The Ambassador of Brazil Andre’ Santos, has recounted his country’s struggle to attain self-governance and become a major player in global affairs at celebration marking Brazil’s 194th Independence in Monrovia.
Speaking Wednesday, 7 September during an elaborate ceremony held at a local hotel, Ambassador Santos said the occasion was meant to remind Brazilians throughout the world, some of whom he said, have forgotten the struggle they went through in the hands of the Portuguese to arrive where they are today, the real meaning of independence.
He said most people in the world knew that it was in 1822 when the son of the Portuguese King decided to defy his father’s orders to return to his home country and formed the basis of what is today known as Brazil.
Ambassador Santos emphasized the occasion was not just to celebrate the 194th historical independence, but to explain to Brazilians that it actually took a long time to understand that “independence” is a process, a long and difficult political and social process, in which factors such as national identity, social development, economic resources and democratic institutions play crucial roles throughout decades and even centuries.
He pointed out that this kind of process is not a linear one, in which the advances obtained long ago are guaranteed to exist forever, but rather the result of forces that, at times, go against the very project of the country that they strive to build, referencing civil war as an extremely painful example of forces the go against the social fabric of any nation.
The Brazilian Envoy admitted that in his country (Brazil) they had just gone through such a period, when multiple political forces, going against one another, led the country to an embattled political process that ended with the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff.
He added that no one can be proud of removing a democratically elected president from office, noting there was a silver lining to the entire process, which of course was the way Brazilian institutions such as the National Congress and the Supreme Court guaranteed and enforced the rule of law.
Ambassador Santos however clarified that many Brazilians from both sides of the political arena are not fully satisfied with the rules, but he firmly believes the outcome was the best possible ,under the current circumstances, which helps to remind his fellow compatriots thru months of intense political debate that the project of a nation is a “ work in progress” activity.
Also speaking at the ceremony, the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia, B. Elias Shonyin welcomed Brazil’s 194th Independence celebration and called for both countries to continue their long-time relationship in promoting growth for the respective governments and peoples.
Minister Shonyin said Liberia-Brazil relations have a long history, dating as far back as 1852, when Brazil recognized the sovereign of the Republic of Liberia, adding that during the course of that same year, both countries entered into a Treaty of friendship and commercial cooperation, and subsequently concluded a treaty on judicial settlement of controversies in 1925.
The Acting Foreign Minister, on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Government and people of Liberia, extend felicitations and congratulations to President MichaelTemer of the Federal Republic of Brazil, and the government and people of Brazil.
By Zee Roberts-Editing by Jonathan Browne