BRASILIA – The presence of the president Jair Bolsonaro at the demonstration in front of the Army Headquarters against Congress and the Federal Supreme Court (STF), this Sunday afternoon, caused an “enormous discomfort” in the military leadership. To the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, general officers pointed out that they are not tired of repeating that Armed forces they are permanent institutions that serve the Brazilian State and not the government.

In the assessment of the generals heard, the protest that even called for military intervention could not have occurred in a worse place. “If the demonstration had taken place at the Esplanade, at Praça dos Três Poderes or anywhere else, it would have been more of the same”, observed one of them. “But in front of the HQ, on Army day, it has a very strong double symbology. It was not good because the Armed Forces are only taking care of their constitutional missions, without interfering in political issues.”

They noted that Bolsonaro’s presence in front of the HQ had another symbolic gravity. According to the Constitution, the President of the Republic is also the commander in chief of the Armed Forces. Even with care to avoid direct criticism, the generals stressed that the gesture was a “provocation”, “unnecessary” and “out of time”.

The generals did not hide their malaise by reporting. After all, Bolsonaro left them in “just skirt”. Military chiefs cannot speak out. O state he heard seven general officers, five from the Army, one from the Air Force and one from the Navy. They recalled that the country has a “real war” to be won and that it is not possible to spend energy on different targets. There were those who observed that the president faces “resistance”, including from Congress, but everyone believes that his presence at the demonstration provoked even more the ire of representatives of the Executive and Judiciary.

Due to the presence of the president at the demonstration, there was a need to reinforce the guard of the HQ. This ended up giving an image that was also considered bad by the generals. The soldiers displaced to the guard were on duty and had to rush out to the site of the demonstration and, in a way, protect Bolsonaro from the crowd.

At the moment, the active military personnel of the Army, Navy and Air Force, under the baton of the Ministry of Defense, try to focus their work in combating the pandemic of the new coronavirus, without issuing any political position on the controversies.

The attitude of the president, still according to the analysis of one of the military, sends a changed signal to society. The assessments had a dose of outburst from the generals. They stressed they spend all the time trying to separate the government from the Army, since there are always those who remember the presence of military personnel in ministerial positions at the Planalto Palace.

A general temporized remembering that “it is not the first time” that a demonstration takes place in front of a barracks. Another amended that “peaceful and orderly demonstrations are legitimate expressions of democracy”. A third party recalled that they can take recordings that will not see the president attacking anyone, but talking about freedom and employment. The atmosphere, however, was one of discomfort.

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