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Mais forte e respeitado

Foreign policy

Once, Brazilian diplomats took off their shoes to enter the US; with Lula and Dilma, Brazil strikes a more independent tone and helped to create the BRICS Bank

Along with China, India, Russia and South Africa, Brazil created an alternative to the IMF and the World Bank: The BRICS Bank  Roberto Stuckert Filho / PR

If there were a single incident to define Brazil's foreign policy before the arrival of   Lula to the presidency, it would certainly be the shame imposed on the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the FHC government, asked to take off his shoes to enter the United States, to prove he was not a terrorist carrying explosives. Since then, Brazil's stance has changed so much that this incident is more like a joke. But it did happen: it was in 2002, the last year of submission of our diplomacy.

Brazil’s dependence on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also lagged behind. While Cardoso appealed to the IMF three times, Lula paid the debt, and in 2014, founded the BRICS Bank, a development bank that is an alternative to the IMF and the World Bank.


Brazil overcomes its inferiority complex, attains sovereignty and is respected worldwide

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.

The affirmation of national sovereignty came accompanied by concrete results, as Brazilian businessmen joined the diplomats in international missions. The effect was almost immediate: Brazil’s foreign trade diversified, reducing its dependence on the US and European markets. The international crisis of 2008 showed that this was the right choice, after Brazil was no longer dependent on those countries that were deep in crisis.