Transcrip- part 2
Today, we’re both also delivering assistance and support to the Japanese people at their greatest hour of need. The ties that bind our nations to Japan are strong. In Brazil, you are home to the largest Japanese population outside of Japan. In the United States, we forged an alliance of more than 60 years. The people of Japan are some of our closest friends, and we will pray with them, and stand with them, and rebuild with them until this crisis has passed. (Applause.)
In these and other efforts to promote peace and prosperity throughout the world, the United States and Brazil are partners not just because we share history, not just because we’re in the same hemisphere; not just because we share ties of commerce and culture, but also because we share certain enduring values and ideals.
We both believe in the power and promise of democracy. We believe that no other form of government is more effective at promoting growth and prosperity that reaches every human being
– not just some but all. And those who argue otherwise, those who argue that democracy stands in the way of economic progress,
they must contend with the example of Brazil.
The millions in this country who have climbed from poverty into the middle class, they could not do so in a closed economy controlled by the state. You’re prospering as a free people with open markets and a government that answers to its citizens. You’re proving that the goal of social justice and social inclusion can be best achieved through freedom — that democracy is the greatest partner of human progress. (Applause.)
We also believe that in nations as big and diverse as ours, shaped by generations of immigrants from every race and faith and background, democracy offers the best hope that every citizen is treated with dignity and respect, and that we can resolve our differences peacefully, that we find strength in our diversity.
We know that experience in the United States. We know how important it is to be able to work together — even when we often disagree. I understand that our chosen form of government can be slow and messy. We understand that democracy must be constantly strengthened and perfected over time. We know that different nations take different paths to realize the promise of democracy. And we understand that no one nation should impose its will on another.
But we also know that there’s certain aspirations shared by every human being: We all seek to be free. We all seek to be heard. We all yearn to live without fear or discrimination. We all yearn to choose how we are governed. And we all want to shape our own destiny. These are not American ideals or Brazilian ideals. These are not Western ideals. These are universal rights, and we must support them everywhere. (Applause.)
Today, we are seeing the struggle for these rights unfold across the Middle East and North Africa. We’ve seen a revolution born out of a yearning for basic human dignity in Tunisia. We’ve seen peaceful protestors pour into Tahrir Square — men and women, young and old, Christian and Muslim. We’ve seen the people of Libya take a courageous stand against a regime determined to brutalize its own citizens. Across the region, we’ve seen young people rise up — a new generation demanding the right to determine their own future.
From the beginning, we have made clear that the change they seek must be driven by their own people. But for our two nations, for the United States and Brazil, two nations who have struggled over many generations to perfect our own democracies, the United States and Brazil know that the future of the Arab World will be determined by its people.
No one can say for certain how this change will end, but I do know that change is not something that we should fear. When young people insist that the currents of history are on the move, the burdens of the past can be washed away. When men and women peacefully claim their human rights, our own common humanity is enhanced. Wherever the light of freedom is lit, the world becomes a brighter place.
That is the example of Brazil. That is the example of Brazil. (Applause.) Brazil — a country that shows that a dictatorship can become a thriving democracy. Brazil — a country that shows democracy delivers both freedom and opportunity to its people. Brazil — a country that shows how a call for change that starts in the streets can transform a city, transform a country, transform a world.
Decades ago, it was directly outside of this theater, in Cinelandia Square, where the call for change was heard in Brazil. Students and artists and political leaders of all stripes would gather with banners that said, “Down with the dictatorship. The people in power.” Their democratic aspirations would not be fulfilled until years later, but one of the young Brazilians in that generation’s movement would go on to forever change the history of this country.
A child of an immigrant, her participation in the movement led to her arrest and her imprisonment, her torture at the hands of her own government. And so she knows what it’s like to live without the most basic human rights that so many are fighting for today. But she also knows what it is to persevere. She knows what it is to overcome — because today that woman is your nation’s president, Dilma Rousseff. (Applause.)
Our two nations face many challenges. On the road ahead, we will certainly encounter many obstacles. But in the end, it is our history that gives us hope for a better tomorrow. It is the knowledge that the men and women who came before us have triumphed over greater trials than these — that we live in places where ordinary people have done extraordinary things.
It’s that sense of possibility, that sense of optimism that first drew pioneers to this New World. It’s what binds our nations together as partners in this new century. It’s why we believe, in the words of Paul Coelho, one of your most famous writers, “With the strength of our love and our will, we can change our destiny, as well as the destiny of many others.”
Muito obrigado. Thank you. And may God bless our two nations. Thank you very much. (Applause.)