A Proud, Historic Moment for both Brazil and Dilma Rousseff

Dilma Rousseff, a former Marxist rebel, was sworn in as Brazil's first female president n the first day of 2011. She took the oath of office alongside Vice President Michel Temer in the National Congress. She is now in charge of Latin America's largest nation that has improved its financial and political aspects on the world stage under outgoing leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. [1]

She's the Successor to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva leaves his elected post as Brazil's most popular president as he has chosen Dilma Rousseff to be his successor. She takes on the mammoth task of maintaining Brazil's momentum on being a top-ten economy. The approval rating for Lula da Silva, who was able to keenly cut poverty during his eight years of presidency, in his last week in office was 87 percent showed that the population endeared him. Dilma served as his energy minister before she became his chief of staff. [1]

Dilma Rousseff recognition as a resilient politician when she was part of Lula da Silva's staff member earned her the nickname "Iron Lady." She will be taking over a country with high hopes for continuation of gaining improvements to the standard of living. Yet, Brazil still has much-needed work on its education, infrastructure, and security. [2]

Improving the Economy is the Unwieldy Task

The president of the Inter-American Dialogue, Michael Shifter, states it is not an easy challenge for Dilma to meet the high expectations that Brazil is moving towards a higher level and life will persist to get better for the civilians. It could be prove demanding for the nation to keep up the pace of success it had in recent years. [2]

A strong economy is a necessity to ameliorate Brazil's less than average airports, ports, and roads that are vital to transport raw goods to market. This year China has surpassed the United States as Brazil's largest trading partner. Therefore, if anything restraints China's increasing desires for Brazil's agricultural and industrial exports, then the external economic scenario could worsen and end up decreasing the strong demand. [2]

The Ceremony for the Inauguration

Dilma Rousseff's inauguration was attended by 76 ambassadors, nine vice presidents, 23 heads of state, and 24 secretaries of state, including Hilary Clinton from the United States. Mrs. Clinton shared a quick handshake with the new president. [3]

Dilma Rousseff was able to have a longer encounter with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. She told members of Congress that Brazil will give attention to emerging nations during her inaugural speech. She also stated that her country can transform South America into an indispensable global element and conveys better consistency to Mercosul (an alliance between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) and multilateral forums. [3]

Foreign Relations

Dilma Rousseff stated Brazil will not carry out the smallest concessions to the protectionism from rich nations that impedes any of the numerous nations to overcome poverty through the hard work of production. This is related to the fact that she has spent time with left-wing heads of states Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo and Uruguayan President Jose Mujica. Yet, Dilma has mentioned for Brazil to continue their strong relationships with United States and the European Union even though there are disagreements over trade, the environment, and the ongoing currency crises. [3]

Dilma Rousseff granted Washington Post to be the first foreign media to interview her as president-elect. It was during that conversation that Brazil committed an error when they abstain from a UN vote condemning stoning to death as a method of execution. She also emphasized her feelings of distrust about Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's failed attempt to mediate in the nuclear dispute between the international community and Iran. [4]

On June 21, 2010 the foreign minister for Brazil stated his country's support of Iran in its nuclear program dispute with the West will be scaled back. While visiting Austria, Celso Amorim said his country's assistance for Iran comes with restrictions as to what actions they can take on to help out. A fourth set of sanctions set forth by the UN Security Council was being commenced despite Turkey and Brazil in May 2010 negotiated an Iranian nuclear fuel-swap deal to postpone new UN sanctions. This initiative cost Brazil international standing to dwindle and created tension with its relationship with the United States. [5]

Dilma Rousseff communicated that her interest in forming more amicable relationship with Washington by pointing out she plans to take on a more measured international strategy. This occurred as Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was creating tension by making public attacks against the United States during his last days of his presidency. A positive decision that people in Washington liked was appointing Antonio Patriota as Brazil's foreign minister. He is considered to be a talented diplomat, who was a former ambassador to United States. [4]

Upcoming Events

As Brazil prepares to host these major international events: the Rio Plus 20 global environmental summit in 2012; the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympics in 2016, the international audience will focus on the country as people will witness the results of regulations to reduce crime and violence in major cities. Obviously, Dilma Rousseff will play a huge role in it. She is expected to face pressure from Brazil's enlarging middle class to handle rule of law issues, for example, a corrupt and dysfunctional political system prolonged by the impunity granted by individuals holding potent positions. [4]

A Moment for Brazilian Women

Dilma Rousseff said during her speech that all Brazilian women should feel honored and fortunate of the historic event. Brazil will have a record of nine women being part of the total 37 ministers assisting her. In this new beginning of an era, she yearns to protect the most vulnerable in society and "govern for all." She stated the best homage to give to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is to continue the progress made by his administration. It is crucial to invest in the strength of the people. [6]

Read this article about the power outages caused by the Itaipu Dam, a "Wonders of the World."


[1] http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2040408,00.html
[2] http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/7766628-brazils-new-woman-president-dilma-rousseff
[3] http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/americas/01/01/brazil.female.president/?hpt=T2
[4] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-11961817
[5] http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3908570,00.html
[6] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-12103312