[Translation] : Minister of Foreign Relations Ernesto Araújo inauguration speech.

January, 2, 2019
This translation has not been authorized nor revised by the Minister, it’s homemade, please forgive the errors in grammar and synthax. 
Note: The Itamaraty is the one of the names of the Ministry of Foreign Relations. It comes from the name of Ministry’s headquarters The Itamaraty Palace.

I would like to start with a phrase that is absolutely fundamental to understand what is happening in Brazil, I will say it in a way that most of you are not used to hearing :

‘’ καὶ γνώσεσθε τὴν ἀλήθειαν , καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια ἐλευθερώσει ὑμᾶς’’ [1]

‘’ Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”[2]

This firm and deep belief has held the President while he fought and still fights to reconquer Brazil and give back Brazil to Brazilians.

In this verse of Saint John there are three concepts that are crucial for human life and thought and for the moment we are living now. We have : Gnosis, which is knoweledge. Aletheia, which is truth. And Eleutheria, liberty.

Aletheia. The most literal translation of this greek word means unveiling, or better, unforgetting, Lethe is forgetting. Lethe is the river of forgetfulness, that in greek mythology the dead crossed, so Aletheia is to cross the river back. Aletheia is the overcoming of forgetting, that is, of what was lost and forgotten, and now is regained. Aletheia involves an authentic, individual, and sentimental experience. This shows that our present concept of truth is very poor compaired to this original concept. Our usual concept refers only to factual truth, which is a bit too technical and cold when it should be something organic and alive.

Aletheia makes us unforget and recconect with ourselves; and it’s in this moment of recconection that the truth sets us free. Where was he that was trapped? He was trapped outside of himself, he was trying to be something he wasn’t. Brazil was trapped outside itself, and I would risk saying that brazilian foreign policy was trapped outside of Brazil.

Eleuthería, eleutherosei humas. Eleuthería is another brilliant word, I don’t know any other word in ancient language — well, I don’t know many, I don’t know hititite, I don’t know sanskrit — but I don’t know any other ancient language that has this concept, except latin, veritas, but it’s only a late translation of greek. Elutheria in Greece was basically a civil and judical term, only through Christian literature, and especially through this verse of St John, did it become a more complete and elevated concept. It is also a word that has been misused throughout the centuries, but still, the word freedom lightens up the heart of people. A person might be sad in a corner, but once he hears the word freedom, there won’t be a single person who won’t lift up their head suddenly and ask : 
‘’ Liberty? Where? I want it’’.

President Bolsonaro is freeing Brazil through the truth, we shall liberate Brazilian foreign policy, and we shall liberate the Itamaraty which the President promised we would do in his victory speech[3].

Well, we have spoken of truth and liberty, but we still haven’t spoken of gnosis. The truth liberates, but to reach the truth it is necessary first to know it. This doesn’t mean rational truth, truth in this deep sense, cannot be taught through deductive reasoning. Gnosis is knowledge in a deeper sense, more intimate. Truth is essential but it cannot be taught nor apprehended. But if this is so, how will we know the truth, that is the key to all of this?

To explain this I would like to quote an illustrious brasiliense[4], Renato Russo[5], when he says that : ‘’ it is only love, it is only love that knows what is the truth’’.

It isn’t caution or prudence who can discover the truth, but love. Caution, prudence, and pragmatism are good instruments, when we know where we want to go, but they don’t teach us where to go, they can’t show us who we are, they can’t explain us to ourselves.

It is only love that can explain Brazil. Only love, the love and the courage that is born out of love, guided our ancestors to build this immense and complex nation. We have spent years in school, almost all of us, I believe, hearing that it was greed and desire for wealth, or even worst, fate, that created Brazil, but it wasn’t. It was love, courage and faith, that brought, across the oceans, across the forests, the people who bore us, people who said things like what I am going to read now :

Anuê Jaci, etinisemba-ê
 Indê irú manunhê
 Yara rekô embobeuká tupirã
 Rekôku ya subí
 Embobeuká tupirabê
 Nge membyrá Tupã

Father José de Anchieta

This is the Hail Mary in Tupi, in the original version by José de Anchieta[6], where he translates Mary as Jaci, the moon, Anuê Jaci. And Jesus as Tupã, the thunder.

