U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
September 5, 2014
STATEMENT BY SECRETARY KERRY
Brazil’s Independence Day
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Brazil as you celebrate the 192nd anniversary of Brazilian independence on September 7.
Our two nations share a long and rich history. The United States was the first country to recognize Brazil’s independence. Today, as the two largest democracies in the Western Hemisphere, our relationship has steadily deepened and expanded.
I first visited Brazil as a U.S. Senator more than 20 years ago when I traveled to your country for the U.N. Earth Summit. The global community came together in your country and acknowledged the existential threat of climate change that year. But what I’ll never forget were the long dinners in Rio de Janeiro and singing hymns in Portuguese with my future wife, Teresa, at a local church. In the streets of Rio, I remember feeling the pulse and energy of a people on the rise.
As Secretary of State, I’ve seen firsthand the spirit of progress and innovation that runs through Brazil’s veins to this day. When I traveled to Brasilia last August, I discussed Brazil’s tremendous progress with President Dilma Rousseff and then-Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota.
I also had the opportunity to meet every day Brazilians working to make a difference. I spoke with students like 23-year old Pedro Nehme, who is studying electrical engineering and will become the second Brazilian to ever go to space next year, and 28-year old Thiago Rocha, who is working to innovate prosthetic limbs for the next generation.
On this day of pride and accomplishment, we join Brazilians around the world in celebrating your vibrant culture, your history of achievement, and the close friendship between our two peoples and countries.