Brazil and the international community are taking stock in the wake of the weekend's violent attack on the country's capital, fueled by claims of a stolen election following President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's victory over Jair Bolsonaro. Heloisa Galvão, who lives in Massachusetts and is co-founder of the Brazilian Women's Group in Boston, joined GBH’s Morning Edition co-hosts Paris Alston and Jeremy Siegel remotely from Niteroi, a city right across from Rio de Janeiro, to share her thoughts. This transcript has been lightly edited.

Jeremy Siegel: Take us to what it's like where you are and how people are taking in the information of everything that's happened over the past few days in Brazil.

Heloisa Galvão: Well, here where I am it's very calm, because it's far away from Brasilia, and also people are more progressive, more aware of the real situation. But everybody I have talked to, all my friends, we are deeply concerned with what is going on in Brasilia because that was announced, you know, days, weeks before it happened. So we are really concerned that nothing has prevented that from happening. And we now demand that the Brazilian government is strong to criminalize the terrorist.

Paris Alston: And so you're noting here, Heloisa, that this was something that's been brewing in the months since Lula won over Bolsonaro. How has that been resonating with Brazilians, not only there in Brazil, but here in Massachusetts?

Galvão: Well, the United States is a strange case because, unfortunately, Bolsonaro won elections in the United States, one of the few countries where he was voted by the Brazillian communities. In many other [places] Lula won, but not in Massachusetts, although we have a community that supports Lula. Yesterday there was a rally in front of the Brazilian consulate and on Purchase Street close to South Station at 6 p.m. People went there to protest and demand that the criminals and Bolsonaro be sent back to Brazil, because he's in Florida. So in Massachusetts, there are large populations of Brazilians that support the facist government, unfortunately. We have to respect people's opinions, although it's hard for me to understand how somebody can support a man like that. But this is not free expression. This is not protest. There is not an agenda to ask the government for something. This is an attempt to overthrow from the Lula government. This is terrorism, and it has to be named as terrorism and has to be treated as terrorism.

Siegel: For many people watching this from the United States, it's been impossible not to draw comparisons to what happened on Jan. 6 in the aftermath of President [Joe] Biden's winning of the election in the U.S., very similar things with an election where supporters of the person who lost were spewing unfounded claims of a rigged election. I'm curious for you, as someone who has experience in both countries watching both of these events unfold, does it feel like quite a similar situation?

Galvão: Oh, yeah. Bolsonaro is a clone of [Donald] Trump. I think he is even worse. Unfortunately, before Lula took power, our civil institutions were not that strong because many people in power in Brazil were supporting Bolsonaro. I was shocked when I saw what happened on Jan. 6, because I never believed that would happen in the United States. But it happened. And here in Brazil, we are speechless. We can't believe that it came to this for two reasons. First of all, we don't have a history of the people doing that. We have a history of the military taking over, we had a dictatorship for over 25 years. It was brutal. But not the people. And this was the people. Some people that believe or want to believe or they are following the leader that is out of the country, have a good life and they are here, suffering. The similarities are a total 100%. And I saw today an editorial asked the United States to take responsibility for allowing these cronies of Trump to try to overthrown democratic governments outside the United States. And I think that's right. I think the Biden administration has a responsibility. They have to do something and they have to see what the situation of Bolsonaro in Florida is, they have to send him back to Brazil so he can face that the crimes that he has committed, which are a lot.

"I think the Biden administration has a responsibility. They have to do something and they have to see what the situation of Bolsonaro in Florida is, they have to send him back to Brazil so he can face that the crimes that he has committed, which are a lot."
-Heloisa Galvão, co-founder of the Brazilian Women's Group in Boston

Alston: So, Heloisa, in hearing you describe the responsibility that you feel the Biden administration has to take action on this, I'm also, of course, thinking about the constituents' rights. And I'm wondering: For the people here in Massachusetts who are supporting Bolsonaro, how would you compare their views of the far right here in the U.S., and how much of that influences the politics back home?

Galvão: Well, it was quite the same. They believe in fake news, they feed themselves fake news. They deny the result of the elections. They keep saying that Lula is a cheat, that he must be in prison. They are against the fact that they don't recognize that Lula was acquitted of all the processes they had against him. And they don't understand that what happened in 2016 when the Democratic president, Dilma Rousseff, was impeached for no reason just to prevent Lula from running again, and putting him in prison. So it's very difficult. And I think the United States is the same. People believe that Biden did not win the elections. I was in Florida in October and I heard from people that Obama is the president and Biden is just a ghost. So I think it's really a disease, it's a mental health situation, and it's a question of education, basic grassroots education. We have to work on grassroots education, political education. People have to have access to free speech, express their their opinion, whatever it is. But with respect, not trying to impose.

What happened in Brazil Sunday, it was so sad. And I was listening. I was hearing some journalists here in Brazil, they have to dress in green and yellow, which are the colors supposedly worn by the supporters of Bolsonaro. They have to dress of those colors to pretend that they were supporters of Bolsonaro so they could cover the events. And even then a lot of them were assaulted. So this is so scary. It is scary because these people don't think, they don't have limits. They will go where it takes to get to what they think they're going to get. They're not going to get that.