And here we need Aletheia. The unforgetting. We need to liberate our historical memory which this prayer is part of.

To liberate the Itamaraty through the truth, we must first recuperate the role of the Itamaraty as the guardian of Brazilian memory.

I remember the emotion I felt, when for the first time, when I was third secretary[7], of climbing up the stairs to this third floor, and seeing, as I climbed, the painting of the coronation of Dom Pedro the First[8] and the painting of The Cry from Ipiranga. I who was only 22 years old, immediately, remembered when I was five years old and watched entranced the movie ‘’ Independence or Death’’ with Tarcísio Meira and Gloria Menezes. And I thought : all this exists? all this exists and … It ‘s all here!

The Cry of Independence
The coronation of Dom Pedro the First
King João Vi

I remember this moment very strongly and then I understood: this isn’t simply a public office, this is a sanctuary. It is like a tunnel through time, where the heroes are alive, the famous and the anonymous ones, where we live with the discoverers, with Alexandre de Gusmão[9], José de Ancheita, with D. João VI, with the emperors and princesses[10], with the bandeirantes[11] and the abolitionists, with the seringueiros[12], with the miners and the tropeiros[13] that built our nation, and even with the strange case of the monarquist baron who became an idol of the Republic[14].

Alexandre Gusmão

I don’t know if any of you have watched a Spanish series called Ministerio del Tiempo[15]. I recommend it. I would say that the Itamaraty isn’t only a Ministry of Foreign Relations, it is also a Ministry of Time. Like no other institution in Brazil, we have the responsibility to protect and care to for this multisecular tree, through which runs the sap of our nationality.

President Bolsonaro has said that Brazil is living through a moment of new independence. And this is what Brazilians are feeling deep inside. We must live it and feel it even more here in the Itamaraty, where history is so present. We should let this feeling of a new birth of our nation, flow between the rooms and the halls.

We must unforget and remember who we are, of who we are returning to being.

Baron of Rio Branco

Says the motto of the Baron : Ubique Patriae Memor. Normally this is translated as ‘’ in all places, remember the homeland’’. Gentlemen, I hope you will forgive the failed latin professor that I never became, before becoming a diplomat, for saying that this translation is wrong. Memor is in the first person. So, it actually means: ‘’ in all places, I remember my homeland’’. This is a personal commitment that each one of us takes on, and not simply a note on a agenda. Wherever I am, I remember the nation. And ‘’I remember the homeland’’, doesn’t mean that we should only think of Brazil when we are abroad. It means that, if we think of Aletheia: we shall feel this deep truth that is the homeland, I feel what it is to have and remember a country, therefore, as a central truth, I feel this truth that liberates and that can only be know through love.

To remember the nation, is not to remember the liberal and international order, it isn’t to remember the global order, it isn’t to remember what was said in the latest article in Foreign Affairs or the latest piece by The New York Times. It is to remeber the nation as an essential reality.

We are not here to work for the world order. This is Brazil.

Don’t be afraid to be Brazil.

Don’t be afraid.

Think, for example, of Dom Sebastião[16]. When he was preparing for his expedition to Africa, a noble of the portuguese court, asked Dom Sebastião whether he was afraid. Dom Sebastião looked at him and asked: ‘’ What color is fear?’’

Dom Sebastião

No one will object to the fact that Dom Sebastião died soon after in the battle of Alcácer Quibir, which is true, but we are speaking of him now aren’t we? We know who he is. Dom Sebastião has turned into a legend, he who will return out of the waves of the sea on a day of mist. We don’t remember the people who stayed at home, those who didn’t go to Alcácer Quibir. The Aletheia that sets free, is with those who went, with those who followed the banners of their kings and their saints, not knowing whether they would return, not caring if they didn’t.

Battle of Alcacer Quibir

The legend teaches us not to have fear, it is curious that the legend is the legend, and today the legend is the affectionate nickname the people have given to President Bolsonaro.

Marcel Proust said that our feelings attrofiate out of fear, fear of suffering. And I believe our foreign policy is attrofiating for fear of being criticized. So, don’t be affraid of suffering, don’t be affraid of being criticized.

