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Exports to Africa grew 315% in the first years of the Lula government. Benefitting from Brazil’s forgiveness of to the debts of several African countries, our companies began to sell fuels (ethanol, diesel and gasoline), sugar, beef and iron ore.  South Africa, Nigeria and Angola, for example, imported US $ 1.184 billion from Brazil in 2002, a figure that reached nearly $ 4 billion in 2013.

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Exports of poultry meat, ore, grain and sugar to the Middle East increased profits for Brazilian industry and agribusiness. Today, half the Arab countries buy more from Brazil, including many who, until 2002, had been virtually ignored. The two largest trading partners in the region, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, together bought less than US$ 1 billion. In 2013, they bought US$ 5 billion from Brazil.

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"Peddler" diplomacy helps to sell Brazilian products

Multilateralism extends beyond the borders of South America: in 2010, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean Countries, (CELAC), was created without the presence of the United States and Canada. Both oppose the entry of Cuba to the Organization of American States (OAS), but had no way to prevent the Caribbean country from being welcomed by the new organization.  Not coincidentally, the CELAC summit, in January 2014, was held in Havana, which for decades had not hosted an event of its kind.ro.

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Over the past 12 years, the Lula and Dilma governments took strong positions against all attempts to overthrow democratically elected governments in Latin America. The creation or strengthening of multilateral organizations is the strategy to avoid both the threats to democracy as conflicts between countries in the region.

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Brazil acts to see that the vote is respected across the continent

"Our country has become a voice, voice to be heard, and our opinion is sought on major decisions.  We have assumed the role of protagonist in a world in an intense process of change (...) We are a reference and never refuse support to poorer countries struggling against their backwardness and seek to raise their people to the basic paradigms of civilization. We work constantly to establish a fruitful and productive relationship with the developed nations.

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"The truth is that we were not taken seriously. But we were not taken seriously because we were not respected.  Let's face it: in this country, we had long had a ruling elite that had an inferiority complex ".

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"The truth is that we were not taken seriously. But we were not taken seriously because we were not respected.  Let's face it: in this country, we had long had a ruling elite that had an inferiority complex ".

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With Lula and Dilma, Brazil set aside its secondary and predictable role of never countermanding the decisions taken by the United States and European countries. Its attention and efforts turned to its neighbors in Latin America, mainly South America, and Africa and the Middle East. Sovereign, Brazil expanded its partnerships without waiting for authorization or approval. All were treated as equals. Gone is the time, as well defined by Chico Buarque de Holanda, in which Brazil spoke politely to the United States and talked tough with Bolivia.

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