My tenure as the U.S. Ambassador to Brazil has come to an end, I reflect back upon my almost two years in Brazil and am struck by the immense pleasure my wife Fatima and I have had traveling in this large, very diverse country, appreciating the rich culture and the warm hospitality of the Brazilian people we have met along the way. We depart knowing there is still much beauty in this country that we have yet to discover.
As the two largest democracies and economies in the region, the United States and Brazil are cooperating to address the 21st century’s most pressing global and regional challenges. Fatima and I have seen first-hand the strength of our partnerships in all the regions of Brazil, where we are promoting educational opportunities for the next generations, establishing new commercial linkages, and addressing complex issues through innovative responses.
Together, we launched a bilateral security forum giving greater focus to our already excellent law enforcement cooperation. This forum establishes a strong mechanism for combating transnational and organized crime and many modern security challenges, such as cybersecurity – a top priority for both our countries.
We highlighted our cooperation in space, science and technology, and in addressing the crisis in Venezuela during the visit of Vice President Pence. We strengthened our commitment to citizen security and defense cooperation. We made it even easier for tourist and business travel by completing an Open Skies Agreement and opening a new consulate in Porto Alegre. Most recently, the visit by our Health Secretary Alex Azar gave light to the excellent cooperation we have developed to address infectious disease and improve the health of our citizens.
These accomplishments underscore the importance of the relationship and the mutual respect shared by our two governments. The relevance of the issues on which we are engaging demonstrates that we share common values, a respect for democracy and human rights, cultural ties, and a determination to increase economic opportunities for our peoples. We are natural partners in this hemisphere and beyond.
We share a common history and enjoy a historic, rich, multifaceted, and ever-evolving relationship. Almost two years ago, the American people elected a new president. Brazil now has also exercised the very democratic tradition of voting for its next leaders, and will usher in a new administration in January. We look forward to strengthening our cooperation in the coming years.
Fatima and I will take with us many memories of all that we have experienced here, and all that the United States and Brazil have accomplished together. As we return to the United States and I transition to my new position, we will forever carry with us fond memories about our time in Brazil.
Brazil and the United States have built strong ties and our relationship has endured through the past 200 years. Standing together, we will continue to strengthen these bonds and to develop new partnerships to address tomorrow’s challenges.