Clarice Lispector[17] speaking on Brazil and of nationalism said : ‘’ Our blatant nationalist tendency doesn’t come from any desire of isolation: it is above all a move towards self — knoweledge’’. Self — Knowledge is truth. Aletheia, the truth that sets free.

So for us to have less fear, let us read less Foreign Affairs and more Clarice Lispector and Cecília Meirelles[18].

Let us read less The New York Times, and more José de Alencar[19] and Gonçalves Dias[20].

Let us listen less to CNN and more to Raul Seixas[21].

But why Raul Seixas? ‘’ Let us not in the throne of an apartment’’, or an Embassy, ‘’ with our mouths open full of teeth wait for death to come’’.

Let us do something for our lives and for our country. Let us dive into the ocean of feeling and hope of our people. Let us not dive into the waterless pool that is the global order.

The Itamaraty exists for Brazil, not for the global order.

The Itamaraty exists for Brazil, not for itself. Are we a house of excellence? Yes, of course we are. But to be one we need to show it, and not simply repeat it too each other. We shall take care of our administration, of the flow of our carrer, we shall take care of these and many other problems that truly afflict our instituition, if God will’s it, so that the ministry may better equip itself for its larger task. I want to say that we do not need and will not open the ranks of the Itamaraty to people outside the carrer, besides of those that already exist. President Bolsonaro fully trusts on this carreer in implementing his policies. We are simply talking of flexibilizing the filling of vacancies in the Itamaraty for carrer staff, in a specific hierarquical organizations, mainly to air the flow of the career and also stimulate our colleagues to occupying these positions.

Of course, we have traditions, but we need to implement them with the desire of seeking freedom and truth, as a service to the nation, as a service to all brazilians, from the most humble, to the most well of amongst our people. This people that a perverse ideology no longer divides.

We have traditions, but, as Ambassador Azeredo da Silveira said, in his famous quote, ‘’ the Itamaraty’s greatest tradition is knowing how to renew itself ’’.

When I joined the Itamaraty, this quote was repeated left and right. You couldn’t pass a corridor without listening to the quote about Itamaraty’s tradition of renewing itself ; but for the past years, for a long time, I personally haven’t heard this quote. I don’t really know why. Maybe it’s because of this entanglement, of a sort of conformity that has arisen.

We have become too attached to our self image, and we made it a type of idol, and we stood too long in the mirror and telling ourselves that we were the best, and saying that the administrations don’t understand us, that the Itamaraty is above the administrations. We have become diplomats who only do things that matter to other diplomats. This needs to end. Let’s stop looking at the mirror and look out the window. Or better yet, let us go out into the street, to the real Brazil.

Let us not be affraid of the brazilian people. We are part of the brazilian people.

Once, still in the Rio Branco Institute[22], I heard from an old diplomat the following: that the Itamaraty cannot be better than Brazil. In that time I took this as a sign of great pessimism. It was a difficult time in the history of Brazil and I thought he was saying that ; look Brazil is bad and the Itamaraty is the same. But now I finally understand what he wanted to say. The Itamaraty cannot think it is better than Brazil. We are part of it, let’s return to taking part of this magnificent adventure.

Starting today the Itamaraty returns to the womb of the beloved nation.

The Itamaraty is back, because Brazil is back.

Fernando Pessoa[23] used to say: the superior poet says what he thinks. Or better, the superior says what he feels, and also what he thinks. ‘’ The superior poet says what he thinks. The medium poet says what he decided he feels. The inferior poet says what he thinks he should feel’’. The same thing can be said about a diplomat. And the same thing applies to a country in its international role.

For a long time Brazil said what it thought it had to say. It was a country that said things to please the global administration. We wanted to be a good student in the school of globalism, and we thought that this was everything. We were an inferior country, according to the classification of Fernando Pessoa.

But Brazil is saying what it feels again, and to feel what it is.

