The controversial Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, recently accused of crimes against humanity in Brazil, is expected to arrive in Italy next September 1, in Anguillara Veneta, to withdraw the honorary citizenship that the local administration has deliberated for the Venetian origins of his great-great-grandparents.
Anguillara Veneta is a small town of 4 thousand inhabitants in the province of Padua, in the northeast of the country led by a right-wing council.
The mayor, Alessandra Buoso, had tried to extinguish the controversy: “We wanted to give an honor not to a man and his policies, but to a country. Brazil. Thus recognizing the importance that this country has had for our ancestors,” she said. A great-grandfather of Bolsonaro, it is explained, had left the province of Padua in 1888 to seek his fortune in South America. “Like Jair Bolsonaro’s grandfather, a thousand other people left Anguillara in the late 19th century,” Alessandra Buoso continues. “Citizenship was conferred on President Bolsonaro, as the President of Brazil. Not because of his policies or initiatives but because he is the representative of a nation and a people to whom we say thank you because he welcomed our ancestors.”
Because of Bolsonaro’s arrival, several demonstrations have been announced by leftist groups. The mayor of Padua said he will not receive the Brazilian president.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Padua has not hidden its embarrassment.
On the afternoon of the 1st, Bolsonaro should in fact go to Padua to visit the Church of St. Anthony, before leaving for Pistoia, where there is the cemetery where 550 Brazilian soldiers fell in World War II are buried. The Church of Padua spoke in an official note of “strong embarrassment” for the honorary citizenship granted to the Brazilian president and “earnestly requests” that Bolsonaro, in view of his visit, “promote policies that respect justice, health, the environment, especially to support the poor.”
The head of state is not only accused of a failed management of the pandemic, and of crimes against humanity but has been at open war with Pope Francis for years.
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