to the construction of a new representation scenario
  • The strike at federal Universities and Institutescorridor glazing 01/06/2024 By ROBERTO LEHER: The government disconnects from its effective social base by removing those who fought against Jair Bolsonaro from the political table
  • A myopic logicRED MAN WALKING _ 12/06/2024 By LUIS FELIPE MIGUEL: The government does not have the political will to make education a priority, while it courts the military or highway police, who do not move a millimeter away from the Bolsonarism that they continue to support
  • Hélio Pellegrino, 100 years oldHelio Pellegrino 14/06/2024 By FERNANDA CANAVÊZ & FERNANDA PACHECO-FERREIRA: In the vast elaboration of the psychoanalyst and writer, there is still an aspect little explored: the class struggle in psychoanalysis
  • Volodymyr Zelensky's trapstar wars 15/06/2024 By HUGO DIONÍSIO: Whether Zelensky gets his glass full – the US entry into the war – or his glass half full – Europe’s entry into the war – either solution is devastating for our lives