You can say that this is ‘’quixotic’’, and since people call us, or better, call me much worst things, quixotesc would be a much kinder adjective. But this reminds me of something Olavo de Carvalho said, a man that, after president Bolsonaro, must be the most important person behind this immense transformation Brazil is living. Once, I heard Professor Olavo mention a part of Dom Quixote de Cervantes, that must be the focal point of this book. It is when Dom Quixote is sitting on a road, in some place in La Mancha, stuck in some type of delirium, and starts talking to the passers by, as if they were the marquis of this or the count of that, or some knightly hero, while he speaks of his own accomplishments. At some point he refers to a passing peasant as the ‘’Marquis of Mântua’’. The peasant stops, looks at him, and says : ‘’ Wait, I know who you are. I’m not the Marquis of Mântua, I’m your neighbor Pedro Alfonso. And you’re not Don Quixote, you’re a good man, that I’ve known for many years, you’re Alonso Quijano’’. Don Quixote pauses for a second, and thinks, and then he answers : ‘’ Yo se quién soy’’.

Some will say that Brazil isn’t any of these things that me and President Bolsonaro believe in, they will say that Brazil cannot influence the destiny of the world, that we should only export products and attract investements, since after all, we are a good country, quiet and peacefull, but we don’t have the power to do anything. They will say Brazil is only Alonso Quijano. But Brazil will answer: I know who I am.

I know who I am.

We are a universalist country, it is true, and it’s from this universalism we want to build something good and productive with each partner. But universalism doesn’t mean not having opinions. Universalism doesn’t mean a mash — up. It doesn’t mean trying to please everybody. Brazil’s vocation isn’t to be a country that pleases everybody. We want to be heard, but we want to be heard, not for repeating insignificant dogmas and other asseptic phrases, we want to be heard for having something to say.

We shall seek partnerships and alliances that will help us reach where we want to go, we shall not ask permission to the global order, whatever they be. We shall defend life and liberty. We shall defend the right of each people to be who they are, with liberty and dignity, with a dignity that only liberty can give.

Those who love, fight for what they love. So we admire those who fight, we admire those who fight for their country and those who love themselves as a people, that is why we admire Israel, that never stopped being a nation, even when it didn’t have a soil — different from other countries today, that despite having a soil, churches and castles, no longer want to be nations. That is why we admire the United States of America, who rise their flag and honor their heroes. We admire the other latin — american countries who have freed themselves from the regimes of the São Paulo Forum. We admire our brothers on the other side of the Atlantic who are building a free and thriving Africa. We admire those who fight against the tyranny in Venezuela and in other places. This is why we admire the new Italy, this is why we admire Hungary and Poland, we admire those who affirm themselves and not deny themselves. The problem of the world is not zenofobia, but oikophobia — of oikos, oikía, home. Oikophobia is to hate your home, your own people, it is to repudiate your own past.

Besides Oikophobia, the hate against ones’s own home, it should trouble us, every day more, theophobia, hate against God. There is a screaming, horrendous, theophobia in our culture. Not only in Brazil, but in the world. 
A hate against God, coming from who knows where, channeled into all codes of thought and of non thought that pervades the global agenda.

To destroy humanity it is necessary to destroy the nations and take man away from God, this is what they are trying to do, and it’s against this that we have rebelled.

Globalism grew within hate, throughout its many ideological ramifications, and their instruments contrary to the nation, contrary to human nature, and against human birth. Nation, nature and birth, all have the same etymological root and this is because they posses a deep conection. Those who say that men and women don’t exist, are the same who preach that countries don’t have the right to guard their borders, they are the same that propel the idea that a human fetus is a cluster of disposable cells, they are the same who say that the human species is dicease that should dissapear forever, in order to save the planet. That is why the fight for the nation, is also the fight for the family, and is also the fight for life, and also the fight for humanity, in its infinite dignity as a creature.

As a child and also as a teenager, I used to hear people saying : ‘’ The world marches inevitably towards socialism’’. But it didn’t. It didn’t because someone went there and didn’t let it happen.

Today we hear that the march towards gloablism is irreversible.

But it isn’t irreversible.

We shall fight to turn back globalism and push it back to its point of beggining.

We shall take the sacred sacred shout of liberty to all parts, Eleutheria. This was the West’s first battle cry at its birth, in the battle of Salamina, Eleutheroûte Patrída. Free the nation.

So we have the Baron saying ‘’ I remember the nation’’, I bring back the nation from where it was trapped, I live in the real nation. And we have Aeschylus screaming for freedom, free the country, Eleutheria. But Aletheia and Eleutheria are only possible by knowing the nation, that is done through love.

