National Day Message by H. E. Mrs. Maria Edileuza Fontenele Reis, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federative Republic of Brazil to the Republic of Bulgaria


It was with particular joy that I received the invitation to address the Diplomatic Spectrum, a most prestigious publication of great importance not only to the Bulgarian public but also to the diplomatic and expatriated community in Bulgaria.

I feel most honored to share with you today a very important moment for Brazil, as we commemorate on September 7, 198 years of our independence and celebrate our National Day. Along the past almost 200 years of independence, Brazil has consolidated a creative and dynamic society, with a rich and diverse culture, solid democratic institutions, a strong economy and a tradition of peace with its neighbors and with the international community.

Every year, since the establishment of the resident Brazilian Embassy in Sofia, in the 1960s, following the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1934, we have celebrated our National Day with important festive and cultural events as a way to express our gratitude to the Bulgarian authorities, representatives of the Bulgarian community of different areas, and the diplomatic community for their support and cooperation. 

This year, however, in view of the restrictions imposed on us by the difficult circumstances brought about by the Covid-19 crisis, we will not be able to organize our National Day celebrations as we had so much wished.  And I am, therefore, especially grateful to the Diplomatic Spectrum for offering me the opportunity to say a few words about the solid relations between Brazil and Bulgaria and the ties of friendship that unite our peoples.

Those ties go back to time right after Brazil’s independence and to the formation of the Bulgarian Royal Family, with the wedding, in 1836, of Ferdinand Coburg with the Portuguese Queen Maria da Gloria (daughter of Peter I, Emperor of Brazil) and was titled King Don Fernando II, and the marriage in 1864 of Luis August of Saxe Coburg-Gota to the Brazilian Princess Leopoldina (daughter of Emperor Peter II) establishing long lasting human bonds between Brazil and Bulgaria. And, in more recent times, we are very proud to have received the visit to Brazil in 1927 of Ferdinand of Bulgaria, on a study trip of Brazilian botany, and the first woman to be the President of Brazil is the daughter of a Bulgarian national, born in Gabrovo. Although there are few Brazilians in Bulgaria, among them we are proud to have many soccer players, it is estimated that between 1.800 to 5.000 Bulgarians live in Brazil and that about 62.000 Brazilians are declared of Bulgarian origin.

Upon this important heritage, we have recognized Bulgaria’s independence in 1908, and kept a rich and solid relation throughout the different periods of our history.  As Ambassador of Brazil to Bulgaria, I have the honor to follow Bulgaria’s leadership in the Balkan region and the deepening and diversification of its relations with all its neighbors; the growing and important role of Bulgaria in NATO and in the European Union; and to exchange experience with my counterparts concerning our mutual interest in joining OECD. There is also a remarkable cooperation between Brazil and Bulgaria in International Organizations, especially in United Nations and UNESCO, and we have a record of mutual support in candidatures to different institutions.

It also gives me great satisfaction to continue the work of my predecessors in the development of our bilateral relations in different areas.  In a recent meeting with Minister Zaharieva, some new initiatives to further stimulate our bilateral relations were discussed in the scope of our Political Consultations Mechanism, established twenty years ago.  Under this Mechanism, we evaluate the negotiation and implementation of our bilateral agreements, cultural and academic cooperation, including the exchange of students, as well as trade and economic relations. We are especially pleased that from the present year Bulgaria is part of our Undergraduate Exchange Program (PEC-G), which will allow Bulgarian Students to carry out their under-graduation studies in Brazilian universities totally sponsored by the Brazilian Government.

We are now also working to establish the Intergovernmental Commission of Economic Cooperation with the purpose of further stimulating bilateral trade and investments. We look forward to more favourable times for international travelling in order to give continuation to the high-level interaction between our leaders, following the fruitful exchange of visits at the level of President, Prime-Minister and Ministers of Foreign Affairs that has taken place regularly since the year 2000.

I take this opportunity to reiterate our gratitude for the extraordinary cooperation extended by the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in facilitating the transit of Brazilian nationals through Bulgaria during the pandemics we are facing. At this difficult moment for the whole world, I would also like to reaffirm the solidarity of my Government and of Brazilian people with the many thousands of victims of the corona virus all over the world, as well as our best wishes for a happy and more prosperous future to all our countries.

The photo was provided by the Embassy of the Federative Republic of Brazil in the Republic of Bulgaria. On it: H. E. Mrs. Maria Edileuza Fontenele Reis, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federative Republic of Brazil with President Rumen Radev