Mauro Vieira, Brazil’s foreign minister: “The government’s determined response will discourage any new adventure”

Mauro Vieira, Brazil’s foreign minister: “The government’s determined response will discourage any new adventure”

Mauro Vieira, Brazil’s foreign minister, in a 2015 photo. Ebrahim Noroozi (AP)

Chancellor Mauro Vieira (Rio de Janeiro, 71 years old) is another new/former minister of Brazil. The career diplomat is one of those veterans with leadership experience to whom President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, 77, entrusted the strategic portfolios of his third cabinet. Vieira hosted a group of correspondents this Friday at the Itamaraty Palace, the Foreign Office headquarters, from where Congress can be seen, which was attacked just five days ago by Bolsonarian extremists such as the Presidency and the Federal Supreme Court. Brazil returns to the world, it wants to be on every stage, addressing everyone “without ideological discrimination,” the minister explained in an interview with the New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post and La Nación.

Supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro enter the Planalto presidential palace as they confront security forces in Brasilia, January 8, 2023. Photo: AFP | Video: EPV

Vieira describes Sunday’s serious incidents, for which nearly 1,200 people were arrested, as “an uprising against the election results”. “There is no doubt about the legitimacy of President Lula’s election,” he said. He is aware that there were security breaches, but insists that order was immediately restored. Asked about the likelihood of former President Jair Bolsonaro’s most radical supporters launching another attack of this caliber, he reiterated: It’s happening again. I hope you noticed that the government is not joking. These are strong and decisive actions in accordance with the law.” He believes that, despite its tarnished image, Brazil has shown the world that “institutions are solid”.

At Lula’s request, the chancellor has radically reorganized diplomatic relations and is preparing the president’s first trips. The first destination, on the 23rd, Buenos Aires, following the tradition with which its predecessor broke. Official visit to Washington in early February to meet President Joe Biden. And then to Beijing; if possible in the first quarter of 2023.

Vieira says that when she learned of the attack, the priority was to strengthen security. “Itamaraty is a museum of works of art. We have increased the number of security guards fivefold,” he confirms. Due to the alarm situation, the castle remains surrounded by fences, although the area has since been released to traffic.

Bolsonaro was in Florida two days before his term expired. As a result, he lost his parliamentary immunity on 1 January. The chancellor explains that the investigation into the coup attempt has not led to a petition to his department regarding the former president. “In the event of formal reports by the Federal Police, arrest warrants or the prevention of the person responsible, Itamaraty is the body that handles extradition requests at the request of the judiciary.” Suspicion hangs over Bolsonaro, but the investigation will tell.

Vieira witnessed firsthand the traumatic departure of the Labor Party in 2016, with the ousting of President Dilma Rousseff and the reprisals of the Bolsonaro government. Chancellor in light of Dilma’s abrupt end after serving as ambassador to Washington, Buenos Aires and the UN, Bolsonaro’s team relegated him to the legation in Croatia. On one of his last days in Zagreb, he saw Canarinha eliminated from the World Cup by Croatia.

The minister emphasizes that everything will be different from the previous phase in the field of diplomacy. He wants to bury the turbulent era of Bolsonaro, which once had a chancellor, Ernesto Araujo, who prided himself on turning his country into an international pariah.

Lula ordered the resumption of diplomatic relations with Nicolás Maduro’s Venezuela; Next week, the first delegation will travel to Caracas to reopen the embassy; First with a chargé d’affaires. Although Lula’s team worked hard to get Maduro to the inauguration, he ended up missing the event.

Brazil’s return to the world, heralded by Lula on the night of his election victory, began with his presence as president-elect at Egypt’s climate summit. “The president said in his inaugural address that climate change, the environment and conservation of the Amazon will be important elements of Brazil’s foreign policy.”

Brazil wants to become a friend to everyone again, a merciful participant in international forums. After harsh criticism, which Lula received while still a candidate in an interview with Time, that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was as responsible for the war as Russia’s Vladimir Putin, the Chancellor reiterated: “We condemn the violent conquest of the territory. President Lula was very eloquent and said that we need to create a negotiating climate. We cannot just talk about war and military aid.” The South American giant wants to help “create the conditions for dialogue”, by supporting initiatives such as a ceasefire, humanitarian measures or permission to produce Ukrainian grain. The suspicion arises because the Dilma Rousseff government refrained in 2014 from condemning Russia’s annexation of Ukraine to the UN and Bolsonaro remained neutral.

Analyze, evaluate, are the phrases echoed by the head of Brazilian diplomacy, who remembers returning to office only 13 days ago. An example is the trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union, signed in 2019, whose ratification is hampered by environmental concerns. “We have to analyze what was negotiated because it was never disclosed,” he explains. “We will talk with the other ministries, with our Mercosur partners and then again with the EU. But there is no doubt that this is an important deal that will be mutually beneficial.”

At the entrance to the minister’s office, the chancellor’s tribune has been a daily reminder since the days of the empire that Brazil has never had a woman for diplomacy. There is a movement within Itamaraty itself that demands this. Vieira named a senior official number two, but declined to confirm whether the embassies in Washington and Buenos Aires are reportedly run by female diplomats.

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Source: La Neta Neta