One of globalism instruments to stop those who insurge against it, is to spread the idea that in order to do trade, one can’t have ideas or defend values. We will prove that this is completely false. The Itamaraty will have from now on, the most engaged and elevated profile that it ever had in the promotion of agricultural bussiness, comerce, investment and technology. Truly, by distancing itself from Brazil and the brazilian people, the Itamaraty had distanced itself from the productive sector. Now we shall be together with the nation’s productive sector, as we’ve never been before. We are not going to ‘’follow the themes’’, as the old jargon goes, the jargon of that Itamaraty closed to the people. The Itamaraty will no longer be a ministry that will stay looking. We will work tirelesly to promote agricultural commerce, industry, tourism, inovation, technological training, investments in infrastructure and energy, advancing shoulder to shoulder with other ministries — with the help of the cabinet that President Bolsonaro created with a spirit of harmony and an unprecedented sense of mission.

When I call it extraordinary, I exclude myself, because I don’t want to talk about myself. I want to talk about the 21 other ministries.

We shall forge with each international partner a specific program, to develop each relationship, in a creative and dynamic way. For this we shall count on this amazing experiment that is APEX, a renewed APEX, redinamized and integrated within our strategy for foreign policy. We shall also count on the departments of trade promotion in each embassy, turning them into real comercial offices, capable of generating bussiness and occupying new markets for our producers.

We shall implement a policy of trade deals for today. We were negociating trade deals, sometimes succesful, sometimes not, but in most cases following models estabilished in the 90’s. In some cases we have also been making these deals since the 90’s, and have been going backwards. We negociated these instruments in abstract, and not how we should, that is, as effective deals geared towards our concrete potencial. We negociate many times from a position of weakness, as if we are begging acess to the markets, when we should be negociating from a position of importance, for example, as one of the biggest and potentialy the biggest producer of food in the world.

We shall guide all bilateral and multilateral relations towards the generation of concrete results to create jobs, income and security for brazilians. At the same time as we invest in bilateral deals, we shall invest with renewed efforts on mulitilateral deals, especially the OMC, that is building a new and promising agenda in which, today, Brazil is still left out, but in which it shall enter with all its weight and creativity.

Within the multilateral political system, especially in the U.N, we shall redirect the actions of Brazil in favor of what is important for brazilians — not what is important for the NGO’S. We shall defend sovereignty. We shall defend freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of belief, of internet freedom, of political freedom. We shall defend the basic rights of humanity, the main one being, if you permit me to use the title of a novela from the 60’s, the right to life.

We shall open the Itamaraty to society, we shall be the home of all brazilians. It is often said that brazilians don’t care about foreign policy. But actually, brazilian didn’t care about foreign policy when they thought that foreign policy was simply an exercise of style, an infinite number of variations to say nothing in a speech to the U.N. Since the election of President Bolsonaro, brazilians have been deeply interested and involved in foreign policy, especially because the president gives an enourmous amount of attention to this field, since he considers it deeply integrated in national life, and not an arcane discipline which only a couple of specialists have access to. Brazilians understand that the foreign policy front is where one of, if not the most important,battle for their deepest values and ideals. Brazilians understand that the survival and success of this project of rediscovery and freedom, this adventure of aletheia and elutheria that we are living through, with love and courage, depends on the foreign front.

To talk with society doesn’t just mean speaking, it is mostly listening. I will give an example of one of the things we must hear. It is a comment from someone who follows my twitter account, I read it yesterday, and it said the following: 
‘’ Before, I didn’t understand the love that the english people have for their queen. Now I do, when someone loves their country and their people, and defends them, they gain love and respect. We didn’t have this before Bolsonaro’’.

This is what I propose to do here. To make the Itamaraty an instrument of love for our country and our people.

I am sure that we can turn Brazil more competive and more authentic, at the same time, more economic and comercially dynamic, more respected internationally and more faithfull to itself.

Don’t let globalism kill your soul in the name of competition. Don’t believe in globalism when it tells you that to have economic success, you need to sufocate the heart of the nation, and that you shouldn’t love the nation. Don’t listen to globalism when it tells you that to have peace means not to fight.

And you will ask me: but how will we do that?

Through the word.

Let us believe in the infinite power of the word, that is the creative logos.

