Brazil “with arms open” for refugees

Mariana Branco

President Dilma Rousseff announced this Monday (Sep. 7) in a message for Independence Day, recorded to social networks that, even though facing a moment of difficulties, Brazil is "with arms open" to receive refugees. The president mentioned the Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi, 3, who drowned when the vessel that his family was using to escape the war sank. According to Rousseff, the image of the dead boy on a beach "touched everyone and posed a challenge to the world."

"Even in times of difficulty, [like] the crisis we're hit by, we'll be with arms open to welcome refugees. I grasp this opportunity to reiterate the government's willingness to receive those who were driven from their homelands and want to come here, to live, work, create prosperity and establish peace in Brazil," announced the president in a message released by the presidential office, shortly after September 7th parade. Rousseff added that Brazil is made up of people from mixed backgrounds.


The president said again that the country will overcome the internal crisis and that the difficulties and economic challenges "are coming from a long period [before] when the government understood that should do whatever it took to protect the job and the worker's income, and [to ensure] the continuity of investment and social programs. "

Rousseff noted that there is an external economic crisis and that "major countries, Brazil's partners, have reduced their growth." According to her, some remedies to the current situation can be "bitter" but are "indispensable". "The measures we are taking are necessary to bring order to the house and reduce inflation, for example," she mentioned.

She admitted that there were mistakes, which, in her view, "it's possible", it is necessary to acknowledge them and move on. And she called for unity. "We must, at this moment, put aside minor differences, leaving behind individual's or parties' interests," she added.

Rousseff defended her and former President Lula's government: "We were able to lift millions out of poverty and to increase the middle-income population." She ended her message stating that the country needs to be firm "when defending the greatest achievement and the one we must always watch over, [which is]: democracy and to have the popular vote as the only method to elect our rulers and representatives."

Translated by Amarílis Anchieta


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