Photo: Brazil Independence Day
Today, all of Brazil is celebrating and rejoicing its 189-year-old independence from the Portuguese and is often called Sete de Setemebro. The Portuguese arrived in 1532 and stayed for close to 300 years, as it colonized the region and colonized native populations. The fight for independence started in 1820, when Dom Pedro stood up against the Portuguese who wanted Brazil to remain a colony.
On September 7, 1822, after receiving orders from the Portuguese parliament limiting his powers in Brazil, Pedro declared Brazil’s independence, near the Ipiranga River by declaring “By my blood, by my honor and by God: I will make Brazil free.”
There will be numerous military parades throughout the country. In the capital city of Brasilia, the festivities will be overseen by President Dilma Rousseff herself. This is considered a national holiday and almost everyone is given the day off from work.
President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent their regards to Brazil and its people:
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to all Brazilians as you celebrate your national day this September 7.
As President Obama said during his recent visit, Brazil is a shining example of the power of democracy to expand opportunity. Our two countries share a rich history of democratic values and mutual cooperation. Today, we are working together to promote open and accountable governance, curb the effects of global warming, and expand social inclusion. And this cooperation extends beyond the work of our governments—our people and societies are united in ways large and small.
As you celebrate this special day, know that the United States is committed to strengthening this already close relationship. Congratulations and best wishes for a year of peace and prosperity.