Send Bolsonaro back to Brazil
Brazil vows to protect democracy after riots | Jan. 10
I’m a Brazilian-American dual citizen, and righteous indignation is perhaps the only way to describe how I feel after having to experience yet another insurrection against institutional democracy. I believe that the attack executed by the followers of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, the so-called “Bolsonaristas,” on Brazil’s Presidential Palace, Supreme Court and National Congress must be taken for what it is: a beacon to other fascists and hyper nationalists that their riots are exempt from consequences. That these Bolsonaristas were emboldened enough to commit such heinous crimes merely two years and two days removed from our own Jan. 6 riot should be taken as confirmation that the U.S. Department of Justice has failed to keep those who I think were responsible for the mayhem, namely Donald J. Trump and his co-conspirators, accountable for their acts. Our leaders must show resolve in the face of the inflammatory democratic backsliding occurring across the globe. It is imperative that the U.S. Department of State complies with the treaty of extradition ratified with Brazil and that Brazilian authorities be allowed to thoroughly investigate Jair Bolsonaro concerning the Jan. 8, 2023, attacks. The parties responsible for the Jan. 8 attacks should feel the swift sting of justice to demonstrate that democracy will not bend to the whims of authoritarian strongmen and their fanatical followers. Jair Bolsonaro’s extradition is the least we can do for our role in enabling and exporting fascism.
Getulio Gonzalez-Mulattieri, Tampa
Not feeling represented
Anna Paulina Luna is at the center of the conservative rebellion in Congress | Jan. 5
For over 50 years, residents of Pinellas County could have confidence in their representatives in the U.S. House. Whether or not you agreed with the politics of Reps. Bill Young, David Jolly or Charlie Crist, they all demonstrated that they had the principles, commitment, knowledge and skills to deliver for us. In 2022, Anna Paulina Luna won 53% of the vote to become our representative in Congress. This is her first term. She started by throwing in her lot in with a motley band of 20 Republican politicians who were unwilling to unite with their conference to elect a speaker. Those Republicans who rebelled weren’t unified in their demands or even about why they were rebelling. The people of Pinellas County are accustomed to, and deserve serious, competent representation in Washington. I worry that Luna appears to have other priorities.
Cindy Maxwell, Clearwater
What Mayor Welch could do
St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch has some difficult decisions to make on the redevelopment of Tropicana Field. On the one hand, he has promised to create more affordable housing and retail stores in this area and, as a recent profile of his first year in office, put it, seize “a generational opportunity to do right by the Black community displaced when the dome was built in the 1980s.” On the other hand, one can see his reasoning, and promises were left unfulfilled. On the other hand, there are numerous developers who would be willing to pay much more for the property if they were allowed to develop it with condos, apartments, etc., and retail stores that cater to persons with higher incomes. The mayor could use this money (estimated to be hundreds of millions more than his plan) to create a community off that site with up to 10 times (or more) affordable housing as well as creating retail establishments that would provide employment for them. Yes, if I were Black and in one of the impoverished areas, I would also be wary of these promises. Of course, this time you have a mayor who happens to be Black and has the authority, backbone and supporters to make it happen.
Tom Craig, Riverview
Biden has a border plan
Mexico may accept more migrants expelled by US | Jan. 10
It’s interesting that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ political stunt made the front page when he flew immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, but President Joe Biden’s plan to limit illegal border crossings and streamline the immigration process makes page 7. The president is trying to solve the problem, with limited tools. A bipartisan plan was nixed by Senate Republicans in December. It seems like the governor is only interested in adding flames to a complex and challenging problem. Biden’s immigration plan would restrict illegal border crossings
Georgia Earp, St. Petersburg
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A bad response to COVID
US COVID-19 deaths are still high but let’s learn from forecasters’ mistakes. | Column, Jan. 9
I think that the U.S. response to COVID was and is pathetic. Out of 229 countries, the United States is 16th in deaths per capita, 60th in cases per capita and 92nd in percent fully vaccinated, according to the World Health Organization. And there has been little change since 2020, the first year. By January 2021, the United States was doing better than Italy, the United Kingdom, Belgium and slightly worse than France and Spain in deaths per capita but those countries improved and are significantly better currently. Any improvement in the United States compared to the world seems largely because many countries had not been exposed before 2021. About 1.1% of COVID cases resulted in death in the U.S., versus 0.8% in Europe as a whole. This is nothing to brag about.
Eric Rathmann, Redington Shores