CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

Roberto Amaral on the US-Brazil Relations

January 20th, 2009

Roberto Amaral, former minister of Brazil for Science and Technology and founder of CEBELA (Brazilian Center for Latin American Studies) spoke at Tulane on January 20, 2009 on the US-Brazil Relations.

As Latin America’s largest economy and most populous country, Brazil has a large stake in inter-American relations. It exercises considerable sway both internationally – manning peacekeeping efforts in Haiti, spearheading WTO negotiations, leading efforts for UN reform – and regionally – through Mercosur and the more recent Union of South American Nations, UNASUR. Its relationship with the United States is vital to the advancement of the international agenda in areas like trade, energy, health and the environment. The start of a new presidential administration in the United States therefore creates an auspicious moment to consider the prospects for US-Brazilian relations, and we are lucky to welcome a preeminent scholar on the subject to analyze the subject.

Roberto Amaral is a journalist, university professor and one of the most highly respected members of the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB). Born in Fortaleza in December of 1940, he obtained a bachelors degree in Juridical and Social Sciences from the Federal University of Ceará in 1964 where he continued his studies in the School of Philosophy, Sciences and Humanities. He started his political career as a student leader. Between 1961 and 1962 he was vice-president of the National Student Union (UNE). After the military coup of 1964 he was a militant in parties of the left such as PCB and PCBR. With the return to democracy, he was one of the reorganizers of the PSB. In 1985 he became its first secretary general and later held the positions of vice-president and coordinator of international relations. Since 1988, he coordinates the creation of government programs for the party and was one of the authors of the government plan for the candidate Anthony Garotinho. He became close to president Lula da Silva in the presidential campaigns of 1989, 1994, and 1998 as well as in the second round of the 2002 election, where he represented the PSB in the coalition with Lula’s Workers’ Party (PT).

He was minister of Science and Technology in Lula’s government from 2003 to 2004.

Roberto Amaral is the author of more than 20 books in the areas of political science, law and communications. He is an associate professor of Social Communication and Political Communication at the Pontificia Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-RJ) and professor of journalism at the Helio Alonso faculty of Communications and Tourism. He is a co-founder of CEBELA (Centro Brasileiro de Estudos Latino-Americanos) as well as the Editor of its journal. He is a member of the State Counsel of Culture for the state of Rio de Janeiro. His academic experience includes the field of political science, with emphasis in electoral studies and political parties and with a particular focus on politics, communication, Brazil, Democracy, and Science and Technology.

Roberto Amaral is a recipient of the Great Cross of the Order of National Scientific Merit.