After days of blockades, Brazil’s ousted President Jair Bolsonaro has called on his supporters to lift the numerous roadblocks in large parts of the country. “The closure of highways across Brazil is affecting people’s freedom of movement,” Bolsonaro said in a video posted to Twitter last night.

“It’s in our constitution. You have to respect the rights of other people who are on the move – not to mention the damage to our economy. I would like to appeal to you: clear the roads.”

Yesterday afternoon, the highway police registered 150 roadblocks in various regions of Brazil, as reported by the Brazilian news portal “G1”. According to their own statements, the police have already cleared 688 blockades. Bolsonaro’s supporters do not want to accept the election victory of his challenger Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Former head of state cast doubts on the electoral system

In the first public statement after his election defeat, Bolsonaro expressed understanding for the protests on Tuesday. “The current demonstrations are the result of outrage and a feeling of injustice at the way the electoral process was conducted,” said the right-wing leader. He had previously cast doubt on the electoral system himself. However, he never presented any evidence of this.

The trunk roads are essential for supplying the country, because the majority of goods in Brazil are transported by truck. The rail network is not well developed. The National Confederation of Industry (CNI) had warned of supply bottlenecks and fuel shortages if the blockades lasted longer. According to the Association of Supermarkets, there have already been delivery problems in some states, especially with fruit, vegetables and meat.

“Other demonstrations in squares and public places are part of the democratic game,” Bolsonaro said on Wednesday. He did not comment on the content of the protests in different regions of Brazil. Numerous Bolsonaro supporters demonstrated in front of various barracks against the victory of left-wing ex-President Lula in the runoff election against right-wing incumbent Bolsonaro on Sunday.

Bolsonaro supporter with Hitler salute

According to the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, they called for military intervention in at least 18 states and in important cities such as Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Brasília. “It cannot be that Lula got so many votes after corruption scandals and prison,” said a participant in Rio of the German Press Agency. “That must have been cheating.”

During protests in the south of the country, Bolsonaro supporters gave the Hitler salute. Hundreds of demonstrators raised their arms in front of a barracks in the village of São Miguel do Oeste in a fascist salute and sang the national anthem, as reported by the Globo television station.

The prosecutor of the state of Santa Catarina, a stronghold of Bolsonaro, initiated investigations. Glorifying Nazi rule and using Nazi symbols is also a criminal offense in Brazil.

Bolsonaro, himself a reserve captain, has repeatedly expressed sympathy for the military dictatorship (1964-1985) in Brazil. During his tenure, he brought many serving and former officers into government and administration. His radical supporters repeatedly called for a military coup against the judiciary and parliament. However, the armed forces never responded.