President Bolsonaro is here, came here, and we came with him, because he says what he feels. Because he says the truth. And this is logos.

I will finish talking about the principle and quoting again Saint John, in the opening of The Gospel of St John, when he says ‘’En arkhêi ên ho lógos’’. In the beggining existed the logos. The word. The word. Arkhêi, the last greek word I will say today, means principle, as much in the sense of beggining, and also in the sense of structuring force, structuring principle. The reality, at least human reality, is structured around language, of the word, the word, therefore the logos.

All that we have, all that we need, is the word. It is trapped, but with love and courage we can liberate it.

May God bless all of you, those who believe and who don’t believe, those who are with us and those who aren’t yet with us.

May God bless President Bolsonaro and may God bless Brazil.

Anuê Jaci!

Thank you very much.

I based my translation on this transcipt of the speech: http://www.itamaraty.gov.br/pt-BR/discursos-artigos-e-entrevistas-categoria/ministro-das-relacoes-exteriores-discursos/19907-discurso-do-ministro-ernesto-araujo-durante-cerimonia-de-posse-no-ministerio-das-relacoes-exteriores-brasilia-2-de-janeiro-de-2019

[1] Gnosesthe ten aletheian kai he aletheia eleutherosei humas

[2] One of the mottos of Bolsonaro’s campaign, taken from John 8:32.


[4] A native of the capital Brasilia

[5]Frontman of one the biggest rock bands of the 80’s, Legião Urbana. Here the minister is specifically reffering to the song Monte Castelo :

Only Love, only love
Know the truth 
Love is good, it doesn’t do evil
It doesn’t feel envy or vanity

É só o amor, é só o amor.
Que conhece o que é verdade.
O amor é bom, não quer o mal.
Não sente inveja ou se envaidece.

[6] Jesuit priest who lived during the colonial times, he is one of the founders of the city of São Paulo.

[7] The first rank one occupies when he enters the diplomatic carrer.

[8] First Emperor of Brazil, son of King João VI, one of the brazilian founding fathers, after ten years as Emperor he abdicated and returned to europe and became King of Portugal, ruling as Pedro the VI.

[9] Portuguese diplomat born in Brazil. An idol of brazilian diplomacy, was the main negociator of the Treaty of Madrid, that solved conflicts between Portugal and Spain over territory in South America. Creating the ‘’shape’’ of Brazil.

[10] Brazil had two emperors, D. Pedro the First and D. Pedro the Second. The most important of the princesses was D Pedro II daughter, Princess Isabel, who was signed the law that abolished slavery.

[11] Early portuguese settlers, that explored the interior of Brazil when it was colony, mostly men in large groups.

[12] Rubber tappers who work in the Amazon in the north of Brazil.

[13] Bands of men who rode mostly in mules, called ‘’ tropas’’, guiding herds of cattle and transported other products all around the country.

[14] The diplomat José Maria da Silva Paranhos Júnior, the Baron of Rio Branco, he received his title in the final days of the Empire. He was a strong monarquist and in the beggining, opposed the Republic and wrote critiscisms of it under a pen name. He served as Minister of Foreign Relations four times. And became a national hero for settling the territory of Acre, between Brazil and Bolivia. He is the patron of Brazilian diplomacy and his is featured behind the fifty cent coin.

[15] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23l0iEZIpMA

[16] King Sebastião dissapeared in the battle of Alcacer Quibir, his body was never found. His dissapearence left the portugues throne vacant, making the throne fall into the hands of the Spanish Monarchy, who was his closest relatives, putting Portugal under Spanish rule. Which created the legend that one day the king would return, a legend that held the portuguese during very difficult times. The legend took messianic curves, it was transported to brazil and laid very firm roots, and might have been behind many messianic movements that happened in Brazil during the early twentieth century.

[17] Brazilian novelist, many of her books have been translated into english. 

[18] One of the main poets of the second generations of brazilian modernism.

[19]A novelist that many of us have shoved down our throat.

[21] Pioneer of Brazilian Rock N Roll, the minister is reffering to the song Ouro de Tolo ( Fool’s Gold). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kRMdzfFf8M

[22] The Rio Branco Institute is school of international relations through which anyone who wishes to join the diplomatic corps must attend.

[23] The second greatest poet in the portuguese language.